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Critter nests

OldMachinist

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It's that time of the year when I go around and check out all my power equipment and prepare them for winter storage. Draining fuel, changing oil, checking for debris and critter nests in the cooling fins.

I have a spare 4000w generator that's stored in the barn and I hadn't ran it since last fall when I stored it. I expected to find the normal muddabber nests.

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But this year a mouse decided it would be a good place to live. As soon as I started to remove the shroud I knew what I was going to find.

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Nice comfy home.

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Mouse urine is corrosive and a pretty good solvent for epoxies used to hold the flywheel magnets on.

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Magnets epoxied back in place.

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This year I think I'll bag the engine with some mothballs.

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DMS

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Well, at least the mouse seems to have been taking care of your snail problem ;)

Sheesh, what a mess...
 

OldMachinist

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Actually those are acorn shells. I find piles like that in and on anything around here that sits for more than a couple of days. If one of my vehicles sits for a week or more I normally pop the hood to check for piles of them on the engine. They make nice little smoldering fires if they're on the exhaust manifold. Mice also love to chew on wires and vacuum lines.
 

DAN_IN_MN

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Good catch! That would have really make a mess of your stator!

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OldMachinist

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Yeah I've seen what happens from not checking the magnets on engines that have sat for a long time. The Lincoln Weldanpower I have sat for at least 10 years and the guy I got it from tried starting it before checking things out. Three of the magnets had come loose and ground around inside the flywheel. I salvaged the stator but had to replace two of the magnets.
 

Uncle Buck

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Actually those are acorn shells. I find piles like that in and on anything around here that sits for more than a couple of days. If one of my vehicles sits for a week or more I normally pop the hood to check for piles of them on the engine. They make nice little smoldering fires if they're on the exhaust manifold. Mice also love to chew on wires and vacuum lines.
This sounds more like a pack rat than mouse to me.
 

OldMachinist

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As far as I know the range for rack rats doesn't come this far east. They're mostly a desert and mountain rodent. Now I do have plenty of chipmunks but the holes on the Kohler engine are too small for them.
 

Rbeckett

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Don,
I feel your pain!!!! I have to be very carefull opening the drawers on my roll around work benches because they are just the right size for a rat to move in and make a great nest. Found 2 nests like that this year already. The little buggers are persistent and rebuilt the nest in the same place. I think I solved the problem but we will have to see. We never had rats and mice till the neighbors got rid of their horses and the back neighbors got barnyard animals. Oh well something else to deal with.

Bob
 

OldMachinist

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I don't have much trouble with rodents in the shop anymore since I insulated and put osb on all the inside walls. I always leave a packet of mouse poison in corner so I know if there's one around that snuck in while I had a door open. Then I set traps with peanut butter. Gets them every time.
But in my 100 plus year old farm buildings it impossible to stop them from getting into things. Plus I have livestock which means there's always feed around.
 

Uncle Buck

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As far as I know the range for rack rats doesn't come this far east. They're mostly a desert and mountain rodent. Now I do have plenty of chipmunks but the holes on the Kohler engine are too small for them.
I read the same things about pack rats myself on the internet, but I do not think that is accurate. Some years ago the old garage at a farmhouse I rented out in the country was overrun with pack rats. They had to be pack rats because they saved everything, stuff like dog food they would empty the dog dish and a year later I found a coffee can on a shelf over the bench stuffed full of dog food. These I dealt with had tails that were much longer than their body. To kill them with poison you had to use blocks that you nailed to wood because they would pack and store anything granular.

They can say what they will, but I know I was dealing with pack rats in Kansas. Your seasons cannot be that much different that our either.
 

OldMachinist

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Herb,
I don't doubt that you had pack rats it just that I know what I see and catch in traps are just field mice. Mice are great hoaders too, I've seen them work all day going back and forth from a feed bowl making stashes inside things that makes you wonder how they even fit in much less carrying a chunk of dog food.
 

Rbeckett

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A field mouse will fit through a hole no larger than a dime if he is small, a nickel if he is larger. A Norway rat will fit through a hole the size of your big toe. It is totally amazing how small they can squeeze into. I am currently building an electronic Rat zapper very similar to the commercial ones currently available. Cant have any poisons around with three precious girls. It is pretty simple to build and electrocutes them by stopping their heart before they can even react. Kind of a speed of light thing. The charging circuit is simple, a transformer, a resistor and an NPN transistor. Three pieces of wire and a good size capacitor to deliver the jolt. I am building them into a 3 or 4 inch diameter scrap PVC pipe and a small box to hold the electronics and the battery. The commercial ones are 50 bucks, mine are less than 5 and do the exact same thing... Yeah, I am definitely a bargain hunter from way back when I can.

