How to Get Rid of Mice in Your House: The Complete Guide
In this guide, we will discuss mouse control methods that work and get rid of mice for good. We’ll cover everything regarding mouse control from the best ways to kill mice with snap traps or bait stations to the best ways to trap them.
So, if you’re looking for a humane solution for rodent control or something a bit more ruthless, we’ve got you covered!
We’ll also provide some tips on how to prevent mice from coming into your house in the first place. So, if you’re ready to get rid of those pesky mice, then read on!
Mice can be a real nuisance, especially when they start invading your home. If you’ve been dealing with mouse activity, you know just how frustrating it can be. Not to mention, mice can also be dangerous if they start chewing on wires or spreading disease.
Adult mice are only about five to seven inches long, including their tail. But don’t let their size fool you – mice can cause a lot of damage. Mice also spread diseases like salmonella and hantavirus, so it’s important to get rid of them.
What Attracts Mice to Your House?
There are a few things that attract mice to your home:
Mice are attracted to food sources so, if you have food out in the open, even crumbs, it’s more likely that mice will be drawn to your home.
Mice like warm places to nest, so if your home is particularly warm, it may be more attractive to mice.
Mice like to nest in cluttered areas – they are safer there. For the most part, mice do not like being out in the open. If your home is particularly cluttered, it may be more attractive to mice.
Mice like to nest in soft comfy materials such as paper (including old newspapers), cardboard, insulation, vegetation, and all kinds of fabrics.
The nest is where the newborn mice will live for the first three weeks of their life – so the adult mice want to make the mouse nest as safe and comfortable as possible. So if you have these materials lying around, putting them in a secure container would make your house less friendly to mice.
If you are storing blankets, Christmas decorations, or paper items, the best option is to store them in durable plastic bins with lids that are shut tight. While mice can chew through plastic, it is unlikely a house mouse will chew through a good-quality bin that does not have food in it. Metal file cabinets are good for paper items that are being stored.
Identify Entry Points
The first step in getting rid of mice is to identify where they are coming into your home.
Mice can, and will, squeeze through tiny cracks and holes to get inside. Once you know where they are coming in, you can block those openings with copper mesh, steel wool, or caulk.
Mice can flatten their bodies to fit into spaces as small as a dime, so be sure to check both big and small openings.
Be sure to look where utilities go into the house and make sure the entry holes are sealed up tight.
We have found mouse nests in attics, basements, sheds, bedroom drawers (Yikes!), behind appliances, in boxes, under the hoods of cars, and many other places!
Mouse nests are usually located where the mice feel safe and have access to food, water, and warmth.
Now that we know what attracts mice to your home, let’s talk about how to get rid of them!
Need help getting rid of mice?
Confirm There’s an Infestation
If you think you might have a house mouse infestation, the first step is to confirm it. Mice are pretty small and mouse nests can be hard to find – so they’re not always easy to spot.
Mouse nests can be inside walls or other places that you cannot access. Also, keep in mind that the mouse nest may not be inside your house – the mice may be outside and just come in and out in search of food or water. However, even if you can’t find a mouse nest, there are some telltale signs that you can look for:
One of the most obvious signs of a mouse problem is droppings. Mice tend to leave behind droppings wherever they go. If you see small, black pellets in your cupboards or around your food, then there’s a good chance you have a mouse problem.
Strange or Unfamiliar Noises
Mice are also known for making strange or unfamiliar noises – like scratching and squeaking noises. If you hear these kinds of noises coming from your walls or ceilings, then there’s a good chance you have a mouse problem.
Mice like to chew on things, so another sign of a mouse problem is damage to your belongings. If you see teeth marks on food packages or furniture, chewed-up boxes, or papers, then it’s likely that you have a mouse problem.
Check your pet food and make sure the mice cannot get into it. Store pet food in metal containers that mice cannot get into. Also, do not leave pet food in your pet’s bowl. When you are sleeping, the mice will be having a nice meal!
Choose a Method of Mouse Removal
When you realize that you have a house mouse infestation, it’s time to take action. The sooner you get rid of the mice, the better. If you delay for too long, the mouse populations will just increase.
There are several ways to approach house mouse control and here are some of the best ways to get rid of mice in your house:
Trapping is one of the most popular methods for getting rid of mice. There are all sorts of different traps available, from traditional snap traps to live traps.
