Field Mice Invade Beneath My Feeders

As I sit at my computer next to the open window, I hear the snap. Another field mouse has been captured. That is number 21. Is there hope that I can enjoy the birds at my feeders without a mice invasion?

A few weeks ago I watched with horror as field mice scurried between the feet of the Mourning Doves scrounging for scattered seed beneath my feeders. If I thought they would stay safely outside, I would tolerate their presence. However, when I began to imagine them seeking shelter in the house when winter approaches, it was enough to make this nature lover turn ruthless.

I had tried using spring-loaded traps in the past, but found them difficult to use. I would carefully set them, and then they would snap as I placed them on the ground. I put off dealing with the mice because the task seemed overwhelming, particularly when I thought about the potential of many pinched fingers.

As I was eating dinner on my patio a few days ago, a spied a mouse climbing into a nearby pot planted with annuals. And then, later that evening, two mice were climbing up the stems of the perennials outside my bedroom window. That was the last straw!

The next day I visited the hardware store to peruse their selection of mouse traps and discovered Victor Mouse Traps that worked much like a clothes pin. All I needed to do was swab some peanut butter on the trap mechanism, place the trap under a plastic mesh crate to keep it away from my dog, and wait for the curious mouse. Disposal was as easy as pinching the trap open and dropping the mouse into a plastic bag.

Actually, it took a few tries to perfect the ideal location for the peanut butter. On my first few tries, the mouse got trapped, but didn’t die. I figured it would suffocate in the plastic bag. Instead it chewed out and escaped from the trash receptacle.

Once eradication is complete, I will need to work on prevention. If you have been successful in dealing with and preventing field mice at your feeders, please share your experiences.

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5 thoughts on “Field Mice Invade Beneath My Feeders

  1. Judy,

    I just discovered your neat site! Great job, clearly a labor of love.

    On the field mice around the feeder question, I have a question. What are putting in the feeder?

    Some spilled seed is inevitable, but if you use a low-residue, high-quality seed (“quality” being defined as a preferred food of your typical feeder visitors), you may find that ground residue is minimal.

    Maybe you have posted your feeding preferences. I will look around a bit and see.

    (By the way, I am not optimistic on your “eradication” goal. If we provide the food, Nature provides an endless supply of consumers. The sign on my nature store in California read, “Feed them and they will come.”)

    Once again,

    Great Job!

    Rick

  2. I stopped using my seed feeder in the summer, since the birds have plenty to eat and come to my garden and pond without having to lure them with seed. I only saw a couple of field mice this summer – not a problem. I start feeding again the first of November and will continue through April.

  3. Hi, I just hopped over to your web-site via StumbleUpon. Not somthing I might typically browse, but I appreciated your views none the less. Thanks for making some thing worth browsing.

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