How to Get Rid of Mice in Your Home

Mice and rats are extremely smart animals. Once they’ve learned a route they will never forget it. They are social animals that enjoy the company of other mice or even–as in the case of pet mice and rats–humans, and can learn to respond to their own names if trained properly. But having a family of wild mice in your home is something most of us don’t celebrate over. They can get into your food, your pet’s food, and cause minor damage to your home by chewing holes. So what can you do if you suspect mice have been living rent-free in your house? This article will cover how to trap mice, release them, and prevent them from entering your home in the first place.

Preventing mice from finding their way in

Since mice are such smart and industrious creatures, there’s a good chance you’ll have some find a way in at some time or another. Unfortunately, once inside and once they have found a food source, mice aren’t likely to leave of their own accord. Most people don’t want to have to resort to trapping or killing mice. So, prevention is really the best option when it comes to keeping mice out of your home.

Seal up your house. Securing the outside of your home is the first step to preventing mice from entering. Since they can fit into cracks as small as the diameter of a penny you’ll need to comb the exterior of your home to look for any spaces they could enter.

Mice repellant. You can also use peppermint oil or cotton balls in spaces you think mice might enter your home. They hate the smell and will steer clear.

What to do if there are mice inside

If it’s too late to prevent a family of mice from entering your home you’ll have to try out other options. Some people choose to set up traps that snap shut and kill the mice. Others use glue traps that mice get stuck to. The problem with these traps are that they can cause the animal to suffer, suffocating or dehydrating to death as they struggle to get free. There are, fortunately, more humane methods of trapping mice.

No-kill traps. Certain mouse traps lure mice in and then close a door behind them so you can take them outside to release them. If you take this route it’s important that you check the trap a few times a day. Mice have high metabolisms and can easily die of dehydration in under 24 hours.

Cat and mouse. Another option is to borrow or adopt a feline friend. Mice aren’t as likely to stick around a house if they know there’s a cat around. Here you risk having the cat kill or maim the mice, however.

Cut off the food supply. Sealing your food in glass jars and keeping dog food in heavy plastic containers can be enough to get mice to look elsewhere for food.

 

Ways to Cut Your Monthly Expenses

Would you like to save money every month? How about eliminating $1,000 a month from your budget?  Trimming $1,000 a month is no easy task. Here are some places to start reducing your monthly expenses.

1. Phone, Cable and Internet

Start out trying to cut costs on utilities. Call your cable, phone and Internet providers. Review the services you have, look for services you don’t need, and slim down the utility bill as much as possible. Don’t forget to ask about any specials or promotions they may be running. You may also want to call the competition to see if they offer a better deal.

2. Child Care

You can save money on child care if your employer offers a flexible spending account. A flexible spending account lets you set aside pre-taxed dollars to pay for health care, child care and commuting costs.

3. The Mortgage

If mortgage rates are low you may want to consider refinancing. A lower interest rate can help reduce monthly mortgage payments. You may also consider future savings and change the terms of your mortgage. Look into 15-year mortgage options that could allow you to have your home paid off prior to retirement.

4. Groceries

Take the time to comparison shop when buying groceries. Try the store brand instead of paying top dollar from brand name food. Coupon clipping can also save you money, every little bit helps. You may not have time to become a master coupon clipper, however, saving a few dollars each week will add up over time.

If you can focus on recurring monthly expenses, and make cut backs as needed, you won’t have to work as hard every month to save money.

Natural Air Fresheners For The Home

Did you know that according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) most store-bought air fresheners contain formaldehyde, petrochemicals, p-dichlorobenzene and aerosol pollutants. There seems to be some kind of connection between air fresheners and Asthma problems. It is also thought that air fresheners containing these chemicals can accelerate respiratory diseases and reduce lung capacity. The EPA has not advised against purchasing these air fresheners, but suggests using them with care. If you have concerns about the health risks associated with these products, why not try a natural air freshening alternative.

If you have a musty basement or smelly closet, a tray of natural clay cat litter may be helpful. The main ingredient in cat litter is a natural occurring mineral that absorbs odors and moisture from the air. If you prefer an alternative to cat litter, try diatomaceous earth which you can purchase at a garden supply store. Place it in a bowl or other open container in foul smelling areas. Placing fresh or used (dried) coffee grounds in a bowl or stocking will help to cut the odor of winter mustiness.

Fill your home with subtle scents and refresh the air by simmering some sweet smelling ingredients in a little water on your stove. Try to keep your supply list simple and use items found at the grocery store or even in the yard. Citrus fruits like lemons and oranges make very fragrant scented waters. Herbs such as rosemary and thyme are good choices as well. Pine or cedar twigs and needles collected from the yard will give off a fresh, natural fragrance. Almond and vanilla extract and spices like cinnamon and cloves when simmered together add a wonderful fragrance to the air without the dangerous chemicals.

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