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If you’re struggling to work out how to get rid of rats and mice naturally from your home, we have put together this simple guide to help.
My mother used to say “Never mind the rats and mice”, meaning don’t worry about the small things, concentrate on the bigger and more important things in life.
But this never stopped her from filling the house with mouse traps as soon as she found some mouse poo on the kitchen counter.
Having rats and mice in your home can be a big problem. So I have put together some helpful ideas for you to get rid of them from your home in a healthy and natural way.
In this article, we will take you through:
How to Get Rid of Rats and Mice Naturally
- Identify the Problem Areas in Your Home
- Use Natural Predators Like Your Pet Cat or Dog
- Use quality mouse traps with the right bait
- Place the traps strategically around your home
- Prevent the rats and mice from Returning
Why do I have Rats and Mice in my Home?
There are a number of reasons why your home may be attractive to these creatures.
If you live in a ground-level house, very close to a forest, park, or bushland, you are in a convenient location for rats and mice to journey to your home.
If you live in an apartment and you have restaurants or cafes in your building, rats are often attracted to the smells and leftover food from these shops. Once they are inside the building they can easily crawl up inside the walls to reach your apartment.
Rats and mice are usually attracted by food that is regularly left out and easy for them to smell.
This is something you can avoid if you do a lot of regular cooking. If you do not clean up all the crumbs and mess thoroughly after you cook and eat, it will be easy for these critters to find your home.
Are Mice Bad for My Home?
It’s true that one or two little rats or mice are pretty cute to look at, and they can even make great first pets for children.
However, the ones that come uninvited into your home are likely to bring with them nasty diseases like rabies, and other pests like fleas.
Rats and mice also breed very fast if they are left to themselves. One or two mice can quickly become 10 or 20 if you don’t get on top of this problem quickly.
Below you will find a simple list of steps you can follow on how to get rid of rats and mice naturally.
These easy and effective tips will help you from spending a fortune on pest control or filling your home with unhealthy chemicals.
10 Simple Steps to get Rid of Rats and Mice Naturally
1. Identify the Problem Areas in your Home
It can be difficult to see rats and mice in your home, because they are usually more active at night when they feel safer.
If you can’t see the mouse, you can usually spot signs that they have been around:
Common Signs of Rats and Mice in your Home:
Poo or Droppings:
Rat and mice poo looks like a group of tiny brown balls, around the size of a poppy seed. You may find these droppings on your kitchen counter, inside cupboards or on the floor under bookshelves. These are all good places for the mice to hide.
If you have a strong sense of smell you may also be able to detect the smell of urine in certain areas as well. This is more likely in areas that have been visited by multiple mice.
Chewed Items Around the House:
If the mouse smells food, it will try to chew through the packet to get to the food. You may also notice other items like cables may have chew marks on them as well, which can be dangerous if the wires are damaged.
Favorite foods for Rats and Mice are:
- flour and grains (like rice)
- Dairy products- particularly cheese
Once you have found the signs in your home you can start getting rid of them.
2.Use Natural Predators Like Your Pet Cat or Dog
If you own a pet cat, chances are that they noticed the mice in your home a long time before you did.
Cats are of course a natural predator of mice and will be more than happy to hunt them down on your behalf.
Some dogs will catch mice as well. Terriers and other small hunting breeds of dogs were originally bred to hunt down mice and rats, and this instinct may still be alive in your pet.
However, there are a few downsides to this method.
For starters, if you only have one or two mice in your home, your pet may be able to take care of the problem quite quickly.
But if you are seeing larger numbers of mice, using your pet may not be the most efficient way to take care of the problem.
Remember your pets are usually not trained hunters, and they won’t spend all of their time trying to catch the mice.
3.Use Quality Mouse Traps with the Right Bait
Mousetraps have come a long way since the Tom and Jerry cartoons. There are many different options out there to remove rats and mice from your home.
