As soon as kids hear the word mouse, they might remember their favorite Jerry of the “Tom and Jerry show.” But when it comes to real life, we all know that Jerry can only look good on the show but not in our house. They may look as cute critters, but in no case, you would like to invite them to be your guests.
Mice can quickly take up residence in your home. And if you’ve seen one mouse, there’s a very high probability that there is more than one rodent running through your home. The best way to get rid of mice is to fully understand their habits and why they’re in your home in the first place.
I’ll give you a little hint: food and water.
Mice aren’t trying to harm you or do anything wrong: they’re trying to survive. While they may be less than pleasant, knowing a few mice facts can go a long way in helping you rid your home of these creatures.
Table of Contents
- How Mice Enter Homes
- How to Get Rid of Mice
- Using Mouse Repellents
- 1. Electric Mouse Repellents
- Ultrasonic Pest Control Devices
- 2. Peppermint Oil Mice
- Best Ways to Kill Mice Fast in Your Kitchen
- 3. Clean Your Kitchen – The Right Way
- Mice Poison and Traps
- 4. Mouse Poison
- 5. Mouse Traps
- How to Prevent Mice Infestation In House
- 6. Bring a Pet Cat
- 7. Calling for the Professionals
- Mouse Infestation: 6 Signs of a House Mouse Infestation
- How to Get Rid of Mice in the Garage
- Traps and Baits We Recommend
How Mice Enter Homes
Chances are, if you’ve seen a mouse in your home, it’s the common field mouse. Your first instinct may be to place a mouse trap to kill the mouse, but this is only a temporary fix if you haven’t found where the mice are entering the home.
Mice are crafty, and they’ll be able to enter your home through:
- Window gaps
- Ceiling gaps
- Sewer lines
- Improperly sealed drainage pipes
A gap in your home’s foundation or even a small hole in your roof can let mice in. Pests are rather resourceful and will work diligently to find a way to get in your home. If you want to know how to keep mice out, the answer is simple: seal any gaps or holes.
A mouse exterminator is worthless if there are still entryways into the home.
More mice exist – I can promise you that. Easy entry into your home is just as good as an open invitation to mice to come and build a nest in your home.
Sealing the following will help keep mice at bay:
- Unsealed drain pipes
Cement or metal will be needed to seal all of these gaps to keep the mice out.
This is the key most important thing you can do as a homeowner to keep pests away from your home. Everything from bugs to mice will enter your home through these gaps, so it’s time well spent when sealing all of these entryways.
How to Get Rid of Mice
The best way to catch a mouse is to keep them away in the first place. Yes, we’ll be discussing how to catch a mouse later on, but if you can repel mice, you’ll never need to worry about catching these vermin anyway.
Using Mouse Repellents
Repellents will be your first course of action. This can be a device, or it can be something as simple as a particular oil or scented item that mice hate.
Two of the most potent repellents are:
When you choose to use an electric repellent, this is a device that will normally emit an inaudible sound that mice hate. This is something that we cover in length in our electronic mouse repellent article.
Electric repellents are something you want to use when you’re not infested with mice.
But people have had a lot of success with causing mice to leave their home by using this repellent.
Ultrasonic Pest Control Devices
This device is easy to handle and does not require any labour. You can buy one ultrasonic device form online stores like Pest Shot and plug it on. As soon as it is switched one, it produces an ultrasonic sound which can’t be taken up by the mice, and thus they keep away from your house.
Mice despise peppermint oil. You’ll have less success getting mice to leave than you will trying to stop mice from entering your home when using peppermint oil. This oil can be purchased online, and you want to try to find an oil that is “pure.”
Peppermint is a sensory deterrent, so you want the mice to be able to smell it from a mile away.
But you don’t want to just start pouring peppermint oil all around your home – it will be overpowering. Instead, I recommend:
- Dipping a cotton ball in the oil
- Placing the cotton balls in strategic locations
- Replacing the cotton balls 1 – 2 times per week
If you know where they’re getting in, you can place the cotton balls in or next to these locations for best results.
There are numerous other methods, with varying degrees of viability, that are recommended to repel mice:
- Flashing lights
- Cat urine
If you’re interested in the exact method to follow with peppermint oil, our peppermint oil mice post goes into great detail on the matter.
Infestations that have gotten out of control need to be dealt with in a more aggressive approach. Repellents are great, but they do have a few drawbacks, too. Oils are great, but they can’t be placed in walls or in areas that mice can get into but you can’t get into without breaking a hole in the wall.
Multiple mouse sightings or a problem that simply won’t go away will need a much more refined approach that aims to kill or at least remove mice from the home.
