Getting rid of mice as such is a task, and when you have kids or pets at home, it just gets tougher. Resorting to mouse poison and mouse traps are the most common remedies to get rid of mice. However, it is not advisable to use poison or most types of traps when you have pets or kids at home. What you need to look for are non-toxic, natural or home remedies that will get rid of mice and cause absolutely no risk to your kids or pets. But before we get to that, you need to know how important it is to use pet-friendly and child-friendly ways to get rid of mice.
Dangers of Using Common Mouse Control Remedies When You Have Pets or Kids at Home
Most Rodenticides or Mice Poison are anti-coagulants. Once they enter the mouse’s body, it prevents clotting of blood which results in the animal bleeding to death internally. Flocoumafen based rat/mice poison not only clots blood but also makes the animal extremely thirsty. The mouse leaves the house in search of water and dies. Pets and little kids could mistake mice poison lying around the house to be food and consume them. Exposing your kids or pets to these risks are definitely not worth it. Then there’s also the danger of secondary poisoning. A predator like the neighborhood cat or your own can could consume the dead mouse and get killed in the bargain.
Sticky traps and snap traps work well when it comes to killing mice, but they aren’t entirely safe to use when you have children and pets at home. Kids and pets tend to be curious, and if they come across these traps it could hurt them and sometimes even result in a serious injury. If the sticky trap gets stuck to your dog/cat’s paw, tail or even worse their face, it could be a real burden to take it off. The same could happen to your kids as well. The seriousness of the problem could be far worse when it comes to snap traps. Snap traps are designed to kill mice, the force with which the kill bar hits the catch is really strong. These traps are the worst (after poison) to use when you have kids or pets at home. They could do more damage than help.
9 Effective Ways to Get Rid of Mice When You Have Kids & Pets at Home
Now that you know why it is so important to use natural remedies to get rid of mice when you have pets and/or kids at home, here are some effective methods to help you get back to a rodent-free house.
Mice can enter your home through holes that have a diameter as small as 1/4th inches. For holes that are this small, fill them with caulk to prevent the creatures from entering your home. For larger holes, you’ll need to use something stronger.
2. Copper Wire
For large entry points, people often stuff them with steel wool. However, steel wool can degrade and rust over time. The better option is to use copper as it is harder for mice to chew through.
Roll up copper wool or copper mesh and stuff it into holes, cracks or other entrances. Use a stick to push it deep inside and ensure it doesn’t come out.
The smell of Peppermint essential oil is known to make the little critters scurry far away from them. Put a few drops of the essential oil on cotton swabs and leave them under the sinkhole, in corners and in other possible points from where you suspect the mice enter. Once the peppermint oil smell fades off, replace the cotton balls with new ones.
As some essential oils tend to cause irritation to pets, the safe option would be to use mint leaves near the sinkhole and around corners in your home. You could also put mint toothpaste in a box with holes in it to keep mice away. The box with holes is used to ensure that your pets or kids don’t attempt consuming it.
You can also plant mint along the walls of your home to prevent mice from entering your home. People usually resort to this when there’s a mice problem in the neighborhood that is hard to get rid of.
4. Humane Traps
Humane mouse traps don’t actually harm the mouse so you don’t have to worry about the possible danger of hurting your child’s fingers and pets paws and snout. You have Smart Mouse Traps, the Havahart Humane Mouse Traps, and Mice Cubes.
Smart Mouse Trap
These traps look nice and are effective. The bait is placed on a removable door that’s placed between two pieces of plastic. There’s a spring placed under a plastic platform that snaps the door shut when the mouse steps on the trigger plate. These Smart Mouse Traps are completely safe to use around kids and pets.
The Mice Cube is a semi-clear hard plastic rectangular box. It has a door made of light plastic that swings inward. The bait is placed at the end of the box that’s away from the door. Once the mouse enters the trap the door closes behind it and the mouse cannot get back out. Before setting up the trap, drill a few holes so that the mouse that’s trapped can breathe inside.
