Sunday, September 19, 2010

Mice, Squirrels, Rabbits and other creatures

Our yard is being overrun by squirrels and rabbits.  The mice are in the barn and garden.  We have four cats although only two are real hunters.  The dog is good at killing rabbits.  I shoot what I can but since I work full time out of the house that isn’t really an option for critter control.  I buy poison from County Ag since it’s at most 25% of the price if I got it from Orchard Supply.  Usually I spend about $50 and that buys enough to last two years of keeping the mice, squirrels, and rabbits under control.  They aren’t completely eliminated because even if they were eliminated from my property I can’t control what the neighbors do and they don’t do any abatement at all.  This year I went though the left overs from two years ago and bought $50 of bait.  It’s gone in less than six months.  Yesterday I saw six squirrels run from the back lawn to one of the woodpiles.  Six in one spot at one time.  If only I had the shotgun in my hand!  There are squirrels and rabbits eating my garden.  Tomorrow I’ll go get more bait and eliminate them. 

Bait is a costly fix.  What is going to happen if County Ag doesn’t have the poison?  I don’t want to have 20 cats as that would create problems in and of itself.  I see farmers and ranchers with too many cats and they all are mangy and sickly looking.  But I need something cheaper than the poison and available if suddenly County Ag wasn’t able to help us out.  I need to make and set traps.  I already have one metal trap for smaller types of animal (usually used for possums) and one large trap for dogs, hogs, and mountain lions. 

We have wooden snap traps for mice and rats but you’d really need lots of them if you are getting rid of mice.  Thankfully we don’t have mice in the house…except the dead ones the cats bring in for gifts.  I’ve seen the mousetraps that you can buy that are used for catching more than one mouse at a time.  I can probably build something like that.  I have wire that’s less than ¼ inch.  Perhaps it will be a good project for the grandkids to help design. 

Why is this important?  If TEOTWAWKI was today, we would not be able to tolerate critters eating from our orchard or garden or contaminating food that we have stored.  It would be more than just an inconvenience, it could be detrimental to our health and well being. 


  1. We used to live in So. Cal. and were overrun with rabbits, but killing them was against the law. You had to trap then transport them elsewhere-very annoying! We had to tent everything with nets to keep them away, and sprayed organic deterrents around the perimeter.

  2. I'm amazed that there are even traps for mice. Get mice in your house, trap them, then let them go in a local field. It's crazy.