Can Alka-Seltzer Actually Help Get Rid Of Pesky Rodents?

Mice are a prolific pest, so you may find them in your home from time to time. The critters have a high reproductive rate and are very crafty when seeking out places to stay, which is why it's difficult to banish them from your home for good. While there are plenty of home remedies out there that promise to rid you of these furry fiends, not all of them work as well as they claim. For example, one hack that's floating around the internet recommends feeding the rodents Alka-Seltzer as a pesticide. Unfortunately, there's no evidence to back up this "hack," and any success stories are purely anecdotal.

According to the internet, if you put out Alka-Seltzer tablets smeared with peanut butter, the mice in your home will eat them and eventually die when gas builds up in their digestive tract. This hack falls short, however, because — unlike the cartoonish explosion the creator was probably envisioning — eating Alka-Seltzer does not poison mice. This comes from the Rodent and Vector Control Division of the Department of Health, as well as the Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program at the Department of Public Works (via The Washington Post). Fortunately, there are other ways to dispose of rodents.

Trap the mice or use essential oils

If the Alka-Seltzer hack doesn't get rid of your mice, there are other ways to humanely remove them from your home. You can always trap them by purchasing ready-made mouse traps or building your own. Another option is to repel them using scents they're sensitive to.

Sticky mouse traps are easy to get and use; however, they're ideal for those who don't mind being close to a live mouse. If you're deathly afraid of mice, then you likely want a method that doesn't require you to get up close and personal. A bucket trap is a great way to secure the mice before hauling them away. All you need is a bucket, a plank of wood leaning against the bucket, and peanut butter as bait. Slather the bottom of the bucket with the aromatic peanut butter to draw in the mice. Once they climb the plank and enter the bucket, cover it with a lid and remove the rodents from the house.

If you have mice living in your walls or they're just hard to catch, then you may want to use essential oils to deter them. Citronella, peppermint, bergamot, and wintergreen oils are tried and tested mouse repellants. You can douse cotton balls with the oils of your choice and leave them in strategic locations around the house.

Check your yard for mice

Mice often squeeze themselves through tight corners and small holes to get around. This means that garden mice can easily find their way into your home if you have an infestation in the yard. Dumping peanut butter-covered Alka-Seltzer all over your yard probably won't help — you have to tackle the problem at the root, which means locating their food and water sources (as well as nearby shelter) and getting rid of them.

To banish mice from your yard, you'll have to keep it squeaky clean. Mice thrive in dirty, unkempt environments where they can burrow and hide from predators. This means cleaning up any clutter or piles of wood and rearranging your shed. Mice also need food, so leaving food out on the lawn is a bad idea. No more throwing treats for your pets, especially crumbly ones like cookies. If you have a bird feeder, secure it where mice can't reach. Make sure there are no accessible puddles or dripping water anywhere in your yard. If you make the environment unwelcoming and inconvenient for the mice, they'll find somewhere else to go.