Send Mice Packing

When my husband and I decided to re-sod our back yard, my sweet Charlie bought a 50-pound bag of grass seed. That sounded like a great idea until mice found out and notified the neighborhood of the “all-you-can-eat” buffet located in our garage. They must have sent out an alarm because before I knew it…. I was feeding dozens of mice, and they were contemplating coming in my back door. Over my dead body!!!

I know you are smarter than I am and know better than to leave any kind of food source in your garage. But mice are clever. They know your garage is warmer than outdoors and would like to winter in there…. you know, like snowbirds. I have customers come in the store at the first sign of a mouse, and they go directly to the poison. I want to talk to you about other options. Because once you put out poison, those mice die. And they might die in the walls of your home. And if you thought that mice were an annoyance…...well a dead mouse stinks for weeks. They have the “last laugh”.

Mouse and rat repellents are a much better choice. There are three that I like. Shake Away Mouse Repellent is an all organic repellent that is much safer than using poisons. This repellent contains four packs inside a re-sealable package so that you can use only what you want. The packs last for 60 days. After 30 days you might not be able to smell the packs, but a mouse will. They have an acute sense of smell. It doesn’t smell bad to us because it’s a blend of mint, cedar and rosemary. Shake A Way also makes Rodent Repellent, and it’s in a granule. You can use it outdoors. Just remember to put it in a paper bowl or paper plate. Don’t just throw it around like confetti at a New Years Eve party!! It also says that it will work on voles, shrews, squirrels and chipmunks.

Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent is a family-owned business. The inventor talks about the necessity in starting her business. She could not stand the smell of moth balls. I met with her at a Do It Best show, and I was really impressed. She gave me samples and said that she guaranteed the results. I like that! (Ok, I did have to air out my suitcase when I got home.) This product works the same way as Shake A Way, and the active ingredient is balsam fir oil. You can use these products in garages, sheds, storage units, and under hot tubs. Throw one in the RV, boat, farm equipment and tractor.

These repellents are so much better than using moth balls. I know moth balls are economical. But boy do they stink. I had a customer that was having a mouse invasion at her house and threw a whole bag of moth balls up in the attic. They landed all in the insulation. She came to me wanting to know what to do about the smell. I’m sure that the mice left….but she could not pack up and leave and was forced to wait it out.

Now to the email…..

Question: We live in a mid-century home with lots of white terrazzo flooring. Lots! We are seeking a floor cleaner that will not damage or yellow the floor. The pour on the floor type cleaners would take an entire bottle per application. Do you know of a product that can be added to a bucket of water and mopped on with no build-up of residue. Thanks. We enjoy your column.
Answer: Happy New Year!! I would use either Granite Gold Stone and Tile Cleaner, or Quick Shine Multi-Surface Floor Cleaner. Granite Gold makes a concentrated cleaner that will clean up to 12,000 square feet and requires no rinsing. As always, try it in an inconspicuous spot first. (Closet)- I like these products for all stone. Quick Shine makes a floor cleaner in a concentrate also. And like Granite Gold is a completely neutral cleaner that doesn't require rinsing. Quick Shine can also be used on all sealed wood surfaces. It’s my preference for wood. I think I would use Granite Gold for your floors......call me if you can't find it.