Thread Number: 63755  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Ach! Mice..
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Post# 863307   1/21/2016 at 13:43 (937 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

Luckily I've never had to deal with a mouse problem, but my luck ran out.  Last year I saw a mouse scampering across my basement floor a few times, opened the right oven on my Frigidaire range and found a small nest in a roaster pan I had lined with paper towels.  Tossed the lid on it and dumped them out in the yard, thought that was the end of it.  There are a few feral cats roaming the neighborhood so I think they were a quick dinner.


Yesterday my dishwasher would not drain, so I ended pulling it out to clear a blockage in the drain line, pulled out the back flow flapper, it's caused problems in the past - but that is another story...  Well it looked like a mouse had taken up residence there in the insulation.  Found a pile of sunflower seeds and droppings.


Anyway, what is the best way to deal with them?  I have not seen one visibly since last year, but that does not mean they are gone.  Decon? Traps? Not sure.

Post# 863310 , Reply# 1   1/21/2016 at 14:06 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        

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First you have to find out where and how mice are gaining entry and seal off. Not just from the outside indoors but getting from your basement to ground floor. Pipes, electrical wiring... anything that creates a hole in wall should be well sealed and "rodent proofed".

Personally prefer those mouse zapper traps. They are quick, effective and have never let me down in the past. Next up are good old fashioned snap traps. Either way the things must be baited and placed properly. They also require checking to see if the job was done, bait replacement, moving to new site if not working...

Poison isn't the best option. DeCon or other supermarket baits are almost like candy to rodents as they have either developed an immunity or the stuff is so weak they'll have to eat tons to die. Either online, professional supply or hardware stores will have the real McCoy.

Problem with baiting is the rodents can and often do die in areas inaccessible such as walls. Then you have to put up with the stink (and perhaps flies) for several days or weeks until the rotting as stopped.


Whatever you decide to do action needs to be taken sooner rather than later. If you've seen two or three nests then odds are you've got more mice than you think, and worse they are breeding.

Post# 863311 , Reply# 2   1/21/2016 at 14:11 (937 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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Since I have a dog and cat, no way I would use any poisons around them. My golden was next door and found a d-con and ate it, thinking it was candy. After a trip to the Emergency Vet Clinic and peroxide, she was better. Best defense I have found for mice is a cat.

Post# 863312 , Reply# 3   1/21/2016 at 14:13 (937 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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A cat is probably your best bet to get rid of mice and keep them away. Be careful with Decon. When they eat it it causes the mice to be thirsty and look for water, then they hemorrhage internally and die wherever they happen to be, which can be inside of a wall, causing everlasting stench. Many years ago I used Decon, thought the mice were gone. One day I needed my cheese grater that was in back of the cutlery drawer, when I pulled it out I nearly jumped out of my skin, there was a dead mouse on it and it was decompsoing, nasty!!!! That was the last time I used Decon.

Another mice related story. When I was about 20 I spilled some unpopped popcorn, so I vacuumed it up with my Hoover Convertible. Later during the week I pulled out the Hoover to do the house cleaning. When I turned it on dust and dirt blew all over me. Mice had apparently smelled the popcorn in the vac bag and chewed a hole in the outer and inner bags to get at it and the end result was a big damn mess for me to clean up. If you can't have a cat, then try traps. Best of luck to you!

Post# 863313 , Reply# 4   1/21/2016 at 14:13 (937 days old) by DADoES (TX, U.S. of A.)        

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Traps.  Poison poses too much risk of the critter(s) getting stuck somewhere inaccessible and emitting a foul odor while rotting.  My neighbor had that happen in his then-new Jaguar.  I warned him not to use poison but too late, mus expired in the car's a/c ducting.

Post# 863314 , Reply# 5   1/21/2016 at 14:17 (937 days old) by joeypete (Concord, NH)        

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I hate mice!!!! I had them in the house I was in was awful. Luckily they stayed mostly unseen, but just the sound of them running in the ceiling drove me (and my cats) bonkers.

Launderess has it spot on. You NEED to find out where they are coming in from the outdoors...otherwise it will be a continuous battle. At least if you can seal their entry, then you just need to trap who's left. Makes a world of difference.

In my previous house I found they were coming in from the garage where the wiring went under the floor...there were clear chew marks. Smart me decided to use spray insulation to sell the openings which worked great but I didn't realize that I had just sealed them in the house. They were not getting into any of my storage areas so they had to be going back outside for food. Later that night I heard a loud squeal while I was making dinner. Shortly after I was invaded by mice. Yes, I screamed like a little girl hahahahaha. It was an AWFUL night. I let my cats upstairs (where my roommate lived) and one managed to chase a mouse under the stove where I later trapped him. But they must have found another way in the next year because I heard them in a different part of the house.