Havahart Mouse Traps
The Havahart Mouse Trap or Have-a-Heart mousetrap is made from mesh wire and is supported by steel which makes it sturdy. It has two doors on either side so the mouse can enter from both sides. The table is located at the center of the trap and is connected to the doors by a tough wire. When the mouse enters the trap, it triggers the spring mechanism which snaps both the door shut.
Humane mouse traps serve the purpose of catching the mouse without harming the mouse or anyone else that comes in contact with it.
Mice repulse the smell of cloves. Wrap whole cloves in a piece of thin cotton cloth and place them in corners, under the sink, and in other places where you suspect mice to be lurking.
If you don’t have pets at home, you could consider using Clove essential oil as it can cause irritation on the skin of pets. Put the essential oil on cotton balls and place them in the cabinet under the sink and in cabinets in the kitchen and other such places.
6. Aluminum Foil
Aluminum Foil is not a permanent solution to get rid of mice but it sure can keep mice off the area that’s covered in it. If you have a problem of mice dropping on a surface, say your kitchen countertop, this method will come in handy. Lay out aluminum foil over the surface at night right before hitting the bed and fold it before you set it aside in the morning. You can re-use the foil for the same purpose that night. The sound of crinkling aluminum foil is barely audible to the human ear but it is disturbingly loud for mice. As mice hear and communicate ultrasonic frequencies, the sound of rustling foil is equivalent to that of fingernails scratching a blackboard for us.
7. Bay Leaves
Bay leaves are an easy as well as a child and pet-friendly way to get rid of mice. All you need to do is crush bay leaves and put them in the places where mice frequently visit and they will repel the creatures. Replace the crushed bay leaves every 2-3 days and keep mice away.
8. Baking Soda
Baking soda when mixed with sugar and flour becomes an effective mouse poison. Make a mix with equal measures of baking soda, sugar and flour without adding any water to it. Leave a bowl with this mix along a path that mice frequently scurry along. Once the mice eat the mixture, the soda reacts with the mouse’s stomach acid and creates excessive gas that the mouse’s body cannot expel which leads to the death of the mouse.
The mix is completely safe to use around pets and children as it doesn’t have the same effects on them. In fact, baking soda is a cooking ingredient and is also a household agent that is used as a DIY pet grooming.
9. Ultrasonic Mouse Repeller
As mice communicate in ultrasonic frequencies, it can be used against them to repel them from your home. There are ultrasonic mouse repellers that are available in electronic shops that produce sounds that will keep mice away. The sounds are inaudible to humans but cause mice to flee. This method isn’t always effective especially if you have a huge nest of mice that are living in your home.
Ps. The sounds could also affect your pet and cause restlessness but it is completely safe to use around children.
Preventive Measures to Keep Mice Away From Your Home and Avoid a Possible Problem
- Keep the surroundings of your house clean. Make sure there’s no junk piled close to your home as it attracts mice
- Close garbage cans at all times. Mice jump into uncovered garbage cans that are left outside and find its way into your home
- Grow a few mint plants in the garden to prevent mice from lurking around
- If you notice a possible entry point, caulk it right away before a mouse finds it and makes it an entry point
Sometimes mice problems can be really bad and go out of control if there’s a whole family of them at home. Mice reproduce quickly as the female mouse gets fertile when it’s around 50 days old and the gestation period is only 20 days. To top it off, each litter contains 10-12 mice. In such situations, pet-friendly and child-friendly methods to get rid of mice may not be very effective. As scary as it might be to use chemicals, poison, and harmful traps when you have kids or pets at home, you need to keep in mind that mice are carriers of various diseases. These diseases can cause serious harm especially to young children and babies whose immune systems are not yet fully developed.
The longer you have a mouse problem the harder it gets to tackle. So if you have a mouse problem at home and are unable to get rid of them within 2 weeks, it is advisable to seek professional help and ease yourself out of the situation before the critters multiply.
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