Mice are a problem for many homeowners. These pesky creatures can create havoc by chewing on wires and infesting homes with droppings. They can also spread diseases like the Hantavirus or Salmonella.
The best way to keep them away from your home is to use natural deterrents that don’t harm animals or people. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the most effective ones for both kicking mice out and for taking them out too!
Why do mice enter our homes?
Despite being a pest and harboring diseases and causing damage, mice are just like any other animal. They just want shelter and food so that they can reproduce.
Human habitation is excellent for this as we can be quite messy, leaving crumbs all over the place and our homes are dry and warm, especially during winter.
When you have a mouse infestation, you have two main jobs; get rid of your current unwanted tenants and deter them from coming back. The best way to never have mice again, only with other pests such as cockroaches, ants, and other rodents, is to cut out their food supply and means of accessing your home.
You can then work on getting your current population of pests out, either by using natural deterrents that move them on or by using natural rodenticides which kill them off. Remember, that any poisons you use mean that death won’t be instantaneous and you may have unpleasant smells coming from mouse corpses rotting away under your floorboards or in your walls. In this case, traps are preferable.
So, let’s go over a list of natural deterrents and means of killing mice in your home.
Here is a list of natural deterrents that will work best if you can pinpoint where mice are living in your home and apply them in the correct quantities. Always consider other animals and children living in your home before using some of these deterrents.
1 Using Ammonia to deter Mice
According to a Cornell University study, mice don’t like the smell of fresh animal urine because they associate it with their own death. Ammonia is a by product of decomposing urine, so it’s a perfect deterrent.
When using ammonia to kill mice, spread a few drops of ammonia where the mice are nesting and around the perimeter of your home. Don’t over do it, as this is nasty stuff and could negatively effect you and your household. Be precise and don’t spray it everywhere!
2 Using Cayenne Pepper to deter Mice
We all love to add a little cayenne pepper into our dishes. But mice don’t appreciate the stingy sensation of spice, so will avoid it like the plague. It’s a question of taste I suppose
To effectively keep mice away, sprinkle cayenne pepper in areas that could be used as hideout. You can also sprinkle it anywhere that you have found evidence of mice getting into your food.
3 Using Tabasco Sauce to deter Mice
Like cayenne pepper, there is antidotal evidence that mice don’t like this hot sauce. Sprinkling cayenne pepper around the house is an easy way to keep mice at bay, but you definitely don’t want to pour tabasco sauce in your home.
Therefore, this method is best used outside around your home’s foundation to deter mice from coming inside. Look for any cracks or uncovered pipes and sprinkle the hot sauce there.
4 Using Dryer Sheets to deter Mice
To keep the mice from coming into our homes and finding their way into our food supply, we can stuff dryer sheets in areas they are hiding in. Apparently, they really don’t like the smell of these dryer sheets and it will make them think twice about sticking around.
5 Using Peppermint to deter Mice
If you are tired of having mice scurry through your home every day, one weapon that can help avoid the rodents is using mint-scented cleaning products and dedicated deterrents.
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There are a few natural ways that you can keep mice away from your home. Simply adding some mint or peppermint essential oil to your cleaning supplies can deter them. Planting fresh mint around the ground near their habitat will also work. Of all the natural deterrents, which aren’t intended to kill mice, this is by far the most effective.
6 Using Mothballs to deter Mice
Mothballs use naphthalene, which is a natural deterrent for mice. When it is ingested or inhaled, blood cells lose their ability to transport oxygen. This will literally kill them from the inside out, so it will both deter and exterminate mice.
You’ll have to use about six mothballs for this method as the amount of naphthalene in each is quite low. This means that the toxiticy will be quite high, enough to harm humans and pets, so make sure they are out of reach of your loved ones.
7 Using Used Kitty Litter to deter Mice
As with the ammonia trick, you can use a real predator’s urine, such as a cat’s, to scare off mice. It is generally more difficult to find mice in homes that share space with cats, and this is why.
Best of all, you don’t even need to own a cat to do this, you just need to have a weird conversation when you request used kitty litter from a friend.
Farmers and homeowners often suggest placing a tub of used cat litter near suspected entry points in your home. The mice will smell the cat’s urine, but not approach the area again because they are repelled by the strong odor.
8 Using Onions to deter Mice
This vegetable can be another cheap and effective natural deterrent for mice. However, onions will rot if left out for any period of time and can be highly toxic to pets such as cats and dogs.
Place the vegetable in an inaccessible location near a room your pet won’t enter, and make sure mice are aware of its scent.
It’s a good idea to ensure you change the onion every other day. Otherwise, you might experience an entirely different (and smelly) problem on your hands.
Natural rodenticides and lethal anti-mice tactics
Sometimes when deterrents aren’t working fast enough you will need to resort to a deadlier remedy for these pests. Here are some ideas you can try that are lethal but don’t require the use of any harsh chemicals.
9 Using soda to deter Mice – but not the sweet stuff
Did you know that mice can’t burp? Mice are unable to release carbon dioxide or suck in oxygen from a liquid beverage, so they eventually suffocate. But, contrary to what is believed, ordinary soda isn’t effective for deterring mice, it actually attracts them.
It’s far better to use dry baking soda, which will react with the stomach acids in rodents to produce carbon dioxide which suffocates them. Just arrange a small container or bowl of this near mice activity and you’ll see them disappear over a few days or weeks.
