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There’s hardly a nastier surprise than hearing, seeing or accidentally touching (eek!) a mouse in your washer!
It’s not like you can’t feel for the little guy, though.
Mice get into washing machines to keep warm. But while at it, they can cause all kinds of problems if you don’t get rid of them quickly.
So today I’m gonna talk on how to get it out, but also how to keep mice and rats away.
TL;DR: lure it out if it’s alive and squeaking, locate and remove with precaution if it’s dead. (Unless you’re a tinkery type, you might need professional help with the latter.) Organize your cords, clean the area around your washing machine, and use essential oils.
What’s That Sound?
Even though it’s nice to leave the windows open to let warm summer breezes waft through, this can be an invitation to mice and rats. These creatures can get indoors and start hiding out in and around your washing machine.
But they can also get into your appliances through drain hoses, dryer vents, and any other tubes and pipes connecting your household to the water and, yes, sewer system.
If you hear any gnawing sounds or mice chatters around your washing machine, there’s a high probability that you’ve got a mouse problem.
And the mouse just got themselves a human problem!
Lure Out Your Furry Foe
A live mouse hiding in your washer is actually a better-case scenario. Even though it hides and runs away and poops everywhere!
In any case, make sure to wear a pair of rubber, latex, or nylon gloves.
Many times, when you reach into the machine to get the mouse out, you’ll actually scare it out of hiding. However, you’ll still need to either trap it with a mouse trap or call an exterminator to get it out of the home and prevent it crawling back into your machine.
If the mouse is dead, double bag the mouse in a sealable bag (or, as I prefer, an eco-friendly plastic bag alternative). Then, throw it away in an outdoor trash can, preferably with a lid.
Finally, carefully wash the gloves with soap and water. Dispose of the gloves and then wash your hands with soap and water as well. This protects you from contracting harmful diseases such as hantavirus that mice spread.
How to Prevent Future Mice
Once you’ve got rid of the mouse, you need to take a few steps to prevent its pals from following in its footsteps.
For one thing, you’ll need to do some simple cleaning.
The reason why this is so important is that food particles can get behind the machine and invite rats and mice in. It’s important to clean all the dirt around the area away so that there’s no reason for mice and rats to show up.
Make sure to also look for any open points of entry aside from your windows and doors. Even the smallest of holes in the walls, ceiling, or floorboards is a place where rats and mice can enter the home.
If you find any of those entry points, seal them off.
Rats and mice love chewing on cables, which can lead to fire and safety hazards. As such, it’s important to get your machine’s cables in order.
Use string, twine, or clips to neatly tie your cables and cords together and tuck them tidily behind the machine. This will keep them out of reach of any critters that are creeping around your washing machine.
Apply a Mouse Deterrent
The most natural mouse deterrent comes in the form of a gorgeous little beast we take for a pet. But what if you don’t have one – or it’s an unimpressionable couch potato like mine is?
Did you know that you can use essential oils to deter rats and mice? The scent of certain essential oils, such as peppermint, deters mice and rats, keeping your machine free of rodents.
For this step, you can either place a few cotton balls soaked in essential oil in your washing machine or you can apply a few drops to your machine. Most oils’ smells will last for a couple of days before you’ll need to repeat the procedure.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Mice Hide in Washing Machines?
Mice can absolutely hide in washing machines and they often do. That’s because they like warm, humid environments, and washing machines can provide the perfect ambiance for them. Thanks to hoses, pipes and vents in your bathroom, this small and nimble creature can actually end up in your washer quite easily!
Why Does My Washing Machine Smell Like a Dead Rat?
If your washing machine smells like a dead rat, there’s a good chance that one has gotten into the cogs, drum or even the engine of your machine. Then, it may have got stuck there and died while you were doing your washing.
How Do I Control My Rat in My Washing Machine?
If you’ve got a rat in your washing machine it’s important to get rid of it right away. If you can’t immediately see the rat, you can remove the back panel of the machine to get access to the inner drum and remove the animal.
Can I Use Rat Poison in My Washing Machine?
Never use rat poison in your washing machine. Even though this may get rid of the rat, it can also get into your clothes. Then, every time you run your laundry through the machine, you contaminate your clothing with poison and can put yourself at risk of health hazards.