Our old farmhouse is a haven for many critters. Most are fine with us but ants in the cat food and mice in the kitchen do not work. We both feel deep compassion for all creatures and so looked for some good natural repellents and methods to rid our home of these seeking souls.
Two nights after our move we discovered the mouse problem through lack of sleep due to crazed cats. We set up some live traps, and eliminated some access points (though certainly not all; mice are amazingly tiny!).
Jennifer researched online and found mice are not fans of peppermint. Having peppermint essential oil on hand, we cut little pieces of scrap foam and put a dropper or two of the oil on them. We then placed these squares in the mouses' favorite kitchen cabinets...
and drawers. Since we've taken this step we've seen/noticed ZERO mice in the cabinets. We refresh the scent every now and again and so besides repelling the mice, we are enjoying minty fresh cabinets!
Just recently little ants started marching into our kitchen and raiding the cat bowl. Jennifer had to dump a whole bowl of new cat food, which is a costly action, so we searched for another natural repellent. Many are referenced, including vinegar, but we chose to try cinnamon.
Jennifer watched the ants and found their point of entry, which is something we need to take care of in the long term but in the short term a line of cinnamon worked perfectly. The ants left in the room were completely repelled by the cinnamon and we're scooped up on a piece of paper and moved outdoors. We'll see! So far this really beats snap traps and poisons in the home.