Ot--mice in the water well
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  1. #1
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    Default Ot--mice in the water well

    Ok, I have a problem. I've been working on my water well. It's in the middle of a corn field. There is a lot of evidence of mice and I am seeing them. I don't like them so close to the water. Is there some kind of safe poison I can use to poison them. Traps are hardly an option.

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    sanitary cap ?

    Or expanding plug (with slot for the wires) ?

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    Well, do something. I pulled my well pump a few years ago from 120' because it wasn't performing. Found the intake screen had failed, and inside, riding on the impeller was a nearly perfectly preserved mouse. Preserved, that is, in the state he was after meeting the 1st stage impeller. The 45deg water prevented all but the slowest decomposition. The pump had been acting up for months before I got around to replacing it. Fortunately we don't drink that water, its for vegetation.

    Oh, in my case the mouse got in through a 1" pipe nipple in the well cap where the wires go down. Someone (probably me) hadn't put the clamp on to close the hole. Amazing how small they can get when they want to intrude.

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    What type of well do you have? Six inch drilled? 24 Inch bored? two inch punched? If it is a 6 in, the standard sealed cap mentioned above will keep the mice out. If it is a bored well, you can seal it up with several methods. The hardware on a 2 in well should preclude contamination. The mice are looking for food and warmth. Put a few sticky pads in the enclosure. That should get them. If you are using a rope and a bucket, a solution is doubtful.

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    If it is a driven well, there should be no problem in that there is or should be well casing down to rock. There should be a tightly sealed cap and a pitless adapter. A dug well is a different story. Drinking water from that should go through filters and be chorinated.

    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by sealark37 View Post
    What type of well do you have? Six inch drilled? 24 Inch bored? two inch punched? If it is a 6 in, the standard sealed cap mentioned above will keep the mice out. If it is a bored well, you can seal it up with several methods. The hardware on a 2 in well should preclude contamination. The mice are looking for food and warmth. Put a few sticky pads in the enclosure. That should get them. If you are using a rope and a bucket, a solution is doubtful.


    We had .

    Dug well, rope and bucket, BUT .. well-fitted cover kept in-place between trips.

    As we had two separate driven-pipe pumps, one at the back door a long-handled serious one could even fight a small fire, another mini right on the kitchen counter over the sink basin, those trips were only needed a few months of the year. By '54 or so, we got electricity, then a Sears-Roebuck pump & tank run off of it, so.. "been a while".

    Problem with mice isn't that a healthy rodent is inherently any dirtier than any other placental mammal, ourselves included.

    Poor buggers don't ASK to carry viruses, bacterial infections and a slew of parasites with more sub-parasites of their own.

    But you can take for granted some or ALL of those WILL "be there", worse - outlive the mouse to deal you grief, later. Time for Vinegar, Peroxide or Clorox, and lots of it. Just not any two at once.

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    Uncle had a skunk get into the drinking water well and decompose. Smell started pretty quick, no one died.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark costello View Post
    Uncle had a skunk get into the drinking water well and decompose. Smell started pretty quick, no one died.
    No one? Doesn't sound as if the SKUNK - North America's primary reservoir for the rabies virus - lived to brag about it to the grandkids?




    As to mice, rats, and tree-rats:

    Diseases directly transmitted by rodents | Rodents | CDC

    There's a link in the sidebar as to cleaning-up.

    Grandparents did not HAVE the gadzillion of packaged chemicals we have in "Big Box" for scores of years.

    They did their work with "BFBI" methods. HOT water with strong brown soap made on the farm from saved-up wood fire ashes, vinegar made from our own cider, salt, lime & quicklime, now and then coal-oil, and store-bought Bromine, Iodine, Ammonia, Clorox, Potassium Permanganate, even Zinc, Copper, Sulfur, Mercury, Tin compounds, Nicotinic Acid, and Arsenate of Lead.

    Kinda careless by modern standards. Local stores selling blasting powder and dynamite as well.

    Used carefully "enough" that most lived into their 80's, 90's, now and then past 100.

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    There are no 'safe' rodenticides, all have non-species specific toxicities, some of which are
    quite serious. Doesn't sound like a good idea to spread deadly chemicals around water wells.
    Then there is the fact that where there is "one" mouse, there is likely 30 or 50 and your
    radius of treatment would have to be perhaps a hundred yards with periodic re-treatments to
    take care of any opportunists moving into the vacant territory. After all there is all that
    corn to eat. As an example: one of my outdoor cats hobbies was catching and killing chipmunks,
    which he piled behind the bushes in front of the house, when I found the pile it had 35 chipmunks
    and he was still catching them nearly daily.

