Mice problem, but can I use peppermint oil?

Dolorosa

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Been having lot of mice lately. saw 3 tonight. 2 were in with my 2 broody ducks whose babies are hatching. :sick
Really tired of them eating my duck food. I tried giving the ducks food only during the day and locking up food at night, but the ducks ate like they were starving in the morning, so I am now leaving the food out. I know I cannot stop it completely, but I would like to deter them. I have some traps, but that won't stop other mice from feasting. I want to put peppermint oil on/near the duck house, but I have never heard of anyone letting ducks or goats (I have a goat living near the duck houses) be near peppermint oil. I can't imagine there being anything wrong with it, but I want to make sure. I have a cat, but he isn't allowed near the duck house (the food going as well of course) so he cannot scare them away from there. What do you recommend?
 

tindi

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I think once they realize that it is a easy food source that they will go back regardless. I think peppermint oil wouldn't be harmful but I think traps would work better. My husband made these little wood boxes with a hole at either end and two mouse traps inside, then placed a brick on top to hold it down. The mice can get inside attracted by the peanut butter but it keeps my dog away from the trap. Might work for you.
 

Latestarter

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Personally, I think you were on the right track initially... Put feed down for them in the morning. 1/2 an hour later go pick up whatever they didn't eat. Put more down for them in the late afternoon, give them 30 minutes, then pick up what they didn't eat. The object of course is to only feed the intended recipients... the ducks, not the mice, song birds, whatever else. Have no fear, your ducks will not starve and they'll adjust to the feeding schedule over a couple of days and be fine. If you eliminate the excess feed, you'll eliminate the mice as well. Now, from what I've seen of ducks and their interaction with food, they make on heck of a mess, so there WILL be feed on the ground no matter what you do... :hu

Just as an aside, since I don't know where you're located (please put your general location in your profile), with the mice population increase, you may want to pay much closer attention for the possibility of snakes (they eat mice) and I don't know if you have poisonous snakes where you're located. Once the snakes come, they'll not only eat mice, but ducklings and some will eat eggs. There are generally 10 times more mice than the ones you see, and they multiply extremely quickly.
 

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