Not all of us adore seeing rats and mice in our homes. So, we look for different ways to get rid of them. One of the most common homemade products for killing or driving mice away is bleach. Or so do people say.
Well… as funny as it may sound, it’s not the first time that people raise weird but effective ideas. In fact, in other articles, we’ve established that Lysol, a common house disinfectant, can kill house fleas. In this one, let’s solve another old-age mystery; does bleach repel mice?
So, let’s start with the first bit then:
Do Rats and Mice Like the Smell of Bleach?
Both Rats and Mice have very poor eyesight. So, to scavenge for food, they use their nose. That same nose is used to detect the body scents of their predators from afar. So, it’s only normal for these two creatures to have a great sense of smell.
As such, both rats and mice would try to avoid anything that would impede their ability to smell. This is because a pungent smell would cloud the aroma of their food source and the scents of impending attackers. If that happens, it may lead to starvation and death from predation.
For these reasons, both rats and mice would always try to avoid bleach, a stain remover with a pungent smell. However, aside from the smell, bleach has some toxic components that can kill both rats and mice when ingested.
Are Mice and Rats Not the Same Animals?
According to their biological pedigree, rats and mice are classified as rodents. This is because both of them have eternally growing teeth. Then again, one pair of these teeth – the incisors, is cemented on both their upper and lower jaws.
But despite that, these little varmints are actually not the same animals. This is because, for one; rats are much bigger and heftier than mice.
Not only that, rats love to eat meat. Sometimes, they even hunt small mice for food. As such, mice tend to take off once they see predatory rats.
On the flip side, mice are much hairier than rats. They are curious rather than cautious. And most of their food consists of grains, cereals, and other plant materials.
Because of their curious nature, mice are easily captured by traps made by humans. But for rats, most mouse traps are inefficient. This is because rats’ teeth are so sharp that they can bite through wires, wood, aluminum, and even concrete. So, all in all, rats, unlike mice, are actually the notorious menace that invades our trap from time to time.
Does Bleach Kill Rats and Mice?
You see, bleach is celebrated as a powerful stain remover because it has very effective components. Oftentimes, these components are called surfactants, aka, surface-active agents. In bleach, the common surfactants used include:
- Sodium hypochlorite
- Sodium hydroxide
- Calcium hypochlorite
All the compounds mentioned above are used in germicides, insecticides, fungicides, and even insecticides. So, they are very powerful toxins. Toxins, as we know, would kill both rats and mice. However, for bleach to be an effective mice killer, the targeted rats and mice have to swallow a reasonable amount of it.
READ MORE: Does bleach kill spiders?
What Does Bleach Do to Mice?
Because of its pungent smell, bleach is a good household product for repelling mice. If the mice are unlucky enough to swallow it, bleach can also kill the unfortunate mice.
But before death, the mice would suffer right from the moment they consumed the bleach. The first parts to suffer are their throats and windpipes which would get burned. If that happens, the mice would find it difficult to breathe. No oxygen means death.
However, the mice or rats can survive this if the bleach was ingested in small amounts. Otherwise, the bleach would progress down to the stomach of the rats.
Now, the thing is; rats and mice are mammals. That means, their stomachs, like other animals, are made of epithelial cells, fats, and other tissues.
If bleach comes in contact with these materials and cells, it would begin to break them down until there’s nothing left. In some cases, the mice are likely to die from internal bleeding.
In other cases, they suffer from abdominal pain and a fatal symptom called Pulmonary edema. This edema happens when there is too much fluid in a mammalian lung. This fluid builds up in the rats’ lungs due to internal bleeding. Ultimately, the ingested bleach would kill the mice.
How to Use Bleach to getting Rid of Mice?
Using bleach to get rid of mice is not an easy task. This is because there are lots of factors to consider and precautions to follow. For one, since bleach has a pungent smell, rats and mice would not even get near any area with bleach. So, if you’re planning to lure the mice to death with just bleach, it’s all futile.
However, to prevent wasted efforts, we’ve compiled different strategies to use bleach as a mere repellent and a mice killer.
- Mix your bleach with water; in equal ratios preferably.
This would help prevent you, your family, and your pets from inhaling excessive amounts of bleach. You see, when inhaled excessively, the bleach fumes would settle on the soft layer of the nostrils, lungs, throats, stomach, skin, and tongues.
In these regions, the compounds in bleach can break down the cells. As a result, mild internal bleeding may occur. But if you apply the bleach mildly, you enjoy two benefits.
