Jazmin Kopotsha | Culture Writer | Saturday, 14 October 2017

How To Get Rid Of Mice In Your Shit Student House

How To Get Rid Of Mice In Your Shit Student House

The Debrief: This ain't no Mickey or Minnie situation, people! Here's how to deal with your unwanted furry housemates.

There is nothing cute about mice. Let’s take a minute to dispel any pre-existing affection to the cool cartoon mice of the Disney world. I will tell you now, it is neither Mickey, Minnie nor Remy from Ratatouille scuttering around beneath your bed, leaving droppings and nibbling through your Special K. It will be one of probably many rogue IRL mice that have made their way into your home and you’re going to want to get rid of them. Quickly.

I lived with a mouse for a while. And when I say lived, I mean slept for a couple of hours on the sofa and otherwise avoided any and all contact with my house. But if there’s anything I learned from this particular awful, AWFUL experience, is that if you suspect that you might have a mouse, even if it’s just a momentary inkling, trust your gut and do something about it because if you’re right, the problem can get a whole lot worse without you even realising. 

So, to give you a hand controlling your mouse infestation, no matter how big or small, we’ve gathered the best advice that the internet has to offer to get rid of those pesky buggers and make it safe for you to eat the food at the back of cupboard once more.   

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Getting rid of mice naturally

Don’t laugh, but the most natural way to avoid the mouse situation is to rely on the good old circle of life. The food chain. The literal Tom and Jerry scenario. If you’re allowed to have a cat in your flat, it might be worth considering. Not the most reliable of solutions but it’s a solution that requires minimum effort on your part. If it works. 

Getting rid of mice with peppermint oil

This is one of the most popular home remedies out on the web. Mice don’t like peppermint, apparently. If you can get hold of some peppermint oil and soak some cotton balls in it, word on the web is that leaving them in corners or the areas that you’ve heard/spotted the cretins will deter them. Only really suitable if you don’t have any pets though. Don’t want your cat or dog eating the fluffy mint balls now, do we?

Getting rid of mice with home remedies 

Lots of people tend to be sceptical of home remedies because, quite like the cat option, they’re not always the most reliable. Quite often there isn’t actually any solid evidence to prove that they work but if you’re up for giving it a go, some people swear by cloves. Having a few whole ones in the house is meant to stop them entering apparently.

We also heard that mice don’t like lemon. My housemate and I bought as many lemon-scented cleaning products as readily available and cleaned the flat from top to bottom to the extent that it smelt like we were living inside a squeezy Jif container. Now, I’m sure how much living in lemon helped with the problem, as some poison had been laid down too. But it certainly didn’t hurt. Cleanliness is also key.

Getting rid of mice in the kitchen

If you’re on board with using poison, one place you want to be super careful is the kitchen, of course. Besides the floorboards and the walls, you’d typically expect mice to appear around there because that’s where all the food is. The important thing is that *as soon as* you start spotting questionable looking chocolate drops and teeny tiny holes in your cereal boxes, act fast. 

Take everything out of our cupboards, throw away anything you think might have come into contact with a mouse and move whatever you can to a higher shelf or cupboard (more for your own sanity than anything, hate to say it but determined mice can climb too). Keep everything as clean as possible – that means washing up after dinner instead of a couple of days after – and keep an eye out for teeny tiny entry points, you’ll want to fill those with steel mesh that you can pick up from most hardware stores. 

Getting rid of mice with a plug-in device

There are some handy, no-mess devices that you can plug in around the house. They emit a really high-frequency noise that humans aren’t meant to be able to hear but mice apparently hate. The amount you need will obviously depend on how big your flat is but there are loads to choose from over on Amazon.

Getting rid of mice with traps

The idea isn’t pleasant, I know. But it may get to the point where you’re considering laying down your own traps. Don’t worry, there are some humane ones out there that don’t require cheese and won’t mean risking tripping over a squashed mouse as you get in from a night out. 

You can go for the sticky pads. The smell of them attract the mouse, the mouse steps on the pad and gets stuck. Simple. It doesn’t kill them but does require someone being brave enough to peel the sticky pad from the mouse and getting rid of it somehow. Or there are slightly fancier box-shaped contraptions that you can put some bait in, and when the mouse enters it the box closes, so you don’t have to look at it. 

Should my landlord get rid of the mice? 

The broad answer is that it’ll depend on what your tenancy agreement says. The Citizens Advice website also says whether or not your home was infested before you moved in, if the mice are a result of disrepair (like holes in the wall) or something you’d done (like not looking after the property). So basically, it’s a very grey area. CA say the best thing to do would be to check your tenancy agreement for anything along the lines of ‘your landlord will keep the premises in a good and habitable state’. That’ll normally mean that they’re responsible for getting rid of the mice and restoring the place to a ‘good and habitable state’. 

Can the council get rid of the mice?

This’ll vary from council to council. You can check to see if your council provides pest control services on the gov.uk website. Many may have different terms for varying scenarios, but you should be able to get some advice on how best to control the situation. CA say that if an infestation is a risk to your health or safety, it might be a hazard under the Housing Health and Safety Rating System. In that case the local authorities will have a duty to do something about it. 

Like this? You might also be interested in… 

How To Stop Your Room Being Damp If Your Landlord’s A Dick

A Few DIY Bits You Should Definitely Know How To Do Without Calling Your Mum

How To Get Shit Done When You Live In A Shared House

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