Dianne Hoffmaster is a writer and green living expert. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology with a minor in Health Management and Policy.
Mice and other rodents may be incredibly cute little animals, but they can cause an immense amount of damage in your home and carry more than 60 diseases that are dangerous to humans.
While traps and poisons will kill mice and eliminate the problem, there are more Earth-friendly (and mouse-friendly) alternatives, which are also a much better option if you have kids or pets at home.
Learn how to get rid of mice naturally and encourage them to head back into the great outdoors where they belong with these simple recipes and tips.
Strong smelling essential oils like peppermint have been shown to be effective for repelling rodents from an area. To use peppermint oil to repel mice, follow these simple directions.
Another option is to place peppermint plants near entry points to your home, both indoors and outdoors.
One thing mice really seem to dislike is the heat of cayenne peppers. Most hot pepper species contain a compound called capsaicin, which produces a burning sensation in the mouth and eyes of mammals. Because of this discomfort, it is often used as an animal deterrent for many rodent species.
Since Tabasco sauce is a very concentrated form of hot peppers, it makes an easy mouse repellent.
Cats are a natural enemy of mice. Use this to your advantage by placing used kitty litter in areas where mice are known to hide.
Since mice are repelled by the smell of cat urine, they will quickly find a new place to call home.
If you don’t have a cat yourself, ask a few friends and neighbors if you can have some used kitty litter. Since they would probably just throw it away, they will most likely be happy to hand it over.
Traps do not have to kill mice to remove them from your home. There are many varieties of humane mouse traps available today that will simply restrain your home invader so you can release him outdoors (far away from your home).
Be sure to release the mice at least a mile or so from your home. Putting them in your backyard will just encourage them to come back in as soon as you close the door.
There have been numerous studies that look at the effect of ultrasonic sounds on rodents. While effectiveness depends on the type of unit being used, as well as the size of the area being treated, this may be a humane way to repel mice from your home.
Sounds made by ultrasonic rodent repellers cannot be heard by human ears and are safe to use inside the home, as long as the manufacturer states that it can be used in this manner.
Depending on the size of your home, you may need to install several of them to encourage the mice to leave.
If you have an extensive mouse infestation and are open to bringing a pet into your home, consider getting a cat.
While adding a cat to your family won’t ensure the safety of the mice currently living there, it will definitely decrease the overall population size.
In time, you should find fewer mice in the house. They can sense that a predator is around and should find less dangerous places to make their home.
Once you’ve figured out how to get rid of mice in your home, make sure you keep them out.
There are three main things that mice are looking for when they enter your home: food, shelter, and a place to nest. Eliminating those three items will help keep mice from setting up residence in your home.
Seal all food in plastic containers with a tight-fitting lid. Be sure to wipe down counters daily to help get rid of crumbs.
In addition to sealing up food, store spare blankets, and material in mouse-proof containers. A cedar chest for winter blankets is one way of eliminating nesting material.
Once you begin to take away food and potential nests, your home won’t seem like such a great place to live anymore.
In order to keep mice out of your home, seal any and all holes, cracks, and entry points they may use to come inside.
Plastic draft barriers at the bottom of doors and caulk around exterior pipes are great ways to eliminate mouse entry points so they have no choice but to stay outside.
Physical barriers are a good way to keep mice out of your home. The first step will be to figure out where the rodents are coming in.
Look in cabinets along the exterior wall of your home. If you find mouse droppings, this is a good indication that mice are living there.
Aluminum foil and steel wool are both good materials to block holes around your home. Pipes leading to the outside are often not well sealed. Plug the holes around them with aluminum foil or steel wool and keep them in place with duct tape.
Once you have blocked access to your home, your mouse problem should slowly improve. Make sure to check on these physical barriers occasionally to make sure they remain in place. A determined mouse may be able to push it out of the way.
If you simply release a trapped mouse in the garden next to your house, it will almost surely take the same route it used to get inside the first time, and your mouse problem will persist. Experts say to drive the trapped mouse at least a couple miles away to ensure it won't come back.
Many people deter mice with ultrasonic mice repellents that plug into the wall, but the ethics of these repellents is up for debate. The sound isn't just insufferable to mice but all animals—including pets, insects, birds, and other wildlife in its range.
Besides general animal welfare, you shouldn't kill mice because they're considered a keystone species in every ecosystem that includes them. Mice are a vital food source for coyotes, foxes, bobcats, owls, bears, weasels, skunks, and more.
"Rodents as Hosts of Infectious Diseases: Biological and Ecological Characteristics." Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases.
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