No matter the size of your patio, there’s one guest you likely want to avoid at your barbecue: a mouse. Are you having trouble keeping pests away from your patio furniture?
Here are 4 easy ways to keep mice off your patio furniture:
- Clean up any food.
- Lace the patio with peppermint.
- Try other deterrents.
- Find the mice and remove them.
Want to take a deeper dive? Read on to learn how you can keep your patio rodent-free!
1. Clean Up Any Food
First and foremost, make sure that you don’t leave any leftovers out on your patio. Wherever they come from, mice move places in search of food. If they can’t find that on your patio, then they likely have no reason to be there in the first place.
While this may seem obvious, make sure to take a hard look at the cleanliness of your patio.
It doesn’t take many crumbs to sustain a mouse’s diet. According to Rove Pest Control, a mouse only eats around 0.13 ounces (3.69 grams) of food each day. That’s about as much as a potato chip.
Comb your cushions for crumbs, vacuum, and sweep. If you’re looking for an even deeper clean, you may want to consider a power wash. Try this guide to power washing your patio from DIY Network.
The cleaner your patio is, the less likely mice will want to call it home.
2. Lace the Patio With Peppermint
If your patio is clean of food waste, it lacks what made it appeal to mice in the first place. Now, it’s time to deter them actively.
The first and least intrusive solution is to lace your patio with the odor of a mouse repellent. Mice rely on their sense of smell to survive. If they don’t like the scent of the patio, they’ll steer clear.
Midway Pest Management lists three main categories of odors that repel rodents. They are:
- Natural Smells, such as:
- Chili powder
- Chemical Smells, such as:
- Predator Smells, such as:
Your human guests likely won’t appreciate the smell of bleach or raccoon at the barbeque. Because of this, we recommend sticking to natural scents to keep your rodent guests away from your patio.
Of these, we recommend peppermint. It’s both scientifically proven to repel mice and pleasing to the nose. There are two main options to give your patio that peppermint smell.
Add Peppermint Oil to Your Patio
The quickest way to get the smell of peppermint on your patio is to lace it with 100% peppermint oil. This article from SFGATE lists two way main ways to utilize the oil:
- Spray the oil onto cotton balls and spread them around.
- Spray the oil in and around areas of suspected mouse activity.
Cotton balls could easily blow away on a patio, so I recommend directly spraying your furniture.
SFGATE recommends a spray bottle filled with a solution of:
- Two teaspoons of peppermint oil
- One cup of water
- A few drops of dish detergent
Shake the bottle vigorously before using it. Once mixed, spray the solution all over your patio.
While the diluted oil shouldn’t stain your furniture, I’d recommend a quick test spray just in case. Reapply every week or two to keep those rodents at bay.
For more comprehensive information on the best peppermint oils, take the jump to this guide from Best Reviews.
Grow Peppermint Plants Around Your Patio
For a longer-term mint scent, consider planting a few mint plants around your patio. Not only will you repel mice, but you’ll have some fresh mint for summer cocktails!
This guide from Bonnie Plants gives a more in-depth look at how to grow mint in your garden correctly. Here’s the process, in a nutshell:
- Plant your mint at the start of spring.
- Space mint plants 18-24 inches (457-610 mm) apart.
- Keep soil consistently moist and water when topsoil becomes dry.
- Harvest mint regularly by pinching off the stems.
Also necessary: Keep your mint plants potted. Mint will quickly overrun your garden if left to its own devices. Unless you really like the smell of mint, keep it out of the rest of your garden’s soil.
3. Try Other Deterrents
If the scent of mint still doesn’t keep the mice away from your patio, there are a few other deterrents to try. Rodent strobe lights and ultrasonic pest repellers aren’t known to be as effective on mice as odors. If you have the means, however, they’re worth a shot.
Rodent Strobe Lights
Rodent strobe lights such as the Evictor have successfully kept rodents, such as squirrels and raccoons, out of homes.
Their effectiveness outdoors and on mice, however, has yet to be proven. Evictor also recommends the light be left on twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Unless you’re having some pretty wild barbecues, we doubt your guests will enjoy such a distraction.
Consider these powerful lights a last resort. Additionally, if you already own a rodent strobe light, you can put it to the test yourself. Evictor’s website implores users to let them know if they find their product effective in new circumstances.
Beyond the Evictor, check out other brands of rodent strobe lights such as Roxant and Loraffe, both from Amazon.com. The Roxant brand comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and the Loraffe comes with two units that each cover up to 300 sq. feet (27.87 sq. meters).
Ultrasonic Pest Repellers
Ultrasonic Pest Repellers are perhaps the most controversial of mice repellents.
The International Association of Certified Home Inspectors describes the function of the repellers as such:
- The repellers emit high-frequency sounds disruptive to pests.
- The sound causes a physiological response in your rodents.
- Pests aimlessly run around, convulse, and potentially die from a cerebral hemorrhage.
That’s hardly the most pleasant scene for your patio.
Beyond aesthetics, the InterNACHI explains that the repellers are potentially both unsafe and ineffective.
With this in mind, we’d advise against Ultrasonic Pest Repellers. If you’d still like to try one out, we recommend this guide from Bob Vila.
4. Find the Mice and Remove Them
Mouse repellents will keep mice away in the short term. However, to completely solve your problem, you should locate where the mice came from in the first place.
Earthkind lists a few sneaky hiding spots for backyard mice, including:
- Barbecue grills
- Patio pavers
- Decks and gazebos
- Hot tubs, pool houses
- Sound systems
Take the jump to find some great tips on how to rid mice from any of those spots, plus a few more tips to keep mice out in the future.
Not in those spots? Your mice could potentially live in outdoor burrows, a neighbor’s yard, or even your home. If you can’t find the source of your mice, we’d recommend calling a pest control professional.
Mice infestation can cause a vast swath of issues, including:
- Food contamination
- Exposure to viruses/diseases such as hantavirus and salmonellosis
- Damage to insulation
- Damage to electrical appliances and increased fire hazard
Remember: If you have no mice to begin with, you’re not going to have any on your patio furniture.
Remember, when it comes to keeping mice off your patio, keep it clean! Also consider adding peppermint oil or other deterrents, and be sure to hunt down the mice’s entry points and get rid of them.
With these easy steps, you’ll be keeping mice off of your patio furniture in no time. May your future cookouts be pest-free!
- Rove Pest Control: How Much Do Mice Need To Eat?
- DIY Network: How to Clean Brick and Concrete With a Pressure Washer
- Midway Pest Management: What Smell Drives Rats Away?
- Study by Kalandakanond-Thongsong et al.: The Efficacy of Pure Natural Repellents on Rat Responses Using Circular Open Field
- SFGATE: Ratio of Peppermint Oil to Water for Repelling Mice
- Best Reviews: Best Peppermint Oil
- Bonnie Plants: Growing Mint
- Evictor: Home Page
- InterNACHI: Ultrasonic Pest Repellers: Solution or Scam?
- Bob Vila: The Best Ultrasonic Pest Repellers for Indoors and Out
- Earthkind: Garden Mice Want a Cozy Home – Your Patio is a Great Spot
- Rid All Bug: The Harmful Effects of a Mice Infestation
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