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Old 08-30-2014, 02:21 PM   #1
eaf
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Mice on Indian Lake sites

We camped at Indian Lake in early August this year, and were really, really surprised by the mice infestation on our site. There were a lot of holes in the ground, and the moment the daylight ceased, it was like someone had flipped a switch, and mice started showing up in them, crossing the site, getting on the benches, tables, our things.

The first night we have stupidly left our bags under a tarp on the table, as it was raining, late, and we were too tired to hang them up in the trees. Surely, by the morning the mice have chewed into the bags and did some damage. For that part we had noone but ourselves to blame.

But the next night, after hanging all the bags and making sure that no food was left around, we woke up to find out that this time they chewed into the tent in two places, cut a door tie, pulled it up to the top of the tent's dome under the rainfly for whatever reason, in short, they surely had a blast that night... There was no food or toiletries whatsoever in the tent, just clothes and ourselves, and that was the first time I saw mice trying to find a way into a tent with people inside.

For the third night we actually went to the lake store, got some snapping traps, peanut butter and a bucket for ADK mousetrap. We also left the lantern lit on its lowest setting under the rainfly in an attempt to deter the mice from the tent. The overnight catch was 6, two in the traps, 4 drowned in the bucket.

And then we have changed to a different site with a large beach where we pitched our tent. Yes, there were enough mice on that site as well, I've seen them often when wandering with a flashlight at night, but either they were more shy, or just scared to venture out to the beach, there was no further damage to the tent.

So, is this normal at all for the Indian Lake? Never have I seen such a problem before. In fact, we camped two weeks later near Long Lake, and although there was enough of wildlife on those sites (frogs, snakes, rabbits, chipmunks), we weren't bothered by mice at all.
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:14 PM   #2
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eeekkk!
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Old 08-31-2014, 12:53 PM   #3
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Interesting! I wonder if this is an indication of a bad winter. Any old-time Adirondackers know?
Had 7 inside my camp this weekend. Outside of the 2 times a bear ripped my window out I never had mice in 16 years. I found where they chewed a hole in screen 20 feet up on loft window. I keep that window cracked open for ventilation. Seems that they are desperate this year.
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Old 08-31-2014, 03:42 PM   #4
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We've been having a terrible time with mice at our camp this year as well. In the past, the only time they've really been an issue was when the weather first started to turn cold in the fall. Occasionally we'd find a nest in the garage, but the cabin itself has been more or less OK. This year we've been catching them like crazy since early spring right on through. They've been particularly fond of storing their food supply under the pillows on our bed...
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:04 PM   #5
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I just looked at 20 signs of a hard winter by the Farmer's Almanac.

"Mice eating ravenously into the home"

Now we need another confirmation such as "Pigs gathering sticks". I kid you not that's what it says.

Didn't they learn their lesson? Pigs should stick to bricks.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:23 PM   #6
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Sounds like the Indian Lake Island sites don't have enough fox and coyote to keep things in check.
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Old 08-31-2014, 04:34 PM   #7
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I just looked at 20 signs of a hard winter by the Farmer's Almanac.

"Mice eating ravenously into the home"

Now we need another confirmation such as "Pigs gathering sticks". I kid you not that's what it says.

Didn't they learn their lesson? Pigs should stick to bricks.
They don't need bricks any more. All the wolves are gone.
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Old 08-31-2014, 05:08 PM   #8
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So, do I understand it correctly that while high mice numbers may be typical for Indian Lake this year, before it was OK? I'm thinking whether to reserve sites for the next year on IL, or go elsewhere
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:03 PM   #9
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I've camped at some of the island campsites in the past and never had a problem.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:26 PM   #10
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At 8th Lake 2 weeks ago I had a mouse or mice that kept running over the inner screen part of my tent in the night, under the rain fly. I didn't have any food so they didn't try to come in. A few years ago at Cascade Lake in Eagle Bay I had a mouse climb down my hanging rope and chew through the food bag, it ate the seeds out of a bunch of my green beans and also parts of a couple of bagels. Ever since then I have kept a metal jar lid with a hole punched in it on a knot about 6" above the top of my food bag and no varmints have climbed down the rope and messed with the bag, though whether that is because of the lid or not I don't know. I camped on the western shore of the lake this year and had no problems.
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Old 08-31-2014, 07:27 PM   #11
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At 8th Lake 2 weeks ago I had a mouse or mice that kept running over the inner screen part of my tent in the night, under the rain fly. I didn't have any food so they didn't try to come in. A few years ago at Cascade Lake in Eagle Bay I had a mouse climb down my hanging rope and chew through the food bag, it ate the seeds out of a bunch of my green beans and also parts of a couple of bagels. Ever since then I have kept a metal jar lid with a hole punched in it on a knot about 6" above the top of my food bag and no varmints have climbed down the rope and messed with the bag, though whether that is because of the lid or not I don't know. I camped on the western shore of Indian Lake this year and had no problems.
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Old 08-31-2014, 10:26 PM   #12
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We camped at Indian Lake in early August this year, and were really, really surprised by the mice infestation on our site. There were a lot of holes in the ground, and the moment the daylight ceased, it was like someone had flipped a switch, and mice started showing up in them, crossing the site, getting on the benches, tables, our things..
So please tell us exactly what site this happened at?

