Long term storage of foods invite rodents… mice. Protect your investment. The best way to deal with mice is to eliminate them. Use a better mousetrap.
I don’t care how much work you put into discovering how and where they’re getting in, good luck with that. Though you should look for ways in and plug it up. Still, you’re going to have to set the mouse traps.
There are several precautions that you must take in order to be assured that your extra food will stand the test of time. Not only should you be concerned about the storage environment (temperature, etc..), but also be very aware of your food storage containment — the container it’s kept in.
Rodents (mice) have a way of finding food. And there are precautions that you can take to prevent rodents from destroying your valuable food storage!
Many of you store dry foods including grains, rice, flour, and beans. Perhaps various processed goods in their own containers / boxes, etc..
It is VERY IMPORTANT to realize the likelihood that sneaky little rodents (e.g. mice) will find your food. They will do whatever they can to separate you from your food storage!
Here’s the the thing… If they can smell it, they will try to get it.
Mice Got To My Food Storage
One reader of Modern Survival Blog emailed me some time ago and told me his story of a multi-hundred dollar mistake. He had acquired a lot of freeze-dried food. They were in those foil / mylar packets. He had kept them stored in a cardboard box. The mice discovered it, and most of his supply became a total loss. He mentioned how a simple steel garbage can with a tight fitting lid could have prevented his loss (as one example).
One of my own examples from awhile ago: We had an issue with a few mice that had somehow entered the house (still not sure how!). They discovered some of our processed foods which were only stored in their pressed-cardboard boxes on a shelf. They chewed their way in and ate some, while leaving their excrement behind (gross). We didn’t lose much since we had caught the problem in time. Much of our food storage of that particular variety is stored in plastic bins (except for what the mice found).
A Better Mousetrap
By the way, I’ve got to tell you about one of the best mouse traps (reusable) that I’ve discovered. They work exceedingly well. Truly the better mousetrap! They’re so easy and simple to operate (and dispose of the dispatched rodent). Either put a little peanut butter on it, or a piece of cracker (my own experience finds that a cracker seems to work better as mouse bait). Position the trap along a wall (mice run the edges), and voila… SNAP! I have lots of these mouse traps now. Keep them set in various places to bait any newcomers…
The Better Mousetrap
(view on amzn)
Acrobatic Opportunistic Mice
One thing we discovered is how absolutely seemingly acrobatic these clever mice are. They can climb and are opportunists. Fortunately they often leave a trail of ‘turd’ clues – so you know where they’ve been…
Mice Resistant Buckets, Bins, Trash Cans
Generally speaking (though not absolute!) most typical small mice won’t readily chew threw your 5 or 6-gallon pails of dry goods. Unless of course you’re dealing with some extraordinary beast of a rodent ;)
I’ve never had a problem (so far) storing foods within plastic storage bins either.
[ Read: A Great Way To Store Food ]
Metal trash cans would be the best (if it’s an issue for you).
Never Assume There Are No Mice!
One thing to keep in mind is to never assume that a given room, pantry, any location — is secured from rodents. These little buggers can squeeze through very tiny thin openings. I swear they can ‘beam me up Scotty’ to anywhere they want… So you’re better off keeping mouse traps always baited. Check them once in awhile and check your storage once in awhile for signs.
What are your ideas (or horror stories) regarding rodent control for your food storage?