Mice problem will cost $1800

59 Replies

I own a rental property and the house has numerous mice. Professionals came out and said the house needs to be sealed for a total cost of $1,800. My wife went into the hospital and I cannot afford to spend $1,800. All of a sudden the tenants are having problems paying the rent. I think its because of the mouse problem, but they haven't said anything. I think it was weird that rent was being paid on time and now the tenant is saying the army has messed up his paycheck for the month. What are my options.

Before you do anything, bait the crawlspace with mouse poison. Put a lot down there. $20 may solve it but you need to put enough down so all parts of the group eat it.

If that doesn't work. Ask the tenants if they want to keep a cat. No joke. I've solved mice problems this way before. I only do this in SFR's though where they don't know any of my other tenants and when the carpet is old.

Also, my lease specifically states that all properties are delivered to them rodent/pest free. If there are any rodents/pests discovered, they have 10 days from start of the lease to notify me. After that, it is their behavior that is attracting rodents/pests and is their responsibility to have them removed. Sealing a house won't solve a mouse problem if there's a food source there. They will find a way back in.

Promotion
REI Nation
Turnkey Real Estate
Wondering how to safely invest in out-of-state real estate?
This 40-page eBook is your best resource for safe, profitable, passive real estate investing.
Download Now

Khalid, Couple of questions. 1. Is that a SFR? 2. If it is, did you have mice problem before you put it up for rent? 3. Did you personally bring in the mice into the property? I know you didn't and I'm sure you didn't rent the house with the mice either. My take on it is, that if you turn over a clean property to the tenant, it is the tenant responsibility to keep it clean and tidy so mice don't develop interest.
I had the same problem with ants and wasps. My answer is always the same. I didn't bring those critters in and I don't get them out.
Regarding the price, I think you are taken in. If you still think that it is your problem, get other bids.

Good luck. and I hope your wife will get better.

Eddie thanks for thinking of my wife, she is better now. But I knew about the mice before she moved in. I thought I had taken care of the problem by sealing up an entry point, although they found another way in. So I feel as if it is my problem because the issue was there before they moved in.

Personally I think the best thing to do is catch them. I personally cant stand mice and would pay the money to hire someone to catch them instead of doing them myself, but i've heard of unsure if its true but of people poisioning mice, then them dieing like inbetween the walls and the odor is awful? I think it might take alot of traps but you should be able to catch them with some peanut butter!!!
-Scott

While it could be the tenants' fault for being slobs and providing food for the mice, I keep a very clean kitchen and house and still get mice almost every year. It can be nearly impossible to figure out where they are getting in, they can fit thru a 1/4 inch hole and climb walls.

I use peanut butter and old fashioned mousetraps until the whole family is gone - then I know I won't have little corpses in my walls, plus I see when I catch them so I know it's working. I've tried some of the new and improved traps and nothing works like the old standard so far.

I have heard landlords who swear by allowing ONE cat for the FIRST floor tenant, even if they normally don't allow pets - solves the problem :-)

The tenant has put down numerous traps, but the mice keep coming. The professionals said traps will not be effective unless I can find the entry points and seal them.

We had a tree rat problem in an apartment I was living at, in Los Angeles, and my apartment was immaculate. These suckers were BIG - well over a foot long. They got in the walls of the building and started to methodically hunt down everyone's kitchens in the building. They ate through walls, cabinets, you name it.

Traps didn't cut it alone. Sure, picking up the corpses of giant rats was a blast :roll: but the bottom line was that they had to spray the hell out of that building's perimiter. That stopped new rats from coming in, but we had to get the ones in the building, one by one. That took a good while - months.

I can still hear them running across the ceiling and in between the walls if I think about it. They ate the food in our drawers, ate the wires to our stove (that needed to be replaced), you name it. Scared the hell out of my dogs too!

So, as for finding entry points, ours got in through the basement garage and vents that led into different apartments. Once in the building (20 units, I believe) they just went from apartment to apartment through the common walls.

Anyway, that was one horrific experience!

Good luck in resolving your rodent problem, and we're all glad your wife is doing better.

