Mice can be a major problem in your home. These rodents come in search of food, water, and shelter. They usually leave evidence that they've taken up residence in your home, such as chew marks in food packaging, shredded paper or fabric for building nests, droppings, or even holes in the walls or floors used to get inside. Mice can spread pathogens, contaminate food for humans and pets, and create structural problems for your home. There are different methods for eliminating mice from your home, such as cayenne pepper, which is considered a natural pest-management approach. Is it actually an effective solution?
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Cayenne Pepper for Natural Pest Management
Although cayenne pepper is considered a natural remedy to get rid of mice in the home, there's actually no specific scientific evidence that it works. However, if you'd prefer not to use traps, baits, or chemical treatments in your house to eliminate these bacteria-laden intruders, there is some convincing evidence that you should at least try it.
For example, in a study reported in the Thai Veterinary Medicine in December 2010, another member of the rodent family was shown to avoid certain areas where strong odors, like chili oil, peppermint oil, and spearmint oil, were located. In another study reported in Atlas Obscura in August 2018, ecologists covered seeds in capsaicin in an effort to find a safe measure that would prevent mice from eating seeds they wanted to sprout and grow. They discovered that seeds covered with capsaicin — the ghost pepper variety — survived more often than seeds without the coating, indicating that mice may be repelled by spicy peppers.
You can try this method if you have time and patience and want a natural pest-management option, but keep in mind that there isn't any evidence that cayenne pepper works to eliminate mice from your house. To use cayenne pepper, sprinkle it in nooks, holes, entryways, or anywhere you've seen evidence of mice or suspect them to be. Let it sit for a few days and see if you notice any changes, including no more rodent droppings.
Are you still noticing the wayward mouse in your home or seeing mouse droppings? It may be time to take it to the next level.
Setting Up Traps or Baits
If your use of a natural pest-management method isn't working, setting up traps or baits may be necessary depending on the size of the infestation. Traps are an effective option to control and eliminate mice in the home. Baits are also an option and are either referred to as attractants (because they contain food) or rodenticides composed of chemicals.
There are many different types of traps to kill mice, including snap traps, electrocution traps, and glue boards. If you prefer a more humane option, purchase live traps in which mice will be caught but not die. When selecting a trap, it's important to consider whether you're prepared to handle dead carcasses. If you prefer not to deal with traps or baits, contact a rodent pest-control professional in your area and let them take care of the issue for you.
Rodent Prevention Measures
Of course, the best way to keep the mice away is through prevention. Keeping the home tidy and clean is one way to help prevent mice from entering your home. Here are a few tried-and-true methods of ensuring another mouse doesn't set up residence in your house:
- Remove any food or water, including crumbs on the floor, in kitchen cabinets, and under the sink.
- Take out the trash routinely.
- Seal or patch any holes where mice can enter, both inside and outside the home.
- Make sure to keep kitchen and outdoor garbage containers closed with a secure lid.
- If you have a compost pile in your garden, turn the compost so recently added food scraps aren't exposed and rodents aren't drawn to the smell.