The internet is awash with home remedies and electronic devices that are supposed to keep mice and rats out of places you don't want them. Some of the most frequently recommended solutions include things like cotton balls doused with peppermint oil, mothballs or herbal packets. Also highly prevalent are electronic devices that emit ultrasonic sound that rodents are supposed to find unbearable. The theory is that mice and rats will find the odor or sound unpleasant and avoid the area. It is understandable why these types of solutions are so appealing. They promise that all you need to do is place the product in the space where you have the problem and the intruders will simply leave - there's no killing, no poison and dead mouse or rat disposal and cleanup issues are avoided. Sounds great, but are they effective?
The short answer is no. Despite the frequency with which these solutions are suggested on the internet there is little scientific evidence to support their efficacy. In fact, the Internet Center for Wildlife Damage Management, a university based organization whose mission is to "consolidate existing and future information on integrated pest management (IPM) in wildlife damage management," has conducted extensive research on the topic of mouse repellents and states that there are "No effective ones known, including sonic devices." This includes, Peppermint Oil, Moth Balls, Dryer Sheets, ultrasonic devices and other heavily promoted herbal type pouches and remedies. The only recognized, effective solution for preventing and controlling a mouse or rat infestation is a three step process consisting of:
- Exclusion: Thoroughly inspect your home from top to bottom looking for gaps 1/4" or larger. If a pencil eraser can fit through it so can a mouse. Fill any openings with Xcluder rodent proof fill fabric. Look high and low. Mice can jump 12" vertically and can climb straight up any rough surface such as bricks and siding. Pay attention to the following areas:
- Sill - the area where the walls meet the foundation.
- Weep Holes
- Pipes - gaps often exist around pipes (air conditioning, gas, water, etc.) which enter the building.
- Eaves - gaps occur at the soffit level. Remember, mice can climb!
- Doors - be sure that the gap between a door and the floor is filled with stiff brush or other gap filling product.
- Sanitation: This includes good housekeeping practices and proper storage and handling of food materials, feed, and garbage. Bulk food should be stored in rodent proof containers and the perimeter of buildings and other structures should be clean of weeds and debris (including stacked lumber, firewood, and other stored materials) to discourage rodent activity.
- Population Reduction: If an infestation already exists, some form of population reduction is almost always necessary. This can be accomplished with traps or baits.
Xcluder™ is a patented and USDA tested and proven effective method to seal holes and gaps to prevent intrusion of mice and other pests into your home, business or RV.
Xcluder Rodent Control Fill Fabric - Small DIY Kit Xcluder Rodent Control Fill Fabric - Large DIY Kit Xcluder Humane Mouse Elimination Kit - Includes two live capture mouse traps Xcluder Mouse Elimination Kit - Includes two mousetraps