View Full Version : Mouse Odor Control

Mouse Odor Control

05-02-2004, 02:33 PM
Having 3 colonies of mice set up is really making that mousey odor rather apparent. =(

They are currently housed in glass aquariums with metal screened lids. I'm using aspen for the litter and feeding a custom blended block type diet. I clean their cages out weekly and add Arm & Hammer Cat Litter Powder to the bottom before I refill it with aspen, and it seems to have helped the smell but not enough for me.

I'm curious to know if any of you folks who breed more mice than me have come across anything you can add to their diet or water that minimizes odors rather well.

I've heard several people recommend adding vanilla to their water bottles. Imitation vanilla or pure vanilla (kinda pricey)? How much? And are you in any way concerned that both vanilla sources contain a good quantity of alcohol? Alcohol has been shown in several studies of both mice and humans that it can affect fetal development adversely.

I've used a product in the past for my ferret that neutralizes urine and feces odor within the body. How it does it I don't know, I'm not a chemist. It's called Marshall Ferret Bi-Odor Ferret Deoderizer (http://www.ferretstore.com/marpetprodbi.html) and it comes in a variety of bottle sizes and it helps tremendously lower the amount of "bathroom smell" my ferret puts out. You simply add a couple of squirts to their water bottle and after a week you notice the smell significantly reduced. I've been thinking of trying it with my mice here lately.

I've used it on rats, rabbits, and guinea pigs successfully and it reduced the tell-tale urine smell quite well, so I really see no point in not trying it with mice. My only qualm about it is that it isn't cheap by any means. If I do decide to try it again, I'll let you know how it goes. They even have a catnip flavored version for use in cats. =P

Anyway let me know what you all use.

05-02-2004, 02:53 PM
I wish I knew of something to use. I've tried the vanilla, but it doesn't seem to be helping...

I've even been cleaning my tanks twice a week, and it STILL stinks! I was thinking about just putting some straight baking soda in the tank, but I don't know how much it will help.

To be honest, once we move, the mice will be banned to the shed if I can't figure something out.

Dwight Good
05-02-2004, 06:38 PM
Have you tried pine shavings as bedding material? That might help cut down some of the odor. Cedar might also help.

How many mice are you keeping in each cage? Of course smaller sized colonies will put off less odor than larger sized ones. I use rather small tubs for breeding but only use 1.3 adults in each cage. I've used larger tubs (32 qt) and kept higher numbers of adults (2.12) in them but they get dirty (and stinky) fast.

One thing I've tried with rats (haven't done it with mice) is to add a thin layer of really cheap cat litter to the bottom of the pans before adding the bedding. Maybe that would help?

Good luck,

05-04-2004, 09:27 AM
* Imitation Vanilla, 1/2 teaspoon per gallon. There is some alcohol, but in the end you are giving them the equivalent of a wine cooler once a week.... I mean to say it's not enough to cause birth defects... because all studies show that excess causes birth defects, not tiny trace amounts.

I sprinkle a small layer of cedar at the base of the cage. I've tried cat litters, but it never seemed to work for me. On top of the cat litter I put the pine. I also use alfalfa hay (which REALLY controls the odor, as long as you're not allergic to hay). Chlorophyll bedding gave me the idea of the hay, as it also controls the odor. I never feed mice bread products as that REALLY smells. Leave a little bit of dirty bedding in the cage when you change it, so the male mice don't have to go mark up the new cage. Change the cage twice a week. More males = more odor. I've heard that grapefruit seed extract (GSE) is the magic that modifies Odors. But haven't ever found it.

Biggest stinky time is when the females have babies. All that inner stuff makes a ripe odor, then the females have diahrea, and then the males go into sexual overdrive... stinky times.

Rats aren't as stinky, but still bad. My "weanling rat bin" is 24 inches by 36 inches by 48 inches (HUGE) and is an old parrot bird cage. I got it used for $30 and added a bunch of levels, wheel, etc. 60 rats in that cage don't stink as bad as 2 cages of mice.

05-04-2004, 03:12 PM
i used to breed mice and rats, but the mice were the smelliest. I used the vanilla in the water too... and i could tell a slight difference but nothing as drastic as my SECRET ingredient in the water. Lets see if you can guess what it is:

it can come in liquid, powder or pill (most common) form
you can buy it at any drug store or GNC
it can be used to stimulate redblood cell formation in anemia
usually found in dark leafy vegetables, wheat grass, barley, algae...
it also has anit-inflammatory, wound-healing and antioxidant properties.
AND THE LAST CLUE, probably the one that will give it away, it's used to treat halitosis (bad breath).

anyone, any guesses?


