With the unwelcome incursion of rodents into residential areas, especially since lockdown, there has been an increasing interest in deterring these furry little critters using homemade mouse repellents.
The thing is, unlike rats, they’re just so darn cute. Therefore, most homeowners have a real aversion to mouse traps or poisoning.
We’ve written recently on the topic of rat removal, and being rodents, you’ll find that much of what works with getting rid of rats will work with mice.
So, what do we need to know about ensuring our home is not rolling out the welcome mat for mice?
Rats Versus Mice
While we generally throw rats and mice under the same umbrella of “pesky rodents” there are some fundamental differences which make dealing with them challenging.
Rats are smart and sassy creatures and will, given half a chance, hunt and kill mice. They are much bigger than mice, more hostile, and highly adaptive. They are also far more likely to bite humans as they are a more aggressive animal.
Mice, on the other hand, are significantly smaller, less aggressive, and very very curious little things. They love the warmth and comfort of a ‘people’ home and – being smaller – they can access more areas than rats can.
Here’s the thing though; mice breed all year round and their teeny offspring can start their own little families at just five weeks. This makes an infestation a quick and easy affair as their population, if left unchecked, can balloon in a surprisingly short period of time.
And to be fair, as cute as mice are, they can still carry the same rodent-borne diseases into your home, affecting your family and pets. In addition, mice have a compulsive chewing addition which means that they can cause just as much damage to wiring, woodwork, and insulation as rats can.
So, the bottom line is that we need to get rid of them. It’s an “us or them” situation.
Natural Mouse Repellents
As we mentioned at the outset, most homeowners would prefer to deter mice rather than kill them. Denied a safe, cosy home and a regular food source, their numbers will certainly dwindle as nature takes its course.
What are our options?
If you suspect that a mouse problem is raising its fluffy head, then a thorough check of any access points into your home or roof is your very first step. Mice can squish themselves in through the tiniest of spaces, so you’ll have to be pretty thorough.
Great, here are a few suggestions which can help to deter both mice and rats:
Oils and spices
With an acute sense of smell, mice and rats are quickly deterred by strong odours. These can include cayenne pepper, close oil, peppermint oil, and a few cotton balls soaked in a solution of one of these and placed strategically around the house will have them scuttling in the other direction.
In fact, just a sprinkle of cayenne pepper or a few unadulterated drops of strong essential oils placed on windowsills or beneath furniture will be sufficient to upset them.
One article on mouse repellents adds, “For outbuildings, try 1 tbsp. of Tabasco sauce mixed with 1 gallon of water, then add in 1/2 cup of dish detergent. This mixture can be sprayed inside or outside around floorboards, window frames, or any other area where mice are coming in.”
Those pleasant-smelling dryer sheets that we use with our laundry smell great for us, but rodents don’t much care for them. Again, positioning them strategically throughout the house will help to deter them.
This proposed solution has us raising our eyebrows, but some people swear by it. Placing small tubs of used kitty litter in known mouse hot-spots is said to act as a deterrent too. To be fair though, while the logic is sound, the smell may be a little too awful for the rest of the family to deal with.
An article from Lifestyle offers this advice, “If you live in an area where small pests like to burrow under your home or get into your trash, you can stop that problem with this Epsom salt use. Sprinkle Epsom salts onto your trash can lid or around the areas that pests like to burrow into or dig around. Epsom salts will deter most any pests, including raccoons, mice, and squirrels among others.”
Again, a strong smelling yet harmless home remedy. White vinegar has a strong and lingering smell which will ward off mice looking for a new home for their growing family.
Interesting stuff, don’t you think?
These natural mouse repellents all come with their respective pros and cons, and while they enjoy varied success, they aren’t a permanent solution.
If you have a mouse infestation, or if things are heading that way and none of the above options are working, then it may be time to call in a professional pest control company.
Please feel free to contact Warren and his team on 0118 3801544 for advice or humane removal of mice in your home.