Help! Need to catch mice or rats on camera at night!

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Hi!
Let me preface this by saying, I have no clue about cameras. BUT I have been battling what I've been told are rats but really may be mice for the past few months and have had a hell of a time capturing them on security cameras. I've tried different cameras, different heights and locations, more cameras, less cameras. If it weren't for the incredible destruction, unbelievable smell, hearing them, and seeing them with my own eyes, I'd be getting my head checked. The cameras I have tried are Wyze indoors and Pan, Nest indoors, and then Reolink Argus, Reolink E1 and then E1 Pro.

I ordered additional IR lights in the hopes they would help. I've been placing food out and the food is gone but there is literally nothing on the screen. Motion often is registered and tracked in some cases but the box is blank. I will see pixels moving in areas and detect two white dots. One got into a clear garbage bag as I was cleaning that was relatively empty and on the kitchen floor and it just registered blurry movement of the clear garbage bag--no gray or brown or anything (this was during the day, in color mode---in black and white mode I'll have a simliar type of shot but with what look like two small white dots). I have really been thinking I'm nuts. You may be too. Sidenote, I'm trying to capture them on camera for legal purposes, ugh. Second sidenote, I live in a small apartment in NYC.

Tonight I decided to run some tests using my latest cameras, Reolink E1, Reolink Argus 2, and blurams Starlight. I had two half-dollar sized bits of bread that I smothered with peanut butter and put on my white tile kitchen floor, about 2 feet apart. I got the IR extra lights turned on and then looked at the camera and they were undetectable and totally white, while the quarter that I dropped about a foot away was clear as day. I turned off the extra IR lights, the camera IR lights, fiddled with placement, tried a different brand camera--tried every different configuration and these brown bits just weren't picked up (I am using black and white mode). Then I went into my bedroom, where I have two other cameras set (used to be more but I thought maybe I had too many and that was causing me to not pick up the motion), and used a roll of gray duct tape and rolled it across the floor to see if that registered on either camera. It didn't. I even walked into the frame to go pick it up and it didn't register me as motion.

I'm at a loss and have googled all the things and can't find answers. Does anyone have any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your time.
 

wittaj

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What an interesting case for cameras!

The cheaper cams play with settings in the camera to give a nice static clean image, but motion is total crap. That is what you are experiencing. Not big enough movement and when it is picked up, the cams have missed it. Or it is blurry because they slow the cams down to make the image look nice.

Added IR at the distances you are at will blind the camera and make things look white, thus what you were experiencing. The quarter being flat was below the IR.

You need to get a better camera and record continuously with flagging for motion so that you can then go back and watch and fast forward, etc. in the event the camera didn't trigger.
 
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Rather than buying multiple, inexpensive, cameras that perform poorly, wasted time money and effort, a decent camera that costs a little more would probably solve your problem in terms of seeing them. On the other hand, as IAmATeaf mentioned traps are probably the way to go.

2231 Review
Review-OEM IPC-T2231RP-ZS 2mp Varifocal Turret Starlight Camera

3241T-ZAS Review

Less expensive models -
 
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Rather than buying multiple, inexpensive, cameras that perform poorly, wasted time money and effort, a decent camera that costs a little more would probably solve your problem in terms of seeing them. On the other hand, as IAmATeaf mentioned traps are probably the way to go.

2231 Review
Review-OEM IPC-T2231RP-ZS 2mp Varifocal Turret Starlight Camera

3241T-ZAS Review

Less expensive models -
Rather than buying multiple, inexpensive, cameras that perform poorly, wasted time money and effort, a decent camera that costs a little more would probably solve your problem in terms of seeing them. On the other hand, as IAmATeaf mentioned traps are probably the way to go.

2231 Review
Review-OEM IPC-T2231RP-ZS 2mp Varifocal Turret Starlight Camera

3241T-ZAS Review

Less expensive models -
Ok that is a good idea that I'm going to try! TY! Any suggestions on where to place the camera? Ground level? A few feet up and angled down?
 
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Rather than buying multiple, inexpensive, cameras that perform poorly, wasted time money and effort, a decent camera that costs a little more would probably solve your problem in terms of seeing them. On the other hand, as IAmATeaf mentioned traps are probably the way to go.

