Friday, October 9, 2009

See how they run

As the temps drop outdoors, little creatures (like mice) are making their way indoors. It’s that time of year when critters are seeking out lodging and dining. I remember one year when I discovered mouse droppings in my silverware drawer! What a lot of work that created for me. Apparently mice were making their way into the cupboard under my kitchen sink via the drainpipe hole. Then they crept up and explored the drawers. Nasty indeed. The hole’s been since covered and the problem solved.

So the first lesson in keeping mice out is sealing up cracks and holes. Inevitably, though, they’ll find some way in. So what’s the next step? In our case, our cats are a natural repellent.

If you don’t have cats, what’s the best way to rid your home of rodents? First of all, you have to determine whether or not you want to kill the mice. I opt for not going that route. But if you do, please find the most humane way to do so.

I used to work at a flower shop where they used the sticky mouse traps that, to me, seemed like the worst kind of torture possible. The little mice would get stuck in the glue and literally rip away their skin in an effort to escape. On more than one occasion, I put the trap on the ground by my car tire, covered it up and ran over it. It was the only way to silence the teeny little mouse cries. Simply awful.

Standard mouse traps generally cause instant death from a broken neck, but this isn’t always the case.

There are different options for catching mice and then releasing them outside, but chances are they’ll just find their way back inside. So the only option, other than killing or capturing the mice, is to repel them.

Peppermint is a natural repellent to mice. During the summer months you can plant fresh peppermint close to your house. Those of you with a green thumb can also grow potted peppermint in your homes during the cooler months. It’s great for steeping and drinking as a tea whenever you have an upset stomach, so it will serve two purposes. Additionally, you can break off leaves and place them near sites where mice seem to gravitate to.

Other natural repellents include cloves and cayenne pepper. One way to use these is to get clove, peppermint or cayenne pepper oil and soak cotton balls in it. Strategically placed cotton balls will do the trick as well, as will sachets made of cheesecloth filled with any of the dried herbs mentioned.

Caps full of ammonia are effective as well, but do you really want spillable ammonia in various places in your home?

Place your repellant of choice in cupboards, corners, closets and under your beds and sofas.

If the mice in your home become resistant to your natural and green-friendly repellents, you can go the route of commercially produced ones, some of which use only natural ingredients. SomaTherapy makes one called Mouse Away Concentrate which is a blend of peppermint and spearmint oils which they claim is the right combination to drive mice away as fast as possible. Mouse Away Concentrate is one of the best-selling natural mouse repellents on the market.

If you have kids at home, keep in mind how curious they can be. Little fingers can receive quite an injury when caught in a trap or stuck to glue. Chemicals present even more problems. Your kids, or grandkids, are watching you. If they see you treating animals, even skittering rodents, with respect and kindness, they’re likely to grow up to appreciate and care for God’s creatures in the same way. While we may not want our homes infested with mice, we also don’t want our kids’ minds infested with images of inhumane behavior.

Keeping it green and humane,


No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog