You’re planning to cook up a delicious meal on your Blackstone griddle when you notice something strange on the cooking surface. First, it looks like tiny burnt specks. But upon closer inspection, you realize that they’re actually mouse droppings! Ew!
Now, you’re wondering if your griddle is still safe to use and how to prevent mice from coming back.
Mice and other rodents such as rats can be a real problem, not only for hygiene reasons but also because they can damage some parts of your griddle. So what can you do to keep these pesky critters away?
The quick answer:
The best way to keep mice and other rodents out of your griddle is to take some preventive measures such as using a hardcover when the griddle is not used. Keeping the griddle top clean and free of burnt food debris is also important because pests are attracted to food.
If you do find droppings on your griddle, be sure to clean and sanitize the surface thoroughly before cooking on it again.
Let’s discuss this whole mouse topic more thoroughly so you can keep your griddle mice-free and avoid any potential health problems.
Table of Contents
- How Do I Keep Mice Out of My Griddle?
- Can You Use a Griddle After Mice Infestation?
- How to Clean and Sanitize Your Griddle After Mice Invasion?
How Do I Keep Mice Out of My Griddle?
There are a few things you can do to keep mice and other rodents from invading your outdoor griddle.
The most important thing is to keep your griddle clean at all times when you are not using it. After the griddle is clean, use a hardcover to deny the rodents access to the cooking surface. You can also try using scents that mice hate to keep them from invading your griddle or grill.
Here are the tips covered in detail:
Clean your griddle after every use
For starters, you’ll want to make sure that your griddle is clean and free of food debris. Mice are attracted to burgers just like you are :-). So if there’s nothing for them to eat, they’re less likely to stick around.
Although there are occasions when mice will find your griddle attractive for other reasons, such as nesting, in most cases, they’re usually just looking for a meal.
I’ve stressed the importance of cleanliness before, but it bears repeating. Not only can a clean griddle prevent mice from coming, but it will also prolong the lifespan of your griddle and help it to function at its best without rusting and looking like a disgusting mess.
Cleaning is especially important if you are stowing the griddle away for winter. Mice will be looking for food even more than during summer and a griddle covered in food debris will be like a buffet for them. So unless you are planning to use your griddle in winter, make sure it is perfectly clean of food remnants.
Empty the grease tray
If your griddle has a grease management system, be sure to empty the grease tray after each use.
Mice are attracted to the smell of grease, so if you leave the tray full, you’re pretty much inviting them over for a feast. Also, it’s not only mice that are attracted to the smell of grease – other critters, such as raccoons or even bears.
Although bears are unlikely to poop on your shiny Blackstone griddle, I am pretty sure you don’t want them anywhere near your outdoor kitchen!
In addition to emptying the grease tray, you should also clean it regularly with hot soapy water. This will help to remove any built-up grease and grime that might be attracting mice.
Another solution is to use disposable aluminum liners for the tray. Just throw them away after your cooking session and you are done. Or you can create a makeshift liner from a piece of aluminum foil.
Use a hardcover for your griddle
Another way to keep mice away from your griddle is to use a hardcover when it’s not in use. This will block their access and prevent them from pooping all over the griddle top.
Some griddles, such as some of the Blackstone models, come with a hardcover, but if yours doesn’t, you can try to find one that’s compatible with your model.
The cover needs to fit snugly so that mice can’t squeeze through any gaps. You’d be surprised how small of a space these rodents can squeeze through! One of the gaps that are often forgotten is the grease drain hole. So make sure to cover the hole or stuff it with something that mice cannot chew through.
You should also make sure to clean the cover regularly as mice can still leave droppings on it.
If you can’t find or make a suitable hardcover, you can at least try to cover the surface of the griddle plate so that the rodents stop running and pooping on the parts that come directly into contact with food. A good solution might be for example a wooden board cut to fit the surface of the griddle. This way, the mice will be running on the board instead of the griddle top.
Keep your outdoor area and storage place clean and tidy
Mice are attracted to cluttered and messy areas, so if your outdoor kitchen or storage place is a mess, it’s likely that mice will find their way in.
Try to keep the area around your griddle clean and tidy, and if possible, store your griddle in a place that’s not easily accessible to mice.
Store the griddle indoors
Storing the griddle indoors is the best way to keep mice away from it and it is also a good way to protect the griddle from the elements. Of course, mice can be a problem even indoors, but it’s a bit less likely than when leaving it outside.
If you don’t have enough space to store the griddle indoors, or if you simply prefer to keep it outdoors, then be sure to use the hardcover mentioned above and follow all the other tips in this article.
Try using mouse deterrents
There are several commercial products on the market that are designed to deter mice. These can be effective, but they’re not always foolproof.
Instead of relying on commercial chemicals and pesticides, you can try using some natural methods to keep mice away.
Mice have a strong sense of smell, so you can try using that to your advantage and deter them with smells they hate. Some people swear by the use of peppermint oil. An easy way to implement peppermint into your griddle defense force (aka GDF :-)) is to have cotton balls dipped in the oil and placed around the perimeter of your griddle.
You can also try using other strong-smelling herbs, oils, and spices, such as cloves, cinnamon, lavender, or eucalyptus oil.
