I hate having signs of mice in my house.
All I can think of when I see droppings is a violation of my space, Black Plague, nests in my boots and getting a good ‘ole fashioned mouse trap or two.
Where exactly are they getting in?
Are they behind the couch, under the stove or near the pet food?
Are they in my teenage boy’s room?
The first mouse is usually a sign of more to come. Uggh.
Repeat after me—I will not buy a glue trap.
I will not buy a glue trap.
No matter how bad it gets, I will not buy a glue trap.
Indeed, they are metaphors for how we act.
So, as the cute (to others) creatures seek shelter in my house from the imminent winter,I will take a number of deep breaths, some Rescue Remedy and think about the “teaching moment” that has been placed, scurrying at my feet.
Mice are reminders of how we sometimes lose sight of the bigger picture because we are gnawing on small details (yup, that could be said about me).
Mice are fast, scurry around and are reflections of how we could benefit from slowing down (that could be said about me too).
They nibble on crumbs—hmmm, do I take small bites and savor every sweet morsel of my life?
Mice have huge appetites, are willing to explore their surroundings and try new foods without fear.
They multiply and take up space, and those can be good attributes, right?
If I explore how mice have been seen over the ages in folklore or consider the mouse as my spiritual inspiration (totem animal), it might just help me appreciate them and see their medicinal value in the broadest sense.
Perhaps I can think of mice as similar to “weeds” (or as I have heard them described ”plants in the wrong place”) in our lives. Many hours have been spent getting rid of dandelions on our lawn only to learn to look at the entire plant as food and medicine in vinegars and salads for me and my family.
I have spent much time and determination thinning the mouse population in our house. They have left their mark in the box of legos, on the wooden blocks and in the food cabinets which leads to much more work sanitizing surfaces.
What if I can look past the tiny black pellet droppings to see mice as one of God’s creatures—as important in this web of life as bears, eagles or mountain lions in our backyards?
Honestly, this mouse medicine is hard for me to swallow. I really want them gone! Instead of using the latest “mouse be gone” contraptions, though, I try the following:
Photo: @waylonlewis on Instagram
Peppermint oil is an herbal remedy. It is a safe and natural option. I throw a few drops of essential oil of peppermint on a cotton ball and place in the area of the most droppings. I put some drops in a ball jar of white vinegar to create a cleaning solution that is refreshing and not so inviting for the mice.
It might not work for all mice, but they will start by avoiding the area. It is worth a try, but may not be a long term solution. Wiping around the windows will clear energetically, spiritually and physically and that gives me a peace of mind.
Ashing is a more intense and time consuming protocol that is designed to work at a root and spiritual level and is part of Rudolf Steiner’s agriculture course.
Poison, but that doesn’t work around pets, children and raptors.
Steel wool to fill in cracks and small holes. At the end of the day, most mice problems need to be addressed at the root level—finding the holes and ways they are getting in and then trapping them or sealing the entrances.
Live Trapping I tried this once, driving out of my way to release a mouse in open space and rushed (past the waiting police officer) to pick up my child at school. $100 and 6 points on my license later—all for a little mouse that probably made it back to my house anyway!
Crossing paths with a mouse is a good dose of medicine for me if I choose to take it. I appreciate the teaching but I still prefer a mouse-free house!
And now if I can only deal with the rats in my chicken coop.
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Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock