My stance on a mouse visitor (and if you see one, there will be several more that you haven’t seen…YET!)
Is to make your house as uninviting as possible so you don’t need to resort to killing them ( I hate them in my house but I had a pet mouse as a kid so I still think of them as kinda cute)
When things cool down outside – Mice will look for a warm dry place to nest and make a home.
Ways to deter them.
Plug up entry points – They can squeeze through the smallest openings.
A dime sized hole for mice and a quarter sized hole for rats is all they need to gain access.
Mice will chew through nearly anything but one thing they will not chew through is steel wool.
Use steel wool and caulk around pipes and under eaves.
Copper based steel wool will not rust.
There are copper based steel wool which you can stuff with fabric to plug holes
For air vents in brickwork – Use a mouse mesh.
You can cut to size and glue them over openings and they are readily available on Amazon
Stop Mice Highways
They can climb! If you have bushes or branches touching parts of your home where they can access under eaves – trim them back so they are no longer touching the house.
Keep your food off the floor or on low shelves.
If your items are kept in their cardboard boxes or soft plastic bags – This is ideal for a mouse to sit and shred for a warm bed!
Store your food items in metal, glass or stronger plastic air tight containers.
Getting your pantry organized and pest proof is a cathartic experience. Having a pantry organized and looking AMAZING is a liberating and cost saving venture!
See our blog post here about how to get your pantry organized and PEST PROOF!
There are some odors that will turn a mouse away. ( Pest companies do dispute that these work – But many people swear by them)
Ammonia ( It smells like urine – Like from a cat or dog)
Mothballs- the real ones
If you are going to use smells as a deterrent – they do work …BUT you have to keep at it and also have your house mouse proof.
Note- Some deterrents are not safe around food – Ammonia should not be used on food surfaces and Mothballs should not to be stored around food or used around pets and children.
You can mix ammonia ( Cloudy ammonia is very inexpensive cleaning product found at your supermarket)
Ammonia will evaporate – So to use it as a smell deterrent you will need to put open containers ( Empty jars or small bowls) of water and ammonia in strategic places which not always a practical solution.
Ammonia and water is a great way to clean up where mice have been and to clean up the droppings.
You can also use it as a daily spray deterrent – mix ammonia and water together and spray around areas.
These are TOXIC and should never be left where children or pets can access them. They are not suitable to be used around food.
You need to find old fashioned moth balls – Real mothballs contain naphthalene. Naphthalene is a white solid substance that has a very distinct and strong smell
You will find them in some supermarkets in the Pest area Or Amazon have several brands.
They do have a strong but not unpleasant smell.
They are great for areas that are out of reach of children and pets – Back of cupboards and drawers and under heavy furniture. They do need to be replaced every few months. Make sure you collect up the old ones and dispose of them. You may want to pop them in a small fabric pouch or some do come in little plastic ventilated cases
Now this is smell I am happy to have around the home and it is safe to use.
BUT… you have to use the right oil and ensure you use enough and use it constantly.
Throwing a few mint leaves in the pantry will not deter mice
The peppermint oil you use – must be great quality.There are some peppermint repellents already made up available on Amazon.
If you want to make your own peppermint spray you can.
It is as simple as using equal parts of pure peppermint oil to water.
The spray is a great deterrent for larger areas – down a corridor or even the perimeter of a home.
Or you can use peppermint oil neat on cotton wool balls and leave these around key areas in the house. Place these where mice are likely to access your home. Look where droppings might be and blitz that area with peppermint and see if you can work out where the entry point is close to that area.
Each month you will need to resoak your cotton wool balls with oil – Or if you are battling with mice – every 2 weeks.
I recommend the Barefut range of essential oils and this link will take you to their premium peppermint oil.
All orders in the USA over $25 will get free shipping.
If you have a mouse infestation
The odor deterrents will not work.
You will have to decide if you want to use poisons or traps as well as plug and seal all entry points in the house.
Poisons are very much a set and forget method. Again they must be kept out of areas where children and pets are.
Put them under or behind heavy furniture and appliances.
Put them into the roof or wall cavities.
I have used poisons in the past and never thought much of it – TILL we had a rat die somewhere in the kitchen where we could not find it (We think it was underneath out kitchen cabinets near the dishwasher). …It stunk to high heaven for over a week.
If you decide to use traps – These must be set and checked daily.
If the thought of killing a mouse is too much – You can buy humane traps that will catch the mouse and you can release it away from your house.