2231 Review
Review-OEM IPC-T2231RP-ZS 2mp Varifocal Turret Starlight Camera

3241T-ZAS Review

Less expensive models -
Thanks so much for these recs. Curious, would an incredibly novice be able to install and operate them?
 

Old Timer

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Thanks so much for these recs. Curious, would an incredibly novice be able to install and operate them?
A lot of people have been able to set them up. It is a little bit of trial and error to get the best out of them,
you already have been doing that. With the right camera, it is a lot easier.

I have a pole barn with hay, straw, and grain that likes to attract mice and rats. I never had a problem in 20+ years,
until last year. I had a batch of pack rats come in and tear everything up. With my cameras up at 8 foot, you could see
dozens of pairs of eyes bouncing around at night. I ended up putting 2 types of traps, and 2 types of poison out.
After about 3 months of removing carcasses, the problem finally came to an end. The rats were half the size of my cats!

Good luck with your problem.
 

TheSwede

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Here I have a simple cheap 720p VstarCam PT (no z) at my cottage.
I'm not there so often so I have multiple traps, and motion detect recording.
As You can see it works, there is one more dead mouse in the Victor electric trap in the background.
Funny, indoor remote hunting :cool:

1613747929797.png
 
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The Dahua cameras can be accessed using their web interface or by using a free video recorder software from Dahua. Yes, there will be a learning curve but it isn't very steep or very long. Lots of folks here can, and will, provide assistance is you get stumped.

The capture above is nice, but it's a capture. Any camera, even the cheapest, can be made to get a nice still shot like that. A decent camera can get shots like that with motion involved. In fact there is a video, used by Reolink for advertising, in which the perpetrator can't be seen at all even though he's probably within 10 or 15 feet of the camera and the police car pursuing him in the background is so blurred it isn't recognizable in reality. If you want to know more, have a look here -

 

TheSwede

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To Cameranewbe123, strange you got so bad result of a lot of cameras.
If you want good result (HD) buy a Dahua from Andy here.
Dahua ekvivalent of the Vstarcam model is SD29204xx-GN, MUCH better in all aspects in about 8x the price.
If you want a new hobby, do like me... Start with Blue Iris who is a EXCELLENT software and finetune it and so on in iterations.
Guess i bought about 10-20 different cams and ended up in Dahua, many :)
Do not use WiFi unless you know what you are doing and not are depending on the function.
This is my el-cheapo-cam at WiFi, VPN -> home to my B-i-pc.
Beware of cheap cameras, they have backdoors and except of leaking the video they might let other in at your network.
I have blocked internet access of all my cams in the firewall and use a local pc as videoserver.
This is a video of what you expect to see.
Brgds TheSwede
 

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spammenotinoz

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If you can't kill them for legal reasons (native mouse or something) use a cage trap. They trap the rat or animal in-side. If the food is gone afterwards and you didn't catch anything then it's a mouse.
TIO: Crunchy Peanut Butter works better than cheese!!
Rodents move so fast you need a really quick shutter speed, and good light, not a good combination at night.

Depending on what you have, they are normally very active just after dusk.

Good luck.
 

msquared

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I tried to do the same thing when I found rat droppings in the engine bay of both cars. With IR I didn't get the contrast difference needed to set off motion detect. It sucked to do this, but I found the most reliable way to see them was to scrub thru the video at an acceptable speed and I would see the reflection of the light in their eyes.
 
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What an interesting case for cameras!

The cheaper cams play with settings in the camera to give a nice static clean image, but motion is total crap. That is what you are experiencing. Not big enough movement and when it is picked up, the cams have missed it. Or it is blurry because they slow the cams down to make the image look nice.

Added IR at the distances you are at will blind the camera and make things look white, thus what you were experiencing. The quarter being flat was below the IR.

You need to get a better camera and record continuously with flagging for motion so that you can then go back and watch and fast forward, etc. in the event the camera didn't trigger.
The Dahua cameras can be accessed using their web interface or by using a free video recorder software from Dahua. Yes, there will be a learning curve but it isn't very steep or very long. Lots of folks here can, and will, provide assistance is you get stumped.

