Old farmhouses are the best but they often come with some downfalls. I’ll give you a couple of hints. It happens more often in the spring and fall. People often get cats to solve this problem. That probably gave you enough information. The biggest downfall to old farmhouses, ours included, is mice. My personal opinion, these are the worst downfall to old farmhouses. I can deal with drafts, squeaky floors, and constant updates. Mice, on the other hand, freak me out. My husband and I have a deal that I’ll kill all the spiders if he takes care of the mice. Naturally, we set a ton of traps. The other thing that we like to do is to set out some Irish Spring Soap. Yes, you read that correctly, Irish Spring Soap repels mice!
Has it Been Proven?
I’m going to guess that you want some proof that this actually works. My favorite proof of this is my parent’s boat. They’ve had it for 20+ years now and it still looks brand new. Not only do they clean it before they put it away, but they also use Irish Spring soap. They cut it up and put it in trays in their boat. They have never had one issue with mice (or any other type of rodent) getting into their boat in any of the storage locations. They’ve kept it in several different spots so it’s not that there haven’t been any mice around it either. I swear to you guys there hasn’t been one little mouse turd in it, ever!
Does it Have to Be Irish Spring?
To be completely honest, we’ve never tried another brand of soap to know. We were given this trick a long time ago and that person told us about the Irish Spring. From then on, we just used Irish Spring soap. It’s not toxin free which means I don’t love it, but I don’t love mice more. It’s a constant battle between being toxin free but also making sure that our home is still taken care of. Mice can be super destructive in addition to being absolutely disgusting so this is a sacrifice that I am willing to make.
The other thing to note here is that I would hate to try another soap and have the mice destroy something. We are sticking to proven methods because the risk level if it doesn’t work is pretty high depending on what you are trying to protect.
How to Use Irish Spring
Cut up a bar of soap and put it into something. I like to use a cheese slicer to slice up the soap. Then I will put it in a metal pie pan. The pie pan then gets put wherever I am trying to keep mice out of. My parents use an electric potato slicer to get their soap cut up quickly. They use it specifically for soap though and it’s not interchangeable with potatoes. I’m sure you could get most of the soap out of it by washing, but you still run the risk of your food tasting like soap. Not something I want to deal with.
The metal pie pans work perfectly because they are disposable too. If you wanted to use something that wasn’t disposable that would definitely work too. You could always use a normal baking pan or sheet, a glass container, or even just a plate. Obviously, a glass pie pan would also work the same exact way.
Places to Use Irish Spring
In the fall we will put trays of Irish Spring in our basement to keep the mice out. We might also get to the point where we put it in the garage and/or the barns too. It’s perfect for all of these applications. As I mentioned, my parents use it in their boat while it is in storage. When my husband was storing his truck for the winter he would put it in there before storing too. I also like to use it in our grill while it is stored to prevent anything from living in there in the winter.
How Much to Use
My parents typically use 3-4 bars of soap for their boat. When we were storing my husband’s truck we would use two bars of soap for that. I typically put one bar of soap in the grill. When I’m using it in our house there can never be enough. I’ll use 5-6 bars in our basement alone. A good rule of thumb would be to use 2-3 bars of soap per room. You can split them up into different pans or you can put them all in one pan. The scent will be noticeable to you right away. After awhile it will fade off but the mice should still be able to smell it.
It’s obviously not a perfect solution but it is one that we have found to work. My parents had mice in their house every year when we were growing up. We tried just about everything to make sure the little rodents stayed away. Aside from setting traps this is one of the best way to get rid of them.
I should also add, we still set traps. I’m a firm believer in mouse traps and will always apply a few methods to make sure that we are doing everything we can to keep them at bay. We’ve had mouse turds on our stove before and I just feel so incredibly violated when that happens. Irish spring soap is super cheap too! It’s an easy and cheap way to help give you a little peace of mind against mice.