Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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 Not a creature was stirring (except for those mice)...

candy cane gavel

There are times when the pitter-patter of little feet is not a sound you want to hear. Mouse traps are a messy (not to mention sad) approach to rodent control. Mouse poison can be dangerous not only to mice but to others in the household, since the animals can transport it far from the place they found it before they succumb (I once discovered blue d-CON pellets in a box of bank statements). Better to make your home a place mice don't want to visit. Here's a method that's actually perfect for the holidays: infuse it with the scent of peppermint. Rodents, it seems, do not like peppermint.

Candy canes, though, won't be enough. Instead, the secret is to use peppermint oil, which you can get at herbal apothecaries (Cornucopia in Northampton sells small bottles for around $6). Douse cotton balls with the oil and leave them anywhere you think mice might be entering your house.

The peppermint oil technique is also recommended by the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention for Cruelty to Animals. You can read its advice about rodent control here.

Be sure, by the way, to use peppermint oil, not peppermint extract.

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