Joshua, thanks for thinking of the wife. But, I'm sure they are coming in through the crawl space. There is also about a 1 inch gap under the siding all the way around the house at the point where the piers meet the house (kind of hard to explain). Also, the crawl space door has a gap at the top. I did not know mice can climb walls, so these are probally my problem areas. The exterminator said even if we seal the house the mice may tunnel up the piers into the house.

That's rough Josh when the natural predators are no longer around to keep the numbers down. Josh's story brought up a memory.

I got away with this in Indiana but I don't recommend it in every locality. Had a groundsquirrel that kept coming into one of my properties and I couldn't get rid of him with traps or anything. I finally found where we was coming in at and turned the couch into a "fort" and sat in there with my .22 rifle. Sure enough he came back.....for the last time. ;-)

Promotion
PropStream
Web + D4D Mobile App for you & the team!
Trusted Provider of Real Estate Data, Marketing, Skip Tracing & A
#1 Real Estate Software for Investors, Agents & Brokers to find leads and close deals nationwide.
7 Day Free Trial!

$1800?

You know what the pest control guy does for mice? He puts out bait blocks.

For about $12, you can out out the blocks yourself and save a couple of pennies.

Go on-line, open Jeffers livestock catalog, and order bait blocks by the bucket. I like the Tomcat brand, and so do the mice, yum-yum..

Put them underneath the foundations, behind the fridge, underneath the kitchen sink cabinet (you can probably slip them down where the drain goes through the base of the cabinet), behind the stove, and in the attic.

Pets, unfortunately, also think they are yum-yum, so if there are pets in the house, go down to the dime store and buy plastic storage boxes about the size of a shoe box. Cut a small round mouse size hole in one end. Now fasten the bait blocks at the other end by running a wire through them and through the walls of the box. Fasten the lid on with a couple of wraps of duct tape.

You now have a mouse feeder that no one can get into except the mice, and they can't pull the bait block out and leave it in the middle of the kitchen floor.

About a week after you put out the poisin, hire someone else, not the pest guys, to come and seal up those gaps in the wall. That's the sort of job I have my roofer do for me. (give the mice a week to eat and crawl outside to die before you seal up their escape.)

$1800. I don't think so.

Personally, rather than cats, I'd prefer a couple of hungry rat terriers or other ratting dog, if they would do the job in an apartment house. You may be able to rent them for as long as it takes. Not all cats are ratters...
http://puppydogweb.com/caninebreeds/ratterrier.htm

http://www.thebreedsofdogs.com/JACK_RUSSELL_TERRIER.htm

http://www.dogs-central.com/dog-breeds/norwich-terrier/

If you use dogs or cats, DO NOT set out poison, and let the dog owner know about all poison you have put out. It would need cleaned up first, and any rats have the time to die and be removed.
Ofgift

I put down some rat poison before the tenant moved in, but maybe I didn't put down enough.

Eddie, I like the rodent repellent idea, although I wonder how long it will last.

With regard to Ofgift idea of dogs, I don't know what is your policy allowing tenants to have dogs (Liability and such).
With regard to the repellent, I'm not sure how long it will last. I think it works like conditioning effect when after a while, the rodent are condition not to enter the area. That they I trained my dog not to s***t in certain areas...

I think the tenant would be more open to the idea of a cat instead of a dog. I have a cat and they are really low maintenance animals. Our cat is so smart she waits at the front door when she needs to use the restroom. We don't even have kitty litter, just two bowls for food and water that's it.

Khalid, I had a mouse problem. They were field mice from the forest nearby. They are natural and will gravite toward the easiest food source. Sense of smell is great.

A cat was thrown from a car one day in front of my house and I had pity on him. Fed him and provided him a home (pet container) on the back porch. Dogs are inside, so he could not be. Now I have about 10-15 cats at any time living at my house. They will find a place to hide and live and the mouse problem just seems to go away on its own.

Just do not feed them too often as they begin to rely on the food itself instead of their own instincts for the natural food (mice and rats).

Go as far as rescuing a cat from the pound and require it be kept outside. It will live in the crawlspace and get rid of your problem as it will patrol the outside perimeter of its crawlspace after it notices where the mouse come in and or leave.

Ours are virtually wild, and will not even come around to eat until after you leave the food. But you will see them. Dont forget the water.