Do Dryer Sheets Deter Mice?
Illustration: Jonathan Carlson
Myth: The Internet is rife with testimonials extolling the olfactory power of fabric softener sheets to keep mice out of the house.

Reality: "Some smells repel mice for a short period of time, like cigarette smoke and certain colognes," says Ron Harrison of Orkin Pest Control in Atlanta. "But mice are extremely curious. A strange odor isn't going to keep them away when they're looking for food or a place to nest."

Bottom Line: Don't expect your box of Bounce to work any pest-control miracles. But baited traps won't solve a mouse problem, either. "Mice are attracted to spots where light comes through, so if you see a gap where they're entering, stuff it with steel wool or copper mesh so they can't gnaw their way through, then caulk over it so no light can penetrate," Harrison says. Holes larger than an inch should be sealed with drywall or another suitable material instead.
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