“I was wondering what success others have had in keeping the mice away from the plants.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville,

I recently moved to my first apartment with outdoor space and have begun to grow some fruits and veggies. My strawberry plants have been targeted by some neighborhood mice and the leaves are nearly decimated. I know it’s mice because my cat has been diligent in his job to bring me what he has caught. I was wondering what success others have had in keeping the mice away from the plants. I’d prefer not to clean up any more dead mice and would like to avoid traps, but if that’s the best option, I guess I’d be open to it. Any suggestions would be awesome.”

10 Comment

  • Chicken wire has worked very well for us.

  • Apparently sprinkling cayenne pepper around the base of the plants will keep some rodents away. Don’t know if this applies to mice, but it’s worth a shot.

  • Rat poison. Problem solved.

  • planting spearamint works for rats. could try it for mice?

  • Try spreading cat or dog hair on the ground near your plants

  • Ally

    Are your strawberries in pots or on the ground? If they’re in pots, simply getting them up on a table or stand may be enough of a deterant (we have mice all in our backyard, but they leave my garden alone..tends to be the critters of the insect variety that get the plants). If they’re in the ground, while you have mice, it may be slugs or something else actually eating the plants. Crushed up egg shells work GREAT for preventing slugs from getting to plants. Good luck!

  • Several years ago, I built myself a nice “squirrel” protection device: I used PVC pipes with 3-pronged corners to make a cube-like rectangle that fit over my planter boxes (4 x 6 feet), then I wrapped the frame with chicken wire, securing with zip ties. You would want to use pretty fine mesh chicken wire to make sure the mice couldn’t get in. My “squirrels” were much larger. The frames were light enough to lift on-and-off, and easy to disassemble in the fall and hose down, then store in the basement until spring. I would leave mine on all the time, and the only downside was that i had an increase in bugs because the birds couldn’t get in — once a bird did get in, and fortunately I was home that day to run out and lift the cage to free it.
    .
    A good-quality PVC cutter makes this task so much easier. The people at lowes cut some of the pipes for me, and I tried using my hacksaw for the shorter bits. No, really — spend the extra $10 for the good one.

  • Mice generally dislike anything in the mint family, such as peppermint and spearmint. Catnip is also a member of the mint family and, as a bonus, attracts mice’s eternal predators.

    Cat urine is a time-honored remedy. Hard to obtain from a willing donor, but you could spread used cat litter….though not of course, on plants meant for eventual consumption.

  • I used a mice and rat deterrent thay Fragers sells. One is minty smelling teabags that are supposed to repel mice and the other is a granular product that you sprinkle in areas to repel rats. So far, I havent seen any.good luck.

  • I’ve read the mice absolutely detest peppermint essential oil.

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