Mouse Repellent - Is it a thingIn my ongoing quest to write about topics that will be helpful to all of you, I discovered that “mouse repellent” is one of the most popular keyword searches when it comes to pest control.  People are always looking for the quickest, simplest solution to these kinds of problems, so I suppose this makes sense.  Since inquiring minds want to know, let’s talk about mouse repellent.  Is it a thing?  There are a few products on the market, both oral and aural, that claim to repel mice, but are they really effective?  In this post, I’m going to talk about which methods will and won’t work when it comes to deterring mice.

Sonic Deterrents

Sonic deterrents are small devices that you can plug into an electrical outlet.  They emit sonic or ultrasonic waves, creating a high-pitched frequency that allegedly drives mice away.  Some brands even purport to work on insects.  Sounds pretty great, but is an obnoxious noise really enough to cause mice to flee?   In our professional opinion?  No.  In the opinion of the Illinois Department of Public Health?   Also no.  Here’s the thing: mice are really good at adapting to their surroundings.  That’s why they can be found in nearly every country and climate.  Yes, mice will most likely be alarmed by the sound at first, but they get used to it very quickly.  Also, if you’re the kind of person who has a house with things like furniture or walls, both will obstruct sonic and ultrasonic waves, so the sound will only travel as far as the nearest sofa.  Sonic deterrents are a nice idea, but definitely too good to be true.

Taste Repellents

Peppermint oil and pepper spray are common folk remedies, but they’re largely ineffective.  There is a repellent called Ropel that is designed to deter animals from chewing in certain areas, and it definitely works.  However, it isn’t practical to coat the whole outside of your house with Ropel, and you can’t spray it inside of your walls and ceiling, which is where mice will be doing the majority of their gnawing.  Also, Ropel wears off and washes away.  It really works best when used to keep squirrels or pets from chewing in an isolated area.

Sanitation

Making sure your house is well-kept both inside and outside can help keep mice away.  They’re attracted to places they can hide and places they can eat, so removing those things is a good first step.  In your yard, keep your grass and other landscaping trimmed.  Don’t leave food or garbage outside.  If you have a birdfeeders, keep the ground around them free of seeds.  Inside, keep clutter to a minimum.  Wipe up any food that has spilled on the floor.  Keep pantry items like cereal or grains sealed in plastic containers.

Exclusion

Honestly, the most effective mouse repellent is exclusion.  If you can keep the mice from getting into your home in the first place, you won’t need to worry about sonic deterrents or peppermint oil or Ropel.  At ABC Wildlife, our technicians have successfully mouse-proofed thousands of homes.  We’ll inspect your house top to bottom to find the places where mice are most likely to get in and seal those areas with specially designed mouse exclusion materials.  Even better, if you mention this blog post when you call us, we’ll give you a free whole-house inspection.  What have you got to lose?  Give us a call today at (847) 870-7175 and talk to our exceptionally friendly and knowledgeable staff about mouse repellent, animal-proofing your home, or any wildlife issue you may be having.

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Karen Jesse is a wildlife writer and educator licensed by the Illinois Department of Natural Resources and the Illinois Department of Public Health in urban wildlife management and structural pest control.  She enjoys hiking, telling people how cool skunks are, and opera.  

 

Image courtesy of Zach Welty via Flickr

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