Concerns me since I have a reservation for camping at Indian Lake in mid september and that sounds pretty..awful. Not like the idea of mice chewing through my tent and whatnot.
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:34 AM   #13
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My friend that's camped many times on Indian says there were a lot of mice and some that tried to get into the tent...and that was ten or more years ago.

I've seen owls at night on Indian so that may be an indicator of a healthy mouse population as well.......
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:20 AM   #14
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so please tell us exactly what site this happened at?
Site 39
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Old 09-01-2014, 08:53 PM   #15
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I don't know if it will help but I will be on an island. I know mice are a real problem in shelters/lean tos.

I know that there are bears so I tend to keep a clean camp in any case and put my food in a bear canister and an ursack. I've had problems with raccoons and chipmunks at Lake George, especially on the mainlands and on islands close to the mainland.
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:05 AM   #16
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Just got back from a week of camping on Indian Lake at site 20. It's a single site island. Did indeed have to contend with a pesky mouse (seemed to be only one hanging out at my campsite but I did see a smaller one running on the beach one night)

The one actually climbed up on my chair as I was eating out of a bag of trail mix one night! It was such a pest that I just put the food away and went into my tent. It would visit the picnic table at night too, even though I'd put all the food away.

I finally hit it with some bug spray and it went away for a few days afterwards. The one or two times when I did see it by the picnic table it would run away upon seeing me so I guess I made an impression.

I made a real effort to eat before nightfall and clean up right after eating. Only time there was a problem was about an hour after it got dark. I used a bear canister for some food and stored the rest in my kayak, which was well away from the campsite so no problems with my food getting eaten. There were birds., a few beggar ducks and a I saw a red squirrel on the island but only the mouse caused a problem and it was minor.

Did talk to another camper who mentioned that mice were around his site too. His mice were "big and brown". Mine were small and grey.

Talked to the ranger and he did tell me that the mice seem especially bad this year. He mentioned a site that was "infested, they ate right into someone's tent." I asked him it was site 39 and he seemed amazed that I knew.

It any case, I loved Indian Lake. Had good weather, one day of rain and it rained overnight another. Otherwise partly sunny to sunny skies and cool to cold nights..Got down to freezing a few nights. The leaves are already changing. Can't wait to go back.
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Old 09-20-2014, 04:07 AM   #17
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I've seen owls at night on Indian so that may be an indicator of a healthy mouse population as well.......
Didn't see any owls or predator birds of any sort. They need more of them. Heard coyotes off in the distance, which was cool
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Old 09-22-2014, 10:47 AM   #18
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Since mice can generally get to hung food bags, try a RatSack next time...even those little suckers can't gnaw thru these.
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Old 08-28-2017, 01:28 PM   #19
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So, we've been to Indian Lake 3 more times since 2014, staying on different sites each year and occasionally stopping and talking to folks on 39, and the problem never came back.

It seems that 2014 was a special year, and it was just our luck that our first visit coincided with the abnormal mice activity.

Interestingly, I talked last week to some people who remember dealing with mice back then as well. Also, one review of Timberlock lodge (the one that fills the lake with the sound of a gong three times a day) warns that mice were observed in their cabins in 2014 too.
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Old 08-28-2017, 03:37 PM   #20
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We camped at Indian Lake in early August this year, and were really, really surprised by the mice infestation on our site. There were a lot of holes in the ground, and the moment the daylight ceased, it was like someone had flipped a switch, and mice started showing up in them, crossing the site, getting on the benches, tables, our things.

The first night we have stupidly left our bags under a tarp on the table, as it was raining, late, and we were too tired to hang them up in the trees. Surely, by the morning the mice have chewed into the bags and did some damage. For that part we had noone but ourselves to blame.

But the next night, after hanging all the bags and making sure that no food was left around, we woke up to find out that this time they chewed into the tent in two places, cut a door tie, pulled it up to the top of the tent's dome under the rainfly for whatever reason, in short, they surely had a blast that night... There was no food or toiletries whatsoever in the tent, just clothes and ourselves, and that was the first time I saw mice trying to find a way into a tent with people inside.

For the third night we actually went to the lake store, got some snapping traps, peanut butter and a bucket for ADK mousetrap. We also left the lantern lit on its lowest setting under the rainfly in an attempt to deter the mice from the tent. The overnight catch was 6, two in the traps, 4 drowned in the bucket.

And then we have changed to a different site with a large beach where we pitched our tent. Yes, there were enough mice on that site as well, I've seen them often when wandering with a flashlight at night, but either they were more shy, or just scared to venture out to the beach, there was no further damage to the tent.

So, is this normal at all for the Indian Lake? Never have I seen such a problem before. In fact, we camped two weeks later near Long Lake, and although there was enough of wildlife on those sites (frogs, snakes, rabbits, chipmunks), we weren't bothered by mice at all.
I think that it's normal for every established camping sites in the ADKs to have a population of deer mice.
It's part of the scenery.
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