How to Keep Mice away from Food in Order to Keep Your Home from Being Infested

All animals need three things to survive: food, water, and shelter. It's almost impossible to keep your home completely dry and still use your bathrooms and kitchen, and your home is a convenient shelter for mice. That leaves one item left that you can control—food. If mice can't find anything to eat, they'll find somewhere else to live.

Make Use of Plastic, Metal, and Glass Containers

Cardboard is a great way for manufacturers to sell you something in an inexpensive container, and they can even make it from recycled materials. Unfortunately, it's also something that can easily be chewed through, and mice can smell that there is food easily obtainable inside. Thin plastic or foil packaging isn't much better. These are not smell-proof and are easy to chew through.

Solidly built plastic or metal reusable containers are another matter entirely. Even when not protecting your food from unwanted intruders, they have the added benefit of keeping your food fresher and allow you to buy in bulk. Invest in some nice storage containers for your pantry and get in the habit of transferring food to them when you get home to ensure your pantry stays pest-free.

Make a Habit of Wiping Down Counters and Sweeping Up

Your pantry isn't the only place where food lives. As you use your kitchen, bits of food can collect on your counters and on your floor. The easiest way to ensure that this is never a problem is to wipe up regularly. If you don't want to create waste by using paper towels all the time, invest in some basic cleaning cloths that you can use to clean during the day and throw in the wash once dinner has been eaten and the kitchen has been thoroughly wiped down. Another set (purchase a different color so you can tell them apart) can wrap around a Swiffer and be used to cheaply mop up at the end of the night, as well.

For an added boost, add a little peppermint oil to your floor cleaner and your multi-surface spray. The scent is pleasant, but mice hate it, so it will discourage them from coming near your kitchen. The smell alone won't keep them away, but it will help to repress their desire to explore your kitchen looking for morsels you may have missed.

Pick Up after Your Children and Pets

Your kitchen isn't the only place crumbs will gather, especially if you have children or pets. Rodents aren't aware of the "five-second rule" and have no problem eating off the floor, no matter how long ago that food got dropped. There is only so much you can do about this, but you can try to minimize how much food your children drag around the house by designating places where food should and should not be and spending a little extra cleaning time on those areas.

Pet food should not be left out, as mice like to hoard pet food. Changing out the pet food bags for a better-sealed container can protect your supply, just like it does for the rest of the items in your pantry. Rather than leaving food out all the time, consider putting your pet on a regular feeding schedule. If you are uncomfortable with this practice, you can compromise by only having food out during the day, when mice are going to be less active.

Getting an existing mice infestation to go away quickly will mean more than wiping down your counters, but it can certainly help. In addition, keeping food sources tucked away in rodent-proof containers can go a long way toward keeping pests from moving into your home in the first place. If you are already experiencing an infestation, contact a service like Garrie Pest Control and then follow these tips after the mice are gone to keep more from coming.