One thing that we can all agree on is spiders and rodents are unwelcome visitors who do not belong in our homes! Winter is the time when these icky critters seek warm spots to hibernate in.
Not too long ago, we had a mouse sneak into our house and it was such a time-consuming hassle. Hopefully, this helpful article can give you ideas to keep these pests away for good!
Closets, attics, crawl spaces, and basements are favorite locations that critters like to hang out. We even found our mouse under a stand-up freezer! Yikes! But one of the best things you can do is preventative maintenance of sorts, and survey your home at the end of fall, before it gets too cold. Admittedly, we didn’t do this, and we regretted it. You will want to look for any possible entry points. Here are some tips:
- Mice can fit through an opening as small as a dime. Seal cracks and holes that you find on the outside of the home with caulk and steel wool.
- Keep areas clear and store boxes off of the floor because mice like to hide in clutter.
- Regularly inspect the home for signs of mice, such as droppings, gnaw marks and damaged food. You can also look for gnawed on paper towels or toilet paper.
- Keep trees and shrubs trimmed away from the home and cut back limbs overhanging the roof. This will help reduce the chance of spiders finding a way inside.
- Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers. Pay special attention to shoes, baseball mitts, and gloves that aren’t used as frequently as other items, as spiders like to hide inside them.
While you can go to the store and buy bug spray, you are also subjecting yourself to the fumes of the bug spray that could harmful to pets and children. Mousetraps work, but the end result is usually pretty messy (if you catch my drift). Another more natural approach is one that has been used for centuries and you won’t believe how easy it is.
- Take a peppermint tea bag and make a cup of hot tea with it
- Once the bag is soaked into the tea, pull it out and place it in the corners of your house you expect those pests to inhabit
- Note: You will need a spent tea bag for each area.
- Keep the bags in those spots and in a few days your home should be free of the pests
Alternatively, if you do not have peppermint tea, you can add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to a spray bottle of water and spritz the areas where the pests like to hang out. And, the added bonus is your closets will smell delightfully minty!
Why Does This Work?
The smell of peppermint in extremely unpleasant to pests such as mice and spiders, and as a result, they will find another place to call their home. This all-natural preventative is perfect to place around your food pantry and storage containers to protect them from rodents, as it won’t contaminate your food.
Peppermint can also keep mosquitoes at bay! Ready Nutrition previously wrote:
Because mosquitoes dislike mint in general, peppermint is great at keeping the bloodsuckers away! You can make a simple and natural spray (DEET free!) by filling a small spray bottle almost full with water and add a few drops of peppermint and/or spearmint essential oil, then put in just a little bit of alcohol. You can use vodka or Everclear, but just keep in mind this will separate and you’ll need to shake the bottle before spraying it. The alcohol is used to help the oil and water mix together and will evaporate pretty quickly. Using vinegar or witch hazel in place of the water and alcohol also work if you prefer. Rubbing alcohol is also a good substitute.
And, if you grow your own peppermint, you can make your own essential oil to put in your bug spray!
It’s a win all around to try to use peppermint to keep spiders and mice out of your home during the winter months. It’s not fun to wash every dish and utensil in your kitchen after bleaching everything from counters to the insides of cabinets and drawers because a sneaky mouse found its way inside! Trust me on this one! Plus, because of where the mouse was located (under our stand up freezer) we had to remove the contents of the freezer and do a deep clean of both the outside of the freezer and the floors and walls all around it. Mouse poop is not something to mess around with, especially if you have children or pets.
Helpful Tip: IF you find mice droppings, DO NO take your cleaning lightly! Mouse droppings can carry a virus that is potentially deadly. Use rubber gloves, and a face mask to avoid inhaling the virus or getting it on your hands, Break out the harsh bleach just to be sure you will kill the germs.
This is not a quick event, cleaning up after a mouse, so grab some peppermint and do what you can to prevent the mouse’s entry into your home in the first place!