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mouse in compost?

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mouse in compost?

Post  JustMe on 4/2/2013, 10:42 am

I turned the compost pile in the Earth Machine composter. There is a mouse in it. The composter is 1/2 full but only the top 1/3 of the compost is thawed.

As much as I hate mice, it makes me feel good that the compost has been warm throughout the winter.

Do I just wait for the rest of the compost to thaw before trying to get the mouse out of the composter?





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Re: mouse in compost?

Post  cheyannarach on 4/2/2013, 11:38 am

I am assuming the mouse is still alive? I'm not sure what you should thinking
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Re: mouse in compost?

Post  JustMe on 4/2/2013, 11:48 am

Yes - I saw something small with a tail dart in there. That's when I slowly covered the lid and stepped away from the bin.

Hubby said he wanted to get more involved with the garden this year, so maybe I can wait until everything thaws and have him free the critter. Last fall, there were significant amounts of poo in there but I'd not seen anything moving.

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Re: mouse in compost?

Post  H_TX_2 on 4/2/2013, 11:53 am

I would not want mouse poop near anything that is going into my garden. I would get a mouse trap and set it with some peanut butter.
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Re: mouse in compost?

Post  cj32769 on 4/2/2013, 4:40 pm

Sooner or later the mouse could be compost too!
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Re: mouse in compost?

Post  plantoid on 4/2/2013, 5:14 pm

@H_TX_2 wrote:I would not want mouse poop near anything that is going into my garden. I would get a mouse trap and set it with some peanut butter.

Theres nowt wrong with well composted mouse muck & pee , it's similar to bat guano .

Mice are incontinent in both orifices and are all over the place all year round so the chances are that almost everyone who gardens will have some deposits of either type in their beds or gardens .
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Re: mouse in compost?

Post  cj32769 on 4/2/2013, 6:11 pm

Very cool observation Plantoid. Depending on what the mouse is eating to live there or if it was just passing through, his butt is still compost! Sooner or later it should happen to all of us; that is why I have chosen "natural" burial for when my time comes. I have found mouse carcasses in old cars, buildings and even in the garage; they seem to decompose pretty fast and most of the time you never even know a dead mouse is around.
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Voles

Post  JustMe on 4/4/2013, 10:27 pm

Sigh. Voles. Not sure if that's what I saw in the compost - it had a tail and scurried (didn't see the head) - but we have tunnels all around our raised beds.

The upper few inches of the soil has thawed and I was surprised to see strange tunnels in the grass and ground today. Looking it up online, it seems like it's a vole problem. They're all on the north side of the bed.

Our back property line borders a wooded area. We've never had this problem, but last year I expanded the garden significantly.

One 4x8 box has weed barrier cloth on the bottom. The other boxes 4x8, 2x2, and 4x4 have nothing. Should I empty out each box and add hardware cloth to the bottom? Each box has something in it - garlic, asparagus, and strawberries - that would ultimately be disturbed by removing the MM and adding the cloth. The asparagus box has squiggly lines in the soil - like someone dragged their finger through the top in random, squiggly motions.

We do not have any pets and neither do our neighbors. The kids are old enough to stay away if we should poison the critter. I'm hesitant to poison, but man if these critters were having fun in the garden during the winter, I'm not sure the garden will do much this season. (If they are poisoned and die, do they die in their tunnels? Because I do not want to handle dead voles, bleh.)

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Re: mouse in compost?

Post  Triciasgarden on 4/5/2013, 6:26 pm

There is a thread on this forum called: "Moles, Voles and Holes" that discusses this. I didn't read it recently but I think it may help you. I sure wouldn't want to come across one dead or alive! Good luck JustMe!
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Re: mouse in compost?

Post  JustMe on 4/6/2013, 10:19 pm

Thanks Triciasgarden for that thread title.

I made the frame for the "Conestoga Wagon" (hoop house) but will take it down to add hardware cloth to the bottom of the boxes before placing the plastic over he frame.

Yesterday I threw sticks of Juicy Fruit in the holes. One of the gum sticks was near the surface today and half gone.

After walking around the yard, we have voles in the back of the property line (garden/compost), just behind the house, and on the side of the house.


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