It’s that time of year again. Every spring we see mouse droppings evidence of mice in our kitchen. The first year we moved in, we saw the evidence and immediately called an exterminator who came and sprayed all around the exterior of the house. The next morning we had even more mouse evidence in the house. We called the exterminator who said, “Yeah, that sometimes happens. They flee inside the house to escape the poison.” I’m still not sure how to respond to that statement.
After our exterminator visit, Mark did what we should have done all along: he asked friends and neighbors how they avoided mice and then he conducted a little Internet research. The solution he came up with worked like a charm. Apparently, mice avoid strong, perfume-y odors. Mark went out and bought heavily scented dryer sheets, lavender essential oil (he’s also used peppermint oil), and cotton balls. He put the essential oil on the cotton balls (about 4 drops per cotton ball). Then he proceeded to stuff the cotton balls and/or the dryer sheets in every possible crevice he could find in our kitchen (there are lots of little holes at the backs of our cabinets that Mark concentrates on; you’d be surprised how small an opening a mouse can fit through). That’s it. No more evidence of mice. Mark’s been doing this routine every spring for the past five years. The only downside of this method is that our kitchen smells strongly of dryer sheets and lavender oil for a few days, but I can live with the scent knowing that the mice will stay away and we haven’t spread poison all around our house. This solution works so well that I invariably forget about mice until the next spring when the scents in the dryer sheets and the cotton balls have worn off and I see evidence of mice again. That happened yesterday morning. But Mark cleaned out the cabinets, removed last year’s dryer sheets and cotton balls, and restuffed all the crevices. What a hero.