How Do Mouse Repellents Actually Work?

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I won't waste your time - the answer is NO - mouse repellents absolutely do not work. I have been to several hundred houses with mouse infestations in my life, and at least half of them have used various types of repellents, and the mice don't care.

Here's why: if a mouse is actually chased out of your house and has to live elsewhere, it will die. End of story. Mice have an incredibly small home range, and if they lose their only shelter, they will quickly freeze to death (die of hypothermia, even if it isn't freezing outside), usually in less than a day, or fall victim to predators, like cats, owls, birds of all kinds, etc. The mice know this, and so nothing will make them leave your house. Yeah, a mouse is going to leave your house because it smells a bit bad from mothballs, and then go outside and die - yeah right!!! In fact, almost all mice in a house are in some process of the nesting cycle with baby mice somewhere, so they also won't abandon the nest.

Now, a quick analysis of various types of mouse repellents used: Mothballs: This is the most common type of critter repellent. Not only is it a carcinogen that it poisonous to the environment, but I've been inside attics in which the homeowner has used 50 pounds of mothballs (and got chronic headaches) but the mice didn't care a bit.

Peppermint: I don't know where the peppermint myth got started, but I have baited mouse traps with peppermint and caught mice just to prove that mice don't mind mint at all. Why would they?

High-Pitch Sound Machines: These are made and sold, and they seem high tech and fancy, but they don't work. As usual, I've been to dozens of homes that have used these units, sometimes several of them, pointing at every direction of the attic.

Here are some other articles you might want to read about mouse control:
How to get rid of mice
How to trap mice
How to kill mice
How to catch mice alive
How to keep mice away
How to get rid of mice in the attic
Mouse removal methods
Do mouse repellents work
Pictures of mouse droppings
How to get mice out of your walls
Mouse in the wall scratching
How much does mouse removal cost?
Directory of Mouse Removal Professionals
Do cats keep rats and mice away?
What attracts mice?

Napthalene as mouse repellent - Napthalene, the active ingredient in mothballs, is a fumigant—not a mouse repellent. It prevents the development of certain insect larvae. When used properly, it is placed in a container and left in a closet to ward off destructive insects. Many people would like to consider napthalene as the ‘cure-all’ for any pest situation. As you may have surmised, this is wishful thinking. Just as humans can tolerate the smell of mothballs, so too can most mammals. Mice may have sensitive smellers, but the levels of mothballs that are toxic to rats are also toxic to people. You would have to have so many mothballs inside of your home that you would not be able to live there either. Studies have shown mice and other nuisance animals walking right over top of piles of mothballs. These rodents do not give the chemical a second thought. If you really want to get rid of mice, you need to have the animals trapped and removed. This isn’t as simple as putting out napthalene, but it is much more effective. Trapping is the second part of the rodent removal job and not even the most important part. Before you can be mouse-free, you need to repair the outside of your home to prevent more mice from coming inside.

Peppermint and mice - Peppermint for the removal of mice is a nice idea, but one that will only result in lost time in the war against rodents. Peppermint oil can be very potent when applied in high concentrations. People like this idea because their home will smell like peppermint and the mice will be gone. Sadly, this is not how it works. There is nothing about peppermint oil that will repel a mouse. Mice are used to living in sewers and in piles of the most odorous refuse known to man. To think that peppermint oil would be their Achilles heel is silly. Even if the fumes off a peppermint oil bomb were strong enough to repel mice, think about how the air currents in a room work. Most fumes rise instead of sink. Mice are very low to the floor. Potent peppermint odors may not even reach them. If mice are inside of your home you should not be trying to repel them. Mice inside need to be trapped and removed or they will multiply and cause more damage. Trapping is not difficult. There are a number of websites that can help a homeowner trap mice without the aid of a professional, such as this one. But if you do need to hire a pro, I recommend the companies that I list here.

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