Hearing scratching from inside of your walls is a little unsettling. You’re sitting down eating dinner – or worse, entertaining company – and you hear scratching in the wall. You can’t help but think of a horror movie.
The good news is that your issue is likely mice.
Mice in walls is rather common, and if you live in a rural area, there is an even higher chance for mice to make a home in your walls. After all, your home is well sheltered, heated, and just the right environment for mice to hang out and spend their time.
But all you care about is how to get rid of mice in walls – even if they love your home.
The good news is that this is a fairly easy process once you know what to expect. And trust me, the last thing you want to do is wait until the mice die inside of your walls; the smell will be overpowering.
How to Get Rid of Mice in the Walls
1. Set Up Mouse Traps Around the House
Spring-loaded traps will violently kill a mouse. It’s not a pretty situation or something homeowners are proud of doing, but buying a mouse trap is the best bet when you want to kill a mouse. The truth is that the mouse will come out of the walls to eat at some point.
And you may want to even entice the mouse to take action.
Bait can be placed on the trap so that the mouse is lured to the trap, and has a reason to “trip” the trap. Again, this isn’t something you want to show your kids, but it’s effective. Any type of food will do for hungry mice.
The trigger will snap the trap hard on the mouse and will often break the mouse’s neck quickly for a near-instant death.
You can also choose more human traps, such as:
- Live-catch traps
- Glue traps
These traps do not kill the mouse, but trap them so that you can relocate them as you see fit. If you do choose to use this method, don’t just place the mice in your backyard – they’ll return. Instead, release them a mile or more away from the home for best results.
Poisons should be avoided, as there is a chance the mice will reenter the wall before dying, causing a stinky, unhealthy problem for you.
2. Cardboard Box Trick
If you’re a little handy, you can use a cardboard box trick to catch or kill the mice. This trick comes with the understanding that you’ll need to discard the mouse somehow, and you’ll also need to drill a hole in your drywall.
Drill the hole a few inches above the floor.
Now, drill a hole in a cardboard box that corresponds with the hole height you drilled in your wall. Match the holes up, and fill the box with a trap and mouse bait so that you attract the mice to your box.
If you wish, cover the top with cellophane so that you have a window into your trap.
This is a method that often works within just a few hours, usually less. The mouse will traverse the walls in search of food, be attracted to the bait, and enter the “wall” before falling into the cardboard box (hopefully taking the bait).
And you’re probably wondering: “can mice climb walls?” Yes, they can, but it depends on the wall material. Mice have small claws that allow them to run up the side of a concrete building, but a cardboard box doesn’t have these holes, so the mouse will not be successful when trying to escape your box.
Mice will make a ruckus and try to escape, but they shouldn’t be able to with a normal cardboard box.
3. Call on an Exterminator
Yelp and other review sites, including Google, will help you find a professional pest control company to get rid of mice in your walls. I recommend this option if you have a serious infestation because these professionals know all of the proper steps to put an end to your pest control problem.
But this can be a very costly problem, and you’ll want to work with a professional that provides a full service.
A full service will include a service that offers:
- Inspection to make sure that you’re dealing with a mouse infestation and not something else. You’ll need to take a different approach to get rid of ants than you would to get rid of mice. Once you have verified that the issue is in fact mice, you can take the proper steps to remedy the problem.
- Mouse removal will be next. The exterminator will do everything in his or her ability to kill all of the mice in your walls. Some will even drill a hole in the wall and use a poison that will travel through the walls and kill the mice. This is a harsh treatment, but it is effective.
- Removal will be the next option. You can’t leave the dead mice sitting inside the walls. Bugs may get to the rodents, and they will begin to decay which is a very unpleasant smell for anyone to live with.
- Repairs will be the final step in the entire process. A true professional will provide you with a list of repairs that need to be made and will often be able to make them for you. These repairs will seal all of the entry points in your home so that mice no longer gain entry to the home.
I recommend contacting multiple pest companies in your area to ask for estimates. You may have to spend a significant amount of money to be able to exterminate mice in the walls. There may also be mice in the air vents or in the ceiling.
Mice are small and can take up residence in all of the sealed off spaces in your home.
The right exterminator will be able to provide a long-term solution to put an end to your mouse-related problems.
