Mothballs And Peppermint Oil? Why These DIY Mice Control Tips Might Not Work

If mice invade your home, you may try to get rid of them with a few DIY tips you found online. But many of these DIY mice extermination tips, such as using peppermint oil, can leave you with more rodents than you can handle. In addition, some of the things recommended, such as placing mothballs around the house, can make your family and pets ill. Here are two DIY mice extermination tips that won't work and why.

Does Placing Mothballs in Home Work?

While a number of DIY sites tell you to place mothballs around the home, such as in the attic, basement and garage to get rid of mice, other concerned sites don't. Although mothballs work very well in treating moths in the home, they can cause numerous health problems when used incorrectly. Before you try this DIY mouse control method, keep reading.

Mothballs are extremely toxic when placed inside your home without the proper covering. Generally, you place mothballs in enclosed plastic containers to get rid of moths. Enclosed containers reduce the odors mothballs give off in the home.

But to get rid of mice, DIY mouse control and extermination sites want you to place individual mothballs in the corners of your rooms, beneath kitchen sinks and other places mice are known to frequent. This is a big mistake.

Mothballs emit dangerous fumes containing the pesticide naphthalene. Inhaling naphthalene can trigger a number of health problems that include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Seizures

In most cases, mice will leave the premises for a short while to avoid the dangerous smell. However, the mice will return once the mothballs' scent die down or the mothballs dissolve. The rodents might even get used to the mothball scent and make your home their permanent residence.

There's one more DIY tip you might try that won't work the way you want either. It involves using peppermint oil.

Can You Get Rid of Mice With Peppermint Oil?

Peppermint oil is an essential oil used to ease away stress, treat digestive ailments and many other issues. It's even used to flavor sweets, meats and other products. But if you use peppermint oil to treat your mice problem, you could be making another mistake. 

Peppermint oil should deter mice because it gives off a strong scent. But just like mothballs, mice can actually become accustomed to the smell of peppermint oil. Instead of being deterred, the mice stay.

In addition, you need to reapply the oil frequently to keep the scent fresh. If you have respiratory problems, the strong scent of peppermint oil may aggravate you. There's a better way to treat your rodent problem. You simply call an exterminator. 

What Should You Do Instead?

A mice exterminator can use safe and effective mouse control techniques that actually work. For instance, pest control can trap the rodents in a large container and physically remove them from the home. Using baited traps that contain peanut butter and other rodent-friendly foods may work as well. 

Your exterminator can help you rodent-proof your home by showing you how to close up openings around the roof, eaves, attic, and other locations. Mice can crawl through very small spaces to get inside the home, so it's critical that you reinforce the home to keep them out.

Once the outside of the home is secure, you need to check indoors. Mice can chew holes through wood, plaster and other materials. You may wish to cover any openings you find with a steel wool. Steel wool is an excellent barrier against mice and other rodents. 

Finally, have your pest control specialist visit your home on a regular schedule to ensure that it's rodent-free.

If you have concerns about your mice problem or how to get rid of them, contact your exterminator right away. You can also click here for more information