Use the best natural mouse repellent for your home
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The chewed corners of a box, black dropping on the floor, and scratching in the walls are all signs of mice. If left unchecked mice will be making babies in no time. To prevent this from happening, use natural mouse repellent. Let’s look at some of the best natural mouse repellents such as essential oils, hot peppers, and even cats!
Essential oils are an excellent natural mouse repellent. Three essential oils in particular have solid research backing up their effectiveness:
The results of a 2010 study on the effects of Peppermint oil on rodents concluded that peppermint oil has the potential to be a natural rodent repellent. The researchers found that rodents avoided areas where peppermint oil was applied.
In a 2014 study researchers tested the ability of eucalyptus oil to repel rats from a food source. The food source was sprayed with a 5 percent, 10 percent, and 20 percent eucalyptus oil concentration. The 5 and 10 percent concentrations were the most effective when sprayed daily. Since rats are similar to mice similar results could be expected with mice.
Its important to note that in this study researchers used a spray pump to apply the essential oil. The key here is applying the essential oils as a natural mouse repellent directly to the surfaces mice walk. This brings the rodent in direct contact with the oil. Directly touching the essential oil makes this method more effective then using cotton balls.
In a similar study researchers found that citronella oil was also an effective rodent repellent. In this study the researchers applied the essential oil directly to surfaces exposed to the rodents. These researchers also concluded that essentials oils could repel rodents. However both groups of researchers emphasized that essential oils must be reapplied frequently.
If you’re not a fan of essential oils there are several other natural mouse repellents to try. These include hot peppers, dogs, cats, and just simply cleaning up!
The chemical that makes peppers hot, capsaicin, may also be able to keep mice away from food. A study by the New York Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit and Cornell University determined that capsaicin could have commercial applications on farms. The researches determined that poultry feed treated with capsaicin is less likely to be consumed by rodents. Keeping rodents out of feed would also help reduce the incidence of salmonella on poultry farms.
Cats can literally scare away mice. Researchers discovered that mice can detect compounds in cat saliva that triggers a fear response. This behavior was tracked down to a specific region of the mouses brain. When researchers disabled this region of the mouses brain the mouse became unafraid of predators.
To increase your cats ability to naturally repel mice try teaming them up with a dog. In spite of being arch enemies, the combination of cats and dogs may reduce the amount of rodents around homes and storage buildings. This was the result of researchers studying three groups of homes. Group one had just cats, group two had just dogs, and group three had a combination of dogs and cats.
Researchers discovered the combination of cats and dogs significantly reduced rodent activity. The lead researcher stated “Showing that dogs have a role in rodent management has overturned my long held ideas on this subject. Now all we need to do is to find out why and how the combination of cats and dogs drastically reduces rodent activity in and around homesteads.”
One of the easiest ways to repel mice naturally is repairing and cleaning up. Mice look for food, water and shelter before deciding to take up residence in your home or yard. Eliminating sources of food and water is a natural mouse repellent. Since mice are omnivores they will take advantage of any situation they find. This means using sloppy human behavior to grab an easy meal or find a home.
Preventing mice from entering your home requires consistently inspecting your homes external parameter for any openings. Mice can fit through openings that are about the size of a dime. Since mice can chew through wood and plastic use metal or concrete to seal the openings. It might be tempting to simply plug opening with steel wool but mice are smart and could pull this out. Take the extra time and create a permanent seal.
Now that we have some ideas for natural mouse repellents lets look at a few methods to avoid. These are fake owls, sonic devices, poison, and mothballs. Some of these methods are more dangerous then others, but all of them will eventually backfire.
Since mice are a favorite meal for owls it seems logical that mice would would run away at the sight of an owl. Some homeowners claim to have initial success with fake owls. This may be especially true if they make noise and have flashing lights. However mice will eventually realize the fake owl never attacks. Fake owls could have initial success in some situations but they are not practical long term.
