Do you have a mouse infestation but don’t want to introduce harmful chemicals to your home? Keep reading to learn how to get rid of mice with natural home remedies.
Nothing ruins the cozy atmosphere of fall like a mouse barging into your home and wreaking havoc on your baseboard and your stress levels. When the temperature drops, mice start looking for somewhere safe and warm with easy access to food and water. Once they settle down in your home, they proliferate quickly and become quite difficult to remove.
Beyond simply being unwelcome houseguests, mice can pose a threat to the health and safety of you and your family. Mice are common carriers of disease, like hantavirus—a life-threatening viral infection found in their urine and feces. Additionally, their penchant for gnawing through wires is a house fire waiting to happen. For these reasons and more, it’s important to quell a mouse infestation as soon as possible and then take the appropriate actions to keep them out once and for all.
How Do Mice Get In?
Mice are surprisingly resourceful and will find nearly any small hole, crack, or crevice to enter your home through. Whether it’s a small gap in a wall, floor, window, ceiling, or ductwork, if it’s bigger than a dime, mice will use it to gain unauthorized access to your home. They can even enter through drainage pipes if they are not sealed properly.
Making matters worse, once mice are in, they intend to stay. After feeling the cozy warmth of your abode, they are very unlikely to venture out into the cold again. That’s why infestations begin to peak during fall and winter. So how do you get rid of these squeaky squatters?
Micense To Kill?
If you’ve been watching too many Saturday morning cartoons with the kids, you’d be forgiven for thinking that dozens of mouse traps baited with stinky cheese will solve your problem. But if you’ve been watching the same cartoons as we have, you also know that rarely ends well.
In all seriousness, killing mice, whether by trap or poison, is rarely a long-term solution. Regardless of your beliefs on humane treatment of the critters, killing them is just an open invitation for more to take their place. In fact, it only makes the resources in your home available for other mice, and they will soon make themselves at home to take advantage of it.
Home Remedies To Get Rid of Mice
Instead, we opt to go for natural home remedies to make our homes as unwelcoming as possible for mice. This is not only healthier for us, our pets, and the environment, but it doesn’t alter mouse population levels and gives us a better chance of keeping them out for good.
Luckily, mice have one major weakness—their highly refined and keen sense of smell. Because they rely on smell to navigate their world and sniff out food, it also makes them highly sensitive to scents they don’t like.
What Scent Will Keep Mice Away?
Peppermint might smell good to you, invoking nostalgic memories of chunky knit blankets, freshly fallen snow, and your favorite tea, but mice don’t like it at all. Instead, the little Scrouges turn tail and run at the first whiff. The reason for this is that peppermint has intense menthols that irritate their nasal passages.
Other essential oils that are great for the job include cinnamon and cedarwood due to similar properties that irritate a mouse’s nasal cavities. However, if you are going the fully humane route, you should know that cedarwood oil also contains phenols that are harmful to a mouse’s health.
So how do you make efficient use of this natural mouse repellent to keep mice away? Combine a cocktail of any of these essential oils—or all three—and spray areas of your home that mice can access or that you’ve identified as places that mice have scurried.
Cayenne pepper, cloves, and mint, oh my!
Additionally, you can combine essential oils that repel mice with specific dry ingredients that do the same. Make satchels of cayenne pepper, cloves, and mint to place around your home as ultimate mouse deterrents.
This is truly a win-win scenario. You will get rid of your mouse infestation without hurting a hair on their bodies and make your home smell fresh and invigorating in the process!
Other Natural Mouse Repellents
Not into having the smell of peppermint fill your home? That’s ok! Try one of these other natural remedies for banishing mice from your home.
Used Kitty Litter
We think you’ll take any of the above scent-related options over this one, but the smell of a cat’s urine is said to ward off mice. It reminds them of their natural predators, which sounds scary to us too!
Naturally, mice are deterred by the presence of cats. And the good news is your cat doesn’t actually have to hunt the mice or even lift a paw. Mice will be frightened simply by their presence and scent. That makes kitties an easy step toward keeping your home mouse-free! However, while this works well if you already have a feline friend, it is not recommended to adopt a cat specifically as a rodent repellant.
If you want to physically remove mice from your home without harming them, humane traps are the way to go. They allow the mice to get in, but not out, so you can take them away and release them elsewhere. Make sure you find a wooded area at least one mile away from your home, or you may be seeing a familiar furry face soon enough.
Ultrasonic Pest Repeller
This small electronic device emits an ultrasonic sound that mice can’t stand. The noise will not bother family members, cats, or dogs. They’re fairly inexpensive and can be found at most big box hardware stores, making them a low-cost addition to your arsenal.
What Keeps Mice Away
Now that you’ve fought the good fight (naturally and humanely) and banished mice from your home, you might be wondering—what keeps mice away for good? Simply put, take away their nesting material and food, and you’ll take away their reason for coming in uninvited.
Make it uncomfortable to nest
A nice, warm nest makes your home a likely target. Of course, you can’t turn off the heat during winter months and live in an icebox, but you can make nesting materials scarce to discourage rodent intruders. Don’t leave anything cozy lying about. Put all blankets, paper products, towels, and other soft materials inside sturdy plastic or metal containers. No, cardboard boxes won’t do. The mice will simply chew through those.
Cut off their food
Next, you know what happens when you give a mouse a cookie… Cover up all traces of tantalizing food that mice might want to eat. This means placing all dry goods like grains and pet food into impenetrable containers that mice won’t be able to penetrate, or more importantly, smell.
Seal up your house
Walk the interior perimeter of your home and check for any holes that mice might be able to use to access your home. If it’s already chilly outside, feel for cold air seeping through corners, molding, or windows. If you find a gap, seal it up with caulk or fill it with steel wool to barricade it from further intrusions.
Trim the shrubs
Shifting to the yard outside, trim your plants to provide as little ground cover as possible. Mice will use shrubbery as cover from natural predators and will get discouraged from crossing a large open space without the comfort of flora that can hide them from owls, snakes, and cats.
Natural mouse repellent works just as well as toxic chemicals and traps that exterminators use, with the added benefit of being safe for your family, pets, and the environment. Try the above methods before resorting to chemical-laden options such as poisons and traps. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
For more health and lifestyle tips from Public Goods, check out our blog.
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