Best of luck to you...but yes, you need to find out how they are getting into the house. Either that or seal any opening in your living area with steel wool or whatever else works, to at least keep them out of your living area.

Post# 863315 , Reply# 6   1/21/2016 at 14:23 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
causes the mice to be thirsty and look for water,

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That actually is an old wives tale.

No poison causes rodents to "seek water". Rather the anti-coagulant types do cause internal hemorrhaging which eventually leads to death.

In past there were some pretty potent poisons you could dilute with water (IIRC the pros still have access to newer versions), but that was to get over bait shyness by taking advantage of even rodents must drink.

Post# 863316 , Reply# 7   1/21/2016 at 14:31 (937 days old) by joeypete (Concord, NH)        
Here kitty, kitty, kitty....

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Cats are natural predators obviously with rodents. Some are just lazy mofo's and won't do crap to catch them, but if anything they keep the mice away. At my last residence the mice NEVER came into my living area where my cats were...never. They can smell them. I think mine def would catch tuxedo goes crazy when the chipmunks run by my patio now lol.

Post# 863320 , Reply# 8   1/21/2016 at 14:56 (937 days old) by Yogitunes (New Jersey)        

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FYI.....mice will slide in under a door......

that's how I knew they were getting in, was standing in the kitchen, and with the back door closed, seen one come in by sliding underneath...and theres a threshold and rubber seal.....just blew my mind!.....

and then the little jerk jumped right through the heat registers.......

D-Con poison worked for me......thank goodness

Post# 863322 , Reply# 9   1/21/2016 at 15:11 (937 days old) by Jmm63 (Denville, NJ)        

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That's to funny because I'm having a big mouse problem right now too.  But my mice seem to be the acrobatic type because I am finding droppings in the most unusual the 3rd shelf up in the pantry (but not the lower 2),  on the stove top, behind the toaster etc.  Totally skeeves me!!


I've sealed all points I can see with steel wool or spray foam but clearly they are still getting in somewhere.  The house is a on crawl space with dirt floors so there is no good way to keep them out of there.  


I have taken to poison, traps, and heavy use of peppermint oil and sachets.  I don't like the idea of poison but my thoughts are that they are going to die in the house anyway at some point, they don't live forever.  I don't think they hold little mouse burials in the crawl space.  laughing.   I'm using the peppermint oil treatment in the pantry and it seems to have stopped the activity in there.  Only 1 caught in a trap so far.


My cat, Roxie, God rest her sole, used to keep things at bay last year.  The only problem was she would frequently catch them and bring them upstairs to the bedroom as a "gift".  Some of them were dead but some were alive and then we had to deal with mice in the bedroom running around..  want to see a grown man scream like a girl!   


I'm open for any other suggestions to get rid of this invasion.  

Post# 863327 , Reply# 10   1/21/2016 at 15:39 (937 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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I would never choose poison. I don't want them dying in the walls. Or dying outside for another animal to eat and be poisoned... These blood thinning poisons are causing damage to wildlife around farms and places they are commonly used.

By far the best trap I ever found is a Hav-A-Hart live trap. Yes you do have to confront the mouse and get rid of it. The ones I have caught in the past were released in the woods a couple miles away.

I keep the trap set year around underneath my basement steps. A smear of peanut butter is the bait. I have NEVER had the trap false, if the doors are closed there is a mouse in it. I generally hear them rattling it if I get a catch. There is also zero fear of injury when setting it!

I second Launderess's suggestion to try to find the ingress point and fix it! Since my home was re-sided I haven't had any rodents visit.

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Post# 863328 , Reply# 11   1/21/2016 at 15:42 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Better than steel wool

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Is a type of copper mesh, see:

Most all the professional exterminators here in NYC use and swear by the stuff. If you cannot find it those copper "Chore Boy" scrubbing pads will work in a pinch.

Unlike steel wool the copper mesh will not rust and or break down over time. While rodents can and often do pull out or get through steel wool, for some reason the copper stuff stops them in their tracks. My guy says it is because bits of the stuff break apart in rodent's mouths and they just don't like it.

Another thing: rodents do not have excellent sight but detect openings via currents of warm or cooler air. Thus they do not always "see" a hole but can tell when something is there; so best to "stuff and seal" any holes/openings.

