Mice got in the wood pile :(

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by cooknhogz, Apr 16, 2013.

  1. Don't think I will be covering any wood pile up with tarps again to keep it out of the weather. Last fall I cut about a cord of Apple, Hickory, and Hard Maple for this summers cooks/smokes. Well, yesterday I uncovered the split stacked wood and discovered that, what I believe is mice have been all threw out the pile because you can see where they chewed on a bunch of the apple woods bark (must be pretty tasty to a mouse) and of course droppings threw out the pile. Now, I live in the country, and the pile is stacked next to the woods, so small animals like mice, chipmunks, and squirrels are to be expected all around but have never noticed this ever before in any of my wood piles. So my concern now is should I even use this wood for cooking/smoking in my large cookers or is it just a good pile of campfire wood now. Maybe I'm over thinking this but I'm anel about cleanliness and its driving me crazy thinking on what to do here.
  2. chef jimmyj

    chef jimmyj Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    There is a Hantavirus that can be spread by air borne dust from dry mouse droppings. Usually occurs from handling or sweeping up the droppings. The risk would be from handling the wood but because of the heat involved with smoking with the wood the virus/spores would be eliminated. Here is a case where hosing down the wood, with or without drying, before adding to the smoker would be a good idea. With safe handling I see no health issue and I would use it but I am not paranoid about such things. I used to live in a rural area and mouse droppings in the drop ceiling and assorted areas in the house were common. That was 15 years ago and still alive...JJ

    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  3. Thanks JJ, I just figured where there were droppings there would also be urine that might get into the wood and effect the smoke. If I leave uncovered from now on the pile will get rained on quite a bit before any use. I have other wood if needed to get me by for now. Again, thanks for the reply.
  4. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    I would put enough for a few smokes in a safe dry place, and leave the rest uncovered for the sun and rain to purify it. I don't have any mice in my house, but I used to have them in my firewood pile, and worse yet----They used to build nests on my exhaust manifold, and chew on the wiring!!!!

  5. Ya, none in the house but shed and wood pile make up for it. I'm aways putting poison in the shed to kill the little bastards. They chew on everything
  6. mossymo

    mossymo Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If your using splits for heat and smoke a pre-burn to the splits before adding them to the smoker is advised for best smoke quality anyways. Doing this should also burn off anything potentially unhealthy also.
  7. Get a big snake...take care of that mouse problem...
  8. bear55

    bear55 Master of the Pit

    A couple of cats should help out.
  9. fwismoker

    fwismoker Master of the Pit

    You'll be fine just put out some poison so they don't heat your smoking wood anymore!   NO worries, it's all part of nature!
  10. smokeamotive

    smokeamotive Smoking Fanatic

    Moth balls are also a good mouse deterent.
  11. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    We have a number of feral cats here..but still have some small mice out in the shed..

    What gets into my pecan is little boring worms..

    I kinda like the caves they drill in the wood...

    I think it makes the chunks burn better...  [​IMG]

  12. Thanks guys. Ya insects, chipmunks, and even mice have aways been around but this time it looked like a mouse condominium. Oh well there gone now. That apple bark must be some tasty stuff to a mouse it's the only wood they messed with. Chewed all the bark off some pieces
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2013
  13. jckdanls 07

    jckdanls 07 Master of the Pit Group Lead OTBS Member

    build a roof over the pile... that way it stays open.. but dry
  14. What Bear says here makes a lot of sense. I keep my cut smoking wood (a lot) in the garage but also have 6 mouse traps in there. If I had a huge pile of smoking wood or fireplace wood I would make a cover for it. We had one at a previous house we had. They are not hard to make but still mice AND snakes will get in the wood. Poisons are not a good idea, dying mice can get in your house and that stinks, literally. Plus you stand the chance of killing beneficial or neighbor's animals.  

    We live in the woods, and we have to put up with everything from mice to bears, (two grills destroyed by bears, garbage cans destroyed by raccoons and bears) so yes, wild animals can mess with our goodies, but we're in their neighborhood.   

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