    Best approach is to fortify the well against intrusion and minimize corn spillage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sch View Post
    There are no 'safe' rodenticides, all have non-species specific toxicities, some of which are
    quite serious. Doesn't sound like a good idea to spread deadly chemicals around water wells.
    Then there is the fact that where there is "one" mouse, there is likely 30 or 50 and your
    radius of treatment would have to be perhaps a hundred yards with periodic re-treatments to
    take care of any opportunists moving into the vacant territory. After all there is all that
    corn to eat. As an example: one of my outdoor cats hobbies was catching and killing chipmunks,
    which he piled behind the bushes in front of the house, when I found the pile it had 35 chipmunks
    and he was still catching them nearly daily.

    Best approach is to fortify the well against intrusion and minimize corn spillage.
    Domesticated Cats kill because they are still cats. No longer much to do with food.

    A tiny mama Barn Owl has a "nutrition mission", will do-up over a dozen rodents every 24 hours. No "free food" out of a tin on-offer, y'see.

    Barn Owl taking up residence, raising young 'uns is a good sign.

    Except that.. it means you have been just been "board certified" by one of nature's true experts .. as having enough rodents for them to thrive and pay their taxes, even as they draw-down heavy rations, non-stop, every day of the year!

    Catch 22...

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    Quote Originally Posted by sealark37 View Post
    What type of well do you have? Six inch drilled? 24 Inch bored? two inch punched? If it is a 6 in, the standard sealed cap mentioned above will keep the mice out. If it is a bored well, you can seal it up with several methods. The hardware on a 2 in well should preclude contamination. The mice are looking for food and warmth. Put a few sticky pads in the enclosure. That should get them. If you are using a rope and a bucket, a solution is doubtful.
    6 inch drilled and it is sealed. It's just pretty gross to go out there and find all these mice. One year found a a possum living there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by munruh View Post
    6 inch drilled and it is sealed. It's just pretty gross to go out there and find all these mice. One year found a a possum living there.
    Rented warehouse at first shop had an old 4' diameter hand dug well with a sheet of steel for a cover, someone removed the cover, I found 3 dead possums in the well, it was disgusting! We never drank that water, but did use it for bathing, I found the problem after a very stinky shower, that was so gross!

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    Mice are easy enough to trap. They love chocolate and peanut butter so use those peanut butter cups for bait. Smooth sided pipe (four inch PVC), standing vertical with a way for them to climb up to the top opening. They will gladly jump in to get the bait. Empty the pipes every few days.

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    It sounds like it is in a well house. If so, bury the well with a pitless adapter. You may need to run a vent pipe, or not. Put the controls and pressure tank elsewhere.

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    I had a 6” well cable drilled in 2016, last thing the driller did was pack about 20 sacks of bentonite around the upper casing, all he could fit. He said the bentonite seal is code at least in Island County and I’m guessing all of Wa. He’s been drilling locally 50+ years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmead View Post
    I had a 6” well cable drilled in 2016, last thing the driller did was pack about 20 sacks of bentonite around the upper casing, all he could fit. He said the bentonite seal is code at least in Island County and I’m guessing all of Wa. He’s been drilling locally 50+ years.
    Yup. Otherwise "ground water" finds its way down the outside of the pipe.

    And/or critters burrow following the quasi-disturbed soil (went through rocks along the way, didn' it?) to find livable temperature for nesting.

    Works very
    ..... well (pun indented) for the little troglodytes. Survived the impact that waxed the Dinosaurs, after all.

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    My go to for mice is blue tacking powder. Not something I would want near my well though. GBent has the best solution.

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    Quote Originally Posted by munruh View Post
    6 inch drilled and it is sealed. It's just pretty gross to go out there and find all these mice. One year found a a possum living there.
    Main problem must be them leaving leetle cigarette butts around....

    Pitless adapter, and a sanitary cap, with the lead in wires sealed
    with sillycone, should allay any fears.

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    Quote Originally Posted by digger doug View Post
    Main problem must be them leaving leetle cigarette butts around....

    Pitless adapter, and a sanitary cap, with the lead in wires sealed
    with sillycone, should allay any fears.
    Yup. never get rid of the mice but you can keep them out of the well. We used to have a farm where lots of folks used developed springs for drinking water. Basicly a stone lined hole in the ground with a small shed above it. If on a hill just gravity fed to the house. Usually could find a frog or two in there. The locals usually just laughed and said he won't drink much. Most of those old farmers died from old age or farm accidents............Bob

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    [QUOTE=thermite;3441210]Domesticated Cats kill because they are still cats. No longer much to do with food.

    Domestic cats kill rodents because the rodents are in the cats' territory. The territory belongs to the cat,
    because the cat lives there and eats its food there. These days the field mice don't even come in the house,
    because they can smell the two cats. I make sure the male leaves his scent inside the basement door area,
    and inside the back porch.


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