What to do about mice and rodents at the barn
This problem stinks. Mice and rats are two things – cute in a cartoon movie and darn annoying and potentially dangerous on a farm. How do you deal? You learn about them and then you conquer them.
- Rodents live in a 20-foot radius from food. This means that if you are finding mice or mice poop, you are in their 20-foot radius. So, this makes management easier. If you know where they poop and live, you know you are close to a food source for them.
Start in the feed room for rodent and mouse control!
- Make sure all containers are shut. Grains in cans or containers with tightly shut lids. All supplements tucked away. If you are premaking meals, keep them secure in a trunk or other sealed container. Clean up spills right away – and this means that your little trash can inside the feed room is now a buffet – so take food scraps and dropped grain bits to the dumpster roadside instead.
Metal bins and sturdy plastic bins keep rodents out of food. Sweep up messes!
Traps along walls don’t need bait… the mice will just run over them…and get snagged.
In the storage room of your barn:
- There is a lot of mouse bedding available, so keep your blankets and pads neatly folded and in sealed bags. I like the vacuum bags, they save space and help to keep mice out of the blankets. If your storage room is close to the feed room or stalls, those buggers can eat, then go home to their fluffy pads. Trunks are good, too, for storage of potential mouse nest stuff.
In the tack room:
- Make sure no food is stored there. Let your clients know that their lockers or trunks will make yummy nests – so snacks should go in your belly or the fridge.
So cute but NO NO NO.
- Mice and rodents also travel along walls, not in the open. Any break in the wall and they are in. You can seal your rooms with spray expandable foam, found at hardware stores, and keep the door shut! You can also set your traps along the walls in their path of travel. You don’t even need food in the traps – if it’s along the wall they will walk right into it. Be sure to keep your barn cats and dogs away from the traps.
One way to do things!
- A good mouser, either dog or cat, will help too. Remember though, you want to make your feed room and tack room unavailable to the rodents. If you have a pest control service, have them set bait stations away from the barn and feed room. The rodents will set up new 20 foot diameters around the bait stations! Make sure the dogs and cats can’t get to the bait stations. Bait stations are best for farms that don’t have dogs and cats.
- And PS – cleaning up rodent poop is not something to sweep. Detailed mouse poop cleaning up instructions are here.
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