Best ways of getting rid of mice without traps or poison

Mice are inside my garage and have gotten into my engine compartment and are chewing on things.

I do not want to use traps, or poison (because of other animals including my dog possibly getting into it, plus cruelty issues and I can’t bring myself to use them). I won’t shoot them either. Cats - well, the neighbors cats had been catching them, but she moved and took the cats. Morally, I was OK with the cats getting them.

My cats stay in and I don’t want them outdoors. Getting another cat is probably not a good idea - I’d feel bad for it and bring it inside (defeating the purpose) I’m sure. I don’t need another cat.

I bought an ultrasonic pest repellent device, but it’s hard to tell if that is working. I know there are repellents in shaker cans too.

Is there anything else I can use?

I got some pest repellant granules (for lack of a better description) that we put on the top of our dishwasher to keep those rodenty bastids from eating my appliance for a FOURTH time. So far, it’s been at least a year and no instant replay. I’m not sure how that would translate to a car, though…since it’s a mobile object.

I saw that stuff ($18.95 a can) and almost bought it. I could mark a perimeter around my car with it though. I think I’ll give it a go.


ETA: Is there anything I can spray in my engine compartment that won’t smell too bad when it gets hot? They mostly chewed on my spark plug wires. I should take a picture…

Nothing we found, but that’s not to say there isn’t something out there. The other thing we did was cover the chewed part with duct tape. But it’s probably the granules that are doing the job.

You can use a live (humane) trap. It’s “catch and release.”
Who knows, maybe you’ll get lucky…

If you don’t want to kill them, you have to prevent them from getting in. This is hard, because mice can get through even the tiniest of openings. So…make sure the door closes all the way, seal the foundation as best you can, paying particular attention to any obvious holes. Steel wool is reputed to be pretty good at preventing them from gnawing their way through again.
Remove or seal up any food items that they may be going after – bird seed, grass seed, etc…

Of course, if you can find where they’re nesting, that would be helpful.

I second the steel wool. We had an enormous crack in the outside wall behind the dishwasher. We filled it with foam and steel wool. They still get in from somewhere, but not from there.

I bought a cheap flute and every so often I blow on it and lure the mice far, far away. The other residents of the townhouses don’t seem to appreciate my efforts and haven’t offered to pay me but I think that if I can come up with a tune that seduces their children…they may change their minds…yes, I bet they will change their minds.

Last summer I had a mouse and I didn’t want to use poison or traps because of the same reasons as you, so I picked up a tip trap. I went home at lunch and baited it with peanut butter, and when I got home from work there was a little mouse trapped inside. I just picked the trap up, got in the car, drove out of town, and let the little guy go.

Worked great.

Although I don’t know how it would work for a number of mice. I only had one (I know what you are thinking, it’s never just one but this time it was). I had just moved and as I was unpacking I saw mouse droppings in one of the boxes. Apparently somewhere between Alberta and Ontario I picked up a hitchhiker of the rodent variety. The little bastard chewed up my steel-toed boots for a nest.

A snake.

I was going to suggest lots of snakes.

You wouldn’t need lots of them. One black snake in the garage for a week would make the place smell of snake sufficiently that the mice would vacate the premises.

Now we just need a way to bottle that snake smell and we’ll be rich!

Some ferret owners make some spare cash by using the ferret’s scent marking as a mouse deterrent. If you have a friend with a ferret, invite him and his little pal over to drink beer in your garage for an afternoon. Like norinew said about a black snake, rodents know what predators smell like, even if they’ve never met one. Get a good marking from a snake or ferret, and you’re good for a year or more.

I wonder if snake or ferret poo would work.

Does that mean the couple of Racer snakes we’ve seen outside the house will keep their numbers down, or is it only black snakes that they fear?

I found some mouse poop when I opened up the wall access to (hopefully) fix a plumbing leak yesterday. I’d hate to use poison (we’ve got owls, too) and traps are too hands-on for my taste. Catch-and-release won’t work - we ARE the out-in-the-country that you’d take them to.

I don’t know anything about Racer snakes. I’ll try to remember to ask hubby when he calls later. He’s something of an expert, because the whole time he was growing up, his father raised poisonous snakes. Hubby also worked at the Reptile House in Glen Burnie for a couple of years. I only know that years ago, when my mom was having terrible problems with mice, hubby tried to talk her into letting him loose a black snake in the house for a week. Didn’t work, because Mom was more terrified of snakes than she was of mice! :wink:

I would think all snakes would work, because as far as I know, all snakes eat mice. Although, I would watch my rat snake sit there, disinterested, as the mouse would walk around the acquarium, on the snake, sniffing its face. So it’s not an automatic fear on the mouse’s part; it’s more of a hungry snake thing.

The only problem with snakes is what to do after it eats all the garage mice? Then I’d have to go to a pet store and buy mice for the purpose of feeding the snake - I couldn’t bring myself to do that.

And if the snake climbed up my tailpipe or into my engine compartment…

That would be my guess, as well. But as mentioned, my Mom had a completely irrational fear of all snakes (in fairness, she had a completely irrational fear of a lot of things), so all I know about snakes, I’ve learned from my hubby and his family in the last 20 years or so. By the time I started dating my hubby in a serious enough way to know his parents, my FIL’s snake collection was down to maybe a half-dozen specimens (as opposed to about 40 at it’s height), and now is comprised totally of one rattle snake (since his gaboon viper died).

Me? I have no love for snakes (I have no interest in a pet that can’t love me back), but I don’t have the knee-jerk reaction my Mom did. It’s a good thing, too, since 7-year-old mudgirl is an animal-lover in a non-discriminatory way. She already has two guinea pigs, two gerbils, a cat, a box turtle and a tarantula. She’d love to have a snake, and I wouldn’t be surprised if her grandfather got her one for Christmas next year.

Whoa, was that a hijack, or what? Sorry.