Best Ways to Kill Mice Fast in Your Kitchen
You’ve sealed your holes and gaps, and you’ve also cleaned – right? A quick note before we go any further into how to kill mice: you need to clean, clean and clean some more. Mice want food, and if there is food present, they’ll have a very good reason to be in your home.
3. Clean Your Kitchen – The Right Way
Mice aren’t particular with the food that they eat. Sure, there are some foods that mice like more than others, but for the most part, mice will eat anything. Even crumbs and small little messes (especially important if you have kids) will be an issue.
If the infestation has gotten bad, you’ll need to be on top of your cleaning.
Best ways to get rid of mice in the kitchen:
- Remove garbage often
- Never place trash bags outside of the home
- Clean dishes
- Seal any food when possible
You may even find that there are little holes on food bags. Bread is a great example of where you’ll find mouse tracks. Look for small holes in bags and for mouse droppings. If you find any holes, you know that there is a major issue in your home.
When asking how to get rid of mice in your kitchen, the one thing I can recommend is “peppermint oil.” A trick that I like to use a lot is the following:
- Place water in a spray bottle
- Place a generous amount of peppermint oil in the bottle
You should be generous with the peppermint oil as you want the scent to be strong enough that the mice will be repelled by it. If you find that the scent is too light, the water diluted the oil too much, so you’ll want to add more peppermint oil into the spray bottle as needed.
Once you’ve done this, you can:
- Clean Counters: Use the spray as a cleaner. Simply spray the counters and dry with a clean rag. This will put the scent on the counters while also cleansing the counters.
- Clean Floors: Wood and tile floors can be cleaned with peppermint oil. Simply spray the oil on the floor and clean with a rag or dry mop.
If you mop your floors, you’ll need a lot of peppermint oil so that the smell of the peppermint is not too diluted by the massive amount of water in the bucket. I don’t find mopping with peppermint oil to be viable in most cases because you’ll need to use an abundance of the oil in the process.
Mice Poison and Traps
If you want to know how to get rid of mice naturally, the best thing you can do is use humane traps. Once an infestation has occurred, there will be little that you can do to deter the mice from staying in the home.
Traps can and do help as well as mice poison.
4. Mouse Poison
A lot of people that want to know how to get rid of mice in walls will often ask about mice poison. On the onset of the infestation, poisons seem to be a smart choice, and they can definitely kill mice quickly.
There are three things you need to know about mice poison:
- Mice Poison is Slow: When you think of mice eating poison, you may envision them dying right on the spot. Immediate death would be ideal, but mice don’t die the instant they eat the poison. They’ll die slowly, and this isn’t a good thing. Mice will go to places they deem safe – your attic or walls – and they’ll die. This will lead to you needing to open the walls to remove the dead mouse and will be very unpleasant, too.
- Mice Poison is Dangerous: In the ideal world, the poison would only kill mice and wouldn’t pose a risk to anyone else. Kids and animals can become very sick or even die if they also eat the poison.
- Not All Mice Will Die: Mice are not like ants. They won’t bring the poison back to their nest and kill the others. A mouse or two (or even half a nest) may die, but if the other half doesn’t take the poison, you did little to remedy the problem.
What most people fail to tell you is that within a short few weeks or months, mice can breed and add an additional 200 critters to a nest. If you don’t kill them all, you’ll find that more will come back and take their place.
5. Mouse Traps
If you want to know how to kill mice in your garage, house, attic, walls and so on, the best option (besides calling an expensive exterminator) is to use traps. And there are a lot of different traps to choose from.
But before we mention the trap types, let’s take a look at the best mouse bait. A few of the best baits to place in your trap are:
- Peanut butter
- Beef jerky
- Nesting material
All of these items can be placed near the trap trigger to help you catch the mouse – or kill it, depending on the trap.
There are three main types of traps you’ll find readily available:
- Spring-loaded: The spring loaded trap is one of the deadliest traps available. This trap uses a spring that is loaded and triggered when the mouse goes to eat the bait. Ideally, the mouse will be positioned properly so that the mouse takes the bait and the spring-loaded trap snaps on their neck, killing them instantly. This doesn’t always occur, and the mouse can suffer a slow death or become injured severely instead of dying.
- Glue: The glue trap requires the mouse to go into the middle of the trap and effectively get stuck on the trap. This is deemed as a “friendly” way to trap and get rid of mice, but the mouse may get so stuck that when you try to remove them, they lose a limb in the process – ouch.
- Live Trap: The live trap can be homemade or it can be purchased. The goal is to lure a mouse into an area where it’s trapped in a cage or a box. The mouse can then be humanely relocated. It’s recommended that you relocate the mouse miles from the home so that they don’t come back to the home – they like to return.
You also have the option of trying to trap the mouse in a cardboard box. This is done by cutting a small hole in the wall of the home – if the mice are in the walls – and cutting a hole in a cardboard box at the same height.