The capture above is nice, but it's a capture. Any camera, even the cheapest, can be made to get a nice still shot like that. A decent camera can get shots like that with motion involved. In fact there is a video, used by Reolink for advertising, in which the perpetrator can't be seen at all even though he's probably within 10 or 15 feet of the camera and the police car pursuing him in the background is so blurred it isn't recognizable in reality. If you want to know more, have a look here -

Yeah it's the motion part I'm having such a problem with. These guys don't stay still. The one good shot I got weeks ago was when the lights were on and the mouse-rat(?) was perched at the end of my headboard getting ready to jump down to my radiator while I was sleeping. It was in the corner of the shot. But he had stopped for a bit so it registered. Of course that was when I thought I just had one big mouse and didn't even know I needed to be saving a video like that. I just thought I'd catch 'em and move on with my life. And here I am three months later.

T
I tried to do the same thing when I found rat droppings in the engine bay of both cars. With IR I didn't get the contrast difference needed to set off motion detect. It sucked to do this, but I found the most reliable way to see them was to scrub thru the video at an acceptable speed and I would see the reflection of the light in their eyes.
Yes! That is what I am finding too. The two white dots.
 
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Thanks for your help everyone! So I ordered two of these after reading sebastiantombs rec (thanks!). When I say newbie, I mean newbieeee. Do I just need a power adaptor or do I also need the long reach ethernet?

I'm putting one camera in my bedroom (fake wall in between family room and living room) and one in my kitchen. They will be within 20 feet of each other. and within 20-30 feet of my router. I'm not sure what the single port long reach ethernet is that is listed on Amazon along with the camera.---do I need two ethernet's for each camera?
  • LR1002-1ET/1EC Single-port long reach ethernet over coax extender
  • PFM321D DC12V1A Power Adapter
You guys have been so helpful!
 

wittaj

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Which camera did you buy? I think you are buying things you do not need.

That extender is only needed if you have BNC connector cameras.

If you bought an IP camera, you only need a POE injector or POE switch for power. Your router will not power it. Or use the Power adaptor, but then you have two cords going to the camera instead of one and need an outlet for the power adaptor.
 
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Whoops, forgot to add the camera: Loryta IPC-T3241T-ZAS 2MP Lite AI IR Vari-Focal Eyeball Network Camera POE Power.

So I have the two cameras and nothing else. Ok going to look up POE injector and POE switch for power. : )
 

wittaj

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Yes - just those two cameras and a cheap POE switch and of course the cable LOL. Maybe an SD card for storage unless you are storing on a computer.
 
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To Cameranewbe123, strange you got so bad result of a lot of cameras.
If you want good result (HD) buy a Dahua from Andy here.
Dahua ekvivalent of the Vstarcam model is SD29204xx-GN, MUCH better in all aspects in about 8x the price.
If you want a new hobby, do like me... Start with Blue Iris who is a EXCELLENT software and finetune it and so on in iterations.
Guess i bought about 10-20 different cams and ended up in Dahua, many :)
Do not use WiFi unless you know what you are doing and not are depending on the function.
This is my el-cheapo-cam at WiFi, VPN -> home to my B-i-pc.
Beware of cheap cameras, they have backdoors and except of leaking the video they might let other in at your network.
I have blocked internet access of all my cams in the firewall and use a local pc as videoserver.
This is a video of what you expect to see.
Brgds TheSwede
Thanks for your recs! I have gotten a clear shot of one when it was still on top of my headboard, before it leapt down to the radiator. But it was still. I set up the Nest cams again bc I can't figure out how to get the IP installed and have peanut butter on the floor and at night, even on the nest cams, it just becomes white. Any motion just isn't caught well.

Could I get the Dahua and then install with Blue Iris on. a mac? I'm wondering if having a Mac is an issue. Thanks for your recs!
 

wittaj

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Blue Iris is a Windows program, but an internet search will find folks that have figured out how to get Windows on a Mac LOL, but that might be more trouble than it is worth.

These cameras are still based around Windows Internet Explorer (even though it has ended how long ago), so a Mac will be problematic. With some plugins in the browser you may get around it, but it might be easier to find someone with a Windows based laptop that you could use to initially set the cameras up.
 
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