Mice can be cute and some people – especially children – like to keep one or two as pets. But when mice invade a home uninvited, they are anything but cute!
There’s good reason to evict them as soon as possible. Mice can be dangerous to your health, as they can carry several diseases and transmit them via their urine and feces. Well, not to mention the extensive damage they can do with their sharp teeth.
Being rapid reproducers, their population can grow quickly and soon you will find the tiny animals running here, there and everywhere.
To control a mice infestation, some prefer to just hand the problem off to a pest control professional. But that can be an expensive affair that doesn’t fit into everyone’s budget. Plus, they may use chemical-based products that could introduce toxins into your home.
To show the exit door to these disease-carrying rodents, there are many simple and easy tips that you can try on your own.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of mice.
1. Deprive Them of Food
Mice enter your home in search of food, and they will stay around as long as food is available. Hence, depriving them of food is one logical way to deal with the uninvited guests.
- Always store food in airtight containers.
- Avoid letting dirty dishes sit in the sink, especially overnight.
- Run the dishwasher daily.
- Wipe down your kitchen counters after preparing food.
- Keep your dining table clean and do not allow food crumbs to be left behind.
- Sweep the kitchen floor daily.
- Clean up your pet’s food after feeding.
- Empty all trash cans regularly and keep them tightly covered.
- Discard old newspapers, magazines and other items that mice may use for bedding.
- As mice are terrific climbers, do not keep food on top of your countertops or cupboards.
2. Seal All Openings
Another effective way to control the growth of rodents in your house is by sealing off all the small openings and cracks in your home. This way they will not be able to enter your house.
For this method to work, finding their entry points is crucial. Once you’ve done that, it’s time to seal them.
As mice can fit through even a small gap, you need to be extra careful to seal any holes found under doors, under the skirting board, in the floorboards and in brickwork. Even the gap around the plumbing in your cupboard under the sink needs to be taken care of.
If an opening is too big to seal, stuff steel wool in the hole. Mice cannot chew through it. You can also use expanding foam, copper mesh or caulk powder.
3. Relocate Them Using Humane Mouse Traps
Humane or live mouse traps are one of the best ways to catch roaming mice in your premises. These traps catch and hold live mice, and they are not as inhumane as snap traps and glue traps that kill the mice.
To lure the mice to enter the traps, you can use a dab of peanut butter, chocolate or something else you know they like. Once caught, you need to release them in the woods or in a field far away from your home.
You can even make your own traps with spare wood or pliable metal that you can join together to make a box that can encage a mouse.
4. Push Them Away with Peppermint Oil
You can use peppermint oil to get rid of mice. Mice are very sensitive to smells, and they find the smell of peppermint oil very overwhelming and offensive.
Also, it is safe for use around humans and animals.
- Put peppermint oil on several cotton balls.
- Lay the cotton balls strategically around your home.
- Change them every few days, whenever you notice the smell is fading.
Make sure that the peppermint oil you use is labeled as 100% pure.
5. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper works as a great non-poisonous solution to deter pests like mice, squirrels, ants and other bugs. This is because most pests do not like its strong smell.
Simply sprinkle cayenne pepper or scatter pepper flakes in areas where you want to repel mice. Do this a few times a week.
Note: Do not use this remedy if you have house pets.
6. Use Kitty Litter
Mice fear cats because they are their natural predators. The smell of kitty litter is enough to drive the mice away.
You can place tubs of kitty litter near the entrance of your home or around the perimeter of your house.
If you are averse to finding kitty litter or do not have a cat in your home, you can use ammonia.
Use ammonia to clean your house, especially around the areas where you find mice. The strong smell of ammonia will not only keep the mice away, but ammonia is also an excellent cleaner to get rid of mice dropping and its smell.
Alternatively, you can place a few bowls filled with ammonia in the areas where you find rodents.
7. Get a Pet
If you have a cat, then your work is half done. Cats or other predatory pets can help chase rodents out of your house. In fact, terrier dog breeds are often trained for pest control.
Pets that spend time outdoors love to hunt for their own food and may track down that mouse you’ve been wanting to get rid of. Even indoor cats and dogs love to catch mice, and they discourage new mice from moving in.
If you do not have a house pet, it may be a good time to get one.
8. Discourage Them with Eucalyptus
Eucalyptus also works as an effective natural mice repellent.
A 2014 study published in the Scientific World Journal found that eucalyptus oil works as an effective repellent against both male and female house rats with daily application of 5% and 10% eucalyptus oil. Further studies may be conducted to prepare slow-release formulations of the oil, so as to increase its persistence for a longer period of time.
- Place some eucalyptus leaves in various areas in your house, especially the areas that mice frequent.
- Another option is to soak cotton balls in pure eucalyptus oil and place them in different corners of the house. Replace them frequently.
9. Get an Ultrasonic Repellent Machine
Ultrasonic repellent machines are also an effective method to get rid of rodents. These machines send out small beeps that not only annoy but also scare off mice. These beeps cannot be heard by humans.
However, for an ultrasonic repellent machine to work, you must know where the mice are hiding so you know where to place it.
Do not use these machines if you have other pets in your house, especially cats and dogs. Their hearing is better than humans and the constant beeping may cause them distress.
10. Keep a Clean House
Keeping your house clean will not make it mouse-proof, but a messy house will attract them and permit them to thrive in greater numbers. Hence, a clean house is a small but important step toward your effort to show the rodents the door.
Clean your house regularly and pay particular attention to eliminating places where mice can find shelter and hide.
From the trash can to the storeroom to old piles of newspapers in your garage, you need to keep each and every corner of your house clean and clutter-free. Throw away the things you do not need, instead of storing them in the garage or storeroom.
You must also find a place to dispose of your garbage that is not near your house.