Post# 863338 , Reply# 12   1/21/2016 at 17:26 (937 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        
Old wives tale

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According to the active ingredient in D-Con is brodifacoum which causes an insatiable thirst causing the poisoned mice to seek water outside, thereby reducing the chance that they will die inside a wall. Apparently, they haven't used warfarin for quite some time. So I guess this isn't an "Old wives tale"

This post was last edited 01/22/2016 at 00:16
Post# 863350 , Reply# 13   1/21/2016 at 18:53 (937 days old) by glomain (tuscarawas cnty. (eastern ohio))        

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as you can see I liveout in the sticks,barn cats outside & traps inside bated w/ jif,no poison in or out because of the critters (dogs /cats) also peppermint on cotton balls where you see a trail(mouse shit)will get them to move along.hope that helps,but where im from its a part of life.

Post# 863351 , Reply# 14   1/21/2016 at 18:54 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Then I Stand Corrected

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As everything one was told stated the opposite.

") MYTH: Rodents will seek water after consuming certain rodenticides.

FACT: No known rodenticide will make a rat or mouse extra thirsty. While rats do require water daily, mice get most of their water from the foods they eat. Rodents have already found a food or water source nearby if they are nesting in a particular area. Mice will only explore areas within about 30 feet of their nests.

Post# 863352 , Reply# 15   1/21/2016 at 18:55 (937 days old) by MattL (Flushing, MI)        

I think I know where they got in, just need to seal it up.  Thing is I have no idea if they are still here.  I caught a couple last spring, plus the family I evicted - I've seen no evidence since.  So the mess under the dishwasher might have been from last year.  I have a couple of live traps with peanut butter set out, but no takers.


I know what caused the problem.  A few years ago my brother bought a big bag of sunflower seeds for my dad to feed the birds.  After he died I put the bag in a corner of the garage and forgot about it, I'm not a bird feeder, well the mice found it an had a feast.  When I was cleaning last fall I found little piles of sunflower seeds in odd places.

Post# 863359 , Reply# 16   1/21/2016 at 19:08 (937 days old) by ea56 (Sonoma Co.,CA)        

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then I guess I stand corrected too! LOL Apparently, there is more than one opinion on what actually happens to the rodents between consumption of the poison and death. All I know is my experience using this product was unsatisfactory.

Post# 863360 , Reply# 17   1/21/2016 at 19:09 (937 days old) by wayupnorth (On a lake between Bangor and Bar Harbor)        

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I have no places mice can get in here any more as this place was completely redone in 1995, BUT squirrels pulled the flashing off the fireplace chimney and dug into the cathedral ceiling of the living room. Sealed it again and so far so good. A few mothballs works as a good repellent but use very few as its not good for humans or domestic animals just in a space they cant get at and the vermin can. And yes, a mouse eating d-con will bloat and die in any basin of water.

Post# 863361 , Reply# 18   1/21/2016 at 19:10 (937 days old) by glomain (tuscarawas cnty. (eastern ohio))        

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they usually only follow walls,boards,& always have the same path.they will make nest anywhere, but they most always follow walls if they are field mice.thats where ya put the traps.hope that helps

Post# 863362 , Reply# 19   1/21/2016 at 19:12 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
sunflower seeds in odd places

launderess's profile picture
Mice like other rodents such as squirrels like to stash food in times of plenty for leaner periods to come. It is a common for rats and mice to move bits of seeds/nuts/food even rodent bait to other areas for safe keeping later on.

Back a few years ago after having a bad mouse problem did an industrial take down cleaning of the place. Moved a huge bookcase that hadn't been shifted in years. Behind/underneath found a stash of flax seeds. Several months before noticed the arrival of mice had spilled a bag of flax seeds while attempting to open. This was in the KITCHEN! No where near the bookcase which is in the far side of living room. Thought had swept/vacuumed up all the seeds even under the fridge, but apparently did not....

People store all sorts in their garages that end up being food for/attracting rodents. Pet food, bird seed, plant seeds, etc...

Post# 863364 , Reply# 20   1/21/2016 at 19:16 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
No Worries Eddie

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I like a healthy debate, it keeps one on one's metal! *LOL*

DeCon isn't the best. Next time go for the professional stuff. The EPA has made it harder to get by unlicensed persons but you can often still get it on eBay or from other sources.

The stuff in DeCon and other supermarket rodent baits (IIRC) is weakened down to prevent poisoning of pets, humans or other non-intended animals. It will work but rodents must consume more of it to reach a lethal dose.

