Domesticated mice make adorable pets, but wild mice make a mess of your home.
When mice enter homes unwanted, they begin to nest and multiply. Over time, their numbers can quickly spiral out of control, opening up unsuspecting members of your household to the threat of illness.
There are a number of traditional mouse removal and repellent options available on the market these days, but most are either dangerous to your pets and family members or cruel to the mice themselves, causing drawn out, painful deaths.
Below, you can learn a bit more about the options available to you and make an informed decision on what will work best of all for your home.
Why Mice are Bad
Having a mice infestation puts you and your family at risk because mice can carry several deadly diseases humans can contract. Some of the known diseases they may carry include:
- Salmonella – This disease can be spread through exposure to mice feces in contaminated food or water. Salmonella is a bacterial disease, and most people get it from ingesting contaminated foods like meat, eggs, and poultry. About 20% of the world’s food supply is lost to rodent contamination every year.
- Lyme Disease – Lyme Disease is spread from mice to humans through tick bites. It’s a bacterial disease which causes flu-like symptoms, a bull’s eye pattern rash, and it can also cause joint pain and weakness in extremities.
- Hantavirus – It is an airborne illness resulting from exposure to feces, urine or other fluid particulates of deer mice and other rodents. An outbreak of Hantavirus led to several deaths in 1993.
- Rickettsial Pox – Mice can transmit this disease to humans through the bite of a mouse mite. It comes from a form of bacteria called Rickettsia and can result in fever, rash, eye pain, heavy sweating, weakness and aching muscles.
Although there are treatments for these diseases, they are serious and can be life threatening.
Mice are very destructive and can cause damage to your home. They can gnaw through wood and sheetrock to get into walls and will gather materials to build their nests. Even attic insulation isn’t a mouse deterrent because they will gather and use it for their nests.
Traditional Methods for Getting Rid of Mice
There are several natural remedies and commercial products for getting mice out of your house. Learn how to get rid of mice using these traditional methods.
The same device which was invented in 1897 for trapping mice is still in use today to trap and kill them in buildings. The mouse trap is a simple, inexpensive device that consists of a flat wood base, a metal spring trap, and a metal lever.
Food can be put on the lever to spring the trap when the mouse attempts to get the food. When it is sprung, a heavier metal wire traps the mouse, usually snapping its neck to kill the mouse.
In pursuit of a better mouse trap, there are compassionate mouse traps for people who don’t want to kill mice, but let them loose after they’ve been caught. They may consist of a plastic or metal box you can bait with food to lure a mouse.
Once it enters it, the mouse triggers the door to shut behind it, trapping it inside. You can then pick up the box, take it outside and put it on the ground to release the mouse.
Glue traps will also catch mice when they walk across a paper base with a sticky glue substance spread on it. However, but the mouse may live for a while once its paws have been stuck to the glue. Although they are inexpensive and effective, some people don’t like using them because a mouse can suffer until it dies.
Moth balls can be a good mouse repellent for mice in your house. Moth balls made in the United States contain naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, both of which are pesticides. The smell of the moth balls is offensive to mice, but in most cases, they don’t contain enough of the active ingredient to be a good repellent.
To use moth balls as one of the home remedies to get rid of mice, place them by any mouse holes you find, in the attic, and basement. However, since they are volatile, don’t use too many of them because they can give off dangerous gas fumes. Also, put them in places children and pets can’t reach so they don’t eat them and get sick.
If you’ve tried the combination of moth balls and mice and found it doesn’t work, then you may need to use poison to kill them. Rat poison comes in small pellets, usually colored blue or green to make them easily recognizable, containing anticoagulant ingredients, like bromadiolone.
When a mouse eats the poison, the anticoagulant prevents its body from utilizing vitamin K to clot their blood. When it uses all the vitamin K in its body, the mouse will bleed to death. This process can take several days, but there are faster acting poisons on the market.
It’s important to place rat poison in places mice go but that pets and children cannot reach. The same way the poison kills mice can kill a pet if they ingest it or eat a mouse killed by poison. If your pet or child does eat some rat poison, try to get them to throw up and take them to an emergency clinic right away.
Natural Home Remedies to Get Rid of Mice
Along with using commercial products for learning how to get rid of mice in the house, there are several natural home remedies as well. Natural ways for getting rid of mice are usually less expensive, and they are safer to use in homes with children and family pets.
