10+ Easy Ways To Keep Mice And Rats Out Of Your Home

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If you live in an older home or in the country, chances are you’ve encountered a mouse (or even a rat) at some point. While mice are annoying, they’re certainly not as cringeworthy as rats. However, we generally don’t like to welcome either type of critter into our homes, and they can be difficult to get rid of. That’s where these 11 simple methods for deterring mice and rats come in.

1. Get Rid Of Dampness

Mice and rats make their way into our homes in search of shelter and water. They will look for some sort of water source, and especially love dark, damp basements. Get a dehumidifier and patch any leaky pipes as a first step in deterring critters from your home.

2. Patch Holes

While older homes are more susceptible to mice, all homes will encourage them to come in if you have holes in your foundation, siding, and more. Use caulking and other supplies to patch any holes or cracks on the exterior of your house.

3. Interior Holes

Speaking of holes, if you encounter holes and cracks on the interior of your home, you can use steel wool to stuff them. Steel wool is one of the few things mice won’t chew through.

4. Moth Balls

This sounds like a hack your grandmother might suggest, but it truly does work. Mice absolutely hate the smell of moth balls, so you can place them in your basement or other areas where you think mice are hiding. Just remember that moth balls aren’t safe for your pets, so be sure that they can’t access them.

5. Peppermint Essential Oil

Rodents also despise the strong smell of peppermint essential oil. Place a few drops of the oil onto cotton balls, then scatter the cotton balls around your home. Just be sure that they’re out of reach of your pets.

6. Cloves

Mice and rats can’t stand the smell of cloves. Place a pile of cloves in a mesh bag in an area where you suspect mice are hiding and it will drive them away.

7. Dryer Sheets

source: Slate

This may sound odd, but supposedly, mice and rats also hate the smell of dryer sheets. Place them around your home and use them to stuff any holes and cracks.

8. Store Food Properly

If mice and rats can’t find anything to snack on in your home, chances are they will eventually move on. Ensure that you don’t leave any food out and that food in your cupboards and pantry is stored in sealed, airtight containers.

9. Ultrasonic Gadgets

There are actually specific gadgets that emit ultrasonic waves designed to deter mice and rats. Although there are mixed reviews surrounding this technology, it might be worth a shot.

10. Baking Soda

source: Serious Eats / Photograph: Vicky Wasik

Mice and rats can’t stand the smell or feel of baking soda. You can sprinkle some wherever you’ve seen rodents or their droppings and they’ll clear out pretty quickly. Just be sure that your pets can’t access the baking soda, as it’s not good for them.

11. Get A Mouser

And speaking of pets, getting yourself a cat will clear your home of mice and rats pretty quickly. Cats are natural hunters, and the presence of a cat alone will likely drive out any unwanted rodents.