Due to the success of my post about getting rid of pantry moths, I’ve often gotten further questions about how to get rid of other things around the home. Sometimes I’m not sure where to start, but when this question came in, I knew just what to do since we had our share of mice at the farmhouse. As you might imagine, when you live towards the country and have lots of farms around you, mice are going to come into your home at some point. And that’s ok…it’s when you start getting rats wandering in that you have real trouble (and we’ve thankfully not had to deal with that although there are definitely rats around in Berlin. Ick.)
Have a question for me? Send me an email at tiffany @ noordinaryhomestead.com or leave it in the comments below!
Can you please tell me how to get mice out of my pantry?
I’ve not had mice in my pantry before, but we have had them coming into our mudroom before as they were after our dog food. My best advice is to buy some traps (either live, old fashioned or the newer plastic ones with hardcore mouse bait) put them along the edges of your walls. Mice don’t see so well, so they usually scurry along the baseboards until they get where they want to be. They will often run right into a trap without even realizing what happened.
We’ve used live traps in the past with good results. I just threw some chocolate muffin crumbs into the trap and had a mouse in no time. We also had what seems to have been a family or two of mice in our attic at once point, and used hardcore mouse bait to kill them although we never did actually see any dead mice during that process so I don’t know what happened to them exactly. But they did certainly leave our house, whether it was because the food source dried up or because they realized we were getting serious about them leaving.
If you use live traps, set the mice free somewhere away from civilization if you can, but do keep in mind that the common mice we end up with in our homes usually don’t survive long in the wild unless there is some sort of sustainable food source near by. And even then, they’ll usually end up becoming a snack for predators before they figure out how to live in the wild.
And if you choose to use the old fashioned traps, keep in mind that they are rather brutal and you may end up with mice struggling in the traps for several hours or more before they perish. This is unfortunately because the trap doesn’t always strike across the back of the neck to kill quickly as it should, but sometimes will come down across the nose or further back, trapping the mouse and causing it a lot of pain. But if you’ve got ‘em, use ‘em. I’ve read that using Nutella (the German chocolate hazelnut spread) on the trigger or sticking a nut on the trigger and then disguising it with peanut butter is a sure fire way to make sure that your yummy bait doesn’t end up getting stolen before the trap goes off.
Mint is said to repel mice and I’ve used big clumps of fresh mint around our attic, as well as mint essential oil drops. I can’t say it had a huge effect, but I also later discovered that they had been having a hay day in a bag of cat food I had stored in my attic, so the lure of the smörgåsbord was probably more interesting than the repellent mint.
We also thought about getting a farm cat or two at one time, but as it turns out, our dog Ayla is rather good at catching mice also.
With that being said, try to locate the primary food source they are after and remove or protect it. For us, that involved getting a big plastic storage container for our dog food that the mice weren’t able to chew through or get into. Once the food source was gone, we only ended up with a few stragglers who kept looking for other food sources, but the traffic died done considerably, judging by the direct decrease in the number of droppings being left behind.
Mice can squeeze through extremely tiny openings, much like cats, and I’ve read that a hole as small as a dime is big enough for them to squeeze through. That makes locating their access point a bit tricky, but you might look around to see if you can tell where they are coming and going so that you can make sure you block of their paths with traps, and possibly even cover up their entry point. You will want to make sure you get all of the mice out of your pantry at one point or another, though.
I’d be hesitant about using any sort of chemicals or poisons that are sprayed or released into the air since you’ve got your own food stored in there. And if you do use traps with poison in them, make sure that they are not accessible to kids, pets, etc.
Hope all this helps & best of luck with the battle!
Featured Posts from Last Week’s Natural Life Linky
I really enjoyed this post on Prudent Living about making your own garland. I’ve always wished we had more suitable trees on our property to do this! But it’s not too late to decorate your home a bit more before St. Nick makes his appearance.
Want to join in the fun and link to your own blog? You can share about anything related to natural living, from gardening to recipes to home remedies to anything else related to natural living.
Here’s how this works:
PLEASE READ THESE GUIDELINES, especially if you have never linked up before!
Posts you might want to link up could include:
- Green & natural living
- Real Food recipes
- Repurposing & upcycling ideas and projects
- Home remedies & aromatherapy
- Gardening goodness
- Sustainable smartness
- And other things related to living a more natural life
Here’s how this works:
- You are free to join the Natural Living link up at any time. You can also skip a few weeks and then come back. It’s entirely up to you.
- Please do not share more than 2 links per Link-up. If you do, I will delete the “extras.”
- Please link directly to the specific post on your blog that relates to green living — not your main blog URL.
- Please only link to your own blog or photos hosted online.
- Link back to No Ordinary Homestead or the Natural Living link up post in your blog post. This way, if someone else wants to join the fun, they can. You can either link with text or using the Natural Living badge. Below is a code for the badge above – feel free to resize it as you need. Just copy and paste this code into your post or save and upload the image to your blog: <a href=”http://www.noordinaryhomestead.com/category/natural-living/natural-living-link-up/“><img title=”natural living link up″ src=”http://www.noordinaryhomestead.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/noh-natural-living-linky.jpg” alt=”natural living link up” width=”300″ /></a>
- I highly encourage you to visit other participants and leave comments. This is a great way to meet new friends and become inspired about your garden! I try to visit all the blogs participating as well every week
That’s it! Share your green ideas with us by linking up at the bottom of this week’s Natural Living post!
That’s it! Share your garden with us by linking up below!