11 Ways to Get Rid of Mice

Say goodbye to Stuart Little! A mouse infestation can be enough to make anyone skittish. Those pesky critters can carry a plethora of dangerous diseases and cause plenty of damage to your home, tearing up walls and wiring. But never fear, you can win the war on these diminutive rodents.

There’s more than one way to get rid of mice. First, prevention is key. Seal up the cracks and holes in which they can enter your home, and remove any food and water sources that may attract them. Keep outdoor clutter away from your home’s foundation and garage to minimize environments in which they might nest. Encouraging natural predators can help keep the population of potential mouse interlopers down. Build an owl box on your property. A barn owl can eat up to 1000 mice a year! Do you like cats? Owning one can help keep mice at bay. Not only are cats great hunters, but just their scent alone will discourage mice from taking up residence.

Should prevention methods fail, you can get rid of mice through various manners of trapping. Check out our collection of easy strategies that will both help you to get rid of mice and keep the unwelcome guests from coming back again.

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  1. Plug All Holes


    Mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a nickel, so you need to carefully inspect your home’s interior and exterior walls as well as the foundation for holes. Large holes or cracks should be repaired; small ones can be filled with steel wool or copper scouring pads. Secure the plug to the sides of the hole so the mice cannot pull it out.


  2. Keep Up with Home Maintenance


    Replace cracked or broken weatherstripping around doors and windows to ensure that pests (and drafts) cannot enter. Cover the dryer vent or any other exterior vents with 1/4-inch hardware cloth. Make sure to seal up any spaces around window- or wall-mounted air conditioners.


  3. Don’t Give the Mouse a Cookie


    Mice won’t stick around a home that doesn't offer a steady supply of food and water, so get rid of the obvious sources of sustenance first. Store all food (especially pet food and birdseed) in airtight containers, wipe up stovetop spills promptly, and fix any leaky faucets. Equally important, seal all trash cans tightly, and empty frequently. Then move your exterior trash cans as far away from your home as possible to avoid attracting pests.


  4. Clear Outdoor Clutter


    Keeping the outside of your home clean and tidy removes potential hiding places for mice around the house, garage, and yard. Don’t allow weeds, brush, or trash to pile up near your foundation, and keep firewood well away from the house.


  5. Try a Natural Deterrent


    For a chemical-free repellent that leaves your house smelling sweeter, head to the supermarket. A few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls strategically placed at any potential entrances to your home should keep the mice away. Alternatively, you can make a spray to address these same spots using one teaspoon of peppermint oil and three cups warm water.


  6. House a Purr-Fect Predator


    Find a tomcat for your Jerry by visiting your local animal shelter and asking to foster or adopt nature’s own mouse-control system, a cat. Even the most pampered princess will turn into a huntress when confronted with a mouse. Plus, you get the added benefit of a warm and fluffy companion long after hunting season is over.


  7. Reuse and Recycle


    Scoop used kitty litter and scatter it outside, around your home’s perimeter. Mice will smell the cat waste and stay away. Dried snake poop from a pet store also gets the job done. You may want to place the waste products in containers so that children and pets don’t play with the mess.


  8. Zap 'Em


    Try using ultrasonic electronics to keep mice at bay. Available at hardware stores and home centers, these units emit ultrasonic beeps or whines that ward off rodents. These sounds will also annoy dogs and cats, though, and work only if the mice are in close proximity.

  9. Have a Heart


    Consider a humane approach—catch and release the critters using a commercial box trap. Or, make a similar device on your own: Place some chocolate on a tray and cover it with an inverted large bowl. Lift one side of the bowl, and stand a quarter or half-dollar underneath to keep the container tilted. When the mouse scurries underneath for the chocolate, it will knock over the coin and cause the bowl to drop. Once you have the mouse trapped, release it at least a mile from your home, preferably in a wooded area.


  10. Trap If You Must


    Conventional snap or glue traps can be baited with peanut butter or cheese and placed where there are mouse droppings, especially under sinks, inside drawers, and behind furniture. Check the traps daily, and use plastic gloves or a plastic bag to remove any mice—do not touch a dead mouse with bare hands. Deposit immediately in an outdoor trash can.


  11. Carefully Consider Pesticides


    Although many rodent poisons line the shelves of home improvement stores, some mice can be resistant to arsenic or anticoagulant poisons like warfarin. Moreover, rodent poison is extremely toxic to humans and other animals, and shouldn't be used around children or pets. Remember: An animal that eats a poisoned rodent can become sick or die. Think twice about this option before picking up a box of pellets.


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