An Overview of Mouse Deterrents

A truly frustrating experience is having to eradicate mice from your home once they have taken up residence inside. Moreover, the moment mice do make it into your home and begin nesting, they present a threat to the physical integrity of your home. 25 percent of all residential fires trace the origins to rodents that have gnawed on electrical wire and panels, resulting in massive fires. In addition, when mice take up residence in your home they also raise the risk that you and your loved ones will be infected with what potentially can be a serious disease.

The best course of action you can take is to prevent mice from infesting your home in the first instance. Contemplating this objective, you may wonder what mouse deterrents exist that are demonstrated effective at keeping these rodents from your home.

Malodorous Repellants

Primary types of mice repellants that are marketed today are malodorous products. In other words, these are products that allegedly give off a scent that repulses mice and keep them at bay. The problem is, these so-called repellants don’t have reputations for being particularly effective. In fact, some experts flatly maintain that these substances really don’t work at all.

This trio of smelly repellants are:

  • Mothballs
  • Ammonia
  • Peppermint oil

Yes, mothballs present an awful odor. Yes, these round bits have been proven effective at keeping sweaters and other garments safe from moths. And yes, they leave clothing smelling horrible as a result.

The reality is that unless you intend to form a relatively unbreakable perimeter around your residence with mothballs and change them out with regularity to keep them fresh, these chemical blobs aren’t going to provide a thoroughly effective barrier to mice.

You also must bear in mind that mothballs can present a health hazard to children and pets. Whilst one would hope even children and pets would shy away from ingesting mothballs, it does happen.

Finally, not only will mice experience the stench of mothballs, so will you. Odds are this is not a scent that you want permanently attached to your home in any way, shape, or form.

Ammonia is recommended by some individuals as a means of keeping mice at bay. The theory is that mice repel from the smell of ammonia because it is rather like that of cat urine, a natural rodent predator. Yet again, however, ammonia is not a highly effective repellant when it comes to mice. In addition, it is a chemical that can injure children and pets. Finally, the stench of urine might keep a mouse or two at bay, but the odor is going to impact the overall livability of your property as well.

Peppermint oil has been used by some people as a means of keeping mice away from a home of business. As with the other two items mentioned a moment ago, peppermint oil is also not particularly effective.

In those instances in which peppermint oil has appeared to work as a mouse deterrent, a considerable amount has been used. Indeed, such a considerable amount of peppermint oil was needed to ward off mice that the smell was overwhelming and unpleasant for the human occupants of a residence.

General Deterrent Strategy

The surest way to keep mice out of your home or business is to implement a general and comprehensive strategy. This process begins with making sure that any holes or cracks on the exterior of your home are properly plugged. Cement is the most mouse-proof substance you can use to seal holes and cracks. Pay attention to even small openings, keeping in mind that mice can get through an opening the size of a U.S. quarter.

Eliminate unruly shrubbery and bushes directly next to the exterior walls of your home. Indeed, you are best served by creating a gravel barrier about 18 inches wide directly around the exterior walls of your home. This creates something of a mouse no man’s land that mice (and rats) will be hesitant to venture over.

Keep your house and garage in a neat and tidy condition. Clean up after meals, keep food stored in sturdy and tightly sealed containers, and don’t leave pet food lying out and about throughout the day.

If you have water drips or even tiny accumulations in or around your house, eliminate them. Mice are not only attracted to food but water as well.

Inspect your home and grounds regularly (regularly = monthly) with the express purpose of identifying any telltale signs that you’ve mice on the premises (or rats). You need to be on the lookout for:

  • Droppings
  • Gnaw marks
  • Scratch marks
  • Mice trails (greasy marks where mice travel)
  • Urine odor

Mice are generally nocturnal animals. Thus, after sunset, be on the alert for sounds associated with the presence of mice. These include:

  • Scratching
  • Scurrying
  • Occasional squealing