Your House is Your Haven: Don't Neglect the Interior

Don't Let Field Mice Come Back: Tips For Protecting Your Yard From Small Rodents

by Cherly King

When you have lived in the city for most of your life and dream of leaving the urban jungle behind for country living and gardening, the last thing you may envision is a yard overrun with rodents. However, if you live near open fields or empty lots, your precious plants may be vulnerable to rapidly producing field mice. When you notice a few of the small rodents scurrying through your garden, rest assured there are plenty more gnawing on your edibles and flowers. Use the following tips a guide when you take action against field mice.

Waste No Time in Getting Professional Help

If you plan to grow a vegetable garden and ornamental plants but fail to take action when you notice field mice, the small brown creatures will have a feast eating your edibles as well as roots, bulbs, leaves and even some types of grass.

Because field mice are great at hiding in tunnels they build under grass and brush, you should hire an exterminator that specializes in rodent control to assess the extent of the infestation in your yard.

Common rodent traps and fumigants do little to put a dent in a field mice infestation. They can produce as many as 12 litters of young per year, outpacing your DIY extermination efforts. The most effective pesticides are generally not available for consumer use and can only be applied by licensed pest control specialists.

After an exterminator completes a pesticide application, they will make follow-up visits to monitor the field mice population.

Attract Natural Predators

After you invest in a professional extermination, it is important take precautions to prevent the pest from returning en masse. Encouraging natural predators should be a part of your field mice management efforts.

Non-poisonous snakes will eat field mice. So the next time you see a garden snake, do not kill it. Let the snake go about its business hunting field mice. Learn what non-poisonous snakes are common are your area so you do not mistakenly kill the natural enemies. Your local cooperative extension office may be able to provide you with a list of snake species in your county.

Other natural predators of field mice include owls and cats. If you enjoy building things, you could construct wood nesting boxes for owls. The fierce birds feed their young with field mice. Owl boxes have an odd design but are quite easy to build.

If you do not have a feline companion, you should adopt a cat to help you avoid another field mice infestation.

Grow Plants That Repel Field Mice

While it may seem like field mice are eating everything in sight in your yard, there are plants that repel the pests. You can use these them as companion plants in your garden or as natural borders around the yard.

Edibles that repel field mice include:

  • Basil
  • Garlic
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Sage

Lavender bushes are fragrant, attractive, have many uses and look great as borders for residential property. Flowers that help to keep the rodents away include daisies and marigolds.

Keep Your Yard Clean

If you slack off on yard maintenance and let rubbish accumulate, you will provide hiding places and nesting areas for field mice. Ongoing lawn maintenance is an easy and no-cost method of keeping the rodents from coming back in large numbers.

  • Cut back on mulch usage and do not let the material touch the base of trees and shrubs. Rodents can build tunnels and nests under clumps of mulch.
  • Mow regularly to keep grass and ground cover low.
  • Keeps weeds under control.
  • Use raised platforms for trash containers to keep the rodents from climbing into bins and feeding on garbage. Make sure trash bins have tight-fitting covers.

While field mice tend to stay outdoors, they can invade your house as well. Cover any small openings around pipes that enter your home and the foundation to keep the critters outside. For more rodent control ideas talk to professionals.