You don’t hear about the vermin on the lovely chateau programs, do you? Well, you wouldn’t want your paying customers to know about our little friends that live close by and sometimes at uncomfortably close quarters!

Although to be fair to Dick & Angel Strawbridge they did revel cluster flies, and infestation of bats and bad sewage in episode One escape to the Chateau.

Vermin can and will be a problem unless you act. Clearing and filling the gaps, that’s the priority. Old houses and houses where there are piles of old stuff or morsels of food. The cleaver critters will move in and scurry about nocturnally. You don’t really see them, you find the evidence of their presence. The cats will bring them in to play with. The dogs (pft) they’re scared to death of the critters. No use whatsoever.

So might as well take the humane approach. Not because I’m being particularly kind. I don’t want the owl predators to die a long slow death either. It just makes sense that poison will certainly kill vermin and will also leave them festering away in your walls where you can’t reach to remove them. Once you’ve experienced that you’ll feel keen on blocking up the holes while also catching and releasing the furries back into the wild.

Small furry animals are not keen on hanging around humans we make too much noise but we leave plenty of rubbish to nest, grind teeth on and generally scurry and munch around. It’s not the best part of renovating so we needed to get up to speed with the management of vermin. Working out if we had a big problem or just the odd extra lodger? I guess it’s part of living in the countryside. Clearing the debris of old farm buildings unused for over 30 years. Yep, we’re going to meet our neighboring wildlife up close!

Using your Nose

  • Old nests need clearing. They stink. Remove, bleach and disinfect the area. We found two nests in the roof. Yuck! We needed face masks, goggles, and gloves.
  • Bleach to remove any residue. Then leave vinegar or bicarb to draw out the stench.
  • Assess how many holes and block up entry and exit holes interior and exterior. Void spaces are popular runs
  • Leave one hole where you find evidence (poop and nesting detritus) Bait it out. I have it on good authority that peanut butter is a good bait.
  • Wait and see what you catch. In France Loir’s (large door muse) is common and the Lerot hazel door mouse is protected.
  • Time of year is important you don’t want to take the adult away from a nest and leave the young to starve and rot that stinks.
  • We were baiting just as they were thinking about hibernating in October.
  • Fill the holes.
  • Find out what springtime brings – if its lots of baby critters in your house maybe bring the professionals in with many bait traps. These traps are regularly serviced to capture and kill the colony.

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