I recently discovered evidence of mice in my apartment, err… actually, my cat discovered them for me. She's a great hunter and tormentor but, as I discovered after a few hours, not a killer. Mice are one of the most horrifying things I can imagine in my home, so I've researched a few humane ways to get rid of them.
Here are a few steps to rodent-proof your home without killing or harming them:
- Remove Food Sources: don't leave ANY food or crumbs on the counters or floors and store anything that is packaged in paper or cardboard in storage bins, either metal, glass, or hard plastic.
- Peppermint: stuff peppermint oil soaked cotton balls into spaces that they may frequent or be entering through, an added bonus is that it also repels ants and makes the house smell fresh.
- Cats: in some cases this will not be a humane way of dealing with mice, but the smell of a cat can often be enough to keep mice away (though not always, as illustrated above). Cats need to be taught to kill mice, so if you adopt a kitten chances are good that it won't be a killer.
- Seal any Entry Points: both inside and outside of the house.
- Traps: here are a few steps for an easy, humane trap:
- Take a paper toilet paper or paper towel roll and fold it to have a flat bottom (two folds approximately 1" apart).
- Balance the roll half-on and half-off of a table or counter with a few pieces of bait toward the edge.
- Place a bucket below the roll so that when the mouse enters the tunnel and reaches the end he will tip the roll into the bucket and be caught for release FAR away from your home.
(Image: A mouse that was caught in the house and released in a local park, by Kathryn Wright)