The Beautiful Flower That Keeps Mice From Invading Your Home And Garden

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The Beautiful Flower That Keeps Mice From Invading Your Home And Garden

The Beautiful Flower That Keeps Mice From Invading Your Home And Garden

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You may not see or hear them, but evidence of mice can show up around your garden and home and ruin your day. If you see signs of chewing, smell something a bit off, or notice droppings and nest material, it’s time to get them out! There are many unsavory ways to get rid of mice, but choosing a humane alternative is more ethical and a little more hands-off. For example, if you decide to grow mice-repelling plants, you won’t ever have to touch a critter. And luckily, a certain kind of chrysanthemum flower contains toxins that kill insects and deter mice, all while making your home look inviting and pretty.

Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium, also classified in the Tanacetum and Pyrethum genera, is in the aster family and is sometimes called the “painted daisy.” It’s mildly toxic to people and mammals, so you might not want to plant it where your pets can reach it. However, you’ll want to plant it around your home where you suspect mice are congregating. They’ll move out of there fast!

Killer chrysanthemums keep the mice away

Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium

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What makes this chrysanthemum so dangerous? It’s all in the DNA. It contains pyrethrins, naturally occurring pesticides that are used in both organic and chemical pesticides, including foggers, dusts, and sprays. Even though it’s completely natural and not a manufactured poison, it’s still quite harmful, resulting in insects dying and humans having asthma-like reactions.

Pyrethrins can also harm mammals. In studies with mice, they developed cancer after being given high doses of it for about two years. Though this discovery is quite concerning, it likely won’t happen if you have chrysanthemums scattered throughout your property. The doses were potent and served daily; pyrethrin isn’t that powerful when the mums remain intact. Plus, mice don’t like the smell of these pretty flowers, so you don’t have to worry about giving life-ending diseases to neighborhood mice. You should still ensure kids and pets don’t have access to the flowers, though, especially if they’re adventurous and like to taste everything.

How to effectively use chrysanthemums against mice

potted chrysanthemums

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Mice will stay away from chrysanthemums, but you can use their disdain for them strategically to either get rid of mice or prevent them altogether. Mice enjoy living in burrows where they can stay safe from predators. When it comes to suburbia, you can find them under sheds, in the walls, or near your garden. Plant chrysanthemums around the garden and structures where you suspect mice are living or may want to live. The flowers need full sun, but five hours of morning sun will suffice. They need consistently moist soil with occasional feedings of fertilizer. They make great container plants, so you can easily put them in places where you don’t have soil, like by doors and patios.

Chrysanthemums are good at keeping mice away, but using other preventative measures will make your property even more unappealing. Fill in any holes you find in or near your home and other structures. Keep garbage sealed, cover up food scraps in compost bins, and make sure they don’t have access to food and water. When you do these things in conjunction with decorating your yard with mums, you’ll notice them gone or reduced pretty quickly.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.