Ask Annie: Mitigating Mice
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! —
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.