View of Wood-Mizer LT40 from right side, black engine cover top in background
Mice! I’m sure they are necessary to the ecosystem, but damn can they do some damage. I would venture a guess that most Wood-Mizer sawmills are stored outside; the LT40 is 26 feet long, so to get it under cover normally involves a pretty substantial structure of some sort. There are fabric covers, and we bought them all. Three can be in place when towing the Wood-Mizer; covers for the operator controls, the de-barker, and the engine. Then, there is a large cover that will protect whole carriage, including the engine, de-barker, feed motor, movable blade guide including its motor and drive, drive and idle blade wheels, mast, and a few other bits that don’t come to mind at the moment. The downside of the large cover is that it can only be used when the portable sawmill is stationary. A problem with all of these covers, but especially the engine cover and the large cover, is that mice also love cover! I have repaired numerous mouse holes in the engine and large covers. Of course mice seem to love gnawing on wiring as well. There is really no place for the mice to go under the operator controls cover, or the de-barker cover. So then, what’s a guy to do?
Wood-Mizer Rodent Infestation: Countermeasures
Clockwise from top left: the attractant, the trap, and the poison
As I was doing the 8 hr maintenance this morning, I saw a mouse on the mill. Enough is enough. I went to the hardware store looking for some sort of “box trap” that I could put on the mill when I’m not actively engaged in providing the portable sawmill service. There are some that trigger on entry, and then you have to throw the whole trap out, at a cost of about $6/mouse; nope, that won’t do.
Wood-Mizer Rodent Infestation: The Trap
Then, there is the Victor Tin Cat. (not a paid Amazon link) The upside, this trap will supposedly hold 30 of the nasty critters. The downside, it’s a live trap. I’m sorry, not sorry, I’m not playing “catch and release” with mice.
To turn this live trap into a death trap, the Assault Mouse/Rat Place Pack II; the deadly ingredient is Bromethalin. Caution: Do not let your kids, pets, or wild animals get a hold of the poison itself, or the dead or dying mice. For the morbidly curious among the readership, the trap is available with an observation window; can’t ask for much more than that.
Clockwise from top left; bare trap, baited, poisoned
Now to attract the mice to the trap; Tomcat Gel Mouse Attractant. It’s advertised as “Better than Cheese or Peanut Butter;” we’ll see. The traps are certainly easier to bait with the gel from a squeeze bottle.
Wood-Mizer Rodent Infestation: Trap Placement
I placed the trap just inside the right wheel of the Wood-Mizer trailer, as pictured below.
The weather might be a problem; it’s a relatively exposed location. We’ll see how this trap location does with rain. In the winter, I’m going to somehow get a trap actually under the large cover. For now though I’ll experiment with the location pictured below, just inside the right trailer wheel, directly under the operator station, and about two feet below and forward of the engine. I’ll check the trap before the next milling job.
Victor Tin Cat trap set
It’s not all rocket science. Some of it is boring. Some distasteful. Some frustrating. Some repetitive. But it all needs to be done.