Baking soda can be used to kill mice, but is it a good idea?
Given its low price, lack of toxicity, and easy availability, baking soda may seem like the perfect weapon against rodents. But how effective is baking soda for killing mice, how exactly does it work, and is this a humane method of pest control?
How does baking soda kill mice?
Baking soda (AKA sodium bicarbonate) kills rats and mice when they ingest it. This is because, when the baking soda hits their stomachs, it begins to produce large quantities of gas. As mice can’t pass wind, they have no way to release the gas and the internal pressure can eventually kill them.
Pros and cons of using baking soda to kill mice
It’s true that baking soda kills mice, but is it a control method you should use? Baking soda is inexpensive, widely available, and easy to use against mice. It’s also relatively safe, as it is far less toxic to humans and other animals than poison baits (though it can be hazardous for small pets if consumed in large quantities).
However, the baking soda method is not without its downsides.
Keep in mind!
First of all, mice have to consume quite a lot of baking powder (2 or 3 grams) for it to kill them, which is a lot more than commercial poisons. It is also not a humane way to kill mice, as the internal pressure from the build-up of gas can be very painful and cause unnecessary suffering.
How to use baking soda to kill mice
Mice need to consume quite a large quantity of baking soda before they die, so how do you make sure they swallow enough of it? Fortunately, it’s easy to make a homemade mouse poison with baking soda.
Make your own poison powder
You can make a poison powder with baking soda by combining three ingredients:
- Baking soda (1 cup)
- Flour (1 cup)
- Sugar (1 cup)
First, combine one cup of flour with one cup of sugar and mix well. The sugar will attract mice and tempt them into eating the bait. Next, add a cup of baking soda and combine thoroughly. Finally, sprinkle the powder in areas with signs of mouse activity (for example, along skirting boards, near garbage cans, or around potential entry and exit points).
Make a peanut butter bait
If you’d rather not use a messy powder, peanut butter bait can also convince your mice to eat baking powder. To make a peanut butter bait, you’ll need:
- Baking soda (1 cup)
- Peanut butter (1 cup)
Combine the peanut butter and the baking soda, making sure they are mixed together well. Next, shape the bait into balls and place them in areas with high levels of rodent activity.
More tips for making baking soda poison bait
Make sure to put on a pair of protective gloves before mixing up your mouse poison. Baking soda isn’t toxic and won’t irritate your skin, but if your scent transfers to the bait mice will be less likely to eat it.
It’s also a good idea to make a bait station from a small, enclosed container. This will make it easier to monitor your bait and top it up as necessary. You should also monitor the area around your bait trap for signs of rodent activity so you can gauge the effectiveness of your control efforts.
How long does it take a mouse to die from baking soda?
It can take days or even weeks for baking soda to kill a mouse. Therefore, it’s not the best method of mouse killing if you’re aiming for a quicker and less painful death.
Alternative ways to kill mice
If you’d rather make your mouse control efforts as humane as possible, the baking soda method probably isn’t for you. It can take up to a week to work, and causes significant pain as it causes gas to build up in the stomachs of mice. The following mouse control methods are more humane options for trapping and killing mice.
If you don’t want to kill your mice at all but want them off your property, live traps may be a good option for you. These mechanized devices usually have some kind of door that swings shut when the mouse wanders inside, which traps them but doesn’t harm them.
Once your mouse is contained, you can take it to a wooded or park area at least one kilometer from your house to release it.
Live traps can be an effective way to remove mice, but may not be a quick enough solution in cases of large infestations.
Snap traps kill mice, but they do so far more quickly than baking soda or other types of poison. Old-school versions of the snap trap have a metal bar that swings down when a mouse takes the bait, breaking its neck and killing it instantly. This method can be used to kill large numbers of mice in a short period of time, so may be a good choice for people battling a large infestation.
Baking soda does kill mice and rats, but it’s not a particularly humane method of doing so. Baking soda kills mice by producing gas in their bellies, which they aren’t able to pass by burping or farting. The internal pressure of the gas eventually kills them, but this is a painful process that can take a week or even more. Baking soda is a cheap, easy-to-use, and non-toxic rodent killer, but snap traps are a far quicker and less painful way to kill mice.