Got mice in your home? Get rid of them yourself without calling an exterminator.
If your home is plagued by mice, you may feel that you will never get rid of them. Food, drawers, cupboards and walls may be under attack.
Mice will eat just about anything, but sweets and seeds are their favorites. Seeds include everything from grass seed to salted sunflower seeds and everything in between. The tiniest crumb or seed will beckon to mice, but a sack of grass seed or an unprotected chocolate cake really calls them!
They can smell right through paper, cardboard and even plastic. Only glass and metal will deter them, and even then, you'll need lids that seal well. If the lid doesn't seal, a mouse can smell the contents and will gnaw through a plastic lid.
Get rid of mice in your home
If you see one, there are ten more that you don't see, so be prepared to do battle for awhile. There are only two ways to get rid of mice: Kill them or remove them alive.
Get rid of mice without killing them
There are traps that will catch mice alive, and then it's up to you to free them in another place. Take them far away from your home but don't free them anywhere near another house. Since mice and other rodents seem to have a homing instinct that brings them back to their birth place to reproduce, you will have to move them a very long way.
Another way to get rid of mice alive is to use a sound device, called an electronic pest repeller. They work by emitting a sound that's so high that we and most animals can't hear it, but mice and rats will. So, also, will birds, insects and pet gerbils.
If, however, there is food to be had, rodents and birds will learn to ignore the sound. This is not a frugal solution, since you'll soon be stuck with the mice anyway and you will have to find another method.
How to kill mice in your home
Mice reproduce at the rate of 50 to 70 young each year per adult female. That means unless you get rid of mice completely, you'll soon be overrun by them again. It takes diligence and perseverance, but it can be done.
Old fashioned traps that you bait and set are the most frugal because they can be used over and over again. If you're squeamish about removing a dead mouse (all you have to do is open the trap and let the body fall out), you may prefer disposable traps, where you throw away the entire thing. Not so frugal, but if it's the only way you can do it, then do it.
Bait your traps with peanut butter, seeds or soft chocolate candy. Different mice populations seem to enjoy different tastes, so experiment to find the one that works best for you.
Other ways to get rid of mice:
There are a few ways to kill mice without a trap. Probably the most common is to use poison. Commercial poison is offered in small boxes that you simply open and leave in a "run", that is, the place where mice travel each night. This poison will send mice looking for water and they can sometimes die in your home, where they will smell very badly if you don't find them right away.
Mix borax with sugar or anything sweet. Don't use this if you have pets or children in your home who might sample it because borax is poison when taken internally.
Mix chocolate with cement in powder form and sprinkle it around. The sweet chocolate powder will attract them and the cement will kill them.
It's said that instant potatoes will kill a mouse when they eat them dry. The potatoes rehydrate with the acid in the mouse's stomach and expand, rupturing the stomach.
A possible alternative to using poison is to attract a natural enemy of the rodents to your property. Screech owls, foxes, cats and snakes eat rodents. You can attract an owl to your property by putting up a nestbox for it to roost and nest in. Not only will this rid you of some of the rodents, but it is completely natural, safer and cheaper.
Mice are dangerous to human beings, carrying deadly diseases and destroying food, clothing and paper materials that we depend on.
You may also be interested in "How to Keep Mice from Being Attracted to Your Home."