For the past several decades retailers have promoted sonic pest repellents. These devices emit a high frequency sound inaudible to humans yet supposedly able to repel pests such as rodents and insects. Searching for sonic repellents on amazon serves up over three thousand products.
Most of these products are based on studies were certain species were repelled based on sound. However what most of these products leave out is that the animals were repelled based on sounds customized for that select species. In one of the earliest known tests researchers were able to attract mosquitoes to traps using sound. Another study found that Canadian Geese could be frightened using sound. In both of these tests the sounds were customized to the animal species rather then just a high frequency sound.
Plugging in a device and chasing away unwanted pests and mice is certainly appealing, but there is little evidence of commercially available products working. Even when the devices seem to initially work the mice eventually become accustomed to the sound and ignore it. Sonic repellents also need an electrical outlet which could be challenging for outdoor applications.
This is not say that an effective sonic pest repellent device will never be made. Just make sure you carefully research the product before purchasing it.
Poison is possibly the most effective yet dangerous option for unwanted pests. The issue with poison is two fold. The first issue is that as it kills, the animal dies a slow and painful death. Poisons typically kill by preventing blood from clotting which results in massive internal bleeding. Since this takes time to kill the mouse, it usually eats more then the amount needed for a lethal dose in a small mouse.
Secondly after the mouse dies or as its dying another animal such as a fox, hawk, or even your pet will eat it. This is called secondary poisoning and its where the real danger of poison starts. Since the mouse likely has extremely high levels of poison in its system the predator eating the mouse will now suffer the same fate. For most people the thought of our beloved pets being poisoned is enough to skip on poison. However even more tragic then pets dying is when poison kills endangered species. In addition to the predators dying from secondary poising, these predators are the very thing we need to keep the rodent population under control.
Since mothballs are great for killing and repelling bugs many people believe they will also work on mice. However mothballs do not kill or repel mice. The active ingredient in mothballs is naphthalene and they contain enough to kill insects not mammals.
In addition to not killing or repelling the mice you will also be breaking the law by using mothballs for killing or repel mice. Since naphthalene can cause kidney damage, vomiting, abdominal pain, seizures and coma its considered a pesticide and regulated.
According to the National Pesticide Information Center “Mothballs are pesticides intended to kill clothes moths and other fabric pests. They are regulated in the United States by the Environmental Protection Agency. The label of any pesticide, including mothballs, specifies exactly where and how you can legally use the product. Using mothballs in a way not specified by the label is not only illegal, but can harm people, pets or the environment.”
Besides smelling terrible mothballs are dangerous! Error on the side of caution and skip the mothballs.
The best natural mouse repellent will likely vary by person and by the type of mouse your dealing with. Keep a list of what you find works and what does not. Remember to also track the amount and brand of the ingredient or supply your using. Slight variances in ingredients and products can have different results. Please let us know if there are any other natural mouse repellents you find effective.
Mice are found throughout the world except for Antarctica. In the wild they tend to burrow underground and stay in the weeds. This help them hide from their natural enemies such as cats, birds, wild dogs and foxes. However in urban areas they look for any opening that will provide shelter. In the wild and in urban environments they tend to nest where there is access to food and water.
Since mice are omnivorous they will eat almost anything. Seeds, fruit, and insects are all on the mouse menu. In addition to eating just about anything mice will also chew whatever they can find to build their nests. Their ability to eat almost anything and live almost any where means they often cross paths with humans.
Mice are host to many dangerous diseases. According to the CDC rats and mice are responsible for spreading 35 different diseases. Humans can contract these diseases, through contact with rodent feces, urine, or saliva, or if bit by a rodent. In addition to direct transmission of disease mice and rats can infect ticks and fleas with disease. The ticks an fleas then infect humans or pets. One of the most notable indirect diseases attributed to mice is Lyme. The risks posed by rats and mice highlight the need for a natural mouse repellent.
We'll leave you with a video of what happens when mice get out of control...
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