You’ll then place the box against the wall so that the holes lineup and the mouse is tricked into the box.
Bait can be placed inside of the box to lure in the mouse, too. Once this is done, cover the top of the box with plastic wrap. The plastic wrap will act as a window into the box and will prevent the mice from escaping.
This method will normally catch a mouse in less than an hour, but then you need to find a way to discard the mouse, which can be tricky since it will still be alive.
How to Prevent Mice Infestation In House
6. Bring a Pet Cat
Do you remember Tom and Jerry? We are sure that nobody can forget their all-time favorite cartoon, right? So if you find those black Jerry’s crawling here and there at your home, then you can go in for the easiest method, and that is by bringing a Tom in your home. In this way you will be able to achieve two things, one is that you will get a pet for your home. Your children will have a gala good time. Secondly, you can keep these devil rats away from your home, and your cat can get their favorite food as well. Suddenly if you find your cat behaving in a funny and awkward manner, don’t worry. It must have sniffed a rat and about to catch its prey. So just relax and let the cat hunt for the rat.
7. Calling for the Professionals
If all else fails, a call to a professional exterminator will be the best way to get rid of mice quickly.
Again, one of the most convenient methods to bringing an end to the mice infestation. If you are tired of placing baits and traps and yet not achieved complete success, then you might just call for a professional . They investigate and find places where the mice are entering. Many pest control companies also provide regular checks at your home.
Though this may cost you few bucks, but will give you sure shot results of freeing your house.
Mouse Infestation: 6 Signs of a House Mouse Infestation
Since these creatures spend most of their time roaming around so there are high chances you would often see them. They mostly walk during the daytime along the walls or other hiding places like sofas, cupboards, and beds, etc.
Living with the animal in your house means cleaning their droppings. But the thing is how you can be sure that they are of a mouse. The dropping of these animals are tiny usually 3-5 mm long and have a rod shape, pointed at both ends. These can be found in your beds, sofas and other hiding places wherever they visit.
While roaming around your place, the mouse often leaves the footprints or tracks. If you found the marks of the four-toed front and five-toed back feet, then it is confirmed they are of a mouse.
The mice are known for their habit of chewing and gnawing. They have the ability to eat multiple items at your home like your clothes, couches and several other things. In addition to that, their teeth mark can be found on the corners of different objects. If you find any of these damage at your place, then it is the indication of a mouse infestation.
House mice can also make tunnels at home for their safety in some dark and protective environment like insulations of an AC ducts. You can quickly identify their nest for their entry points are dust and cobweb free. Moreover, there might be their droppings around their tunnels.
6. Sound and Odor
The house mouse makes a very high pitched squeak. At night, the sounds of gnawing and scratching walls can be heard, and while they run across the walls. These creatures have a unique way of communicating that is through their urine. The urine marks at the particular area are a way to attract females or to warn off other males. Though if the mouse is present at some place for a long time then the odor is noticeable by the humans.
How to Get Rid of Mice in the Garage
Garages are prime space for mice. People don’t spend much time in the garage, there are little predators for mice, and people often leave everything mice need to nest in the space. And did you know that 25% of people have too much clutter in their garage to even fit their vehicles in it?
Garages often become storage space, and this leads to pests hiding around the clutter.
This is the first step you’ll need to take to getting rid of mice in the garage: remove the clutter.
You should start small, cleaning one-fourth of the space at a time or you may become overwhelmed and stop cleaning completely. Keeping this in mind, you may want to:
- Remove any items that you no longer use or have no use for any longer. Removing all of these items is easy: throw them out. If you don’t want to part with items for free, hold a garage sale and sell them or use Facebook Marketplace or eBay to offload the items.
- Replace boxes with plastic bins that seal well. Your cardboard boxes are great material for mice to make a nest with. Plastic bins cannot easily be gnawed through and will not be a nesting material.
At this point, you’ll often find droppings in the space if mice are present. You can tell if you’re dealing with mice by looking at the droppings. The droppings start off as black and will turn to grey over a few weeks.
If all you’re finding is grey droppings, you may have had an infestation that stopped on its own.
Brown droppings are droppings that have been there for a week or so.
Never touch the droppings with your hands – use gloves. You never know what diseases or parasites the mice may be carrying.
Start Sealing Food Properly
Food, especially dog and cat food, can take up a lot of space when buying in bulk. A lot of people will put this food in their garage, and mice do not care if it’s your dog’s food – they’ll eat it, too.
If you do have a cat, you can let the cat in the garage while cleaning it.
Cats will chase and kill the mice. Some people also claim that mice have evolved to smell mice urine and stay away from it. You can place your cat’s litter box in the garage, and you’ll find that mice won’t come around as often.
