How to … get rid of rodent guests

Unwanted house guests often fail to please us, and especially so when they come in rodent form. But as autumn rolls around, we aren’t the only ones keen on getting warm and cosy indoors, and rats and mice will seek ways to take up residence inside our homes. 

Not wanting their company does not mean we’re keen on the idea of killing them in violent or gruesome ways. For example, while glue traps may be effective, they also involve slow death from starvation … unless the mouse bites through its limbs to free itself. 

Thankfully, the homemaking advice website Housewife how-to has come up with a step-by-step guide on how to get rid of mice without the violence. 

The first steps are undoubtedly the most essential: stop rodents from entering your home. Rats and mice are trapeze artists and can enter houses through windows, cat flaps, under doors, small gaps in the exterior walls and seemingly through sheer will power. So it’s important that you inspect the exterior walls of your home, particularly around air vents or the entries of electrical wires, to ensure there are no mouse-shaped holes exposed. Put door snakes against exterior doors, temporarily seal or lock your cat flap and keep an eye on open windows.  

The next step is to cut off their food and water supplies. Put any exposed or packaged foods into sealed containers or old jars and store your fruit and vegetables in the fridge. This includes bags of pet food as well, as rats and mice will demolish them, too. Don’t leave old glasses of water lying around and consider where you keep pet bowls. Inspect your rubbish bins – both internal and external – and make sure they’re sealed. Stacks of old newspapers or even rolled carpet are often used as mouse bedding, so be sure to dispose of any lying around the house. Keep things tidy. Cleaning dishes, sweeping and emptying the bins regularly will help make your home a less appealing option for rodents. 

Third, scare them off with their least favourite smells. Luckily for you, rats and mice hate the smell of peppermint, so leaving peppermint oil around your home, or cotton balls dabbed in it in the back of your cupboard can help to deter them. Unluckily for you, however, they also hate the smell of moth balls and used kitty litter. Hanging either of these up in old stockings in front of vents or entry ways in the infrequently used rooms of the house deters their entry. 

Have you had any problems with rats and mice in the past? Do you have any tips or tricks for how to humanely get rid of rats and mice? 

Written by Liv Gardiner

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