Bob
 

Uncle Buck

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Herb,
I don't doubt that you had pack rats it just that I know what I see and catch in traps are just field mice. Mice are great hoaders too, I've seen them work all day going back and forth from a feed bowl making stashes inside things that makes you wonder how they even fit in much less carrying a chunk of dog food.
Well, seeing how you actually saw them then ya that does make things a bit easier to know for sure doesn't it. When I had the pack rats I don't ever recall seeing a pack rat in it's entirety. All I think I ever saw of one was just a wee bit of their tail end and a big long tail. Very freakish to be sure. I never caught a pack rat in a trap either though so I never even saw one dead!

A mess at any rate right.
 

itsme_Bernie

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WHOH no wayy!! I would have never thought of opening it all up!! I am totally surprised!!


Bernie
 

Stob

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Maybe it's just me, but there are many more mice around my place this year than usual. I mean a bunch more.
 

core-oil

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You guys should adopt a more "Nature Friendly" way of getting rid of critters which are a nuisance, Invest in a "Ball bearing mouse trap" AKA- a Tom Cat!
 

davidh

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A field mouse will fit through a hole no larger than a dime if he is small, a nickel if he is larger. A Norway rat will fit through a hole the size of your big toe. It is totally amazing how small they can squeeze into. I am currently building an electronic Rat zapper very similar to the commercial ones currently available. Cant have any poisons around with three precious girls. It is pretty simple to build and electrocutes them by stopping their heart before they can even react. Kind of a speed of light thing. The charging circuit is simple, a transformer, a resistor and an NPN transistor. Three pieces of wire and a good size capacitor to deliver the jolt. I am building them into a 3 or 4 inch diameter scrap PVC pipe and a small box to hold the electronics and the battery. The commercial ones are 50 bucks, mine are less than 5 and do the exact same thing... Yeah, I am definitely a bargain hunter from way back when I can.

Bob

I like to see a picture of that. . . .. and a diagram.
 

Uncle Buck

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I like to see a picture of that. . . .. and a diagram.
What he said is true. A year or so back I saw a TV show about mice and rats and they even showed them going through incredibly small gaps and holes. It was something to see!
 

TomS

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Many years ago I bought an old hot rod that had been stored in a barn. The exhaust system had been removed except for the headers. When I removed the headers I found nests in several of the exhaust ports. What a mess! As everyone on this post has said mice and/or rats will nest almost anywhere.
 

Uncle Buck

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Many years ago I bought an old hot rod that had been stored in a barn. The exhaust system had been removed except for the headers. When I removed the headers I found nests in several of the exhaust ports. What a mess! As everyone on this post has said mice and/or rats will nest almost anywhere.
The farm place I was speaking of was horrible. I heated the old drafty 2 car garage with a torpedo heater every evening when I would go to work. When I first moved there and had no clue about the pack rats or what they would do I filled a dog dish with food and had a bowl of water there as well for my dog that would be there while I worked. The first night I filled the bowl I noticed that the dog ate none of the food when I shut down for the night. The next night when I returned to work in the shop I noticed there was not one piece of dog food left in the bowl. As soon as I truned on my torpedo heater a 3 foot flame belched from the end of the heater! When I put the heater on my bench and opened it up to find the problem I found the entire burner chamber of the heater was jambed full of dog food.

That was my introduction into how pack rats operate and what they do. Needless to say no more dog food came to the shop! :roflmao:
 

Dave Smith

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when I still lived on an acerage, I was plowing on the back 3 acres when all the sudden smoke started billowing out of my brake access hole on the axle of my john deere B--I got off and ran like crazy up to get some water to put out the smoldering fire--well it was a big mouse nest that got hot enough to catch fire--I learned from that what mice do---so I would try and plug small holes. don't ever think that it takes them a long time to do their nest and store nuts and seeds--they are very fast---well I swapped motors in my pickup and got everything done except to put the distributer back in before I went to work that evening---when I was at work I was bothered that I forgot to plug that hole---the next morning I decided to put the dist. back in and thought about the open hole that I couldn't see in---I bent a little hook on a hanger wire and reached down to feel if ther was any problems--when I brought it out there was some nesting material that I pulled up on the hook--well I had to get under and take the pan off to find a wad of nest about the size of a quart jar.--I could just imagine what a mess it would have been to put oil in and start the motor without finding the nest---That is just how fast they are to find a new home spot and get it built!!----well I now live in the city and still have that problem in my shops--but now the little red squirrels are more my enemy since moving here---I cleaned about a half barrel of walnuts out of the upper attic area, and noticed that the lights would sometimes work and sometimes not--well I opened up the wall around the switch and found where the red squirrel had chewed the wires till they were bare---I had to pull all the lighting wires out and found the new wiring was all chewed for the coatings for his nest---even the bare copper wires had been chewed almost in half.--so much for all the new wiring the previous owner had just put in.---CRITTER NESTS was a perfect title for this thread --thanks for starting it-----Dave :phew:
 

