When I graduated from college and became a full-fledged adult, I knew it would come with all sorts of responsibilities (and privileges) like a job, bills, and chores, and a schedule without long breaks in between semesters, an early wake up call and a five-day work week.
I was OK and well prepared for all of those changes…but I was not prepared for mice!
Let me just say that nothing prepares you for your first mouse sighting. When you see that little creeper scurrying across your kitchen floor.
You first notice some movement out of the corner of your eye. You turn to investigate and see what looks like a small furry lump (that you now know is a mouse) scurrying under the stove and out of sight.
For a split second you’re paralyzed by shock or fear, but that quickly melts away and turns into a full on FREAK OUT complete with screams and an involuntary full body spasm.
Irrational panic comes charging down your entire body as you realize you’ve been living with a mouse. And, it’s IN YOUR HOUSE.
Well maybe not everyone has the same reaction I had. Of my two roommates, only one was just as freaked out. The other calmly explained that the mice are much smaller than us and are more likely more scared of us than we are of them. “Plus we’re a lot bigger than the mice, so there’s really nothing to be afraid of,” she said as if this were totally obvious.
LIES! That did nothing to calm me or roomie A down. Everything was not OK. There were still evil mice living in our apartment.
We, of course, filed a work order with our apartment staff to exterminate the mice, but we still lived in fear of going into our kitchen. Also the work order didn’t really solve the mouse problem. Most staff at apartments (including ours) will put in traps. The only thing this does is kill mice…which is fine if you only have one mouse. But, if you live in an old building probably the entire building is infested. And killing one mouse just provides more food for the rest of the mice population. Just saying…I know this is super gross…but it’s the truth!
We resorted to making a ridiculous amount of noise each time we approached the kitchen in order to drive the mice back into hiding. We did this by banging on the walls, flicking the lights up and down and stamping. In some ways I felt like Meredith from The Parent Trap. You remember her…she was the dad’s fiancee who banged sticks together in order to chase away the nonexistent mountain lions when they went on the camping trip. We probably looked just as ridiculous and this did absolutely nothing to solve our little problem.
So scaring mice and traps both did not work…we had to get rid of those mice. Of course, Google came up with a couple of other options. One was to put snake poop around the house to scare away mice. That was definitely NOT happening.
After that another suggestion was to buy one of those pest repellers.
There’s just one problem. If you’re young (and we are) there is no way you can use a pest repeller without going crazy. It drives mice away by emitting a high frequency pitch which sounds like incessant ringing. If you’re around 60 years old (sorry parents) you might be OK because you’ve lost some of your hearing. (I’m not saying this to be mean…it’s true). Otherwise, skip this option, especially if you live in a small space like an apartment.
Here’s what we did. We used peppermint oil. Apparently the smell is overpowering to mice. It masks the smell of food, leaves your kitchen smelling nice and fresh and drives the mice away. And it’s effective. The only thing is that you need to keep re-minting every couple of weeks or so to ensure the mint is strong enough to drive mice away.
Buy some peppermint oil from a natural food store like MOMs. Drop oil onto the cotton balls and spread throughout the area and at possible “entry points” for mice to drive them away.
I’ve just newly minted our kitchen. Only a little while longer of living in this place. I’m sorry to say I’ve grown almost immune to those darn mice. I don’t scream, I just reach for the mint and thank God that our lease is up soon!