The different types of mouse traps are:
The snap trap is the trap that most people are familiar with. How it works is a piece of bait is placed in the trap on a weight-sensitive plate. When the mouse steps onto the plate, the trap activates and snaps closed on the mouse with a metal bar or plastic jaws, instantly killing it.
The benefits of these traps are that they are very cost-effective, they are re-usable, and very easy to set up.
The downsides are that once you have caught a mouse, it is a bit of a gruesome job to dispose of it. You may want to just throw out the whole trap at the same time.
Mice can also sometimes steal the bait without activating the trap. To avoid this you can use a gel-like this one instead. Apply the gel directly to the trap, and the food scent will attract the mouse to step onto the trap.
If you have quite a serious mouse problem you may want to consider investing in an electronic trap.
An electronic mouse trap is a box that you insert bait into. When the mouse runs into the box it is killed quickly and instantly by a small electric shock.
This type of trap is a more humane way of killing the mouse than a snap trap. It usually has a disposal flap which means that you don’t need to touch the mouse to put it in the bin or throw the whole trap away. This makes it the most re-usable trap).
If you are finding that the snap traps are not very effective, or that you keep losing your bait without catching any mice, glue traps like this one may be a more efficient option.
These traps work in a similar way to fly traps. It includes a strip of paper or plastic with very strong glue on one side. You put the trap down on the floor, and as the mouse runs across it, it sticks to the glue.
Some of these traps are available with a special scent like peanut butter which will help to attract the mouse to the trap.
Glue traps are pretty cheap to purchase and easy to use, but they are quite messy. You need to be careful that they are located in areas where they won’t be easily disturbed or stepped on. You will also need to be comfortable disposing of the mouse whilst it is still alive and stuck to the trap.
If like me you would prefer to catch and remove the mice instead of killing them, this trap is a good option.
A capture trap usually includes a plastic box with bait inside, and once the mouse climbs into the box it cannot climb out, trapping it inside.
Capture traps are not only humane but very cleanable and re-useable. They are often shaped like a small tunnel, with a little door at the other end so that you can open the trap and release the mouse without having to touch it.
Unlike the electronic trap, the mouse isn’t harmed, it just can’t escape back into your house. You will need to be vigilant in checking the trap to ensure that as soon as you catch one mouse you release it outside and away from your home.
This is to avoid the mouse dying of starvation, or other mice also becoming trapped and fighting one another inside the trap.
Capture traps may not necessarily be suitable for rats, due to their larger size.
If you are looking for a healthier solution for your home I would avoid using poison traps, poison baits or harmful spray chemicals, particularly if you have pets or young children.
4. Place the Traps Strategically Around Your Home
The best places to put traps are near the sources of food, and in darker corners where the mice will feel safe to hide and eat.
The kitchen will often be the room in your house that attracts mice the most, so this area should have the most traps. Try to identify any entry and exit holes that mice could be using to get in and out of the space, these will be the best spots to place your traps.
Traps can also be placed along walls, as mice will often run around the edges of a room. They prefer to do this than run straight through the middle. These routes make it easier for them to escape into a nearby hole in the wall. This also keeps them out of the open where they can be easily be spotted.
5. Prevent the Rats and Mice from Returning
Essential oil sprays can be used for deterring mice as well as other pests like spiders. Peppermint Oil Spray is often recommended as an effective spray. This spray will also leave your house smelling fresh and clean.
Also, make sure to check your home for holes and other entry points. This is because mice may have used these to come inside. Don’t forget to check areas like laundries and basements which are usually on or below ground level.
If the mice have been in your home for some time, they may have started burrowing new holes in the walls. So don’t forget to check for these as well and patch them up.
I hope this article will help you rid your house of rats and mice in a natural and effective way. If you have any great tips or questions on pest control feel free to post them in the comments!
If you are looking for more great tips on how to get rid of bed bugs and fleas naturally, check out our article here.