Recently, we have moved to the tiny town that my husband teaches in. When I say tiny…I mean the biggest thing that has happened here is the Subway they opened up a couple years ago. No grocery store, no mall, no STARBUCKS! A big change for this mama! While this move is temporary, we are doing everything in our power to make the old, abandoned farmhouse we moved into a warm, comfortable home for our babies.
The one thing that I didn’t expect to be such an issue is all the little critters sneaking around. The first time we left a plate out next to the sink without rinsing it, our whole kitchen seemed to be taken over by little, teeny tiny black ants in an instant! I’ve found several GIANT spiders lurking around including in my sons bathtub right before a bath, and our BED right before I laid down on it! YUCK! I’m lucky that I have a husband willing to take care of all the nastiness that comes with moving into an old farmhouse, and a dog that will eat anything I point out to him when my husband isn’t home.
Recently, though, my biggest fear became a realization…a MOUSE in the house! I don’t know what it is about them that freaks me out so much…maybe it’s how quiet they are so you never know when they’re around until you find the little droppings, or maybe it’s the fact that they can contort their little, disease-infested bodies into cracks and crevices so small, they are impossible to keep out completely!
The other night, close to midnight, I walked into our kitchen, turned on the light, heard a noise, and turned just in time to see a little gray tail jumping around our pantry! I of course screamed, woke my husband up, and made him search every inch of it in hopes that he would find it and save the day! He didn’t find anything and honestly, I think he thinks I hallucinated the whole thing! That didn’t stop me from doing everything in my power to keep the little rodent out!
My cat, Penny Lane, has a reputation of hunting and killing mice. She found and presented three to me in another old house we lived in for a year. I trust that she is on the look-out for her favorite “toys”, but she doesn’t seem to care about bugs at all! So I’m not relying completely on her!
Natural Mice Repellent
As much as I hate mice, I can’t bring myself to set traps for them. I can’t imagine finding their little dead bodies around the house! Plus I have little ones and I wouldn’t want either of them to stumble upon a trap!
I first started soaking cotton balls with peppermint essential oil to deter the mice (my dad told me that this method worked well for his house), but I read that as the oil disintegrates, the mice can use the cotton for their nests which is the LAST thing that I want! So I’ve put some peppermint EO in a spray bottle with water that I occasionally spritz all over the house, focusing mainly in corners and especially in the pantry.
- 1/2 cup water (boiled and let cool, or filtered)
- 15 drops peppermint EO
- 1 drop castile soap
I also use this mixture to spray on my dog to keep fleas at bay! This should keep away the big spiders, too, though I don’t mind them as much because they kill the other little bugs lingering around.
Also, since switching to wool dryer balls, I’ve had a few dryer sheets stored away in my laundry room. I’ve started laying these sheets in cabinets, under the sink, in drawers, and anywhere that I think the mice might run through. The strong scent of the dryer sheets keep the mice away.
UPDATE: I can do as much as I can to try to keep the mice away, but at the end of the day, my terribly fickle and irritable cat, Penny Lane is the best, most natural way to rid our house of these little rodents. Let’s just hope that next time my husband is home to take care of it so that my 2 year old never again has to see me cringing and jumping up and down on the couch like a crazy woman.
Natural Ant Repellent
I have to give credit to my friend for this tip! She moved into an old cabin in the woods and had the same ant problem that I was facing when we moved into our farmhouse. The solution, I found, is simple…Borax and sugar water!
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tablespoons Borax
- 1 1/2 cups warm water
Add ingredients together, give it a shake, saturate a couple cotton balls, and place where the ants have been hanging out or where you think they are coming from. We put ours around the sink. I’m going to warn you…the next couple hours are going to be disgusting! These ants are going to come in what seems like hundreds to munch on these sugary cotton balls, but just let them feast. They will go back to their home and die off! And your ant problem is solved!
I keep a mason jar full of the solution under our sink for whenever they decide to show up again.
Have you had success with an all natural repellent? What’s your method?