Pest Control: Field Mice and Natural Approaches to Eliminating Them

Stephanie McIntyre

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As it starts to get colder here in the northeast part of the country we have to be particularly careful about protecting our homes from field mice. In this article we look at some low and no cost solutions that may work to eliminate field mice from your home.

These little creatures get cold just like we do, and in the fall, start looking for a warm place to spend the winter. They really love old houses, as the wood frames and many cracks and other openings offer very little resistance to their entry. Field mice are resourceful, small, and very fast. They are surprisingly intelligent. And they prefer to ponder a solution to a problem, such as how to get into your house, if they are afforded enough time to do so.

They are loosely related to rats but are much smaller; about 4 inches long with a hairless tail which is as long as the body. Their fur is usually gray, white, black, or brown. They are named field mice because their natural habitat is found in the grass of the rolling fields. They have much smaller teeth than rats and they have extremely sharp claws. As mentioned, they can move very fast and people often report that they first realized that they had a field mice infestation when they happened to see a blur out of the corner of their eye.

The common field mouse prefers a moderate climate and the fall season signals to them that it is time to find inside accommodations. They are often motivated to burrow inside your home by the smell of food. They are notorious scavengers and will live in the walls of your home, coming out only to eat. They have many natural enemies, including: wolves, bears, cats, dogs, snakes, and owls. Their nocturnal nature helps to keep them safe as a good number of their enemies sleep while the field mouse is awake.

So now, how do we get rid of these unwanted visitors? Below are a number of home remedies to get rid of field mice. We will first approach the problem looking at non-poisonous solutions:

Steel Wool - Field mice are very small. They can insinuate themselves into the smallest crack or crevice. An opening as small as 2 inches wide is large enough for a field mouse to enter. Use steel wool to stuff into any holes, cracks or crevices that you see outside your home, in your basement, walls or in your attic. A particularly favorite haunt of these small creatures is under the kitchen sink, so be sure to put steel wool into any openings under there.

Soda Pop - Amazingly, these little guys love soda pop. Put a saucer of the sweet stuff where they are likely to get at it. The mice will drink the soda and die. Apparently, it is the carbonization that does them in.

Mashed Potatoes (instant variety) - Place instant mashed potatoes near where you suspect the mice are hiding. They will eat the potatoes which will swell up in their tiny stomachs before they can be digested, thereby killing the mice. Unfortunately, they will probably die in the walls which may produce a smell.

Plaster of Paris with Chocolate - Mix dry chocolate powder with dry plaster of Paris. Place it where the mice live. The mice will eat the chocolate plaster and then go out in search of water. The plaster will kill them but, unlike the situation with the mashed potatoes, there is a good chance that they will die outside of your house while searching for water.

These low-cost solutions may prove to be all that you need to rid your home of field mice. If these treatments do not work, you may need something stronger. Look for part 2 of this article for stronger solutions to your field mice problem.

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