HOW TO RID YOUR HOME OF MICE
THOSE NAUGHTY PESTS
Living in the country has lots of advantages, but mice are not one of them! In fact, they carry diseases such as typhoid and salmonella. They get into food and contaminate it. They make a mess and they can even cause fires by chewing electrical supplies.
Here is my top ten countdown for ridding your home of mice:
My least favorite recommendation? Fox urine. Effective or not, there's just something about predator urine and spreading it around that just doesn't seem natural, sterile or sensible to me, so I'm leaving this one outside!
According to Gallup.com's 2001 survey, 56% of adult Americans are afraid of snakes. I'm in that category.
I like the idea of a black snake hanging out at the barn and eating some mice, just as long as it's not there when I am!
I can understand the importance of black snakes. We have a few here on the homestead and we respect them. Not only do they eat mice, but poisonous snakes as well.
Still, I kept searching for the best way to take out mice.
While there is a poison that kills mice by rotting them from the inside out, avoiding an extreme odor, if you have small children or a family pet, poison is out or safe only when placed inside walls.
While these are very effective with a little bait...
- a tootsie roll
- a small section of a fig bar
- dried fruit
It's still a bit messy and must be placed away from toddlers and pets.
CLUTTER-FREE, FOOD-FREE, GARBAGE-FREE ZONES
These are a tremendous assist, but not totally effective. The mouse always find that one crumb. They will still come in to find things to build their nests with and things to chew through, so while this is an important step, it is not a cure-all for mice.
Having a special heirloom might be best protected in a cedar chest with maybe just one mothball. But as for spreading them around the house, I just don't enjoy the smell. So maybe a few around the outside of the house, though that may be less effective especially over time.
Steel wool or soap pads like Brillo or S.O.S pads can be a big help. Place around plumbing under the sink and other places to keep mice out. They cannot chew through steel and this is a great deterrent, but again, it's not a fix-all.
LEAVING THE LIGHTS ON
This will help some also as mice sleep during the day and come out at night, but not everyone is willing to waste that electricity or pay the higher fee with rising utility costs.
I've read many testimonials these work for RV and boat storage and the house.
I like the idea because they smell good and a box could go a long way. For less than $10.00, you could probably treat the house for the Fall and Winter months. I have not tried this idea personally so I hope to have some feedback and update this theory once proven by my readers.
Drum roll please...
MINT is the number one answer. Mice are said to be allergic to peppermint, camphor and pine tar with peppermint being the more available product.
- Set out peppermint plants around your home and in the home.
- You may used the leaves to make a tea. Just add some peppermint oil drops to it if you want it to be stronger and the oil will help them stay moist longer because it takes longer to dry. Soak cotton balls with it and place them around your home.
- I also use peppermint tea bags from the grocer and at about $3.00 per box, this is pretty economical. I place the non-wet tea bags under beds and in corners, in kitchen drawers and other places I think mice may loiter. The mint teabags smell wonderful and are kid/pet friendly too!
An additional note: Fabric softener liquids and fabric softener sheets are not required to put ingredients on their labels. It is my theory this is why some fabric softener sheets may work - they may contain peppermint or mint scents for that clean fragrance. You may put liquid fabric softener in a spray bottle (one tablespoon per 8 oz). This is easy to apply to furniture and baseboards.