Rodent removal — the kinder, natural way


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Conventional wisdom seems to dictate that rodent removal involves poisoning and killing the little critters. But what if there was a solution that simply swept the welcome mat out from under their feet?

That alternative is not right around the corner; it’s actually a current rodent-removal option. Called Fresh Cab, from Earth-Kind, the natural repellent is made from a blend of plant fibers and botanical extracts. In fact, it is the first green rodent repellent for indoor/enclosed area use registered by the Environmental Protection Agency.

At press time, 75 Amazon reviewers gave Fresh Cab an average of three out of five starts. (Luckily, the HellaWella staff couldn’t test this product out.) One commenter, who gave it five stars, wrote: “This stuff WORKS, and it worked when nothing else did.” Another, who gave one star, claimed: “You can almost hear the faint sounds of the country mice dancing around in my pantry cabinets, squeaking out holiday carols and celebrating the new festive fragrance of Fresh Cab as they devour our food items!”

As you test it out yourself — which we clearly hope you don’t have to do — take note of these tips from Kari Block, CEO of Earth-Kind, for using natural rodent repellent:

1. Rodents’ use their sense of smell to guide their decisions. It’s crucial to place natural repellent in a non-living area where mice or rats might go to nest or find food, including the pantry, attic, crawl space and under the sink.

2. Rodents need to feel safe. This means, again, that they will try to find a non-living are of your home and will nest within 20 feet of food, according to Block.

3. Rodents can squeeze through a hole the size of a pencil eraser. Eliminate this factor by filling all cracks in the foundation, entryway and subfloors. Put a natural rodent repellent near other potential entry sites, such as the garage door, dryer vent, pipes, wires and attic vents.

4. Rodents need to chew. This keeps their fast-growing incisor teeth usable. Place the repellent where the critters will gnaw on wiring or wood, such as the attic or a crawl space.

5. Use a federally registered natural rodent repellent, Block advised. Look for a product that has “Fed. Reg. #” on the label, which means it's been federally evaluated for both safety and efficacy.

For more information, check out the National Pest Management Association’s guide to rodent pest control.