Life Wellbeing Myths and methods to get rid of unwanted mice

Myths and methods to get rid of unwanted mice

The best known mouse species is the house mouse.
The best known mouse species is the house mouse. Photo: Getty
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Unwanted mice can cause major problems for households as they damage furniture, chew on electrical wirings and leave mouse faeces that spread diseases.

Farmers in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia are currently suffering through a minor mice plaque.

Rodents are damaging their crops and eating the planted seeds before they have a chance to grow.

The infestation is also effecting residents, workers and tourists in Melbourne CBD.

Due to the construction of the Metro tunnel, vermin are being driven out of the ground and onto the streets.

How to get rid of unwanted mice?

The first step is to identify where they are entering in the home.

They are attracted to shelter and food so check holes or cracks in the doors, windows and vents to the kitchen or the garage.

Once these places have been identified, cover them up with wire mesh as it is the most effective tool to prevent the mice from chewing through it.

If this doesn’t work, try these other methods:

Traps

Snap traps and glue traps are commonly used to terminate unwanted rodents. Both methods work when the unsuspecting mouse walks across them.

The snap trap allows for an instant death however the glue trap only works if the mouse is trapped long enough on the sticky surface.

Strong smelling scents will attract the mice. Therefore there are a range of baits that can be used including drops of maple syrup, bacon pieces, peanut butter, soft cheese, nuts or bird seeds and even chocolate.

Place traps in high traffic areas and parallel to the wall or other solid objects. Remember that setting traps can be considered as cruel and involve a messy clean up.

William C Hooker invented the spring loaded mouse trap in 1894 to get rid of mice.
William C Hooker invented the spring loaded mouse trap in 1894 to get rid of mice. Photo: Getty

Rat poison

The ingredients in rat poison include blood thinners and a central nervous system toxin that are designed to kill.

Similar to rat poison, mouse repellent also terminates mice however be careful using these two solutions around any pets like dogs or cats.

If digested, it can be fatal.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil will work for indoor and outdoor mice. The best part is, it is safe for humans and animals.

Add five drops on a cotton ball and leave in the area the mice are invading.

The peppermint oil must be 100 per cent pure and replaced a few times a week as it will dissolve. If outside, keep the cottons balls undercover to prevent rain damage.

What are myths behind mice?

A myth is that the best bait for mice is cheese. Although they do eat it, mice also like a variety of foods including carbohydrates, proteins and fats. This includes grains, seeds and fruit.

Another myth is that mice won’t invade clean homes. This is not necessarily true. While poor sanitation will attract mice, good sanitation will not eliminate them.

To avoid rodents entering the home, clean up any crumbs left in the kitchen or in the lounge room.

Another myth is that catching a mouse means no more will return. This is not true.

Mice multiply quickly and breed all year round. If you catch one and no more return within a week or two, it is safe to say the problem is fixed.

What’s the most humane way of dealing with an infestation?

According to the RSPCA, live traps can be used for people who prefer to avoid killing mice but want to remove them from their home.

Live traps must be designed to avoid injury and inspected every morning to release any captioned rodent. Keep in mind this is not always humane.

“Unfortunately, the available evidence suggests that the survival rate of relocated animals is often very low,” the RSPCA said.

“Releasing animals into a new location is therefore unlikely to be a more humane alternative to killing them quickly and painlessly.”