Ferrets are carnivores, and mice are naturally part of their diet in the wild. Given that, you might be wondering—do ferrets keep mice away from your house?
Ferrets can help keep mice away, but they’re usually not as effective as modern-day mice deterrents. Here’s a handy breakdown of the reasons why ferrets aren’t an effective mouse deterrent.
Ferrets may help to keep mice away from the immediate area where their cage is. However, even though mice know that ferrets are a threat, a ferret’s food often attracts mice. Therefore, ferrets can sometimes attract mice.
If you give your ferret free rein of your home and they encounter a mouse, they’ll likely kill it. That’s because mice are natural prey for ferrets.
Nevertheless, there are dangers if your ferret kills a mouse in your home. They include:
- The mouse could have a disease such as rabies
- Your ferret could get fleas or ticks
- If the mouse consumed poison, it could affect your ferret’s body
Another item to consider when allowing your ferret to run around your home to kill mice is that they could end up doing more damage to your home than it’s worth. For example, ferrets will chew on anything they can get their teeth on.
For this reason, you should ensure they don’t have access to cables and wires. Furthermore, your ferret may end up scratching your brand-new sofa since they love to dig.
Ferrets can attract mice because of the smell of their food. Although mice prefer a plant-based diet, they’re omnivores. Therefore, the scent of your ferret’s carnivorous food will attract them, especially if they don’t have other food options.
To make matters worse, ferrets digest their food rapidly because of a short digestive tract. Therefore, most ferret owners leave food in their ferret’s dish 24/7 to prevent them from becoming hungry.
Although mice shouldn’t be able to enter a ferret cage (and they likely wouldn’t be brave enough to get that close to your ferret, anyway), your ferret’s food could end up beckoning more mice to your home than if you didn’t own a ferret.
If you have a mouse problem in your home and you suspect it has to do with your ferret’s food in their cage, it’s best to use other methods for getting rid of the problem.
For starters, make sure you store your ferret’s food in an airtight plastic container. Like ferrets, mice love to chew. Therefore, if you leave your ferret’s food in its bag, you could unknowingly be inviting mice into your home.
Another option is to use a pet-friendly humane mouse trap. We like Blinc’s mouse trap because it doesn’t use any poison to capture mice. Furthermore, it has a small enough opening that would be challenging for an adult ferret to crawl into.
To prevent your ferret from getting hurt, you should place these mouse traps in an area of your home that your ferret doesn’t have access to.
Ferrets emit a musky odor that mice can detect. However, a ferret’s smell might not be enough to keep mice from entering your home.
If you’re wondering what causes a ferret’s pungent order, it’s because of scent glands in their skin. Ferrets also have an even more pungent scent that comes from their anal glands. However, if you purchased your ferret from a pet store, you can assume that they removed these glands.
Even though your ferret can stink up the room where it lives, in reality, it doesn’t smell as much as it would in the wild. The odor of domesticated ferrets may have less of an impact when it comes to deterring rats compared to wild ferrets.
Ferret urine is a natural mouse deterrent that humans haven’t tampered with. You undoubtedly don’t want to let your ferret’s litter box pile up in your house—that can be damaging for both your and your ferret’s health.
In fact, you should scoop out your ferret’s urine and droppings daily. The ability of ferret urine to help deter mice is negligible.
There’s no reason you should hold off on bathing your ferret with the hope that its scent will deter mice. Given that domesticated ferrets already have less smell than wild ferrets and that a ferret’s food may invite mice into your home, it’s best for your nostrils and your ferret’s health to keep up with their regular grooming practices.
Bathing your ferret once or twice a month is a good balance between minimizing their odor without stripping their skin of its natural oils.
Ferrets are not ideal for rodent control. While they might influence keeping rodents away, it may only be in the vicinity of their cage—and that’s assuming that there’s not a lot of yummy smelling food laying around that could encourage a hungry mouse to visit your home.
Welcoming a ferret into your home for the sole purpose of rodent control isn’t usually as effective as other methods.
So, when considering the question “Do ferrets keep mice away?” you’re better off considering other rodent control methods. They include:
- Removing sources of food and water
- Keeping the area around your house free of weeds and bushy plants
- Tapping any holes where rodents can enter
- Checking for openings if you have a tile roof
As mentioned earlier, you can also use humane traps. However, if you’re using these traps in your home, especially if they’re traps for rodents larger than a mouse, it’s critical to keep them away from areas where your ferret can access them.
Ferrets eat mice in the wild, but their odor may not be strong enough to keep mice away from your house. Ferret food can also attract mice. Therefore, it’s best to use the other methods discussed here to prevent mice from entering your home.