Can You Kill Mice With Salt? Should You?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: October 6, 2023
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Mice can be terrible pests, and you may find yourself needing to get rid of an infestation. While you can trap and relocate them, a more permanent solution can be preferable. In this case, you may need to find effective ways to kill them. Many people are looking for a natural solution, like salt. Can you kill mice with salt? And should you try?

We’ll help you understand how salt can be used as a form of pest control and whether you should use this item in that endeavor.

Why You Need to Stop Mouse Infestations

Mouse infestation

Mice infestations can cause health problems and even house fires.

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Before we look at the efficacy of salt as a pest control agent, you need to understand why you must stop mice infestations. Mice may seem like relatively harmless creatures in that they are often out of sight for human beings. Yet, they are rather insidious rodents when you look at their behavior.

Two things that mice can do put you and your family in danger:

  • Spread diseases
  • Chew through electrical wires in your home

Mice don’t need to bite you to spread diseases, though. They can pass deadly variants of hantavirus through their urine and feces. These are found in some of the most common mouse species, too, including the deer mouse and the white-footed mouse.

As if that is not bad enough, mice also have a horrible tendency to chew on wires. They’re not trying to burn your house down, but they do like to use them to grind their constantly growing teeth.

The end result is never pretty. Mice can significantly damage the wires in your home. They may also cause fires or shock themselves to death and leave their decaying body in the wall where it will smell. Although electrical fires from rodents are rare, it’s another reason to get rid of mice quickly.   

Can You Kill Mice with Salt?

salt

Salt is not the best thing to count on to kill mice.

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Yes, you can kill mice with salt, but it’s a fairly difficult process. Like their rat brethren, mice will die if they consume too much salt and lack access to water. They need to consume about 80 grams of salt, and then they will suffer neurological and physiological problems leading to deafness, blindness, and muscle paralysis. Eventually, they will succumb to the salt that is acting as a poison.

That sounds great, right? Well, a few problems exist with using salt as a poison. First, you need the mice to eat it. The thing is that mice don’t really have a preference for salty foods. Getting a mouse to eat that much salt will be incredibly hard.

The other thing that’s even harder to do is to cut mice off from all water supplies. If they eat some salt and then drink water, the effects will be undermined. So, using salt to kill mice is a very ineffective method requiring much more work than traditional poisons. Unless you can guarantee the mice will eat the salt and drink no water, it will not work.

So, the second part of the question we posed at the beginning is: should you kill mice with salt? The answer is: no. Mice aren’t going to scurry over to a bowl of salty crackers and eat 80 grams of the stuff. If they did eat all that salt, it would be a rather terrible way for them to die.

What Are More Effective Ways to Kill Mice?

Humane mouse traps

Mouse traps are very effective at removing your mice problem.

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Although salt is not a great way to kill mice, more effective methods exist. If you’re set on poisoning the little rodents, then you have many options. Mice poison comes in small, bright chunks or pellets. The poison is designed to attract mice.

They’ll sneak out of their hiding spots and get into your pantry, where you have laid the poison. About 50 percent of rodents die from eating the poison, but they don’t always die on the first try. Sometimes, they need to eat the poison a few times before it takes hold of them.

Even if they do die, it doesn’t happen right away. They die slowly as a result of the poison acting as an anticoagulant. That means the mouse dies of internal bleeding.

Poisons are very effective. However, they come with some drawbacks. If the mouse consumes the poison and is eaten by another animal, like a pet, then the pet could become seriously ill. Also, since most rodent poisons are bright-colored, they’re attracted to children. You need to make sure you’re using mice poisons in a safe environment.

Another highly effective way to kill mice is by using traps. Several types of traps exist, but two of them stand out as very effective.

The old-fashioned snap traps are very effective at killing mice. You add bait to them, mice eat the bait and activate the trap, and a metal or plastic bar snaps down and kills them. Unfortunately, those might catch a leg rather than the head, so the mouse may not pass immediately.

Electric traps work by activating a plate when the mouse enters to shock them. This is effective and instant. However, some problems with traps exist.

The Trouble with Trapping

Trapping pests may seem better than poisoning them and waiting for them to die. A few problems with traps exist, including:

  1. Traps don’t always kill the target
  2. Humane traps require the relocation of the mice to a new area
  3. Catch-and-release traps bring you into close quarters with a trapped, scared animal
  4. Using humane traps is probably not going to help you end your infestation
  5. Glue traps can be needlessly cruel if you don’t check them often

These are some of the biggest problems that come from trapping mice. When traps work, though, they can be very effective at removing your rodent problem. Your best bet is to evaluate the rodent problem you have. If you have a single mouse sneaking into your pantry, use a trap.

You may want to overlap your methods if you have a massive infestation. That means using traps in conjunction with poison to get the best results. Of course, all these killer methods are only useful if you take measures to seal your home. You need to prevent future incursions at their sources. Seal up small cracks, fix your busted window, and look for holes in places around your roof.

So, can you kill mice with salt? You’d have a better chance at dropping a brick of salt on them than getting them to eat enough to die without drinking. Still, many other methods of culling mice populations exist. Just choose the one that suits you best.

What Happens When Mice Eat Sugar?

Pile of brown granulated sugar and sugar cubes isolated on white

Sugar is another substance that can be bad for mice.

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It seems like an odd question, right? We generally think that mice and other rodents are resilient and can eat anything. Which is why, you would assume, we have to turn to such things as rat poison and old-school mechanical traps.

But not so fast. High levels of sugar have been shown to have some dramatic consequences on these small rodents.

Researchers conducted tests in which mice were given sugar that amounted to one-quarter of their total dietary intake. To be fair, that sounds like a lot, but that amount is an equivalent addition of three cans of average soda to a human’s typical daily diet!

The results were pretty grim for the little guys. Male mice were found to reproduce about twenty-five percent less than they normally would. It is even worse for the females, however. Female mice were found to die at twice the rate!

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Liz Weber/Shutterstock.com


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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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