Regardless of whether you live in the city or the countryside, chances are you have seen something scurry across your floor. With all the goodies we keep in our houses, it is not a surprise to find the occasional rat or mouse sneaking in to try and get a taste. Rodents pose a health hazard by carrying diseases or fleas and mites, which is not good for your family and pets. They also are not usually welcome guests and the sight of them has the amazing ability to clear a room of invited guests quickly.
For the most apart mice are attracted to food and water, so if you can pinpoint their entry source, that is a good place to start. That is why kitchens and living rooms are the most popular areas. When pipes and basements are not maintained and kept up, this also allows for easy access into houses. Even if you have not seen the mouse itself, you will usually notice droppings or gnaw marks which are signatures of their presence. You may also find holes in fabrics, clothing and possibly furniture and floorboards.
The easiest way to get rid of mice is to prevent them from arriving in the first place. However, in the event they do stop by, it is essential to remove them as quickly as possible. Most people prefer to use more natural methods because introducing poisons and chemicals to the home can affect children and pets. There are a number of natural removal methods that can be sued to safely and effectively get mice to vacate your home.
1. Set Out Mousetraps
The most direct way to rid your home of mice is using traps. They offer a quick and efficient way to kill the mice. Spring-loaded versions are more effective and humane than glue traps. Please be sure to use gloves and precautions when removing the dead mouse, so as to safeguard from any diseases.
Some people try to use live traps, and release the mouse back out into nature. It is important to remember that mice a resourceful and will find a way back. They do not shy from obstacles and challenges when it comes to getting food, so if you use live traps, do not be surprised when your visitor returns.
Generally, traps only work with one or two mice. If you have a larger problem in terms of numbers, then you may want to try one of the other options described below.
2. Using Scented Oils
A 100% pure, safe and natural product for humans and pets, peppermint oil is very effective in getting rid of mice. Be sure to use 100 percent pure oil, so be sure you get the desired results. Add six drops of oil to cotton balls and leave them around the house where mice populate. Mice will head in the opposite direction as soon as they smell the oil.
You will need to replace the cotton balls a few times a week because the peppermint will dissipate. You will know when it is time, because you will not be able to smell it any longer. You may want to use this method along with others, because while this is good for repelling mice but it doesn’t take care of any existing infestations.
While not as pleasantly smelling, castor oil can also be used because rodents do not like the smell. A few drops placed around the house will repel them away. When placed in possible nesting areas, it is guaranteed to force them to look for new accommodations.
Cloves also deliver a strong smell which mice do not like. Soaking cotton balls in clove oil and placing throughout the house will detour rodents. Not only can cloves make mice run away from the house, it will also keep them from re-entering.
3. Everyday Household Items
Since the presence of an unnatural smell is what mice do not like, simple household items like dryer sheets can also be used. The presence of humans usually makes them scurry away, so place dryer sheets in holes so the scent of humans is everywhere. The pleasant scents will fill your home and keep mice out at the same time.
Mint toothpaste acts in a similar way to peppermint oils. The smell will drive them away when applied to holes and cracks.
Another common household item that can be used aluminum foil. Because mice like to chew and gnaw as a way to gain entrance to your home, the placement of aluminum foil acts as a barrier. Biting into it creates an unpleasant taste in their mouth and an uncomfortable sensation, so they move on to somewhere else. Like dryer sheets, place foil in holes and near possible entryways as an effective and natural way to repel mice. In the event you do not have aluminum foil, copper wool causes similar effects in mice and can be used the same way.
4. Home remedy mixtures
Baking soda is a powerful ingredient that can block odors, help with dandruff and apparently clear away mice. The smell and caustic nature of baking soda keeps mice away, so sprinkle lightly around doors and other entry ways for an effective deterrent.
Create a mixture of baking soda, sugar and flour, using equal quantities. This formula can be placed in small cups around the house and mice will be attracted to the sugar. However, once they ingest the mixture, the backing soda reacts with their digestive system and causes bloating and then death. While there is a cleanup involved, the good news is that death is not instant, so the mice will generally go to a more open place to die. You won’t have to worry about a dead body hiding behind your couch for months.
5. Home Repairs
As soon as you see a mouse, it is best to locate where it gained access to your home. A thorough sweep of the house can help you identify holes and crevices that are perfect for entry. Mice prefer not to meet resistance so take advantage of holes and cracks. Remember that no hole is too small, and repair every one that you find. This will be sure to make entry more difficult, so mice will go find another easier option.
6. Food Storage
Since food is the main attractant to mice that come into your home, proper storage is essential. The idea is to create an environment that will not attract them in the first place. Mice are very opportunistic and any small scrap will work. Clean up food promptly, store in sealed containers and wipe down counters thoroughly.
Keep garbage outside. You can even add kitty litter or baking soda to the trash bags as an extra repelling smell to keep them away from your garbage. The smell of cat litter is unbearable to mice, so this will keep them from your trash and ultimately from your home.
Having a cat in the house or even a dog can help detour mice. Cats are expert rodent hunters and will gladly keep watch for signs of intruders. Cats are very patient and persistent, so they will not let up until they catch the mouse. Certain breeds of dogs, like terriers, are also great for tracking and hunting rodents.
Using pets is effective, but be sure not to use any poisons or toxic repellents, since their little noses will be sniffing around where the mice are. Mice can detect when a predator is nearby, so not only can your pets get rid of mice already in the home, but it can detour others from entering.
8. Do-It-Yourself Pepper Spray
You can create your own deterrent spray with a mixture of water and spicy hot chilies. By catching a whiff of this spray, their eyes and nose will experience a burning sensation and they will immediately flee the area. When preparing this spray, you will want to use gloves to prevent any potential contact with your eyes.
Blend hot pepper flakes and chopped habanero peppers and pour over boiling water. Leave the mixture to sit, covered for 24 hours and then pour into spray bottles. It can be used indoors and outdoors, spraying doorways and any other potential entrances. Wipe away the spray every two days or so and replace with new spray. As long as it is covered and away from sunlight, this mixture can last for months, keeping your house rodent free.
A surprising choice for many, using mothballs is a very effective way to rid your home of mice. They can be bought from the market and placed carefully in the areas populated by mice. Placement in attics, basements, garages and pipes are the best choices. Check your home for small cracks and holes too, as these can also be used and entry ways for the little visitors. Mothballs can also be placed in containers, with punctures. This is a preferred method when dealing with mothballs because of their toxicity. Ideal for basements and attics where there is not much human and pet traffic.
Because these are hazardous, it is important to remember to use gloves and do not touch mothballs with your bare hands. They do contain chemicals so should be used in well-ventilated areas. Also if the rodent problem is an outdoor problem, then mothballs may not work, because they can be easily blown away or dissolved by rain. Due to their toxic nature, you may want to only consider using mothballs, if other options have failed.
10. Professional Services
If the problem is more serious than one or two stray mice, then it might be best to hire a professional. They are specialized experts in getting rid of mice and usually use toxic free methods. Even though they will use similar methods to what you may have already tried, it is their intimate knowledge and training in rodent infestations that allows them to be accurate and effective. Since these services can cost money, it can be left as a last resort.
There are numerous ways to rid your home of rodents and pests without resorting to poisons or toxic methods. Ensuring that doors and windows are always tightly closed is a good way to keep them out. Making sure to keep your home clutter free and clean makes sure there are not any hiding places for mice. Often the most simple, common household items are all you will need to keep your house for invited guests only.