Marty Ross is a garden journalist and gardener who lives in Kansas City, MO, and Virginia’s assistant region. She has a ar garden plot and also grows lettuce and herbs in pots on her front porch.

You are watching: How to keep mice away from garden


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Mice— similar to humans — appreciate a warm spot indoors in the winter. Fall temperatures send lock scurrying to sanctuary in warmth corners behind water heaters and in cubbyholes under the sink. They don"t understand they space not welcome, and also they make themselves in ~ home.

Mice are enterprising, athletic, and also persistent creatures, through astonishing reproductive rates. They live in garages, attics, closets, energy rooms, and also porches; they develop nests in between the walls and also in crawlspaces and basements. Lock are also a significant nuisance: mice contaminate food, chew through electrical wires, and even transmit diseases. Keeping them out of the home requires a spicy eye and also effective defensive measures.

"Rodents really preeminence the world, and also mice space everywhere," says Stephen M. Vantassel, a wildlife control expert at the university of Nebraska-Lincoln and editor the the nationwide Wildlife control Operators Association"s newsletter. "But over there is no reason for someone to need to tolerate a mouse problem." to mouse-proof her house, Vantassel says, "change the habitat to do it less mouse- friendly."

The home mouse (Mus musculus) will certainly eat virtually anything. Outdoors, mouse eat seeds and grains. Indoors, lock have much more choices — lock can discover scraps that food on the floor, a bowl of nuts, crumbs behind a toaster.

Vantassel puts his yearly mouse-proofing strategy into effect late every summer. If you feed the birds, birdseed need to be save on computer in plastic or steel containers. Place rag bags, burlap, heat covers and other landscape fabric into sturdy containers, too, to reduce access to nesting materials. Re-stacking a woodpile or remove garden brush heaps will additionally discourage mice.

Indoors, a clean home is the best defense, however it"s tough to be clean enough to starve a mouse, which have the right to live for several days ~ above a single flake that cereal. Pet-food dishes space banquets for mice. "It"s nutritionally balanced," Vantassel says, and mice flourish on it. Dried pet food should be save on computer in sealed containers.

Mice can squeeze with cracks simply one-fourth that an inch wide; a dime-sized hole looks to them prefer an open up door. To store them out of the house, you need to seal every such gaps, functioning from the structure to the roof.

"People underestimate the physics prowess the mice," Vantassel says. "They deserve to leap vertically nine and also a fifty percent inches, and also they are impressive climbers." Vantassel recommends closing gaps with copper mesh Stuf-fit or through Xcluder, a towel woven with coarse stainless steel.

To remove an created mouse population, you have little choice but to kill the mice, Vantassel says. Cats space "very ineffective" helpers, that says.

Use snap traps, baited v peanut butter (smooth peanut butter is fine indoors; crunchy holds up much better outdoors, Vantassel says) or caramel. Cheese "is a little lower down the list" the favored baits, the says. Mice gravitate toward warm spots — to water heaters, gas stoves, and hot-water pipes. Ar traps along walls near these appliances, through the bait side towards the wall. In an attached garage, set traps follow me the relatively warm wall surface next come the house. It"s OK come reuse traps, yet wear gloves to eliminate dead mice from traps and throw them away in a sealed plastic bag.


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Indoor computer mouse Magic

Once the mice space gone, store them out by checking for openings and keeping food resources secure. Great housekeeping practices and a repellent will certainly help, says Jim Wurz, chairman of Bonide, the agency that makes mouse Magic, a repellent made v peppermint and spearmint oils. "Mice simply really dislike it," Wurz states of the minty aroma, which smells favor potpourri to humans.

Mouse Magic repellent comes in two formulations: one for indoors and also one for outside. These products can be used approximately woodpiles or in campers, boats, or trailers where mice might seek shelter. It is all-natural and also biodegradable; sachets (effective for around a month) can be put behind appliances or under the sink.

Toxic baits need to be a critical resort, supplied only through caution and also out of with of children, pets, and also other wildlife. "People should realize that toxicants room dangerous," Vantassel says.

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Always begin with snap catch first, and also be aggressive: usage a dozen trap or more. "A mouse is an significant critter," Vantassel says, yet they don"t belong in the house.