Here’s a list of scents that mice hate:
- peppermint in various forms such as peppermint oil, or even peppermint tea bags
- eucalyptus oil
- ammonia (most humans hate that scent too, so probably not a good idea)
If you do decide to try any of these, it is best to place the scented items near the griddle and not directly on the griddle plate as that might later affect the flavor of your food. Of course, don’t even think about placing harsh chemicals or pesticides on the griddle plate.
Get a cat
You might be thinking this is a joke, but it’s not!
Cats are natural predators of mice, so having a feline friend around your outdoor kitchen area can help to keep the mice population under control.
The downside is that your cat friend may sometimes bring you “presents” in the form of dead mice, but that’s a small price to pay for peace of mind, right?
Try using mouse traps
You can also try using mouse traps to catch the culprits. If you do decide to go this route, just be sure to check the traps regularly and dispose of any caught and killed mice properly.
One of the problems with traps is that mice are not some lone cowboys on the prowl. If there is one mouse, there are always more around.
So, if you have an infestation, you will likely need to set several traps to make a dent. Even then, mice are known to avoid traps if they can smell your scent on or near the trap, so trapping them is not always a walk in the park.
And please, only use humane traps. Disregard any advice for using glue traps, as those are just inhumane and cruel.
Can You Use a Griddle After Mice Infestation?
Yes, you can still use your griddle after mice have been on it, but you’ll need to clean and sanitize the surface thoroughly first. You wouldn’t throw away your 1,000-dollar griddle just because a mouse pooped or peed on it, would you?
OK, I guess some people might, but most people would just clean it thoroughly and carry on as usual.
And that’s what you should do too. Just make sure to clean and sanitize the griddle top thoroughly, and you’ll be fine.
If you are in a hurry, you might be thinking about skipping the cleaning part and just sweeping the droppings off the griddle. But that’s not enough as rodents can carry diseases, which might transfer to you if you don’t clean the cooking top properly.
I mean, I get it, the griddle top will get very hot and kill any bacteria or viruses, but it is still recommended to clean it properly for peace of mind. Besides the mice could have soiled other parts of the griddle, such as the side trays, knobs, or handles, which you are very likely to touch when using the griddle.
How to Clean and Sanitize Your Griddle After Mice Invasion?
The deed is done, and now your only goal is to clean the griddle as thoroughly as possible.
Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting you started, but keep in mind there are multiple ways to clean and sanitize an outdoor griddle.
- Prepare a cleaning solution by mixing one part of vinegar with four parts of soapy water in a bucket or use another food-surface-safe disinfectant instead of soap.
- If at all possible, take the griddle apart to allow you to clean the hard-to-reach areas more easily.
- Scrape away any food debris and mice droppings from the griddle top with a spatula or a scraper. The griddle tops are usually made of steel, so they can withstand scraping.
- Rinse the griddle top with clean water to remove any leftover debris.
- Spray the prepared cleaning solution on the griddle top and let it sit for a few minutes.
- Rinse the griddle top again.
- Dunk a clean sponge, cloth, or bristle brush in the cleaning solution and wipe down the entire griddle.
- Hose down the griddle.
- Leave it to air dry or use paper towels, or a dry cloth to speed up the drying.
- Reassemble the griddle and apply a thin layer of cooking oil to the griddle surface and heat the griddle at the max temperature for about 10 minutes. This will kill any remaining bacteria or viruses.
- Your griddle is now ready.
Don’t forget that mice are active every day and night and will generally not pack their things and leave on their own when there’s food around. So unless you deter them, they will keep coming back. Refer to the previous section for some ideas on how to keep them away.
Mice can be a real nuisance, especially if they start invading your outdoor appliances. In this article, we’ve given you some tips on how to keep those pesky rodents away from your grill.
Hopefully, some of the tips were helpful and you can now enjoy your griddle worry-free and mice-dropping-free!
If the mice come over for a visit again, just remember to clean and sanitize the cooking surface thoroughly to avoid any diseases.
Can you get sick from old mouse droppings?
Yes, you can get sick from contact with old mouse droppings, as they can contain harmful bacteria and viruses such as hantaviruses. If you think you may have been exposed and not feeling well, you should contact your doctor.
What smells do mice dislike?
Mice dislike the smell of peppermint, so you can try using peppermint oil to deter them. You can also try other essential oils, such as eucalyptus, lemon, or lavender.
Do glue traps work for mice?
While glue traps do work for mice they are absolutely inhumane and in my opinion, should be banned for good. How would you like being stuck to a piece of cardboard not being able to move until you slowly starve to death, suffocate, or chew your leg off?
Does vinegar disinfect mouse droppings?
Vinegar can kill some bacteria and viruses, but it is not nearly as effective as proper disinfectants. Vinegar is an excellent cleaner though.
Do dryer sheets repel mice?
Yes, dryer sheets have been reported to repel mice. You can try putting a few in strategic places around your griddle, such as near the legs or in the storage area.
Does Irish Spring soap keep mice away?
Yes, funnily enough, Irish Spring soap has been reported to keep mice away as well. Just like with the dryer sheets, you can try putting a few bars in strategic places around your griddle. Some even place it inside the griddle for example in the air fryer baskets of the Blackstone griddle. Just don’t forget to take the soap bar out before cooking!
Do ultrasonic devices work to keep mice away?
Some people say that yes, they work, while others claim that they don’t. I have not personally tried them so I can’t say for sure. I know for sure that an ultrasonic repeller didn’t work on a mole that was digging out tunnels in my yard a few years ago, but it may work on mice.