How to Deal with Mice or Rats in Your Horse Stables


People have been struggling with rodent problems for an eternity. As soon as we approach cold months, we can expect mice and rats to turn their attention to our households in search of a perfect place to survive the winter. Rodents search for a safe space to spend the colder months in our homes, stables, barns, or feed stores. In such places, they can find warm shelter, but also quite possibly a few servings of nutritious snacks. In this article, we discuss the best ways to deal with rodent problems in your horse stables.

But I can’t see any rats or mice in my stables!

Rodents are nocturnal animals, so we don’t often see them, especially in massive places such as stables where many things are lying around. Big spaces like that with various elements on the floor, such as stacks of hay, create a perfect hiding opportunity. Even if you have barn cats, they may not be able to deal with a rodent infestation. Rats and mice have a fast generation time, which means they can have several litters in a year. Because of that, their number can multiply in a short amount of time. A few cats walking around your stables may not be enough for a big rodent family.

Signs of a rodent infestation in the stables

There are some tell-tale signs of a rodent infestation. It is useful to know if you have mice or rats in your stables. can help you tell the difference. When looking for proof of a rodent presence, you should be focusing on these few points:

  • Droppings
  • Damages to blankets, leg wraps, pads, etc. – look for chewing signs
  • Holes chewed in plastic containers or feed bags
  • Gnawed wires
  • Chew and scratch marks on wood, for example, window frames, doors, or stall ledges
  • Smudge marks along pipes, rafters, and walls

Actions you can take

There are different ways of handling a rodent infestation in the stables. You may want to first identify what kind of rodent you are dealing with and roughly assess the number of animals. The most realistic approach you can take is understanding that complete eradication is practically impossible without professional help – stables are massive places that are regularly open and offer lots of hiding spots. Eliminating every single rodent is merely impossible, as more can come from outside the property. It is easy to find a professional to help you here.  You should instead aim at the right management and control of rodents.

Here are some of the tips you can follow when dealing with rodents in your stables:

  • Keep the stables clean and tidy as much as possible
  • Set traps and physical barriers
  • Identify entry points and close them
  • Eliminate existing nest sites
  • Avoid feed spillage
  • Remove food sources where possible
  • Keep feed in metal containers rather than plastic ones, with tight-fitting lids
  • Keep waste in metal containers with tight-fitting lids
  • Keep areas near the building trimmed and tidy, free of weeds, fallen branches, and long grass