Solved! What Attracts Mice, and How Do I Keep Mice Out of My House?

If you‘ve spotted a mouse or two in your home, it’s best to know what attracts mice to put preventive measures in place. Read these tips to make your home a mouse-free zone.

By Melissa Graham | Published Oct 18, 2022 12:39 PM

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what attracts mice

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Q: I’ve seen signs of mouse activity around my home, but I’m not sure what attracts mice. How do I know what food attracts mice so I can get rid of it? Or do mice just want to get inside, no matter what?

A: From sounds in the walls to droppings and tooth marks, signs of mice in the home can stop a homeowner in their tracks. The good news is there are several measures homeowners can put in place to prevent mice from returning. When homeowners know what attracts mice, they can remove what keeps them coming back.

Mice seek out warmth, especially when temperatures drop. 

Homeowners are more likely to see mice in their homes in the colder months than in the spring and summer. As the weather cools down, mice become more drawn to the comfort of warm spaces. These tiny creatures can even detect the warmth of a building through openings in walls, which entices them to find a way inside garages and homes. So for homeowners who are sitting inside by a warm fire wondering, “Why do I have mice in my house?” the answer could be the warmth the home provides.

If a homeowner sees signs of mouse activity inside the home during the winter, it’s also wise to check near the water heater for additional signs of mice or potential entrances to the house. The water heater is attractive since it provides a steady source of heat and a nesting spot that’s typically hidden.

Mice can enter a home through tiny cracks and crevices in walls, floors, and foundations. Ensuring these gaps are sealed can make entry into the house much harder.

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Mice are attracted to almost any easily accessible food. 

Before setting mouse traps, it helps to look around the space to see if there are any exposed food items that mice could be feeding on. So what do mice like to eat? Do mice eat meat? Do mice like peanut butter? Although mice typically eat grains, seeds, and fruit, their diet isn’t selective. In fact, mice can even feast on paper, electrical wiring, and cardboard to stave off hunger. Since they can get by on as little as an ounce of food and water a day, it doesn’t take much to keep them coming back for more any chance they get. Keeping food items sealed can discourage mice from visiting.

what attracts mice

Photo: istock.com

Securing garbage and taking it out regularly can keep mice away. 

One of the many ways to get rid of mice includes regularly emptying the indoor garbage cans and keeping trash in a closed outdoor receptacle. This keeps mice from accessing food debris or residue that can sustain them for days on end. It’s also wise to ensure the lid of the indoor garbage can remains closed so smells don’t escape and draw in mice. By taking the trash out frequently, especially the garbage in the kitchen, a homeowner should be able to keep mice from an otherwise easily accessible food source.

Mice like to burrow, so they’re attracted to piles of clutter. 

Those Amazon boxes that may be piled in the garage are the ideal hiding place for mice since they provide warmth and shelter. If a homeowner is prone to clutter, especially in the garage, attic, or other storage space, it might be a good time to do spring cleaning, regardless of the season.

For homeowners who are trying to prevent mice from occupying the space, removing or recycling piles of paper and boxes as soon as possible is best. If it’s too late and the clutter has become a breeding ground for mice, it may be time to call one of the best pest control companies such as Orkin or Terminix.

what attracts mice

Photo: istock.com

Tall grasses or weeds near the home’s foundation can be inviting to mice. 

Mice tend to climb and jump to get where they’re going, so tall grass and weeds near a home’s foundation provide ample opportunity for them to access cracks or crevices that lead to the home. If a homeowner is behind on lawn maintenance, it may be wise to create a 2-foot clearance around the house’s perimeter to keep mice away. Any trees, bushes, or ivy near the roof, attic vents, wiring, or eaves should also be trimmed back as much as possible.

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Forget the cheese—bacon, peanut butter, and chocolate work best to lure and trap mice. 

Homeowners ready to set traps may wonder what foods do mice like to best lure them in. To encourage mice to make their way to traps, homeowners can use foods such as bacon, peanut butter, and chocolate to lure the tiny pests. These sweet and salty treats are mice’s favorite foods, and they are often a better alternative to poisonous bait that can be dangerous to children or household pets if ingested.

what attracts mice

Photo: istock.com

A pest control company is the best option to get rid of a mouse infestation. 

Whether a homeowner has spotted a few mice or an entire family, a pest control company is who to call when it’s time to eliminate a mouse problem. These professionals know what mice are attracted to so they can effectively trap mice and treat an infestation to keep mice from returning. Since mice can carry harmful diseases, it’s best to leave the extermination process to the pros who can eliminate the problem quickly.

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