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Ask Annie: Mitigating Mice

Ask Annie: Mitigating Mice

Dear Annie
I have mice and they are multiplying fast. I hear them in the walls and I sometimes even find them in the bathtub in the morning! Help! —
Karen, MI

Dear Karen

I have mice, too, and have tried everything non-toxic under the sun. I tried sonic mice “chasers,” which give off a pulse that is supposed to drive mice away; herbal repellents, the blend of which I got right one time, so perfectly, that the mice chewed their way through the screen doors in their desperation to escape the smell but I have never been able to replicate; every imaginable kind of live mice trap only to learn that unless you drive the live mice more than 6 miles away they will find their way “home.” Even then, they might still return.

I’ve also tried just living with them, and their population exploded. They don’t seem to respond when I ask them to leave.

So, what to do, short of poisons?

The only effective solution I discovered, finally, was to find out where they entered the house and to block them.

I carefully perused my basement and found what I suspect many of us share, space under the door. Since mice can squeeze through amazingly small spaces, I know they must come through the space under my door in droves. The solution for me, given the door is a bit askew and would be very expensive to fix, was to buy an adjustable threshold and door sweep. The combination makes an airtight seal.
The adjustable threshold I bought adjusts from 5/8” to 1 1/8” above the floor. It has an adjusting bar to close the gap and will make a perfect seal whether the gaps is even or uneven.

There are a number of different types of door sweeps. I bought one that had a very firm rubber sweep.

I feel good putting this apparatus up now, in the spring, because the mice are leaving the house and it will be a preventative of their return in the fall.

Read more: Nature, Ask Annie, Natural Pest Control, ,

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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11:21AM PDT on May 17, 2012


1:06AM PDT on May 17, 2012

Thank you for the information.

5:21PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

5:27AM PST on Feb 12, 2012

Thanks for the article.

8:20AM PST on Feb 11, 2012

Thank you Sylvia! I've got a storage area that would be impossible to seal up and this sounds the answer - now to brave Walmart - YUCK.

1:32PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011


1:31PM PDT on Oct 26, 2011


3:59PM PST on Jan 25, 2010

she had good ideas but a cat is the best deterent that i have ever found, not only do they keep mice away, but snakes and lizzards too

1:04PM PST on Jan 11, 2009

not ever time feral cats work because we have to outside feral cats that have been here since august that live under the porch and we just had two mice in our new home which was just built! and this home is still under a year old! not old at all, and im feeling so sickened about this because we are so friggin clean we dont even have furniture yet,and just the thought they were on my new rugs" im not sure why they came in? i mean im so OCD clean,which i have and it freaks me out they were even in here!i caught them in a live trap and let them free 10 miles away about 2 weeks ago now now and so far no more have been seen, i really hope i never see them again!

11:06AM PDT on Jun 19, 2008

There is a wonderful product called 'Mice Cubes' (available at the dreaded Wal-Mart, in the pesticide section). These are rectangular plastic boxes, about 1-1/2" x 1-1/2" x 3" with a hinged end that will only swing inward. I had a terrible mouse problem when I moved into my house. I got the Mice Cubes, baited them with the peanut butter-filled pretzels (also at W-M) and sometimes, if I checked 30 minutes later, would have 2 to 3 mice in one cube! You can throw the whole thing away, but I couldn't do that. Instead, I got a 5 gallon bucket, put about 6" of gerbil litter in it, along with some mouse food,and cut a 6" diameter flap in the middle of the lid.I learned after the first attempt to 'evict' a mouse from the cube into the bucket that I needed a 'release tool'. A one foot length of straightened wire coat hanger with a curl twisted into the ends worked great. Into the bucket, and at the end of the day, a quick trip to the country. (Full disclosure...a couple of times I did give the neighbor's cats a treat. There was no poison involved, just peanut butter!) In less than 3 weeks, I had NO MORE MICE!!!

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