And there’s also the benefit of your cat being exposed to mice more frequently, so they’ll have more of an opportunity to catch the mice for you.
Sealing the food properly is key. Mice will gnaw through cardboard boxes, so place all of the food in a plastic container. Make sure to choose a tight-sealing container to keep mice away.
If there is no food or water, it will be harder for mice to live in the space.
Clean the Space Thoroughly
You’ve removed all of the debris and food, and now it’s time to sweep and mop the space. Mice can use any small debris for nesting, so it’s best to keep a very tidy space. I recommend mopping the floor with a solution that also includes mint or peppermint essential oils.
These oils are very potent, and the smell is appealing to most people.
But the smell can also keep mice away. Mice will lose their natural trails left behind to tell other mice that there’s food or a nice warm place to sleep. Make sure to mop the floor with this solution.
You can also create your own spray using peppermint essential oils.
Place 10+ drops of essential oil inside of a spray bottle filled with water. Mix the solution up well and spray it all alongside the borders of the room. The smell will cause a musty-smelling garage to smell better and can keep mice away from the space.
Fill or Fix Any Holes in the Garage
If you want to get rid of mice in the house, you can only do so by filling in all of the holes that allow the mice to enter. The garage’s key areas of entry are often right under the garage door.
Garage doors may not sit flush on the ground, so this allows ample space for mice to enter.
You can replace the door, but this is costly. Installing a sweep will often help because it will close the hole and keep mice or other pests out of the room. You’ll also find that the garage is much warmer after closing in these gaps.
Search the garage for any holes and fill them. You can use wood, but metal or concrete work even better.
Air conditioners may leave a large gap, too. If there are gaps, fill them. The same with windows. Vents, drains or pipes may also allow for easy entry, so make sure that you inspect all three of these common entryways.
Place Traps and Bait in the Space
You’ve filled in all of the holes and cleared up your garage of any debris and random boxes laying around. You’re on your way to a mouse-free space, and the last part of the equation is to place traps and bait in the garage.
You can use the electronic repellents that we discussed earlier in the article, but you can also place out high-end traps and bait.
Bait and traps should be placed in key areas:
- Near vents
Bait can be used, too. The mice eat the bait, and depending on the type of bait, the mice will die over the course of a week or so. It’s a slow death, but it’s one that has proven effective for many people.
Traps and Baits We Recommend
Authenzo has updated their humane mouse trap, and this trap will keep the mouse alive so that you can safely bring it to another space. You will have to catch and release the mouse, but you will want to release the mouse at least a mile from your home.
Designed with durable ABS material, the new version has additional air holes that will keep mice from suffocating.
User-friendly, place bait inside of the trap by opening the tail door. Mice will run into the trap, through the spring door and be trapped as a result.
Once you’ve caught and released the mouse, you can clean the trap and use it again. If you have a minor infestation, this humane trap will help you effectively remove mice without killing them.
The trap is 100% safe for cats and dogs, so it’s a great option for anyone that has pets or kids.
Spring-loaded traps kill mice instantly, and this trap is 100% guaranteed to kill mice. You place bait on the trap, and all it takes is 15 grams of weight to set the trap off. The mouse is killed instantly, and you don’t have to worry about removing the mouse humanely.
If you have animals or kids, you must keep them away from the trap.
Offering a six-pack of reusable traps, you can reuse these traps after a kill. I recommend cleaning them after a kill. All traps are offered with a lifetime guarantee, so you can be confident that they will work.
Authenzo offers a 100% guarantee, so if you’re not happy with the effectiveness of these traps, you can return it for your money back.
Tomcat is a leader in mouse bait, and this bait is all-weather, so it can be used outside, too. The bait is made with food-grade ingredients, so it poses much less of a risk to humans or children than other forms of bait.
The bait works well on mice and rats, and it comes with a four pound pail of bait.
The main ingredient is diphacinone, and it’s a proven mouse killer. All you need to do is place the bait all around the garage, the mice will eat it and within 5 – 7 days, the mice will die.
It’s a simple and effective bait.
But if you have a dog, you need to be very cautious of using this bait. The bait attracts mice and rats, but dogs are very attracted to it, too. You need to leave the bait out for mice to eat, and they need to eat an abundance of it to die.
Don’t just give up and think you’re feeding the mice – it takes time to work.
When placing traps and bait, you need to check on them every day or two. Replace as needed, and there’s no harm in using both methods if you have a larger infestation. The goal is to get rid of the mice using any method that works, and a combination of methods will work best.
Glue traps are also available, but this is a very inhumane method of trapping mice and can lead to limb removal, too. Mice suffer dramatically when using glue traps because if they do get trapped, they will often starve to death or try so hard to get away that they pull off their own limbs in the process.