Post# 863365 , Reply# 21   1/21/2016 at 19:18 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
No Worries Eddie

launderess's profile picture
I like a healthy debate, it keeps one on one's metal! *LOL*

DeCon isn't the best. Next time go for the professional stuff. The EPA has made it harder to get by unlicensed persons but you can often still get it on eBay or from other sources.

The stuff in DeCon and other supermarket rodent baits (IIRC) is weakened down to prevent poisoning of pets, humans or other non-intended animals. It will work but rodents must consume more of it to reach a lethal dose.

Post# 863367 , Reply# 22   1/21/2016 at 19:24 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
Here are some tips to sussing out if you have more guests

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Of the uninvited sort:

If someone has a cat who is a good mouser and will let you borrow have it come to stay for awhile. You'll know by the cat's actions if a mouse or mice are still about.

Post# 863375 , Reply# 23   1/21/2016 at 19:45 (937 days old) by cuffs054 (MONTICELLO, GA)        

I just use a shotgun.

Post# 863378 , Reply# 24   1/21/2016 at 19:50 (937 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
To off mice?

launderess's profile picture
Talk about using a sledgehammer to swat a fly. *LOL*

Post# 863379 , Reply# 25   1/21/2016 at 19:51 (937 days old) by joeypete (Concord, NH)        

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What kind of mice do you have at your house Cuffs? LMAO.

Post# 863382 , Reply# 26   1/21/2016 at 19:56 (937 days old) by glomain (tuscarawas cnty. (eastern ohio))        

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Post# 863397 , Reply# 27   1/21/2016 at 22:09 (937 days old) by maytog77 ()        

Is a Perfect demonstration of what to do, If you should come upon a mouse!=)


Post# 863410 , Reply# 28   1/22/2016 at 00:08 (936 days old) by roto204 (Tucson, AZ)        

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"Nuke them from's the only way to be sure."  :-)


We tried the glue traps--I have no idea what the hell I was thinking.  They were sprinkled with nut fragments to entice the mice; said mousies nibbled the goodies off the trap, and left the trap in place, which ended up adhering itself to the unsuspecting human being who planted it.


Never one to be without a good sense of vengeance, I found the good-old Victor traps did the trick.  Rather than me having to find a spot for release, they send the mice several miles into the stratosphere automatically.  ;-)


Our cat (otherwise worthless with rodents) also enjoyed pretending that she'd hunted them, by dragging the trap out to show us the "prize."


We found that, actually, the little suckers sneaked in when the door was open for extended periods.  In the winter, the days are fair, and we had security doors on the exterior entries.  They'd squish in through a door gap, and suddenly, there was a party behind the fridge.  They had the Fiberglas insulation shredded to fluff in no time, little bastards.

Post# 863415 , Reply# 29   1/22/2016 at 00:48 (936 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

For some time had a mouse problem.Just used several snapper traps to get rid of them.Found those things are CANNIBALS-one mouse that was caught in a trap the other mice were eating him!I use Cheerios as bait.One time while eating my breakfast-one of my Cheerios fell on the floor and a brazen mouse ran out and grabbed it and ran behind one of my Hi-Fi speakers.Baited a trap with Cheerios-next breakfast session the mouse went behind the speaker----SNAP!!!!and a lone Cheerio rolled out from behind the speaker-The trap nailed him!.Been lucky so far.Mouseless for now--but my traps are ready if IF need them again-and their favorite bait--CHEERIOS!!One time a mouse was caught by his foot in the living room.When I got home from work he was dragging the trap around on the floor.As I spotted him he looked up at me as to say"Will you PLEASE let me out of here!"I took trap and mouse outside and released him-he managed to hide in a little hole under a tree-The neighbors half dozen cats lurk nearby!Maybe this year the cats are doing their jobs!

Post# 863478 , Reply# 30   1/22/2016 at 09:15 (936 days old) by Volvoguy87 (Cincinnati, OH)        

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Here's a little trick I learned for energy efficiency, but it works for pest control as well.

Look for spider webs. Spiders build their webs where food comes in. If you see spider webs, rest assured that there are gaps / leaks very close by. Find those holes, seal them, and remove the web. If the spider does not rebuild the web, job well done. If the web keeps reappearing you didn't completely seal the hole.

Clear as mud?

Post# 863506 , Reply# 31   1/22/2016 at 12:19 (936 days old) by Iheartmaytag (Wichita, Kansas)        

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I had never had a problem.  Then about two years ago I noticed little presents under the cabinets.  Then one day looked up in the living room and there sat by the TV a little brown Mickey. 