05-04-2004, 03:56 PM
Mouth wash? lol

05-04-2004, 04:19 PM
I currently have over 1,000 of each (rats and mice). I use pine (Emerald Peak-the best I've found so far). I remove the females when they show signs of being gravid. That cuts down the extra activity from the males when babies are born. I haven't found any other trick other than cleaning the bedding out often. I will say that the grass near and around my compost is the greenest and thickest grass around.

05-04-2004, 04:20 PM
beta carotene or zinc?

05-04-2004, 04:55 PM
Cedar might also help.

Avoid Cedar. An acquaintance of mine fed her snakes mice raised on cedar, and the snakes became extremely sick and started regurging constantly. She lost quite a few before she figured out what was wrong.

Cedar is toxic. It's toxic to reptiles, toxic to rodents (especially if ventilation is poor), and toxic to humans. People who live near cedar trees often get ill from them.

It's not a substance I would recommend for anything related to animal husbandry.


05-05-2004, 05:03 PM
I use 'Feline Pine' a product for cat litter which I found to be extremely good. I don't have anymore of the unpleasant cat box odors anymore and cleaning the litter box is a breaze now. So I decided to use it for my mouse & rat cages and have had very good luck with it. It comes in pelleted form and you don't even need to cover the entire bottom of the container completely with it as it breaks down into more of a sawdust type form as it absorbs the moistures and I don't have dried on urine areas on the bottoms of their containers or anyplace that needs to be scrubbed clean. I just dump out the old litter and everything comes out nicely, give the container a quick washing and put a little new litter in and done. Oh, I do use a nice handful of alfalfa hay sold in the bag for their nest hides and they love it. I have tried other types of bedding but always had a terrible time with the smell by the second day after cleaning but not with this.
I wouldn't advise using cedar either.
Here is a picture of the product I use.

05-05-2004, 09:07 PM

Is it chlorophyll?

A quick search on GNC comes up with everything you listed. =P

If so, how do you administer? Drops in the water bottles?

Matt L
05-06-2004, 12:59 AM
I have the answer! ALFALFA PELLETS! You can buy them in feed supply stores for about 10.00us for a 50lb bag. They don't make good nesting material, so I throw in a small handfull of pine. I have gone as long as 14 days with little smell. Now I will add that the alfalfa has an odor, but it's alot more pleasent than the alternative. Is anyone else using alfalfa--let me know. I have tried everything from pine to kittylitter. This is the best!

05-06-2004, 04:15 AM
I have Natal Rats they are as smal as a mouse but they dont smell, like normal a mouse do.

05-06-2004, 12:50 PM
YES TACEAS!!! CLOROPHYLL!!! and GNC is exactly where i get it. i get it in pill form and put it in the water, about 2 pills per gallon (1000 mg). Just break the pill open and put it in the water and viola! I thnk it works great, you guys should try it and tell me if it helps you too. Sorry it took me so long to reply by the way, i was outa town. g2g,

05-08-2004, 10:35 PM
Some guy at the reptile show was selling coconut husk which he says has eliminated the mouse scent when he keeps his mice on it. Don't know if it's true or not, but you might look at that.

05-09-2004, 02:55 AM
I bought some alfalfa pellets yesterday. I look forward to giving it a try. I decided to try it first because of the cost. It was only $7.90 plus tax for a 50 pound bag! I'll be thrilled if it helps with the horrible odor!

05-10-2004, 11:26 PM
I've just purchased a 16oz bottle of liquid chlorophyll from this site (http://www.healthywarehouse.com/nspProduct/1683.asp).

I'll let you know how it does when added to their water bottles. I figured the 16oz would be enough to get started on. If I end up needing more, they do offer a 32oz bottle as well.


05-11-2004, 06:50 AM
The alfalfa plant, from which Nature’s Sunshine’s chlorophyll comes, is an excellent source of chlorophyll.

I have had my mice on the alfalfa pellets for going on three days now. There is a slight alfalfa smell when I first walk into the room where the mice are, but after a few seconds I don't even notice it. As of now, there is still no mouse odor. Typically, I thought they smelt horrible after day one (on Aspen bedding). So far I am quite pleased with the alfalfa pellets.

I find the above statement interesting because of the fact they get the chlorophyll from alfalfa. I am thinking that's why the alfalfa pellets work also...

05-11-2004, 03:30 PM
thats interesting that that company's chlorophyll comes from alfalfa. Im not sure where GNC's chlorophyll comes from, but i guess Misty and Terri.


05-11-2004, 07:46 PM
Well...it sure doesn't come from me :D (LOL...just giving you a hard time because that's how your sentence read!)

05-12-2004, 12:52 AM
Well I know I've got Irish blood running around these German veins..but I didn't know it was that apparent. =B