Having mice in the garden is more than just a nuisance—though they may be cute, mice spread disease and can pose a threat to your family’s health, so it’s important to know how to get rid of them. While tackling mouse problems inside the house isn’t that complicated, it’s a different story when you’re outdoors because you don’t want to pose a threat to other wildlife in the area.
Mice are notoriously quick and good at hiding, so you have to get crafty with ways to deter them. Here are some tried and true methods for getting rid of mice and other rodents so that you don’t end up unknowingly sharing your vegetable harvest with these uninvited dinner guests.
How to Get Rid of Mice in the Garden Naturally
While the typical spring-loaded traps with a piece of cheese work well indoors, it isn’t a great method for outdoor use, as the traps could harm other wild animals. Instead, try some of these solutions for pest control to specifically target mice.
Organic Pest Control
One of the most effective ways to get mice off your property is to use a pest deterrent. These formulas are safe to use around your vegetable plants, and they emit a scent that is unpleasant to mice and other small critters, which sends them running for the hills. The smell tricks mice into thinking that a predator is active and nearby, so they won’t want to risk coming near your garden if they think a hungry coyote is wandering around.
If you’d like an organic plant-based solution that doesn’t include bone meal, blood or animal byproducts, we highly recommend our Animal Stopper Granules. The smell is much more pleasant for us, and it just needs to be applied once per month.
Grow Plants that Deter Rodents
Some plants naturally repel mice and other rodents, so by planting them in your garden, it becomes a little less appealing for them to hide. Try planting some of these popular flower and plant species that you can pick up at Alsip Home & Nursery:
- Sweet Pea
- Grape Hyacinth
- Wood Hyacinth
Baited Traps with Poison
If your mouse infestation is pretty severe, sometimes you need to resort to using poison. It’s essential to do this safely to avoid harming other animals, and you definitely shouldn’t use it if you’ve got cats in the area that like to hunt. (In fact, the cats themselves are a pretty effective mouse repellent!) Try hiding some small traps around the garden that are just big enough for mice to get in. We recommend our TomCat Refillable Mouse Traps, as they can be used repeatedly, and the opening is small enough to keep out other animals and the fingers of curious children. They’re great for putting inside your garden shed, which is a common place for mice to take shelter.
How to Prevent Garden Mice
Making your yard and garden less attractive to mice may save you the trouble of having to get rid of them in the first place! Always make sure you’re following these steps for making your garden inhospitable to rodents.
- Clean up Debris. Old leaves, wood, and other junk left around the yard can make a perfectly cozy, protective space for mice to sleep.
- Remove Food Sources. Open trays of birdseed, bins full of pet food, or uncovered compost piles. Check your garbage and recycling bins for holes, too, as this could be an easy way for them to get in and feast on old food scraps.
- Cover Up Burrows. If you see any holes and burrows in the ground, pile some rocks over them or fill them up with dirt.
- Keep Your Grass Short. Garden pests love hiding in tall grasses!
- Check Your Home’s Exterior for Cracks. If your mice are continually running in and out of your house, it will be a bit trickier to get rid of them. Sealing up any cracks in your home’s foundation will help to prevent mice from coming and going.
Signs of Garden Mice
Since they’re most active at night, you’re less likely to spot mice during the day. However, you may notice some of the telltale signs of infestation. They don’t eat a lot at once, so the damage to your vegetables will be subtle. Mice are most attracted to cereal grains, but they also really love corn, carrots, potatoes and squash, so pay special attention to these crops in your garden. Keep an eye out for these signs if you suspect there may be a rodent problem in the yard:
- Gnaw marks on your vegetables
- Grassy nests
- Ground tunnels
- Small, brown droppings
When cleaning up mouse droppings, be sure to wear a mask and use plenty of disinfectant on your cleaning tools. Toxins carried in mouse droppings can become airborne, leading to lung infections or other serious illnesses.
For everything you need to get rid of mice safely and effectively, visit Alsip or give us a call to speak with one of our experts, and we’ll help you determine the best course of action.