"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Another eco-friendly solution

I've bored you all to tears with my field mouse problems.  And I lost an exasperated follower because of my constant whinging.  And probably because of our seemingly steadfast refusal to get a cat - or two - or three...

Unfortunately, Scallywag is not a fan of cats.  So, whilst he is a member of our family, that eco-friendly solution is not an option.

But, the mouse problem has spread from them just attacking my veggies, to their attacking the wiring on the ride-on lawnmower and the tractor.  Probably the genny is next...
Recycling two cooldrink tins from our trip to
Cape Town last December
So, when I showed RMan this article, he decided to embrace it - and quickly. He has already replaced the wiring on the ride-on mower a few times since we moved here, and is getting more and more exasperated with these little rodents.

Here's his version of the trap:
A dowel rod is threaded through
a hole in the centre of the tin,
which  in turn is suspended
through two holes in the paint
bucket. A couple of litres of water,
and the trap is set.
It even has an entrance ramp...
But, he didn't use anti-freeze - only water.  That way we can chuck the dead rodents into the bush and hopefully some creature will dispose of the body / enjoy the easy takeaway.  Even if it's only the ants...

Given the number of field mice, we opted not to leave the bucket empty - letting a field mouse free wouldn't help the scourge, and it would probably just follow it's urine trail right back to the alpaca's "larder".
A dab of peanut butter completes the trap
We placed the trap by the alpaca / duck food storage area- the field mice are constantly hovering - looking for the odd sunflower seed / crushed mealie / lucerne pellet which may fall when we take the alpaca's maintenance meal from the locked storage bins.

We have managed to catch half a dozen so far...

14 comments:

Vicki said...

Field mice are a real pain in the whatever. Once they discover a food source, they are everywhere. And they are tough to get rid of. Looks like your trap is working well. I'm lucky in that my dogs and cat get along. But then, the cat is bigger than either of the pooches! Might have something to do with it.

Jody said...

We feel your pain! Around here it's voles. We lost more than a third of our sweet potato crop last year. We have one cat. She does a pretty good job. This winter we've coaxed a second stray with food to hang around. To my delight, last night I saw the stray in our back yard pouncing a vole like a fox in the snow! Your trap is a great alternative to cats! And you don't have to feed it!

Dani said...

Vicki - LOL - so, which is more ferocious - your cat or dogs...?

Dani said...

Jody - Could the trap not be adapted for voles?

Yeah - one of the plusses of the trap is that it doesn't scratch furniture, shed hair, require preventitive measures for it's toilette habits in veggie beds, nor need feeding LOL

Vicki said...

My dogs are all bark and no bite! If the three of them ever got into a fight, my money's on the cat. She would wipe up the floor with them!!

Dani said...

Ah - bless them :)

Harry Flashman said...

You need a ferret!

Just kidding. I use a trap that catches them alive and then I haul them off into the woods. I let them go out there. I know this is nonsensical and I couldn't tell you why. I just do.

Linda said...

Good luck Dani! Pests are so frustrating when you've done so much work. The idea looks so simple but clever!

Dani said...

Harry - You may be right!

The woods sounds a good idea - they've probably got plenty of food there. Here, all they have are the farmer's crops in the fields, my veggie patch and the insulation from the wires in the engines - including my car, as we discovered yesterday...

Dani said...

Linda - The whole idea is to solve the proboem with as little impact as possible. I think we've succeeded :)

Barb. said...

I made one of these a few years back! After having a King Skink drown in it I stopped using water but then still had to deal with the live mice...It is now sitting empty out the back but still sometimes gets a skink, no mice as there is no bait but I really should bait it and set it up in the shed again...
It's all well and good to release the live mice but really that doesn't solve the long term problem does it? Sad but our food is for us not them.

Barb.

Barb.

Dani said...

Barb - I agree - given the field mouse population a few mice which die is not going to impact the species. And the unpoisoned dead ones will provide food for other carnivores / insects - so a win-win sitaution.

Sol said...

the trap looks like something from an its a knock out programme.

Dani said...

Sol - I don't know that programme, but I promise, the trap works :)