Rats and mice spread disease, contaminate food, damage property, and can even cause fires by chewing electrical wiring.
Conventional traps are hazardous to children and pets, and rodenticides harm wildlife all the way up the food chain, not to mention leave dying rodents in your walls. So, the next time you suspect mice or rats are scurrying about your home, try this natural and effective 4-step approach instead.
This is the single most important step to rodent control.
Using spackle or caulk, patch all holes larger than the size of a dime both inside and outside your home, paying special attention to foundations and walling. Ensure baseboards are secure as well. For best results, use weather stripping on all doors and windows, too.
If there’s nothing to eat, rodents will vacate your house.
Starve them by storing all food (including pet food) in airtight containers. Wash dishes, wipe counters, and sweep daily to avoid crumbs. Empty trash cans often, too.
Because peppermint irritates the nasal passages of rodents, it can help keep these pests away from your home.
Simply place a few drops of peppermint essential oil on several cotton balls and strategically place them around known entry points and trouble spots like garages, attics, and kitchen cabinets. Replace every 5-7 days.
You can also deter rodents by encouraging natural and domestic predators. Rescuing or fostering a cat or terrier is the cutest option. Building an owl birdhouse just outside your home also works.
A humane trap that captures a rodent for later release can be helpful when all else fails. These can be found at hardware stores and sometimes acquired from your local animal control dept.