10 Using Instant Potatoes to deter Mice
For an instant food that is both a frugal way to kill mice and easily digestible, try a handful of instant mashed potatoes sprinkled where mice are coming through your walls. These work on the same principle as baking soda, as rodents can’t burp or vomit so can’t expel excess gas or food.
As the mice, who will eat more of unknown food than rats, eat the instant mash potato they will suffer major internal ruptures, killing them.
Try to keep this in an enclosed box that only mice can enter, just to be sure your pets don’t get at it.
11 Using Plaster of Paris and Cocoa Powder to deter Mice
Try mixing cocoa powder and Plaster Paris to create a homemade mouse poison. Apparently, this has been known to work and drives rodents to die of thirst.
- Take dry plaster of Paris, mix in with some cocoa powder.
- Setting traps near the places where mice are most likely to visit is a good way to catch them and make sure you keep the mixture dry
- Mice are often attracted to piles of small, sweet items like candy and sugar, and so the chocolate will attract them.
- But soon after eating, they’ll leave you and your home behind to find water. So make sure you don’t have any leaking pipes to make sure they do leave.
12 Using Natural Predators to deter Mice
Introducing natural predators into your home or onto your property is one of the most effective and natural ways to get rid of mice. Cat’s are the obvious choice, but owls and even snakes can be an option.
It stands to reason that one of the simplest and easiest courses of action to take in combatting mice in your home is simply buying a pet cat. Many find their mouse problem will be solved within a few days following this approach.
At the end of the day, you will still need to care for your cat. Make sure they have plenty of fresh water and a clean habitat with plenty of hiding spaces that allow them to feel safe and secure. So, if you aren’t up to that you might be able to borrow a feline friend for a weekend to get some short term relief.
Mice can be a menace, but you don’t have to live with them. The Barn Owl is a natural predator that will help keep the mouse population at bay. It also has one family of these owls which devours around 15 mice in one night – talk about efficient!
You can find this product and others on Amazon
Barn owls make excellent rodent catchers. They’ll eat up mice and they are much more likely to nest near humans if a barn owl box is placed in the area. This will help mice from wandering onto your property and eventually entering your home.
Ways to prevent mice from coming back
Once you have found a mice infestation you need to deter or kill them off quickly while also considering how you can stop them from coming back in the future. Food sources and access to your home are the top of the list.
13 Proper Food Storage to deter Mice
Wondering how to keep mice out of your kitchen? The best way is simply to make sure that all food has been properly stored.
Mice will chew through just about anything to get into your home or food – so it’s best to keep food in airtight jars, away from their reach. Just like other pests like cockroaches, mice can get through pretty thin plastics and paper, so don’t rely on Ziploc bags to protect your food and deter mice.
While you are thinking about the best ways to get rid of mice, also consider moving your trash cans as far away away from your home as possible. Trash is another great attractor of rodents
14 Hole Patching to deter Mice
Mice can’t sneak into your kitchen cabinets and pantry if there is no entryway to your home. Anything that prevents mice from squeezing through will help keep them out of your home. If you can also put down some deterring smells at these places while you block them, that’s extra protection.
Finding holes can be a challenge as they will sometimes be quite small.
Here are some tips:
- There is almost always evidence of mouse occupation near entryways, such as feces.
- Mice can leave behind greasy, black stains around entry points.
- Smelling is one way to detect where mice might be hiding. If they are there you’ll smell ammonia.
Place a piece of thick chalk near possible entry points and clean up the area around them. Seal off these possibilities with clear plastic strips that you can easily remove later with glue, staples, or tape.
If the hole is small, you can use a copper scouring pad or green kitchen pad to block it up and stop the mice from getting in. If the hole is larger, the best way is to repair it.
15 Using Steel Wool to deter Mice
Steel wool is a good option for keeping mice away. This especially true if, as I mentioned before, using green scrub pads in mouse holes isn’t working.
Mice can’t chew through steel wool and it actually irritates their teeth. Simply stick the steel wool in any cracks, crevices, or holes for mice in your home to protect you from them. You can use a bit of silicone glue to keep it there better.
16 Using Humane Traps
If you aren’t ready to harm the mice, try using a humane trap. A “humane” mouse trap has cables that won’t hurt the rodent but also means they can’t escape from it.
Once you’ve captured one, release it into the wild. Just make sure you take the mouse at least a mile away from your home, ideally across a stream or river, then let it go free to fend for itself.
17 Ultrasonic sound
Another more humane option to deter mice is to use a purpose-built ultrasonic sound emitter that will dry mice crazy. These are best used in homes without any other pets, such as mosquitoes. as the sound may disturb them too.
This is one of the best ultrasonic deterrents I’ve found for mice, and it’s sold on Amazon too.
It’s as simple as plugging in the unit and turning it on. In a matter of days, the resident mice will leave and they won’t want to come back. You can use this in your home but also in your yard with an external outlet. It actually works on a lot of other pests such as raccoons, coyotes, and foxes.
A last resort
If, after several weeks, you still can’t get a handle on your rodent infestation using natural means you should probably call a trained pest control professional. They can often help to get the problem under control quickly, but they do come with a price. However, sometimes it does pay to work with an expert.