Traps, Poisons & other Methods

An Insight Into Mice Repellents and Traps

Mice Repellents
Written by John Wells

Contents

Peppermint oil, ultrasonic pest repellers, mothballs… These are all mice repellents that people have been using over the years. Some work; some don’t. There are also some controversial topics regarding some of these repellents but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For starters, let’s talk about mice repellents.

Mice repellents come in various shapes and sizes, often times being in the form of a device, or a DIY option. Mice repeller devices have been known to work on occasion, but not at all times. This is their main negative side; working efficiently only if the conditions are right. DIY options are also thought to be half-and-half when it comes to their effectiveness. Some DIY ideas work wonders, whilst others are a waste of time. It might be difficult for people who are experiencing a mice infestation for the first time to figure out exactly which methods are the best and which don’t even work since the information on the Internet can often be skewed toward preferable results. What this means is that someone might claim something works, when in reality it doesn’t. We’re here to shine some light on the situation and help you out by providing you with everything you need to start kicking the mice out of your home.

Why Are Mice Such a Danger?

danger

Before we start with the repellents and traps, it’s best if you get accustomed to everything that you’ll need to do a proper job of ridding your home of mice.

You might already know why mice are bad, but if not, here’s some more insight. Mice, as well as almost all other rodents, can carry various diseases that pose a serious health risk to you and your family. The diseases they carry can even cause death. What’s frightening about all of this is that you don’t even have to be close to a mouse and have contact with it – anything that has been tampered with by mice such as food and drinks can bring potential harm. The really scary bit is that you won’t know something is wrong until it’s almost too late.

Another fact about mice which should be cause for concern is that they’re excellent chewers. They’re able to chew through virtually anything. Why is this an issue? Well, imagine a family of mice chewing through the wires in your home. Wires that have damage can cause a house fire or even give you an electric shock (in rare cases). These rodents will damage your house in every way possible as long as they think it’s what needs to be done for their own safety and survival.

As soon as you notice a problem, either contact the exterminators (if too much damage has already been done) or start preparing for the inevitable. Either way, you’ll have to get rid of them if you want to live a healthy life without having to worry about the food you’re eating or your safety.

One small tip that people don’t usually follow – keep small children away from all of the extermination events that may take place. Mice are generally cute and cuddly to kids and they will feel bad once you start getting rid of them. It’s best if you keep your child safe and away from the house until you deal with the issue.

Mischievous Mice

Mice are amazing climbers and jumpers. They can get pretty much anywhere with relative ease, and if something is in their way, they’ll simply chew through it. You might think that there’s no way a mouse could enter your home since there aren’t any entry points, but believe us when we say, they will find a way! Don’t be surprised if you find a mouse in your home since they’re constantly on the search for food, shelter, and warmth.

Mice are creatures that rely on instinct, and if they feel threatened (from predators in the outdoors for example), they won’t waste time trying to find the next best possible option (which just so happens to be human homes). If you do find a mouse somewhere in your house, it’s a good idea to search your home for possible entry points. These can include:

  • Windows – If you like opening your windows and letting the air inside during the night, you’re probably giving out open invitations to any mice in the vicinity of your house. A great prevention method would be to install screens (be sure to pick the ones which are built from a stronger material). The mice could possibly chew through these screens, but at least you’ll know where they’re coming from.
  • Doors – “Doors you say? But I keep my doors closed at all times except when I’m using them!”. If this was your first thought when you read this, you aren’t necessarily wrong. Mice generally won’t resort to entering your home if the only time when you open your doors is when you’re using them, since you’re much larger than them, and therefore, a threat. However, if they are in a critical state regarding the search for food, they’ll do anything. You might not even notice a mouse or two run by your legs while you’re looking up!

Chimneys and vents – These are a bit tougher to secure than doors and windows, but should still be equipped with screens to prevent the mice from entering.

Time For the Traps!

Traps are a great way to get rid of mice since they’re generally easy to set up and don’t cost a lot of money.

There are two main options which you can get. The first one is your very own traditional snap trap. These traps use a snapping mechanism that gets triggered once the mouse steps on it (in an effort to take the food/bait away). Lots of people love them for the reasons mentioned above. There are also many different variants of the same trap (in a sense), where you have the classic snap trap (small metal bars and a trigger mechanism), and more advanced ones that deal more damage.

