February 4, 2010

House Mouse Help.

There’s nothing worse than returning to home sweet home after a long weekend away only to find dried mouse droppings around.  In the corners of the closet.  Around the pup’s food bag.  Under the sink by the trashcan.  Back in Georgia the infestation was ants or roaches or even the Japanese beetle, aka the “ladybug.”  I have to say it is somehow easier to “accidentally” squash a roach, or look the other way as you wipe up a trail of ants in one swipe of the sponge and rinse them away.  I know, I know, what kind of animal lover are you anyway?  I just can’t stand the thought of trapping and torturing a furry little house mouse.  Plus, we have a puppy who would love to stick her nose in whatever we put out as bait.  Until I opened the silverware drawer to look for a spoon to stir my coffee with.  Only what I saw staring back at me was not my shiny sugar spoon but a tiny dry brown curlicue.  Not actually IN the silverware, but in the same drawer.  “That’s it,” my husband said.  “We’re getting traps.”

For those of you who, like me, refuse to go the killing route, here is what I found:

Step 1: Identifying the Problem

Detecting a mouse problem can be difficult since mice are nocturnal. However, finding mouse droppings in your pantry, cupboards, or anywhere else you keep food – between the sofa cushions? – is a sure sign you’ve got mice in your apartment. The evidence might suggest you have only a few, but where there’s one, there’s likely to be many. Look for small holes – it only has to be a quarter of an inch wide for a mouse to scurry through – around plumbing or inside cabinets. For a temporary fix, plug these holes up with steel wool to prevent the mice from entering your apartment.

Step 2: Take Action (Compassionately)

Materials: humane mouse traps, used cat litter (sick!), oil of peppermint

Shop online for humane mouse traps (suggested links below) and be sure to take the trapped mice at least a mile away from your home for release.  (Hey, think of it as quality time with unlikely company!)

Put used cat litter at the entrances.  The smell of the cat urine scares the mice.  Word on the mouse-sparing street is that snake droppings work the same way, but where in the world does the average sane person come by these?

Spray or soak cotton balls with essential oil of peppermint and place near entrances.  They are magically repelled by the scent and your house assumes an uplifting fragrance.  I recommend combining this method with the cat litter one for your nostrils’ sake.

A stream of comments from like-minded, and fed-up apartment dwellers:

“get a bucket, and put in peanut butter. Make sure the mice can get IN the bucket. They won’t be able  to get out. Then just release them far away from your house!!”

“peppermint oil…. just few drops in a cotton ball and put them everywhere,,, mice hate it and your  home will smell good and no more mice,,, it worked for me…”

“You must use “Oil of Peppermint” not extract or flavoring that just make the critters curious and  drunk. I had a BIG mouse problem used Peppermint oil and haven’t seen any ANY sign its been a  week now I found it in the health food aisle but my pharmacist said he could order oil of peppermint  for me at a cost of 7.00 us.”

“If you can not get rid of them, burn your house down and they will burn with it.”

“Not the bestsolution. My house burned down six years ago. We rebuilt…guess what???? They found     their way back….TRY AGAIN.”

This trap is awesome because it reuses plastic bottles (multiple sizes work) and does no harm!


Shop for your own humane trap- green online catalog with multiple solutions!


Now look forward to a pesticide free, no-kill, mouseless home sweet home.

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Claire Lochridge  |  Contribution: 1,600