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Pastiche Family Portal HomeNatural House & Home Care Quick Tips

Manage your home on a budget in style with the advice and ideas for cleaning, decorating, entertaining, pest control, personal security, saving money, organizing and shopping found in this section.

Household Tips

How to Control Household Pests

Victor Pest Controls makes excellent products for control of insects and rodents in your home. I like their no-kill mouse traps and squirrel traps.

How to Get Rid of Ants

ANTS: To keep ants out of the house, find where they enter and sprinkle ground cinnamon, cayenne pepper or red pepper pepper on the trail area and near any cracks where they crawl into the house or foundation.

  1. Place slices of cucumber in the kitchen on your countertops or around the sink edges to repel ants.
  2. Keep counters and sinks clean and dry - wipe down frequently with nontoxic cleaner or a solution of water and vinegar.
  3. Use sticky, non-poisonous ant traps (Ant-T-Ant Stick-On Devices for example) to catch ants before they reach pet dishes or the foods on your table.

    I've also had success using a commercially available borax-based liquid product, Terro ant killer. Ants love the taste and when they discover it dozens of ants will arrive to snack and take it back to the nest where it kills the entire colony when they eat it.
how to get rid of ants

How to Get Rid of Mice in Home, Garage, Auto or Cellar

CONTROLLING MICE IN YOUR HOME: To best way to control mice in your home, vehicle or garage is to keep them from getting inside. Mice reproduce very rapidly, so if you discover one mouse you most certainly have several, and they will just keep adding to the rodent population in your home once they settle in.

If you spot mouse droppings, take action to control mice as soon as possible. In cars this is more difficult than in homes, garages, basements or sheds. Consult your auto manufacturer for advice on how to locate and whether you can safely seal rodent entry points to your vehicle.

Mice in Vehicles

The most common points of entry are through the engine compartment via fresh-air intakes and these must not be blocked. You should also not place anything flammable or made from noxious chemicals in the engine compartment.

Rodent Repellants

Various types of rodent repellants are available including electronic rodent repellers, predator scents and natural fragrance deterrents made from the oils of peppermint, orange or cedar. My daughter swears by peppermint oil - she soaks cotton balls in the stuff and puts it in closets and cabinets as well as in the glove box of her car.

Prevent Mouse Entry

  1. Seal up any openings to the outdoors. Mice can sneak through an opening that's barely 1/4 inch wide - about the size of a dime. Keep mice from entering your home.
  2. Clean up debris and clutter around the foundation, on porches and in carports or garages. Don't attract mice to your home.
  3. Store pet foods and bird seed in metal trash barrels with tight lids in basements or garages. In the home, store these foods in sealed plastic containers or plastic trash cans with lids.

Humane Mouse Traps

If you prefer to not kill rodents that enter your home, use child- and pet-safe humane rodent traps to capture and dispose of mice. When you catch a mouse in a humane trap, you can release it outdoors unharmed. Make sure mice cannot re-enter your home or car after release or you will have an ongoing rodent problem

Rodent-Killing Mouse Traps

If mice get into your home or auto, use reliable traps to capture and get rid of them. The best method I've found is to use old fashioned snap traps baited with a small bit of peanut butter or glue traps like exterminators use. I don't use baited poison traps to kill rodents.

For very tricky mice, I use a snap trap with a "welcome mat" sticky glue trap.

Place baited mouse traps inside small paper bags to contain the mess and make disposal easier.

Locate mouse traps inside cupboards or under furniture where pets and kids can't reach them or in areas where you find droppings. I put my automobile mouse traps in the trunk area and underneath the front seats.

Check traps daily and dispose of dead mice.

Big Deep Home Made Mouse Traps

It's easy to ,ake a deep well trap (sort of like a bear trap or jungle pit tiger trap) from a tall round plastic trash.

Use a round plastic trash can that's 18 or more inches deep.

Place 5 inches of water in the bottom and position the trap near a shelf or stairway. Mice will jump in to get water and will drown.

Or, use the same trash can but line it with a plastic bag and bait it with a few bits of pet food, cereal or bird seed. Mice will not be able to climb out after they jump/climb in to snack.

Dispose of dead or trapped mice daily.

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