Dead Mouse in Wall: How to Get them Out of House Walls
Dead mice in your walls is not a fun time. You’ll be drilling holes trying to find the dead mouse, which means you’ll need to cut holes in the drywall to find the culprit. I’m not going to lie, this is something best left to a professional.
If you pay someone to remove the problem, they’ll have all of the right tools for the job.
But if you’re ambitious, you can remove the dead mice from inside of your walls on your own.
Start with the scent of the mouse. Try and find where the scent is most prominent and drill a small hole off of the ground to see if you’ve found the spot.
The small hole should emit a more potent smell.
If you’ve find the spot, you’ll need to cut a larger hole in the drywall to clean up the dead mice and dispose of them properly.
Afterward, you’ll need to patch up the hole. The problem is that when there is one mouse, there are almost always more. If you don’t kill all of the mice, this will lead to future problems.
Professional pest killers will be able to use monitoring devices on the wall to effectively find where the dead mouse is located and kill any remaining mice that exist. Exterminators aren’t the cheapest route, but they’ll be a major asset for the hands-off homeowner that would rather let someone else take care of the dirty work.
Signs and Evidence of Mice in Your Home
You could have sworn that you heard mice in your walls, but you’re not 100% positive. This is a common scenario, and there are three ways to determine if mice have decided to move in, or if there is some other critter in your walls.
- Mouse droppings: Droppings are exactly what they sound like: mouse poop. But this poop may be a little different than what you would expect. Droppings look like black seeds, very small black seeds. If the droppings are newer, they will be shiny in appearance. Older droppings will start to lose their color and fade over time. The good thing about droppings is that if you see a lot of them in one small area, the mice will have entered the space from a nearby hole.
- Nests: Mice nests are never fun, but they’re a reality for people that are dealing with mouse infestations. Dark areas of the home are the go-to choice for these nesting mice. Cardboard and little bits of clothing provide the ideal supplies for building a mouse nest. They will build nests in a variety of places:
1. Closets 2. Cabinets 3.Under furniture
- Scratching. You’re sitting in bed, and all of a sudden you hear scratching coming from inside of the wall. It’s horrifying, and the good news is that it’s more than likely that it’s mice and not some demonic force in the walls. You may also hear the sound of mice running inside of your walls from time-to-time.
- Runs. Mice, like people, have their own routine. These small rodents will have what people call “runs.” This is indicated by small little footprints of mice. Runs consist of the common areas where mice will run. Mice like to run in the same areas, so they’ll often leave trails or “runs” along the drywall or flooring. This is also apparent with runs on bags or chewed foods.
- These are the first steps to determining if you have mice. If you want to know how to get rid of rats in the walls or how to get rid of mice in walls or ceilings, the tips above can help.
Now, let’s assume that you know there are mice but you can’t seem to find their runs, you can always choose to put down powder or another substance on the ground. Some people will use flour to try and capture the footprints of the mice. Once you find the footprints, you can use this information to either place traps or find where the mice nest.
I also recommend looking at the ducts in your home. Mice tend to gnaw on anything that they can get to easily. Ducts are often bitten and you’ll see small chew marks.
If you keep hearing something skittering in the walls and notice droppings or nests, there is a high probability that mice are present. The tips above will help you remedy the problem quickly and easily.
Create an Entry Plan to Kill Off Mice Forever
A properly sealed home will not have mice. Homeowners are often in disbelief that their home could possibly have a hole or way for mice to get inside.
If you want to know how to get rid of mice, you need to be able to find their point of entry.
New mice will continue to come in the home, but once you close entry points, you can sleep easy at night without hearing mice scratch on the walls. I suggest creating a plan of action that will allow you to get rid of mice once and for all.
You’ll want to do the following:
- Inspect the home for any holes that can be used for entry. Basements and attics are great places for mice to live and actually enter the home.
- Check crawlspaces to find areas where mice may be able to enter the home.
- Foundations or holes in the wall are common entry places.
- Gaps between windows or ceilings are also great entry points.
- Drainage pipes, when they’re not properly sealed, can also be an entry point for mice.
- Siding that has started to deteriorate.
- Gaps in any building material.
Metal or cement may be the best option to seal off these cracks, holes and openings. Check your doors and windows to see if they close properly. If they do not, you will need to fix them.
You can choose to hire someone to fix all of these entryways, and professional exterminators may perform the work for you. Sealing the home properly will allow you to finally have a mouse-free space.