Home Alone? Maybe Not! 

DIY Solutions for Your Pest Problem

by Jamie Sharp

You’ve finally moved into your new house. The boxes are unpacked (well, most of them). You’ve added your own personal touches (and replaced that hideous wallpaper). You are ​home​. As you drift off to sleep with visions of mortgage payments dancing in your head, you hear a scratching in the walls, a cup topples in the kitchen, a faint squeaking sound. Ghosts? Worse: mice!

According to ​www.Pests.org​, there are several options you can try before calling in the professionals. These include:

  • Repellents
  • Live Traps
  • Bucket Traps
  • Electric Traps

Following are some Do-it-Yourself, humane solutions to reclaim your domicile from these furry interlopers.

Organic Repellants

Pure peppermint oil (which can be purchased online or health stores) can be combined with water or witch hazel in a spray bottle to create a mouse repellent. You can spray this liquid to create a perimeter that mice will not cross. You can also soak cotton balls in pure oil and place them in the same areas. This is a very safe option for those with kids and pets, and it may stop the problem before it starts.


  • 1 cup of food-grade diatomaceous earth
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 2-3 drops of 100% peppermint oil

Combine all in storage or spray container - reapply weekly for best results​.

Ultrasonic Repellants

Available online or in hardware stores, these ultrasonic repellents promise a lot, and are the costliest choice. They require a battery or power source and you will need to purchase a few to create a perimeter. If you’re dealing with multiple pests including bats, snakes, etc., these may be worth the investment.

Live Traps

Live mousetraps can be purchased online or in hardware stores. They are very affordable, as they can be reused. You simply bait the trap with peanut butter or something equally desirable, place along walls, entryways, or wherever you see signs of mice, then trap-and-release far from your home (and cats!). 

 These are safest for homes with pets and small children. While effective, they can only catch one mouse at a time, so they may not be the best option for large populations.

Bucket Traps

The advantage of the bucket trap is they can be made from things you probably have in your garage and can catch multiple mice at a time. This ​video​ provides step-by-step instructions for making a bucket trap, or you can purchase online or in hardware stores. Please be sure to check these traps frequently so your rodent interlopers don’t suffer before their release. Be sure buckets are out of reach of inquisitive children and pets!

Electric Traps

If you’ve exhausted all other methods, or have an infestation you want eradicated asap, the most humane, lethal option is the electric mouse trap. These traps, powered by batteries or (AC/DC power), reduce suffering by instantly electrocuting the rodent, can catch more than one at a time, have an indicator light to let you know when you have a capture, and have no see/no touch disposal. These traps can be purchased online or in stores and are highly effective.

About the Author

Jamie Sharp knows the creepier, crawlier side of life. What’s the difference between a Carpet Beetle and a Bed Bug? Jamie knows! What is making those tunnels in my lawn and how do I get them to move? Jamie knows. Possum or Opossum? Jamie knows. He shares this knowledge writing and educating people about what most of us refer to as pests. How to identify and resolve a pest problem inside your home, lawn, and garden? Jamie knows.