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Field Mice

Summary: Field mice are also known as voles and meadow mice. They live in many different types of habitats providing areas with heavy ground cover. Tall grasses, grass-like plants and litter all qualify as potential field mouse homes. Their runways and burrows often ruin lawns, ground cover and golf courses.

A reader asks: As the winter snow melted we discovered that our backyard grass was patchy and had been destroyed in several areas. As we examined the patches closer we found what looked like green mouse droppings in all the patches. Could this be mouse droppings and what do we need to do to get rid of them?

Dear Reader: The patchy dead spots in the grass could be snow mold which is a common turf disease. But, since you mentioned lots of green droppings, let's talk about the possibility of field mice or voles.

Field mouse damage on lawns can be seen in spring when the snow melts. The turf appears ragged and chewed where the mice have been living under the snow. Little runways can be seen on the lawn surface, sometimes with grass nests and small burrows. Lots of mouse droppings and clipped


grass can also be found. In spring, as the snow melts, the mice leave open lawn to find more protected areas. The damage to the turf is not permanent since the grass roots are not damaged.

Here are some suggestions for field mouse control.  Keep vegetation along the perimeter of your property cut low. Field mice love heavy stands of grass and weeds.

You may wish to set some mouse-size snap traps near burrow hole openings.  To attract the mice to the traps you can bait them with a very small amount of peanut butter, grain or a tiny piece of fresh apple. Set traps so the trigger lies across the runway, and cover the trap with grass. Check the traps each morning and evening and reset them until mice are no longer captured.

If you insist on using poison, it must be done with extreme caution. Read the label! Weather-proof baits can be stuffed into burrows, but never place the bait out in the open where children and pets might discover it.  Again, use extreme caution as you are liable should unintentional poisoning occur.


04 Apr 2010, 21:12
Inneed help getting rid of mice getting into the engine area of my car.they are chewing the electrical wiring this is very expencive to repair.
kellie huffman
18 Nov 2011, 20:31
I have recently aquired a very hungry mouse that likes to live in my car engine.I have found no evidence of the mouse or mice inside the car but it has chewed my wiring twice costing me $800.00 so far . The car is in the shop as I type this . We are going to try tarping the car with the engine running to gas them. Will this work?

Kellie Huffman
Ask the Exterminator
19 Nov 2011, 08:47
There is no guarantee that method will work. Why not simply set up snap traps baited with peanut butter during the night when the mice are most active?
Betty Maxwell
18 May 2014, 11:43
I have a friend with a backyard full of field mouse holes. Will they get into her house?
Ask the Exterminator
18 May 2014, 20:24
mark voelkel
11 Mar 2015, 14:58
It looks like that now the snow is melting, we have exactly as described;
lawn damage with all kinds of tracks and burrow holes,especially against our foundation.
Our neighbors put out all kinds of bird seed during the winter...woul;d this attract the mice?
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