Garden mice aren't anything like the friendly, singing, animated rodents that Disney creates on the big screen. Real mice aren't cute, and they don't wear tiny people clothes. Mice are voracious eaters and fast diggers that damage garden areas in the outdoor landscape. Use plants that repel mice to keep them away, and keep the garden looking pretty.
Catnip is well known for attracting cats, but it has the opposite effect on mice and other pests. A member of the mint-plant family, catnip has a very strong aroma that mice, beetles and aphids all dislike. The problem with catnip is that it does attract cats, even feral felines. The natural playfulness of cats, which includes batting at items and digging in dirt, may be more destructive in gardens than the mice.
Mint is very effective in repelling rodents. Grow it in the garden near plants the mice commonly eat, such as cabbage and tomatoes. Ants, flea beetles and cabbage moths are also repelled by mint. Oregano and sage, both aromatic herbs, also keep the mice away. Mice are repelled by strong scents, and fresh herbs make a nice addition to the garden because of their culinary uses.
Garlic also releases strong odours, which makes it very effective in keeping rodents like mice away from the garden. The aromatic plant also repels fleas and ticks. Garlic may be turned into a rodent- and pest-repelling spray when chopped cloves are boiled in clean water. Strain the garlic out of the water and store it in a spray bottle, to be applied to plants regularly to keep away the mice. Chopped garlic may also be spread around the perimeter of garden areas to deter rodents.
Some flowers with a strong scent are also unpleasant for mice. Daffodils, marigolds and lavender all emit an odour that will keep rodents away. Lavender repels moths, ticks, mosquitoes and rabbits, as well as mice. All three flowers have a smell that's generally appreciated by humans, and attractive forms that make them pleasant garden additions. Plant these strongly scented flowers at intervals around the garden to keep rodents away.
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