Mice - More of a problem than I thought. NZ Geographic article

In the latest New Zealand Geographic there was a great article about mice being underapreciated as a pest. Particularly due to the effect they have on small lizards. I’m thinking of adding supplementaries to all my traps to help keep them down.

Recommend everyone else have a read and a think. You can get the magizine online via Wellington City Libraries if you have a card.

The sad part about the article is there were no proven scale control strategies for Mice.


I agree that mice are the underrated pest due to their predation of skinks and lizards
We put mouse traps in with our rat traps as the mice also polish the the nut butter in the rat trap without setting them off

Matt - we started trapping at Tikitapu-Blue Lake in Oct 2019. In our first year to Oct 2020 kills were rats/mice=1.5. We added a lot of supplementary mouse traps from late 2020 and the kill ratio is now mice/rats=1.6. This quote from Pest Detective says it all “The broad diet of mice means that their impacts are equally broad and can be observed through the entire ecosystem. They can affect nutrient cycling within ecosystems by eating the insect larvae that break down leaf litter, therefore preventing the nutrients in the leaf litter returning to the soil. Selective predation of certain seeds can prevent regeneration and alter forest plant species composition.” We use rat & mouse traps back-to-back in standard rat boxes with an entry hole either end - small hole at the mouse end. We’ve even caught weasels that have gone in after a fresh mouse and been whacked by the rat trap.


I agree with these posts, there are good reasons for keeping the mouse count down. Mice will take most of the standard lures if they’re not controlled, they are good bait for rats and mustelids, and they also consume seeds, larvae, small lizards, so they have to go. It’s a bit tricky when their home ranges can be small, and we found one pocket of 20-30 mice in a small confined area right under our noses. A local cluster of mouse traps took them out. We have caught up to 110 mice a month in 34 ha, and large mouse populations are usually followed by an influx of rats from outside the space. Rats like eating mice, mustelids like both of these rodents. We have caught no mustelids for months, after pulling down the rat and mouse populations to less than 20 each a month. We suspect the mustelids don’t hear the rodents calling at night, so stay outside our area, where there are more of their preferred targets available. We get a peak in rodent captures around March-April, possibly due to dry conditions and less food available generally.

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Thanks, I bought some v cheap plastic mouse traps and will be adding supplementaries to all my traps. I also got some stoat blood lure from mitre10 and will give that a go too.

Interesting stuff guys. I’m seeing mice stealing peanut butter out of rat traps on trail cams just now.

We put mouse poison d-blocks on a nail hammered through the base near the entrance of the 200s and 250s

The Times Up mouse trap is excellent. It’s by far the best mouse trap that I’ve ever used, in terms of catch-rates, the % of clean kills, and the low rate of bait-theft. They’re only cheap plastic, but they’d held up really well.

I started with 2 traps to try them out, and bought another 6 a few weeks later, because the results were so good. I’ve made 2 double-set tunnels for them, with 1/2" access holes, and a quad trap.

Since the start of April, I’ve killed 84. My total for 2021 was 58 mice, so I’m on pace to probably triple last year’s total. This was over a pretty small area, so there are WAY more mice that I had thought there were, and some rather large mice that may have actually been young rats. Since I started trapping droves of mice, the amount of bait-theft in my DoC tunnels has plummeted. Every now and then, I disarm the mouse traps to let them clean the traps for me, to prevent mold colonising the tunnels, which has worked very well, so far.

I’m moving the quad tunnels from 1 DoC tunnel to another, in order to reduce the local population, and to supply my DoC tunnels with fresh mouse bait. Mice are #1 on the menu of female stoats and weasels, so it should pay off, eventually. Having a mouse tunnel next to a DoC tunnel also creates lots of mouse scent-trails, creating free lures. Presumably, all of these scent trails, ideally coming from different directions, should help to lure predators to underperforming DoC tunnels.

Regarding bait, in general, I’ve found that squishing a single dry chickpea on top of peanut butter, a Goodnature lure, Marmite, etc. can work because the sticky base makes the chickpea stick to it. I’ve trapped plenty of mice that try to steal the chickpea, or that try to move it out of the way to get at the base bait.

I hope this helps.


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It is worth trying out your idea of chickpea.

Thanks WIllowflat warrior

When I search for “Times Up” 8 traps come up, two metal & one wooden, but five plastic.
Which model is the one that is proving so good for you?

They’re red and white, and have lots of teeth.

FYI, if you ever have trouble re-setting a trap, it might be because some sticky bait has got between the base and the underside of the treadle. I just use a stick or my screwdiver to separate them.

I hope you’re able to duplicate my results. After racking up crazy totals, I’m only trapping a few a week. Time to move the tunnels!

Hi Willowflat Warrior - that is the
Times Up One Touch Rat Trap 2 Pack

You wrote “Rat Trap”, but it’s the mouse traps that I’m recommending. I haven’t used the One Touch rat trap, so I don’t know if it’s any good.

oh, sorry, jtypes the wrong one

I have had mice stealing my bait. I put EasyTrap from Mite 10 mouse in the back of some of my doc250s. I soon had some mice. Then that stopped at some of the traps and my bait was catching other things like rats. I have had some rats eaten by I think is cats.