The other day I went to my kitchen to do the dishes, and my nose caught a whiff of something awful. I am not usually a tidy person.
I often leave cookware overnight and leftover food on the countertop. But this smell was different.
As soon as I opened the cabinet under the sink, a terrifying sight of mice droppings welcomed me. My blood went cold.
If the gross smells and sights are not enough, there is a disease that can be contracted from mouse feces. It is called Hantavirus.
There is no specific treatment and symptoms may become life-threatening.
With a brave resolve, I decided to face the devil and find out how to get rid of mice under the kitchen sink.
If you are faced with a similar terror of mice infestation, fear no more, my friend. I will tell you all about how to get rid of them immediately. Let us begin
Signs Of Mice Infestation in Your Kitchen
Here are a couple of useful signs that will tell you it’s not a ghost, it’s mice (if the chills down the spine remain the same in both cases, I feel you)
A Foul smell that Doesn’t Seem Normal
That’s right. Rodents have a typical smell in their excreta and urine.
The foul odor can be in one place or everywhere in the kitchen depending on the number of excreta and mice.
If you have pets like cats and dogs, the smell will excite them and you will find them scampering to one particular area often.
The Dark Droppings of Mice
This one is a sure shot of mice infestation. If you try to break it, it crumbles easily.
Mice drop their excreta on a large scale where they feed and where they hide. You will find the droppings beneath the kitchen sink, in cabinets, around and inside open food containers, and leftover food.
Mice also give out excreta while running around so you might find them on their routine running paths.
A Scratching Noise
If there are mice under your kitchen sink, you will hear scratching from the kitchen as soon as you switch the lights off and move away.
If your mice have gone off for a while and come back at night, you will hear the scratches, cluttering, or burrowing sounds at night.
The sounds may or may not be accompanied by tiny squeaks.
Nibbling Marks and Burrows
There are marks of nibbling or gnawing on food, food packages, and wooden cabinets.
You will also find burrows in doors, windows, and other corners of the house.
The teeth of mice are small whereas the rats have more prominent teeth so the marks are deeper and recognizable.
Mice nibbles can be faint or deep depending on the number of mice having bitten into the food.
Running Tracks of Mice
Sometimes the running of mice makes you sit up and notice the invasion. Their runways or tracks may or may not be marked.
You can look for it carefully with the help of a torchlight. You will find droppings, the smell of urine, or fallen strands of fur along the paths.
If you have a suspicion, spread flour or powder along the area. You will find their footprints, stains, etc.
You may find either one or all of the above signs. If the infestation is large, then all the signs will be visible to the naked eye ( and quite often too).
Once you have checked the above list, let us have a quick understanding of why mice live under the kitchen sink.
Possible Reasons for Mice to be Under the Kitchen Sink
Here are a few probable reasons for you to find mice under the kitchen sink:
- The kitchen sink may have open pipes and drainages that are not fitted well. If the pipes and drains have large holes or gaps or aren’t sealed well, the mice can get inside easily. Drainage and sewer connections are their favorite streets.
- The leftover food crumbs from the sink or near the drain attract the rodents
- Another favorite entry point for mice is gaps under the doors. The Mice enter through gaps, and cracks in the house from walls, ceilings, attics, or floors and enter the kitchen. They find the area under the sink to be warm and comfortable. The sink protects them from the naked eye and pets if any. I saw an animated animal cartoon where rats and mice were seen discussing their area of preference- dark areas. The area beneath the kitchen sink fits the bill.
How To Get Rid Of Mice Under Kitchen Sink
You got a challenge and have to correct the situation of mice attack.
Let me now share some foolproof ways to get rid of them for good and quickly.
Block the Holes and Gaps
If mice can get its head into a crack, they will get their body in as well.
Mice and rats can surprisingly enter through very small holes and gaps that we would usually ignore. The term ” rat it out” sits well here.
Find every visible gap and crack and fill it up or roadblock it. Seal the drainage pipe under the sink.
To find the trail of mice under the kitchen sink, you can sprinkle flour or powder and follow the steps.
You will understand how it gets in and out from the cabinet beneath the sink. You will also find Mouse droppings in the trail area.
Next, roll up aluminum foil into a ball shape and fill the gap or hole. You can also use tape to hold the aluminum in position so it does not slide away.
You can also insert steel wool into the gap and tape it up to hold it in position.