Because of kids, cat, and dog in house, I opted for traps, and barriers.  First searched the outside and found the entry way, a large crack from the summer dry spell led into the foundation.  I filled that up with the clumps from the kitty box.    Kind of putting the little buggers on notice that there is a cat present.  No matter how fat, declawed, and fed he is I thought his poop would be a deterrent. 


Evidently the methods worked,  not seen a guest again.  I still keeps the traps around, just in case.  BTW--The mice  love(ed) Oreos. 

Post# 863508 , Reply# 32   1/22/2016 at 12:36 (936 days old) by runematic (southcentral pa)        

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At our cabin, it is impossible to keep the mice out.  A few hunting seasons ago, the big thing at night was to sit in the living room and watch the trap set at a whole in the wall.  Bang!  One down.  reset trap. Bang!  Another dead.  This went on for a long time.  the different cabin members had kept a tally from the beginning of October to the end of January.  The grand total was 76 mice!  Those are just the ones we caught.  We don't use poison because we all take our dogs up at different times of the year.  There is absolutely no way to seal this old place up to keep them out.

Post# 863531 , Reply# 33   1/22/2016 at 15:51 (936 days old) by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        
Multi catch traps

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A few years back I had a girlfriend that had a number of mice living on her apartment balcony. She fed the birds to keep her cats entertained, and the seed attracted the mice.

To catch them a hobby farm friend of hers loaned us one of these multi catch wind up traps. I set the trap on the deck again bated with peanut butter. It caught 6 mice within a 1/2 hour!

Kinda cool to see a video of it in action!

Post# 863544 , Reply# 34   1/22/2016 at 16:57 (936 days old) by Launderess (Quiet Please, There´s a Lady on Stage)        
multi catch wind up traps

launderess's profile picture
You see those in the basements of many NYC apartment buildings including those in some very pricey areas such as Central Park West and Fifth Avenue.

Post# 863608 , Reply# 35   1/23/2016 at 01:54 (935 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Like that spring trap-let the mice go outside-----and they can run the guantlet from the neighbors cats!And to add to the fun--A hawk patrols the neighborhood, too!

Post# 863672 , Reply# 36   1/23/2016 at 12:38 (935 days old) by twintubdexter (Palm Springs)        
story time, not mice but rats...

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In the almost 15 years I have lived here in the desert I have never seen a mouse. Rats on the other hand are a different story. When I first moved into this house there was a squirrel that lived between the back block wall and the big waterfall for my spa. Even though squirrels are members of the rodent family I thought it was fun watching him from my kitchen window so I started putting out a pie tin of sunflower seeds for him to munch on. The tin needed to be refilled daily. One morning I noticed that the tin was surrounded by big brown rats...desert rats I guess. When I went out to investigate the rats went over the wall into the neighbor's yard. That was the end of the sunflower episode and the squirrel never came back. 


Last year some friends that live in a mobile home near me asked if I could look at their dishwasher. It stopped working. It was an easy fix...rats had chewed through the electrical cord. When I told them they said I was mistaken, "we do not have rats"...this after I showed them the droppings under the dishwasher. So much for showing appreciation.


Many years ago our next door neighbor was a very good friend. We would play practical jokes on each other. These houses had horizontal studs in the walls, not vertical ones. This provided a highway for rats to get from one room to the other.   My partner had installed one of those vintage ironing boards in his kitchen wall. One day we could hear the rats fighting in the ironing board and I thought I saw a tail stick out. He of course insisted there were no rats in his house. A friend and I took a black giant marker and "painted" a handful of rice with it. We then spread it around a few of his kitchen cabinets. It was good for a few laughs until we confessed but it was very convincing. I was bad.


One more quickie...During inventory time in the Downtown San Francisco Emporium which was an immense store that had been there for about 100 years, occasionally you would hear the inventory takers, mostly ladies, scream when they would disturb a rat's nest in one of the stock areas. These were not your typical domestic house rats, they were giant-sized city rats. I once saw a little girl chasing one in the basement store saying "here kitty kitty."

Post# 863760 , Reply# 37   1/24/2016 at 00:41 (934 days old) by tolivac (greenville nc)        

Rats made GREAT targets to shoot at-a small town dump in S.Dak.Good for afternoon target pratice-those buggars were tough-took a .22 loaded with hollowpoints to stop them.Hit them with solids-they would just flinch.Shoot them with a 12Ga with #6 duck&Pheasant loads-they disappear!The town liked folks shooting the rats.And the dump would yeild good bottles and cans for salvage-recycling.

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