Several methods can be used for ridding your home of pesky mice. Some are natural methods and others involve using chemicals. Prevention tips involve the proper storage of food and garbage. Keep the food in tightly sealed storage containers and clean up all spills. Keep indoor and exterior refuse containers closed. Place outdoor garbage receptacles away from your home. Seal all cracks and openings around pipes within the interior and exterior walls. Mice can squeeze through small openings in a foundation. They can enter through a chimney cap. Make sure your home’s chimney is covered with a cap and mesh wire to keep them out. Some people use mothballs outside of the home because they have a strong odor and they are poisonous. Use steel wool, copper scouring pads, or green kitchen scrub pads to fill in around pipes and holes. The mice cannot chew through the steel wool or scouring pads. It dulls their teeth and deters them from entry. Use caulk to tightly seal around pipes and add it to the steel wool. To deter mice from squeezing under a door, add door sweeps to all exterior doors. Add weather stripping to all exterior doors and windows to repel mice and other pests. Remember pests can fit into small spaces and cracks. Mice can squeeze through openings as small as 1/4 inch wide.
Natural home remedies include using peppermint oil, mint leaves, or mint plants. Put mint oil on cotton balls and place them near entry points. Mice do not like the strong odor of onions. The problem with using this natural method is that onions will rot within a few days causing another odorous problem. In addition, onions are toxic for some animals such as cats and dogs.
Predators, i.e., cats, barn owls, or other natural predators will scare away or eat mice. Using instant potatoes is a natural method. The mice eat the instant potato flakes which swell their bellies eventually leading to death. Keep the instant potato flakes away from family pets. Another natural method involves using a mixture containing Plaster of Paris and cocoa powder (chocolate milk powder or cocoa baking powder). Make sure the mixture is dry and place it near entrance points. The mice eat the mixture, seek water, and die. Keep the mixture away from children and family pets. Of course, every farm needs a few barn cats. Farmers claim success by placing trays of used kitty litter near entry points. The mice smell the cat’s urine and run away.
Other methods for eradicating mice involve using baited spring-loaded mouse traps. Use cheese or peanut butter as bait. Using poisonous pellets or baited commercial traps will kill mice. Purchasing baited mouse house traps is an effective method. Glue board traps work but some people consider them to be inhumane. Many homeowners prefer the use of humane traps to capture and release mice. Electronic traps are considered to be a humane method. Some homeowners hire exterminators to rid their home of mice.