If you’ve spotted mice or their droppings inside and around your home, you’ll need to get rid of them asap before they multiply and do damage to your house.
They can also carry disease or be infested with fleas and mites that will eventually find their way to your pets, magnifying the problem even more.
Here are a couple recipes I’ve collected for natural repellents that can be used around the yard as well as tips for baiting and using mousetraps indoors.
For Moles & Mice:
2 TBS Castor oil
6 TBS liquid dish washing soap
1 tsp Tabasco
1 minced garlic clove
1 quart water
- Directions: Mix a fresh batch before use, pour around the rodent hole. Reapply after each rain. Source: Natural Alternatives for You and Your Home by Casey Kellar.
1/2 cup liquid detergent
1 TBS Tabasco sauce
1 gallon of water
- Directions: Mix and spray around rodent holes and in areas where they’ve been spotted. Apply after each rain.
Plant repellents: Peppermint, sage. Plant these in your garden and in flower beds along the house if you routinely have a problem.
Instead of using repellents indoors to encourage the critters to move along, you’ll want to trap them with inexpensive commercial mousetraps (otherwise they’ll just set up shop somewhere else inside the house).
First remove any food sources they have found (look for bags or cardboard boxes chewed open somewhere along the bottom), scrub clean all food storage areas and make sure there are no other food sources for them (other than what you’ve set out for them).
Effectively contain food and pantry items in sealed plastic containers, metal bins and glass jars. Do not leave any pet food sitting out and make sure pet feeding dishes are washed thoroughly after the last feeding of the day. Wash up any dirty dishes and wipe down food prep surfaces before going to bed at night.
- Peanut butter
- Pieces of banana
- Small pieces of bacon or pork fat
Dry cement powder
- Directions: Mix 50/50 and place in a shallow dish or station in the path used by rodents (can be used for inside control). After feeding the mouse will seek water outside which causes the cement powder to react, quickly killing it. Source: ahc.sa.gov.au .
Tips from a vintage homemaking book:
Position traps close to floor boards in areas where mice or feces have been spotted. If children or pets are in the home, choose locations where they won’t have access to the poison. Keep setting a fresh batch out each night for at least a week to ensure they all have been snagged.
They are inexpensive and if enough are set, often a dozen or more, an entire colony may be wiped out in one night. Mice are creatures of habit and, as a rule, travel over the same routes night after night. If their paths can be discovered, set traps along them. Sometimes they may be fooled by making a runway of boxes and putting the trap at the end. Set traps around any secluded areas, under sinks and around possible food sources, such as garbage cans and cupboards. Set them in the kitchen, pantry, larder and cellar, or wherever signs of their presence have been noticed. Place the trap with the bait next to the wall (or pail, etc.).
For bait, use other foods in addition to cheese. They really prefer fresh bread, cake or doughnuts. They are also fond of peanut butter, chocolate, freshly fried bacon, sardines, nuts, bananas or apple parings. Another option said to be excellent is a mixture of peanut butter, rolled oats and chopped-up raisins, seasoned with a dash of aniseed oil.
To set the trap, press or tie the bait firmly onto the trigger. Set it so the trigger is released at the slightest disturbance.
Source: Woman’s Home Companion Household Notebook (1948)
- Remove any nesting hot spots such as piles of newspapers, cardboard, wood, weeds and debris.
- Keep trees trimmed away from the house (at least three feet).
- Did you know: pet feces can attract rodents? Keep your yard clean.
- Tracking them: they typically move around similar paths, if they’re inside try spreading talcum powder along the floor boards where you think they may be, you’ll see their footprints and may find their hiding spot.
- Seal any holes, cracks or openings to the home with tightly packed steel wool and make sure all window screens fit snugly and have no rips or tears.