Rodents in the home can be a problem, but some homeowners may be reluctant to use poisons. Pets or children can get into the chemicals, and soft-hearted homeowners might dislike the ideal of killing mice or rats. A number of natural remedies exist that can help clear your home of rodents without resorting to chemicals or poisons. Many of them involve easy-to-obtain components and can be set up with a minimum of fuss and effort.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Used cat litter
- Peppermint oil
- Cotton balls
- Steel wool
- Plastic bowls
- Electronic mouse deterrent
- Humane mouse trap
Set bowls of used cat litter around the entrances to your house. This includes cracks and crevices, as well as doors and windows. The rats and mice will catch a whiff of the cat urine and decide that your home is not the place to be. This also works with snake droppings, which you can buy at a pet store or reptile house.
Place 2 drops of peppermint oil in a cotton ball and allow it to soak up the scent. Repeat this process with as many balls as you need, then place them near the entryways to your home, as well as any small holes or places where rodents might lurk. Rodents hate the smell, but it's more pleasant to human nostrils than cat litter, so it may be a preferable option. It also helps hide the smell of food from mice or rats.
Use an electronic deterrent. These are small devices, sold in any home-improvement store, that emit ultrasonic signals to drive mice and rats away. Some can also keep away other pests, such as squirrels.
Seal up any possible entryways to the house by using pieces of steel wool. Rats and mice aren't able to push the wool out of the way, and they can't chew through it as they would with wood or plastic. Green scrubbing pads also work well for sealing up mouse holes.
Keep your kitchen and pantry areas clean. Spilt food attracts pests, and the more rapidly you can wipe up spills, the less likely it is that rats or mice will arrive.
Use a humane trap. Snap traps work well, but they can be cruel. Gentler traps will capture a rodent without killing it and allow you to remove it from your home. Don't just set the mouse free nearby, however. Otherwise, it may come right back to your house. Take it some distance away before setting it loose.
Tips and warnings
- Always use gloves to handle mouse droppings or dead rodents. They're swimming with disease.
- Regardless of how you do it, it's important to deal with a rodent infestation immediately. Rats and mice breed prodigiously, and without a means of checking their population, you may soon find yourself overrun.