One, the bleach would help to kill germs like fungi and bacteria. Then again, because of the pungent smell of bleach, it can help drive mice and even rats away.
- Bottle up the bleach solution in a spray can. But use it strategically by leaving escape routes.
Remember the goal; to deter or repel mice. So, when using the bleach solution, concentrate your spray in areas rich in mice activities. Such areas are usually given away by rat and mice poops, gnaw marks, and food bites.
Likewise, you can also explore the following list of areas where you can find mice:
- Kitchen cabinets
- Desk and drawers
- Around kitchen appliances
- Under furniture
- Inside storage boxes
- Inside walls
- Within ceilings
- Water closets
However, after spraying all the areas of interest, try to leave out some exit regions. These unsprayed areas would serve as escape points for the mice.
You can even double up the bleach protection by soaking some cotton balls with it. You can then place these cotton balls at entry points. If you’re looking to trap and kill the mice, place these balls on suspected exit points a well.
- Make baits by lacing aromatic food with concentrated bleach.
Ordinarily, the scent of bleach would drive mice and rats away. So, if you’re looking to trap and kill the mice in your house, you need to find a way to mask the smell of bleach.
Oftentimes, the best food candidate you can use is peanut butter.
Peanut butter is good for this because it has a very pungent aroma as well. Likewise, mice love the taste of peanut butter; even better than cheese. So, if you mix bleach with peanut butter, you would make the perfect mouse bait.
However, there’s a trick to do this and we’ll answer that with this fact check:
How Can I Get Mice Close to Bleach?
Simple answer; mix the bleach with peanut butter. Because while bleach has a kind of smell that mice love to avoid, peanut butter has the taste that a mouse would die for. Not only that, peanut butter has a strong aroma as well.
However, for the bait to work, you need to ensure that you get the preparation technique right. Here is one of the few, most effective methods out there:
- Measure out a tablespoon of peanut butter. Place it inside a bowl.
- Add bleach to the butter bits by bits.
- Stir the mixture as you add the bleach.
- Stop adding bleach when the pungent scent is no more.
- At this point, you can start using the bait by placing it in areas rich in mice activity.
- Likewise, you can proceed further to add some powdered butter to the mixture. This will strengthen the smell of peanut butter and make it a bit dry. Of course, dry bait works better.
READ MORE: Are There Bugs In Peanut Butter?
Will Bleach Scents on Mice Poops Deter Mice and Rats?
The simple answer to this is yes; it can help to repel rat poops. In fact, applying bleach to rat and mice poops will give you two other benefits. These are:
- Spraying bleach on rat poops will prevent fatal infections like Hantavirus. This is because bleach, due to its antiseptic property, can kill off microbes like bacteria and fungi. Since rat poops are carriers of diseases like hantavirus, bleach can help prevent it from spreading.
- Rats and mice are among those sets of animals that feed on their poops. In the science world, we call such animals coprophagic animals. Now, if you spray their poops with bleach, literally; you are using their poops as poison baits.
Apart from Bleach, What Are the Other Household Products That Can Kill Mice?
1) Peppermint Oil: Peppermint is an essential oil. Other examples of essential oils are lavender oil and citrus oil. While the scent of peppermint oil smells nice to humans, rats and mice don’t fancy it. As such, they tend to flee from anything connected with peppermint.
2) Flakes of Hot Pepper: The chilly scents of hot pepper disturb the sense of smell in rats and mice. To use hot pepper as mice repellent, sprinkle a considerable amount of pepper at strategic locations. Such locations can be at doorways, room corners, and cabinets.
3) Onions: Onions, like other spices, have a very pungent smell. As such, it can be used to scare rats and mice repellent. To use onions as mice repellent, place big bulbs at entry points for mice. However, you need to replace these bulbs as often as you can.
4) Garlic: Like onions, garlic also has a pungent smell. To use it, chop up your garlic into small chips. Afterward, mix these chips with water and stir the mixture well. Then, you can either bottle it up in a spray can or sprinkle it directly around your house.
5) Plaster of Paris and Cocoa powder: Plaster of Paris, aka POP, when mixed with cocoa powder emits a very strong scent. This scent is enough to drive mice and rats away. To use it, make a cocktail of cocoa powder and POP. Then, you spray it along the usual food trail of mice and rats.
In summary, we agree that bleach can repel both mice and rats as well. In fact, bleach can even kill rats and mice when a considerable amount of it has been ingested.
As such, you can use bleach as a perfect mice repellent and rat poison. However, when using bleach, make sure you apply it with caution. This is because some concentrations of bleach can be dangerous to humans and pets as well.