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September 21, 2017

We moved to Maui a year ago and have lived in our S. Kihei home since late September. Over the past few months, we have been experiencing a steadily worsening mouse problem. We’ve tried various remedies (details below), but with little or no success. Our eco-friendly pest control service says they don’t deal with rodents, so they’re no help. We don’t want to do anything that poses a danger to us or our pets (elderly cat and small dog), and we hate the idea of snap traps, glue traps, and poison, but at this point we’re at our wits’ end. So I’m hoping some kind neighbor will have a suggestion for measures we can take that we haven’t yet tried, and/or a service we can hire, that can deal with the problem safely and effectively.

At first, I had some success with TomKat no-kill traps, but then somehow the mice figured out how to get the bait without getting caught, so forget that. I also got some ultrasonic pest repellent devices, but they don’t seem to be helping. As already mentioned, we have a cat, but she’s 17 years old, so she doesn’t really hunt any more. And it would break her heart if we got younger cats before she’s ready to go to kitty heaven, so we’re out of luck on that front for the time being. The dog is young, healthy, and interested, but utterly incompetent. She’s a chaser, not a killer.

Suggestions, anyone?

Mike Moran, North Kihei·3d ago
Have you tried the “live release” traps (Is that what you call TomKat?) I found if you continuously relocated them & change type of bait, they are successful

Lila Sherman, North Kihei·3d ago
Peppermint oil around doors or other openings.  Sadly… I’ve had to use sticky traps.  There’s no humane way to easily dispose.. Sticky traps, not snap traps, necessary as fleas will jump off after a short while.

Charles Laquidara, Central Kihei·3d ago
Sarah: I really believe that I can help you. I once wrote an article about this which was featured in the Maui Weekly and received a lot of great reviews and responses.

1. Take the long cardboard tube out of a paper towel roll.
2. In one end place a small cracker with peanut butter and a little bit of cheese on it.
3. Balance the tube on your countertop so that the end with the tasty meal on it hangs out over the edge.
4. Place a tall (at least 3 ft) waste basket underneath the tube before you go to bed tonight.
5. When you wake up tomorrow morning, go and get the wastebasket which will have one mouse in it trying to jump out, put it in your car, drive at least a mile or two away, preferably to a spot (like a barren or wooded area far away from any homes) and let the mouse out of the basket.
Remember where you were–  because you will be returning for the next several days to arrange this veritable Mickey Mouse family reunion event.
6. Depending on how many infested mice you have in your home, my guess is within four or five days you will have depleted the entire family without harming one of them.
7. Be patient if you don’t get a mouse the first day –“Build it and they will come…”
(and don’t worry about whether they can reach up that high on the kitchen or pantry counter. They will find a way.)
8. Leave the tasty tube up for four or five days after or you think it’s completed – – just in case there were any stragglers in the mouse family.

Alison Costanzo, Maui Meadows·2d ago
We get an invasion about once a year and we use the no kill traps and release them. It takes persistence, but eventually it works.

Jim Wagner, Maui Meadows·2d ago
We usually get an infestation as the grasses dry near Maui Meadows.  The only thing I use now is the rat zapper which is available at Ace.  It isn’t cheap but it really works.  Mouse goes in to get the food and is immediately electrocuted.  No pain, no fuss and the squeamish can dump the mouse corpse without even looking at it.

Buck Joiner, Maui Meadows·2d ago
Been dealing with this for decades. Use poison outside the house, never inside. For inside, I have found the electronic zappers to be the very best and most reliable. I keep 2 baited continuously and have terminated 3 mice in the last 2 months. For bait, I use a peanut, a cheesetos, half an M&M or piece of cholate, potato chip, whatever. Putting 3 different baits in the trap makes it irresistible. The electronic traps have a blinking LED, when something has been caught. Get the electronic RAT trap rather than the mouse trap so you are covered no matter what. Can’t use these outside, not weather resistant and you can’t see the blinking LED except at night.

JoEtta Matos, North Kihei·2d ago
If you put peanut butter on a trap and be sure and put the traps against the baseboards you will get them, unfortunately not humane but I can’t deal with rats in my house. Good luck.

Shaka Doug Corbin, Central Kihei·2d ago
Try this with no water in it

Lorie O’Connor, Maui Meadows·2d ago
Lexi. setting the mice in the wild only continues to be a serious problem. they just make their way to someone else’s house.  unfortunately exterminating them is the only way.  We get so many daily and it’s truly a disgusting problem.

Kathie Clohessy, Maui Meadows·1d ago
Sadly I agree that when you trap and release you are just making your problem someone else’s headache. They’re looking for food and water. If not yours then someone else’s. Good news here is that the presence of two cats seems to have diminished their interest in our house enormously.

Mary Matthews, North Kihei·1d ago
I have lived in N. Kihei for over 9 years. I have always had two cats, both of which were totally indoor cats. I have never had a mouse in the house and have only seen one outside. Do you have pet food outside that is attracting mice?
One of my cats died at 16 years old. I replaced her with a female kitten who is now 9 months. Old male cat (13 years) loves her and it livened up the older male. No problems.

Molly Jacobson, Kamaole Beach·1d ago
After a year of humane catch-and-release traps, and putting them way down in the gulch — far from any homes — I gave up on them, when I realized that the same mice were, in fact coming into my home each day. (I got to recognize their markings, because we spent so much time together.) At this point, I opt for poison outside and sticky traps inside — although I might invest in those electric traps at Ace, now. I really hate killing them. But they are extremely smart, and yes, they can absolutely find their way back to your house. They are used as lab animals for a reason — not because they are stupid, but because they are so, so smart, and they have such great memories. I also resort to my grandmother’s method, which is to sing to them about how much food is out in the gulch. (The old songs my nanny used to sing to the mice were about how great a cook the neighbor was, and the food was much better at her house — but I think that’s mean to my nice neighbors, so I just stick to the abundant grass in the gulch.)

Colleen Tester, Maui Meadows·1d ago
My daughter is a scientist and has used mice in her experiments for years.  She is also an animal lover.  According to her and her colleagues, the most humane way to get rid of mice is snap traps.  No, I don’t enjoy it, but when the grasses dry in the fall, they come down from the ranch for food and water.  At one point some years ago, they were even in our beds!!  No, thank you.

Buck Joiner, Maui Meadows·55m ago
Facts about Mice
A female house mouse has an estrous cycle of 4-6 days long.
The gestational period for a litter of mice is approximately 19-21 days and females give birth to a litter of 3-14 babies.
One female mouse can have approximately 5-10 litters of young per year.
Mice can breed throughout the year.
Female mice reach sexual maturity within six weeks of birth and males around eight weeks. Both genders can breed as early as five weeks.
House mice can transmit diseases and contaminate food and food packages.
Mice are very adaptable and can live in nearly any type of environment.
A house mouse usually lives less than a year in the wild, but in a protected environment like a human house, they can live from two to three years.
A female mouse is ready to breed again within two to four days of giving birth.
The actual number of births a young mouse can have will depend on the quality and availability of food and size of the colony.
One pair of adult mice, under ideal conditions, can produce well over 100,000 off springs in one year.

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