Once a mouse has chosen your home as a source of food and shelter, it can be difficult to get rid of. Mice typically hide from humans, so if you've caught a glimpse of one, it's very likely there are more hiding from view. Mice can ruin your food, soil your home and carry bacteria and disease. Harsh pesticides and poisons are available, but if you have children or pets, it's safest to avoid these methods. There are more natural ways to deter mice from entering your home and eliminate the ones that have already entered.
Eliminating Mice Naturally
Eliminate food sources. Clean counter tops, kitchen floors and sinks and remove any traces of food. Store all your food in tightly sealed glass, metal or heavy-duty plastic containers. Avoid leaving items like snacks and cereals in their boxes or bags, as mice can easily chew through packaging. Remember to store pet food in "chew-proof" containers as well.
Inspect your home for any cracks or holes that allow easy entrance from the outside. Seal any open areas with concrete, steel or similar permanent material.
Place humane mouse traps in areas around your house. Choose areas where mice travel, such as below and inside cabinets and behind furniture.These types of traps can be purchased at most home supply stores and work by luring mice in with food. When a mouse enters, a door will shut and trap the pest inside without killing it.
Check traps several times daily. Release trapped mice outdoors, as far away from your home as possible. Clean out used traps, bait and replace.
Continue to set traps and keep food sources sealed to eliminate mice. You will also need to deter mice from entering your home after elimination to ensure the pests do not return.
Deterring Mice Naturally
Eliminate areas around the outside of your home that promote mouse infestation. Pull weeds and pick up any trash or items like brush or wood piles. If you have firewood, stack it at least a foot off the ground and avoid piling it against a garage or house. Keep trash in sealed cans.
Avoid leaving pet food outside all day. Instead, allow pets to eat and then seal the dish or throw away any uneaten food until the next feeding time.
Use peppermint oil to repel mice from re-entering your home. Soak cotton balls in the oil and place in areas where mice may enter and in cabinets and kitchen areas. You may also place several drops in a salt shaker to create a diffuser, or mix your own spray in a plastic spray bottle using two tablespoons of pure peppermint oil per cup of water.
Plant mint around your home's foundation. The smell of mint has been recognized by many as a natural way to repel mice.