Step 1: Clean up. Sure, you’re an exceedingly interesting person, but the only reason mice (those moochers!) will want to visit you is for the free food. If you don’t offer them any, they’ll be less likely to shack up with you. So, leave no crumb behind. Wipe off your countertop and sweep your kitchen floor when you’re through cooking. Don’t eat potato chips on the couch (or crackers in bed). Cover or take out your trash. Store edibles, like cereal and even dog food, in air-tight containers. And if you see any mouse poop, clean that up, too.
Step 2: Find their entry points. Check for holes (^ inch or larger) along your walls, underneath your cabinets, between your floorboards and baseboards, and especially around lighting and plumbing fixtures. Don’t forget to peek behind the stove and refrigerator! Stuff any crevices you find with steel wool. Mice can’t chew through it.
Step 3: Pour a few drops of peppermint oil (available at most health food stores or grocers) onto cotton balls and place them around the house, particularly in places where you think mice may frequent, like behind your stove, under your sinks, along your walls, near your trash can, or around your heating vents. The minty-fresh smell will make you feel peppy and make your mice feel overwhelmed. Their schnozes are just too sensitive.
Step 4: If all else fails, set traps along your walls, which is where mice prefer to run. Snap traps are the most humane because they kill instantly. Glue traps are mean because they don’t. And no-kill traps will keep your mice alive, at least until you relocate them to a field, where, sad to say, their chances may be slim anyway.
- Plant peppermint around your doors and in window boxes to help make your house less welcoming to Mickey, Minnie, and their no-good cousins.
- Get a kitty.