OldMachinist

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You don't even want to get me started about squirrels. I've a got hole in the wall of the garage where one chewed their way in.

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Squirrels like all rodents have to chew all the time to keep their teeth from growing too long. This weekend when it cools downs some I might go out and take some pictures of all the damage they've done to my deer stands. While I'm at it I'll likely shoot a few squirrels because they are tasty in gravy.

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core-oil

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I do not know of the truth in a story I once heard, That the common rat can chew through lead pipe, & flood a building I know some folks who have a store of machinery, & the place is disgusting with rat droppings There is a chasm of difference between the wild rat & the little tame rats some folks have as a pet, they are rather cute, But the wild ones are not too be meddled with I once was bitten by a wild rat, It was a deep sore bite
Many years ago, I arrested a man, & when I snapped the handcuffs on him he bit me, It was a dirtier bite than the rat bite & needed hospital follow up.
 

Uncle Buck

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I believe that story about a rat chewing through lead, that is not the first time I have heard of that happening. I heard the same thing decades ago when I worked in a plumbing shop. I also had a man once tell me that a rat popped up right out of the water in his basement toilet! That was not just a tale either. The reason I heard the story was the man was wanting me to suggest some kind of hardware that would keep the lid to his toilet down with pressure. As the story kept unfolding the truth came out. The guy was embarrassed to share the story actually.

Who would ever use that toilet again after something like that happening I ask you?? :nuts:

I do not know of the truth in a story I once heard, That the common rat can chew through lead pipe, & flood a building I know some folks who have a store of machinery, & the place is disgusting with rat droppings There is a chasm of difference between the wild rat & the little tame rats some folks have as a pet, they are rather cute, But the wild ones are not too be meddled with I once was bitten by a wild rat, It was a deep sore bite
Many years ago, I arrested a man, & when I snapped the handcuffs on him he bit me, It was a dirtier bite than the rat bite & needed hospital follow up.
 

OldMachinist

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I put this deer stand up in August. Squirrels chewed the outer cover off the seat to get to the foam cushion.

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I had a stand last year they chewed a hole in the cover and made a nest inside the seat back. What a surprise that was when I climbed into it, started to sit down and the seat started jumping around until out popped a big red squirrel.

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Kickstart

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A few years ago I read where mice don't like the smell of Bounce dryer sheets, so I'm thinking somebody from Bounce came up with this but I tried it anyway and now my shop stays mouse free but loaded with Bounce dryer sheets.
 

lotechman

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This problem can be lethal. My foreman lost a cousin. They thought it was something that he contacted in his welding job. Eventually they ran it down to Hanta virus. Mouse droppings are dangerous. A good idea to wear some sort of dust mask when cleaning up.
 

rdhem2

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When my Dad farmed in Northern Idaho we had pack rats get in the shop every winter. They acted like crows as they would pack off small shiny things. Small wrenches, sockets etc. Dad would send me after the .22 and we would have fun for a little while. Empty pipes, boxes, dark corners, you could find tools anywhere. At least I didn't get yelled at when he could not find something!:yikes:
 

samthedog

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When I was still a firefighter we had some issues with mice and rats. They would chew out the insulation from our fire jackets and trousers to line their nests. Once the membrane is damaged in a turn-out set, you have to throw the item away as the steam can penetrate through it and cook your skin underneath.

We also had issues with barn swallows that would fly in and sit up in the rafters, an ideal spot to poop into our breathing apparatus masks.

Paul.
 

sniggler

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About 10 years back my twins ( 14 at the time) and I got a an old 70's vintage Suzuki TS 250 enduro. We messed around trying to get it started for a while. Finally after cleaning up the plug an spraying oil in the cylinder we hit it with a good sniff of either it ripped to life and shot a mouse nest with babies out the exhaust into the back wall. good times

Bob
 
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