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Nick's Tip: Keep 'Em Outdoors (where they belong)

by Nick Vitrano

Fall is my favorite season.  The pleasant days - the cool nights – the beautiful colors – the calming rustle of the rapidly aging leaves in the wind…you can’t beat it.  Unfortunately, there’s an everpresent reality that looms in the graying skies: winter is right around the corner.  For some, winter is the preferred outdoor season, but for most of us, the chill triggers our instinct to move indoors and hunker down.  The same holds true for rodents.

No matter how clean your home, mice can be a problem.  That's right.  It's OK.  It doesn't make you the dirty people on the block.  Those little buggers can get in anywhere, anytime.  Trapping them just means you have to later release them, and like snapping them, the process of doing so can be unpleasant.  And the real rub is that you have merely treated the symptom.  If you catch one or kill one, there’s still a point of entry somewhere.  True, you could be dealing with a maverick mouse who scurried, Indiana Jones style, under the garage door as it was closing, but it’s more likely that there’s a problem spot somewhere.  The key to never having to snap one, is to keep ‘em outside where they belong (unless you're Sondra Locke and wish to exploit Ratboy's uniqueness to the public). 

So how can you repel the little creatures naturally?  Peppermint oil.

Oh the irony.  That which we chew to please the olfactory nerves of those around us, is repugnant to the rodent.  Just another reason why I can’t understand the be-all-end-all scientific analysis of laboratory mice. 

Anyway, peppermint oil can be secured all over the place.  It’s not difficult to find, especially online.  Just put a few drops on a cotton ball and place it where you have had a problem or suspect a point of entry.  If you’re unsure of an entry point, dust the area with baby powder and check back for tracks.

Garages, sheds, around the foundation, one in the pantry – a few cotton balls and a little peppermint oil can keep you mouse free this winter (and all year round).