The downside of snap traps is the way it works – it’s brutal. Once it snaps, it will in most cases kill the mouse instantly. This means that you’ll have to take care of the mouse corpse, which is fairly disgusting. If this is your preferred method of catching the mice, be sure to wear gloves since you don’t want to get into contact with a dead mouse (diseases).

The second option is glue traps. Glue traps are more humane since they work by trapping the mouse in place. However, if you don’t check on your traps often, there’s a possibility that the mouse will die while being stuck to the glue trap. In this case, they’re no better than snap traps. You can easily transport the mouse somewhere else once it gets caught, without having to go through the cleaning process. The negative side of glue traps is that they don’t always work properly. Their efficiency depends on the outside temperature and a couple of other factors. If it’s too hot or too cold, the sticky adhesive won’t be sticky anymore and the mice will easily run away.

Ultimately, it’s down to you. Both options are great, and both have their downsides.

Mothballs

Mothballs

Mothballs are a popular way of fighting a mice infestation, although we don’t recommend them. Using mothballs as a mice repellent/trap is quite dangerous since they contain toxic chemicals to both humans and animals. If you aren’t careful enough, a small child or a pet could eat a mothball which, in turn, would make them extremely sick. Their success has also been questioned. People mainly use mothballs because the chemicals they contain are supposed to force the mice away because of the smell (mice have a great sense of smell). However, it seems that they aren’t that great of a choice because the mice can get used to the smell fairly quickly.

If you do want to give mothballs a shot, be sure to use them in properly ventilated areas. Place the mothballs anywhere where the mice might be walking around or using as shelter. These areas include pipes, attics, garages, and others. Don’t use them outside since it won’t make much of a difference, especially if it’s raining.

Poison

Poison is very effective at killing mice, but it’s also incredibly risky to use. If your pet, cat or dog, eats the poison, you should call poison control immediately. This is why most people don’t like using poison, even though it takes care of the issue relatively fast.

Keeping Mice Away with Repellents

It’s difficult to know if your home is susceptible to a mice infestation. There’s no proper way to know if the mice will come and attack your house, but, prevention is a good idea nonetheless. There are a plethora of various mice repellents that people have been using for a long time. Some of those work, others – not so much. You can use DIY mice repellents, or purchase ‘official’ ones. The choice is yours; just make sure that what you’re opted for is actually viable and does what it’s advertised to do.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is a much better and safer option than mothballs, and it works the same way; through scent. Be careful when purchasing it! You don’t want to get anything other than 100% pure peppermint oil since any imitations or watered-down products won’t work properly. It’s also very simple to use and can prevent mice from entering your home. Peppermint oil is much less effective if you already have a mice infestation. The mice won’t be bothered by the peppermint scent since they’re already in a safe and warm environment. However, if you use peppermint oil to prevent them from coming, they’ll sense the peppermint and will think that your home is dangerous.

Using peppermint oil as a deterrent is easy: Add around 6 drops to a cotton ball and place it in locations that are the most prone to mice entering.

The downside of using peppermint oil as a repellent is that it evaporates fast. You’ll need to be vigilant and replace the cotton balls frequently. When the scent of peppermint is no longer there – it’s time to change the cotton balls.

Ultrasonic Mice Repellents

Ultrasonic Mice Repellents

These devices are always advertised as the next best thing when it comes to taking care of a mice infestation or preventing one from ever happening. However, they aren’t as good as these companies would want you to believe.

Ultrasonic mice repellents do work, but in very specific circumstances that don’t usually happen in your home. Additionally, the mice usually get used to the ultrasonic sound coming from the device. They’re actually more annoyed from the sound than scared, which isn’t a good thing. Once they figure out that there’s no real danger coming from the device, they’ll continue their lives as if the device doesn’t even exist.

Finally, this doesn’t even happen in practice. You need a combination of factors in order for them to work such as time of day, geographical location, location in your home (if the device is placed behind furniture, the sound will never leave that area), and various others.

In short, it’s not something we recommend as a good mice repellent, although you’re free to give it a shot if you wish.

Conclusion

Mice repellents and traps are generally easy to come by but be careful when choosing. It’s best if you stick to the “tried-and-true” equipment than to experiment with stuff that isn’t all that great.

About the author

John Wells

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