Mice and rats hate aluminum foil and steel wool. They cannot chew their way out.
Please remember that mice can eat their way out if you use paper or board, drywall, etc. Use only metallic materials or rock to block the points.
Seal the Food and Keep the Kitchen Clean
The trick is to let the mice starve. If it does not find food, it will lose interest and eventually move out of your kitchen and your home.
Use a sink strainer to catch hold of food crumbs. It is a wire mesh that collects leftover food. After cleaning, dump the food waste into the garbage and rinse.
Place the strainer back into position. It will cover the large holes. The metal mesh will also prevent the mice from coming up from the drain pipe.
Transfer food from cardboard packages into airtight glass or steel containers. Mice’s teeth will not be able to get access to sealed food.
Make sure to clean any leftovers and seal the garbage lid well. There should be no food or water out in the open. This includes dry food powders as well.
I know, tidying up every day may tire you up, but the extra effort of keeping everything clean will be worth it for a mice-free zone.
If the area beneath your kitchen sink is crowded and you use it for storage, remove and declutter the space. Mice get attracted to storage areas.
Some of their favorite places are inside cardboard boxes, magazines, newspapers, and old food containers.
Use Mice Repellants
Sometimes the gaps and cracks are just too many or inaccessible. For all such cases, use mice repellants.
This is a natural way of getting rid of mice. They will not die but will run away and won’t enter your kitchen space ever.
Mice have a sharp sensory smelling function and they can’t stand the smell of peppermint, cayenne pepper, and white vinegar.
Soak up cotton balls with peppermint oil or white vinegar or cayenne pepper paste and keep them under the sink and in other kitchen cabinets.
You can also place fresh peppermint or ground cayenne pepper. Ammonia or bleach is another powerful mice repellant.
You can also make a pouch from cheesecloth or a sachet and add peppermint, cloves, and cayenne pepper. You can also Soak up cotton with white vinegar or ammonia. Alternatively, you could use essential oils like peppermint oil and add a few drops of lemon juice to soak the cotton ball.
Experiment and play around with mice repellents as u wish. Make sure to replace the cotton balls and peppermint every few days. The mice will never enter again.
There are also ultrasonic noise repellents for mice on the market. They produce an irritating sound for mice. This noise cannot be heard by the human ear but is painful for the mouse and they run out.
A word of caution: do not use ultrasonic noise repellents if you have pets at home. It may bother them.
Use Mouse Traps
When the above methods fail and the mice are just not ready to quit, you need to turn into a prison guard or a warder.
Mouse traps are the fastest way to get rid of mice. There are many kinds of mouse traps available in the market.
Some capture and kill the mice while some are humane traps that just trap the mice until you throw them out far away from home. (If you open the trap near your home, they will find their way back into your home).
Be careful while setting up the mouse traps. Some mouse traps are designed to kill the mice. These are called snap traps or spring traps. Your finger can get caught in the trap and bruise or swell up if you are not careful. Read and follow the instructions carefully.
I would not recommend glue traps. They kill the mouse slowly by keeping it glued to the surface until the mouse starves to death or dies due to a panic heart attack. It could take hours or days for the mouse to die this way. I just find this cruel. Use snap traps instead for instant deaths and no suffering.
Mice get attracted to chocolate and peanut butter. Add some to the mouse trap and it will trap them.
Keep a Cat
Do this only if you are a cat lover and can take care of a cat well. This is a natural and biological method of killing mice.
Not all cats chase mice so you have to make sure to buy one that does. Once you get a cat, you can rest assured the mice will be gone soon. However, this method might take time as mice can hide in tiny cracks or holes- areas that a cat cannot access (Remember Tom and Jerry?).
The cat can end up bringing you a dead mouse to show off its hunting powers. It could also leave the dead mouse out in the open for you to notice. Rewarding the cat will encourage it to hunt down more. Make sure the cat does not end up eating the dead mouse though. Keep it well-fed.
As I have mentioned earlier, the potential entry spots for mice can be many, but eventually, their favorite spots are under the sink.
I have covered in detail the signs, reasons, and possible solutions to get rid of mice.
You can seal the drainage pipes, block the holes and gaps, seal the food, and keep the kitchen clean.
The next step would be to use mice repellents, mouse traps, or keep a cat.
If nothing works and there are just too many for you to handle, don’t worry. Contact a professional mice control company and let them take over. Freedom from mice is worth the extra bucks. Cheers!
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