Mice may seem cute and harmless compared to rats, but it’s only how they look. They can carry many dangerous and potentially life-threatening diseases. But even without the dangers that mice can pose, you sure don’t want them to invade your home. You first step is to mouse-proof your home – make sure that possible entry points, such as holes, cracks, and small spaces under your sink, windows, and doors, are sealed. Inspect your house both inside and outside for such spaces. You can block the potential mouse entry points using stainless-steel wool, copper mesh, caulk, or cement.
You should also make sure there’s no food available for mice:
- keep your food in airtight plastic containers;
— take out the trash regularly;
— don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink;
— sweep your kitchen floor and clean counters, tables, or other surfaces where there may be crumbs;
— put your pets’ food bowls away after they eat;
— throw away or recycle old newspapers, magazines and other things that mice can use to make bedding.
And, finally, here’s a list of 9 methods to keep mice away from your home:
1. Humane traps
If you don’t want to cause mice unnecessary suffering, you can catch them with humane traps. They can be found in almost any pet store. Read the instructions before using them, and place them where mice are found in your home. For the best effect put a piece of food in there as a bait. Check the trap every day and release the mice into the wild, as PETA recommends.
2. Peppermint essential oil
While this smell is pleasant for humans, mice absolutely hate it. Put 20–30 drops of peppermint essential oil on each cotton ball and put them in places in your home that attract mice. You’ll have to replace old cotton balls with new ones about every week. And make sure the cotton balls are out of reach of your pets.
3. Cloves or clove essential oil
Mice strongly dislike clove smell, too. If you opt for clove essential oil, use it in the same you would use the one described above. Alternatively, you can use whole cloves – wrap them in pieces of old cotton T-shirt and put them around the house.
4. Bay leaves
Another natural repellent with nice smell! Put some bay leaves in mice’s favorite places. Replace the leaves every two or three days.
5. Aluminum foil
Cover countertops and other surfaces where mice can come with aluminum foil. You can also stuff the foil into cracks and holes to prevent mice from getting inside your house.
6. Mouse deterrent spray
This spray is made from VERY hot peppers, so it’s best to put on gloves, goggles, and surgical mask to avoid irritation while making it. Here are the instructions how to make it (by Claire Goodall):
- boil 1 gallon of water;
— put half a cup of chopped habaneros and 2 tbsp. hot pepper flakes in a food processor, blend them a little;
— put this pepper mixture into a 2-gallon bucket and pour the boiling water in it;
— cover the bucket and allow the mixture to sit for 24 hours;
— pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray entry points and areas in your home where you find mice or mouse feces;
— don’t use the mixture on carpets, it can discolor them.
7. Dryer sheets
Place dryer sheets in affected areas. Change them once the smell fades.
Mothballs are good at deterring mice, but they are toxic. Use them with reservation if you have children and/or pets, and make sure it’s out of their reach.
9. Adopt or buy a cat
You probably know that this is how cats started living with humans: they came to catch mice in places where grain was stored. So let them do the job they’ve been doing for thousands of years – go to your local shelter and take home a new fluffy friend and little hunter.
Note: this method doesn’t always work as you expect, because some cats are lousy rodent-catchers.