You can use peppermint to get rid of mice. The strong smells drives them away. Peppermint is a great alternative to commercial pesticides, which contain poison. If you have small children in the house or pets, using an herbal remedy is a smart alternative to traps and poison.
How to Tell if You Have a Mouse Infestation
Mice are small rodents about one inch long, with the typical mouse a brown or brownish-gray color. Mice can squeeze into a home through the smallest crack. Even a hole the size of a dime can admit one or two mice, and that's all you need for an infestation One pair of mice produce up to six litters of babies per year, with an average of five mice per litter. Within a short amount of time, the typical home or apartment can be overrun with these pests.
Signs of a Mouse Infestation
Often the first thing a homeowner notices that points towards a mouse infestation are holes gnawed or chewed into boxes or bags. If you pull out your loaf of bread, for example, you may notice a hole chewed right through the bag and the edges nibbled off the bread. Cereal, granola, candy and similar products are familiar targets for mice. While you have the mouse infestation, consider placing such food items in plastic storage containers with tight fitting covers. Keep bread in the refrigerator until the mice are gone. Food that appears eaten by mice should be discarded. Mice may defecate or urinate nearby, and you certainly don't want that on your food.
Another telltale sign of a mouse infestation are droppings. Mouse droppings look like tiny raisins. You may find some on the floor or counters, typically near the kitchen or pantry.
Peppermint to Get Rid of Mice
Typical rodent control products include traps and poison. Traps are not for the faint heart. Spring traps may be difficult to load, and mice can occasionally be wounded, not killed instantly, by such a trap. It's then up to the homeowner to remove the mouse. If the mouse is still alive, put on heavy gloves before trying to pick up the trap. An injured mouse is likely to bite.
Glue traps are also not for the squeamish. Mice get stuck to the trap and essentially starve to death. The homeowner must then pick up the trap with the dead mouse in it and throw it out. Poison, the last conventional option, is also unappealing, particularly if you have small children or pets. Mice don't die immediately after eating poison. They can hide inside the walls, cupboards or furniture and die later. The telltale odor of a dead mouse may lead the homeowner to its location to be removed, but sometimes you cannot find it, and must suffer with the smell for a while. Poison can get onto the floor, where tiny little paws, hands or feet touch it. Children and pets have been known to get extremely ill or even die form ingesting poison.
The solution? Herbal remedies to repel mice. Peppermint is an effective method, but there are other alternatives too.
To use peppermint to get rid of mice, purchase peppermint oil at a health food store. Peppermint oil is a more concentrated form of peppermint. It's different from peppermint extract that you find in the baking aisle at the grocery store. You can often find it near the aromatherapy oils at the health food store. Soak a cotton ball in the peppermint oil and place it near where you think mice are entering your home. Typical places where mice squeeze in are doorways where the bottom seal is weak or near clothes dryer vents. You can leave several cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil in areas of the house where mouse droppings are frequent. The strong peppermint odor sends the mice back outside.
Other Herbal Rodent Treatments
There are several other alternatives to poison and traps to get rid of mice. Mothballs are a tried and true method. Be sure to enclose any mothballs in a bag or container, as the chemicals inside mothballs are poisonous. Mothballs repel mice by scent, rather than killing them with poison, but children and curious pets have been known to nibble them. Call poison control immediately if you think a child has eaten a mothball or your pet's vet if he's eaten one too.
Another herbal remedy to repel mice is onion. Simply cut an onion into wedges and put the wedges where mice are scene in the home.
Among all the herbal remedies to repel rodents, however, peppermint has the best smell!
When to Call the Exterminator
Although you probably cringe at the thought of calling an exterminator, a severe rodent infestation is a problem that must be dealt with quickly. Mice not only contaminate food, they can bring diseases and fleas into the home too. If the rodent you see scurrying around is several inches long with a long, hairless tail, chances are it's a rat and not a mouse. Call an exterminator. Rats are extremely intelligent and can cause great damage to the home, chewing through wood and wires.
A rodent infestation is nothing to be ashamed of. Your house can be squeaky clean and still attract squeaky critters. Use peppermint oil as a natural method to repel mice, and hopefully Mickey will find another home soon.