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Rodent House Guests
Rats and mice in the home are a real annoyance for homeowners, and even a danger. These uninvited creatures consume everything, from your organic tomatoes sitting on the kitchen table, to breadcrumbs underneath the refrigerator, spreading bacteria and pathogens in the process. They contaminate food and frequented areas with feces, urine, and hair. They carry diseases, such as spirochetal jaundice and murine typhus. They can even cause fires and electrical damage, by chewing electrical wires.
Getting rid of rodents can be a nuisance as well, to the earth, and to the health and safety of the indoor environment. Conventional repellents are chemical based. They are designed to poison and cause harm. Using an environmentally friendly rodent repellent is the green solution to toxic substances and other harmful methods of getting rid of rats and mice. With natural products, either purchased or homemade, and a few simple actions, natural pest control is possible.
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There are a number of natural sprays that can be used to deter rodents. These products are usually one hundred percent plant-based, making them safe for use, even with children and pets. Mouse Away (http://www.dreamingearth.com/natural-pest-control.htm) and Fresh Cab (http://www.earth-kind.com/EkHPGWOVariable/tabid/467/Default.aspx) both offer natural rodent repellent sprays. They are not created to kill the animals, only to stop them from coming in the first place. No toxins are introduced into the environment, and no inhumane practices are used.
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Homemade Green Solutions
Making a homemade repellent for mice and rats is simple and inexpensive. Rodents cannot stand the aroma of mint. Using pure peppermint and spearmint essential oils will eliminate rodent problems safely and effectively. Be sure to use real, natural essential oils. Synthetic fragrances are not going to work.
Put a few drops of peppermint (or spearmint) essential oil onto cotton balls, and leave in cupboards. Use cotton towels, soaked in a solution of mint oil and water. Use ten to fifteen drops of the oil for four cups of water. Ring excess water from the cloth, and then place anywhere that rodents may be entering the home, or spending time. As mice and rats generally come out at night while people are asleep, run an essential oil diffuser for twenty minutes before going to bed. This will spread the aroma molecules throughout the house.
If possible, plant mint outside the home. Mint grows quickly, and profusely. This will help prevent rodents from being attracted to your house in the first place. Also, you will have an almost endless supply of fresh mint to use indoors as a deterrent. Fresh leaves can be left in problem areas as well.
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Tips for the Home
Other helpful measures for eliminating a rodent problem, aside from using an environmentally friendly rodent repellent, include keeping the home as clean as possible, and blocking any gateways into the house. Don't leave food out. Keep fruits, vegetables, and breads in the refrigerator. Try cleaning floors and counter tops with a solution of water and mint essential oil. Go around the outside of the house, looking for small holes, which can be sealed with cement.
Natural pest control does take some effort, but in the end, it is more effective than poisoning or trapping animals. With a clean, minty home, mice and rats will have no interest in moving in.
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"Rat and Mouse Control." (Environmentally Friendly Pest Controls) http://www.biotechpestcontrols.com/html/rodents.html
Environmentally Safe Pest Control http://www.enviro-pest.com/safe.htm
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photo by Aturkus (CC/flickr) http://www.flickr.com/photos/aturkus/347995447/