Illustration for article titled How To Get Rid Of Mice Without Actually Killing ThemPhoto: Landshark1 (Shutterstock)

Nobody likes a mouse infestation, but not everyone wants to harm the furry bugs that may have entered your home. Fortunately, you can fend off mice without leaving their tiny carcasses on your floor, in the attic, or wherever they may be hiding.

Here are some ways to remove mice from your home without harming them, so you can keep your home – and your conscience – a little cleaner.

Illustration for article titled How To Get Rid Of Mice Without Actually Killing Them

What mice do in your home

Don’t be fooled by Disney-inspired depictions of mice – a lone mouse can be cute, but together they add to the dirt and structural deterioration of your home. Mice pee everywhere, using urine as a roadmap for other mice, with each micro-puddle giving off scents that other mice use to create a path to your food. They are productive breeders whose population can grow at blinding speed. Their feces spread disease. You chew through electrical cables and loot your dry goods and produce. They are honestly no joke.

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But when you hear mice shuffling around at night, you don’t have to put up with their annoyance.

Use scents to lure them away

Mice hate certain scents, especially peppermint. You may find the smell appealing, but a mouse would rather bask in its own filth than near peppermint oil. This is why you should soak some cotton balls in the stuff and strategically place them throughout your house. Cloves can also be used to repel mice, and you can use them in a similar way – scattered around your house where you suspect mice are swarming.

The natural scent option, however, comes with a warning: mice are smart and can likely find a way to bypass the traps you’ve set. Since fragrances are not hailed as a foolproof option, it is best to combine these measures with a few other tactics.

Illustration for article titled How To Get Rid Of Mice Without Actually Killing Them

Secure your home from mice

You should consider how mice can get into your home – basically through subtle little holes and cracks in the walls, floors, and foundations where you live.

There are ways to mitigate this by plugging the holes everywhere with wood, sheet metal, steel wool, or something else that is very durable and that will fit into the crevasses. Mice are pretty tenacious when they’re motivated. So, you want to make sure that the material you are using won’t break in the long run.

Perhaps most importantly, however, you make sure that your home is a clean environment that a family of mice would not be interested in. That means clearing your home of potential nesting sites and regularly disposing of the trash and cleaning your trash cans and even sealing the gaps in your doors and windows with weather tape.

Spread aluminum foil

Mice and rats are not fans of aluminum foil. So by spreading aluminum foil in the areas you think are full of rodents, you may be able to keep them from entering. Even so, mice broke. So be prepared for them to come up with a sneaky solution as you are unlikely to be draping aluminum foil over all of your floors.

Don’t buy deadly traps

These are the traps that do not kill or injure mice, at least not on purpose. This is kind of a classic cartoon trick: just place the traps anywhere you think mice are swarming, put a bait in the trap, and as soon as a mouse walks in, the door will slam.

Non-fatal traps are a labor-intensive method if you’re going to get it right. Obviously, you won’t want to let go of the mouse near your house, so you’ll need to drive it somewhere a few miles away and release it in a conducive environment. You can find non-fatal mousetraps at most hardware stores.

Use other repellants

Non-toxic chemical repellants come in several forms: there are sprays, pads, and ultrasonic repellants that emit high-frequency waves that you can’t hear, but that sound like hell to mice. There is no guarantee that any method or combination will be sufficient. Hence, this is another one that you will want to try out any combination of deterrents and traps that you think is necessary for your mouse problem.