Mice and rats are a common problem for most homeowners in the United States. Because mice are quite small, they can fit through any opening in your home, no matter how tiny you think it is. And since they’re uncontrollably attracted to the food, warmth, and water readily available in your home, it’s pretty much a recipe for disaster.
In the lines below, we’ll look at some common and effective ways to prevent mice in your kitchen. Keep in mind that there are preventive measures, rather than ways to get rid of mice.
1. Seal off the entry points
The first and most obvious step you can take towards reducing rodent populations is to seal off any possible entry points to your home. After all, while mice may be resourceful, they can’t cause that much trouble if they’re barred from entering your home.
How can you do this? You’ll want to regularly inspect the perimeter of your kitchen (or attic, or even the full home, depending on the extent of the problem) for even the tiniest cracks or gaps in the wall, window structure, door frame, and so on.
Keep in mind that even if a hole looks tiny to you, it may be enough for a rodent to sneak through. So you will want to seal that with wire mesh, expandable foam, or caulk, to keep the mice from getting to your goods. Speaking of which…
2. Reduce food sources
It’s worth keeping in mind why the rodents are flocking to your property, in the first place, and usually, that’s food. You may consider your home quite clean and well-maintained, and it may well be, by human standards. But the thing with mice and rats is that they can be sated by much less than we humans. So even a careless splatter of crumbs on the kitchen floor may be enough to attract rodents.
Other common culprits include improperly stored ingredients (you should go for air-tight containers), pet food left out in the open, or unwashed dishes.
Again, these pointers focus on prevention, not actual mice removal. If you are dealing with a mice infestation, visit creatureremoval.com for animal control services.
3. Try DIY repellents
Another common favorite for homeowners is mixing up their own natural repellent spray. While we generally dissuade you from using store bought repellents (as potentially toxic, and largely ineffective), cooking up your own anti-mice mixture can’t really hurt.
Like most other wild animals, mice are highly sensitive to certain smells, including peppermint essential oil (due to its potent aroma). Popular mice repellents use a mixture of peppermint essential oil and vinegar (diluted, of course, with water), to scrub the walls and floors of your kitchen. The scent of peppermint can work well to keep mice away, though you’ll probably want to give this one a miss if you’re smell-sensitive, also.
4. Buy a cat
This one’s pretty much the first mouse repellent that comes to anyone’s mind – buying a cat can have loads of benefits for you, as a person, while also staving off mice from your kitchen.
While it’s tempting to remember the Tom and Jerry showdowns from your childhood, it’s worth knowing that that is rarely the case. Rather, mice will smell the cat’s urine, and become alert to its presence on your property. In turn, this will dissuade them from even attempting to move in, and get them looking for a home elsewhere.
If buying a cat isn’t an option for you at the moment, there are specialty stores where predator urine is available. Scattering this around your yard, or even putting it in decoy litter boxes can have the same deceptive effect as the presence of a real cat.
5. Prune your yard
This one isn’t even to do with the kitchen, per se. But the thing is, wild animals are generally cautious about exposing themselves to unnecessary danger, particularly when they’re as small and helpless as mice. Which means they’re unlikely to run across yards that are pruned, and lawns that are finely trimmed, as that would mean being out in the open, exposed to predators.
Similarly, try to remove wood piles, or other debris in your yard that may act as a cozy nook for your rodent visitors.