Got Mice? Here’s How to Get Rid of Them

Got Mice? Here’s How to Get Rid of Them

 

Do you have mice in the barn? Every equestrian will face off with a rodent, eventually. And while a chubby deer mouse might look adorable scampering out of your grain room and not worth your trouble, she is a sign of a much bigger problem.

Where there’s one mouse, there will soon be more — many more. One female mouse can create upwards of 50 babies a year. They’re ready to reproduce within 30 days, so one breeding pair of mice can result in 5,000 progeny in a year. And if you’re seeing chubby miss mousey in the daylight (the wee hours of the night, for her), she’s probably already pregnant and heading to your grain stores for a midnight snack.

Horse barns are like heaven to rodents. Between endless amounts of food, nesting materials, and warm hiding places, they’re the perfect place to raise an enormous mouse family. That mouse family will eat your grain, upset your boarders and damage your facility. But the biggest problem is that mice carry diseases like Hantavirus, Anthrax and even Plague! So you need to remove rodents ASAP.

5 Ways to Get Rid of Mice in the Barn

Mouse-Proof the Structure

  • Inspect your barn every spring and fall for potential entryways, and seal any cracks 1/4 inch or larger.
  • Make sure that all windows, doors, and screens fit tightly.
  • Use concrete to seal cracks and openings for utilities, pipes, fixtures, and vents in your barn.
  • To mouse-proof the barn door, use mesh or steel wool to plug holes.
  • Seal larger openings with aluminum flashing.

Once you’ve attended to the structure, think about the exterior.

Clear the Exterior

Shrubs, flower bushes, and stacks of hay or straw are all alluring to mice. By removing these from the barn’s immediate exterior, you reduce the chances that a sneaky little mouse will be camping out near your structure and weaseling her way in.

Next, it’s time to change your habits in the barn.

Minor Adjustments in the Barn

Delicious grains and supplements are a key attraction for mice. Be sure to store them in sturdy, rodent-proof bins that seal tightly. A quick internet search for “rodent-proof grain bins” will bring up plenty of options, but this author has great experiences with Horsemen’s Pride Feed Bins.

Nesting materials are another luxury of barn life. Make it a best practice in your barn to securely store things like:

  • Leg wraps
  • Saddle pads
  • Medical gauze or bandages
  • Or any other soft, fluffy fabrics

Whether you choose plastic tubs, tack lockers, or a custom solution, the point is to reduce the amount of cozy bedding mice in the barn can find.

Next, it’s time to add some barn cats.

Barn Cats

Barn cats are the best natural deterrent against mice in the barn. You probably already have one or two. You may need to add more cats and feed them a little less. (Spilled cat and dog kibble are attractive to mice.)

  • An over-fed kitty is less likely to take a keen interest in mouse removal, cut back on the kibble.

Remember, these cats don’t need to be especially friendly or attractive. Visit your local animal shelter and explain your needs. They’ll probably have a few ideal candidates. It feels good to save a life, and the more hissy and growly a cat is, the better!

  • Just be sure they’re sterilized before coming to the barn. Otherwise, you’ll have a whole different problem. One fertile female can create more than 400,000 progenyin her standard seven-year lifespan.

And finally, get a terrier.

Add a Terrier to the Mix

Jack Russell Terriers and other terrier breeds are born mousers! There’s a reason they’re practically a commodity at every barn. These small, feisty, scrappy little dogs enjoy nothing more than hunting mice in the barn, and they’re relentless about it.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this guide to mouse removal at your barn. The staff at Trails West Trailers knows horses, and we know our customers. If you’d like to learn more about any of our horse trailersliving quarters horse trailers, or RPM freeride toy haulerscontact us.