Home remedies are also more humane than other ways of getting rid of mice. Inside of killing them or making them suffer until they die, some of these mice repellents will keep them from making nests in your house.
Like most animals, mice have a keen sense of smell and do not like strong odors. While humans may find the scent of peppermint pleasing, it can be a good mouse repellent.
To use peppermint oil as the best mouse repellent, add 20 to 30 drops of it to several cotton balls and place them in several areas in the house. Once a week or when the smell starts fading, add a few more drop of oil to the cotton balls.
Although the scent of cloves can be reminiscent of holiday baking, mice find it offensive and irritating. To learn how to repel mice with clove oil, apply 20 to 30 drops of it to cotton balls and place them around the house.
Add more oil when the scent fades, so it keeps working. Since this is one of the “how to get rid of mice home remedies,” it’s safe to use as a rodent deterrent.
The same product you use in dryers to eliminate static cling is also a good way to get rid of mice naturally. Since they do not like strong odors, dryer sheets can also repel mice.
Place new dryer sheets near where there is mice activity or stuff them in the cracks mice use to get into your house. Weigh down or tape down the sheets so they don’t move and, in about a month, replace them with new sheets.
Although mice may not survive long around this natural way to get rid of mice, owning a cat is the best rodent repellent. Cats are natural hunters, and they will go after any mouse they sense or see. Although they may play with their prey, cats can be the best way to kill mice quickly and efficiently. When mice sense the presence of a cat, they usually won’t nest in your house.
Most people find the scent of ammonia noxious, so imagine what a mouse thinks of it with their superior sense of smell! Ammonia can evaporate quickly, so instead of applying it to cotton balls, place small containers of ammonia near mouse holes and where droppings have been found. These instructions for learning how to get rid of mice and rats naturally can help prevent a mice infestation.
Diatomaceous earth is another good method for learning how to get rid of mice naturally. It’s a substance made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, which are small aquatic organisms. Food grade diatomaceous earth, or DE, is non-toxic, so it’s a safe way to get rid of mice.
In a small container, mix two to three drops of an essential oil, like peppermint or cloves, in a 1/8 cup of water. Then, stir one cup of food grade DE into the water. Place the mixture in areas of rodent activity to repel them and keep them away.
The scent will last longer than it will on cotton balls, but it does fade. Add a little bit of water to the DE mixture, and to make it stronger, add another drop or two of oil to revive the scent.
How to Prevent Mice From Entering Your Home
To greatly reduce the chances of mice infestation, you can take steps to prevent mice from getting into your house.
Fill Cracks and Holes with Caulk
One of the most common entry points for mice is cracks in the foundation of a house, especially near windows and doors. Walk around your house to find cracks and holes around pipes and utility connections, then seal them with caulk so mice cannot smell the air coming from an entryway into your house.
Replace Broken Screens
Since mice can get through any tiny openings, you need to replace broken door and window screens to keep them out of your house. Broken or torn screens, especially at ground level, are the perfect entry point for these little critters.
Add Door Sweeps
Installing door sweeps on all doors leading inside can prevent mice from getting in a house. They block the crack between the bottom of the door and the floor, so pests won’t be able to get inside. Also, door sweeps have the additional benefit of helping to lower energy bills as cold or hot air cannot seep into your house.
Fill Cracks With Copper or Steel Wool
Mice can chew through most materials, so to prevent them from entering your house, fill cracks or holes with copper or steel wool. They cannot chew through metal and, if they attempt to do so, the metal particles will cut their mouths and stop further chewing.
Keep a Clean Home
By reducing clutter in your home, you can eliminate the places mice like to hide. Also, wipe down counters, sweep, vacuum and mop floors to remove food crumbs so mice cannot smell and feed on them.
Eliminate Moisture in Your Home
As with other mammals, mice need water to survive. Tighten leaking pipes, slightly elevate bowls of water for your pet, mop up water or drink spills, and repair leaks from your roof to eliminate moisture inside your house and reduce access to water.
To avoid mice infestations which can bring diseases into your home, use either the traditional methods or home remedies as a mouse repellent to find the best way to get rid of mice. You can learn how they to get rid of rats naturally as well.