Rodent Bait Stations
Another popular method for getting rid of mice is using bait stations. There are all sorts of different rodent baits available on the market. Just be sure to use them safely and according to the instructions on the label! The bait is a Pesticide and can harm people and animals. The rodent baits MUST be in a container made for this use.
The potential downside to using rodent baits is that when mice (or rats) feed on the bait stations, the dead rodents might die inside your house. House mouse control can be a smelly job!
Glue boards are an option to catch mice without using bait blocks (which contain rodenticides) or snap traps (which can hurt if your finger gets snapped). Glue boards provide effective control for newborn mice and smaller/weaker house mice. However, stronger mice are sometimes strong enough to pull themselves off of the glue board.
There are also several different repellents available that can help keep mice away. The repellents work as a good preventative mouse control tool to keep mice away.
Repellents can be sprayed around the perimeter of your home to deter the mice. Some repellents can be used inside cabinets and drawers but, you may not like the odor. Repellents can help but, if you already have mice in your house, you will need additional methods to get rid of them!
Read the instructions on the label carefully before using the product.
Where to Place Mouse Traps
The placement of your mouse traps is important for their effectiveness. Mice are creatures of habit and tend to travel along the same routes every day. So, it’s important to place your traps in these high-traffic areas. Mice seldom venture more than ten feet from their nests, so focus your efforts on these areas.
You should also place traps near food sources. Mice are attracted to food – so placing traps near food sources is a good way to attract them. Some common food sources include:
Mice like to nibble on cereal, crackers, and other dry goods. So, it’s a good idea to place traps in your cupboards.
Mice also like to eat food that is stored in pantries. So, it’s a good idea to place traps in these areas as well.
The most important thing to remember when placing traps is to be patient. Mice are wary of changes and it might take them a few days to adjust to the new traps. But, if you’re persistent, you will eventually catch them!
What if I have a Pet?
If you have a pet, you might be wondering if it’s safe to use mouse traps. The answer is yes – as long as you use them properly.
The best way to use mouse traps with pets is to place the traps in areas that your pet cannot access such as the sills in your basement, behind the refrigerator or in utility closets that are kept shut.
How to Kill Mice with Rodent Baits
When using rodent baits, it’s important to place the bait in an area where children and pets can’t reach it. Mice are attracted to food, so placing the bait in the vicinity of food is a good way to increase your chances of them eating it. Just be sure to follow the label instructions on the package and dispose of the bodies safely.
How to get rid of Mice without Snap Traps or Rodent Baits
If you don’t want to kill the house mouse, there are other options available. Trapping is an option if you’re looking for a humane solution. There are live traps you can purchase. Just be sure to release the mice far enough away so they don’t find their way back. They should be moved at least a mile away from your house.
Repellents are also an option if you’re looking for a way to keep mice away without killing them. These can be sprayed around the perimeter of your home or inside cabinets and drawers. These treatments will need to be done on a regular schedule.
The sooner you get rid of the mice, the better!
Will Mice Just Go Away?
Mice are attracted to food, water, and shelter. So as long as your home has these things, they will continue to come inside.
Do Mice Harm You?
While some are cute creatures, the mouse can be a dangerous pest. Mice are known to spread disease, contaminate food, and damage property.
Tips for Cleaning up after a Mouse Infestation
If you’ve had a mouse problem, it’s important to clean up properly to prevent the spread of diseases. Here are a few tips for cleaning up after you get rid of the mice:
When cleaning up after a mouse problem, it’s important to wear gloves to protect your hands from diseases.
Wear a Respirator (or at least a dust mask)
Dried-out house mouse droppings become airborne when they are disturbed by vacuuming or sweeping up the mess. Breathing in airborne droppings/dust is the most common way Hantavirus is spread.
Spray Down the Area With Water
This is very important. The first thing to do when you encounter mice in a house it to get a spray can with water and spray the entire location. This will keep the mouse droppings from becoming airborne.
- If you do vacuum, make sure to use a vacuum with a HEPA filter.
- Use disinfectant: When cleaning up after a mouse infestation, it’s important to use disinfectant to clean all surfaces that may have been contaminated.
- Throw away contaminated items: If an item has been contaminated by a mouse, it’s important to throw it away.
How Fast does a House Mouse Population Grow?
It’s also important to realize that there is (almost) never one house mouse in a house!
Mice reproduce quickly. A female house mouse can have up to eight litters per year with five to six mice in each litter. This means that a single pair of mice can produce 40-60 offspring in just a few months!
Mouse control can be difficult…
But if you follow these guidelines, you should be on the right track!