How to get rid of mice

They sure have cute names, don’t they: Mickey, Mortimer, Itchy, Jerry. Yes, they’re all mice, but they’re cartoon mice whose high jinks and shenanigans don’t really cause you any misery. In the real world mice are a very important part of the web of life. They help control insects and other pests: they eat insects that can damage crops as well as fallen fruits that might attract other pests.

But there are those other times when mice become a real problem — to the home and business owner. Not only can they carry a whole laundry list of diseases, they can also gnaw through your electrical wiring and insulation, eat the food in your pantry, leave behind annoying waste and smelly urine. Whatever they touch is contaminated and they breed like, well, mice — which is to say, a lot.

So here you are: you think you might have a problem and want to know how to get rid of mice. Well, let’s take things one step at a time. First you want to make sure you’re really seeing signs of mice infestation.


How to get rid of mice.

Signs of Mice Infestation

If the problem you’re having really is mice the first thing you’ve probably noticed is their droppings. These can be anywhere from 1/8″ to 1″ in length and are dark with pointed ends. The next thing you might detect is the smell of their urine — which has a very distinct odor. You’ll also probably hear them gnawing, running around or making squeaking sounds. These sounds could be very faint and you might have trouble determining their location. You’ll also see evidence they’ve been around in the form of small holes gnawed in the sides of boxes or bags. Of course, you know without a doubt you have mice when you see them scurrying about.

 Controlling the source

Okay, so you’ve seen the signs and you really want to know how to get rid of mice. Let’s start with the easiest and often least expensive method: controlling the source. Most often you’ll notice problems with mice in attics and basements; you’ll want to inspect these areas for possible avenues of entrance. You’ll also want to check for spaces around doors and windows. Remember mice can fit through any hole about the size of a quarter, so think small. Once you find these entrances, close them up however you can. You can use pieces of wood, screening, caulking, whatever will work to block the entrance. While this doesn’t address the mouse in your house, it will prevent its relatives from moving in.

Mice extermination.

Your next course of action in how to get rid of mice is reducing the population. One of the most important steps is to deprive the mouse of a food source. Clean thoroughly behind and around every place in your house where you store food — this includes food for your domestic animals, as well. Clean behind the refrigerator, oven, toaster; clean your pantry and cabinet shelves (while you’re at it, check for more entrance holes and plug them up as well). Also clean less obvious food sources, like under the dining table and other furniture, inside the kid’s room under cribs, and the bathroom. Make sure you put away all food before you close up the house at night. This includes removing pet food. Clean all surfaces that might have food particles on them — like tables and counters and the tops of stoves. Also deprive your unwelcome visitors of water. This means making sure all faucets are turned off and that there is no standing water in sinks or showers. You have to think like a mouse: figure out where it can get nourishment and then deprive it. Mice are smart. If you leave it out, they’ll find it.

So far, you’ve made things pretty unpleasant for your uninvited guests, but like that pesky relative who never quite figures out it’s time to leave, the mice might just stick around. Now you have no choice; you need to bring out the big guns. This is what’s known as the sad part of how to get rid of mice. Yes, mice are cute, but they’re also dangerous and destructive. So, it’s either you or the mouse.

Mouse traps.

How to get rid of mice. Mouse traps.
Several methods can be used for trapping mice: glue traps, poison, live traps and the tried-and-true old-fashioned mouse trap. There are pros and cons for each of these.

Glue traps are pretty unpleasant as they trap the mouse but don’t kill it. That’s left for you to do. While mice can be a nuisance, no one wants inflict pain on a living thing, so you might not have the stomach to finish the job the glue trap started.

Poison is good, but has its drawbacks. You’ll kill the mouse but still have the decaying body to deal with. In addition, the poison could affect your pets inside and outside the house — especially if a mouse eats the poison and then your cat eats the mouse.

Live traps are favored because they painlessly trap the mouse alive. You can then take the mouse to a far-away field and let it go, or have the trap picked up by a professional who knows how to kill the mouse in a humane manner.

Basic traps, the kind that have been around for many years, are favored because they are not expensive. However, while they kill the mouse, they also leave behind a pretty unpleasant problem you have to clean up. If you do use the traditional trap, make sure you use enough of them, change out the bait often and — if you don’t seem to be catching mice — move them around until you find the mouse’s favored pathway.

While there are many things to consider when dealing with your unwelcomed visitors, one of the best moves you can make is consulting with pest professionals. They will come out and assess your property and determine your specific problems. They’ll offer you the best solutions for your situation.

So if you think this information not enough or you have much more serious mice infestation, we recommend read our complete guide – how to get rid of mice in the house.

Comments: 43

  1. Erik Pavlik December 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm Reply

    I think poison is the best option. I’ve tried so many methods over the past six months… Poison is effective and it works for sure. Just read the ingredients on the label, and don’t sacrifice the quality for price.

  2. Marcie December 6, 2012 at 9:57 pm Reply

    My goodness! How can people buy and use those glue traps?? It’s so cruel… Get a cat and do it naturally!

  3. Lorrie December 6, 2012 at 11:53 pm Reply

    I am really surprised that people use live traps. I think standard poisons are the most surefire methods.

  4. Simone December 7, 2012 at 6:56 pm Reply

    I had mice and I hated this smell in my house. But then I have got a cat and they simply disappeared. I would never use poisons in me dwelling. Guys, are you sure these are safe? These chemicals can stay in your house for years. I think it’s better to do this in a natural way.

  5. Noreen December 8, 2012 at 4:51 am Reply

    I give my vote to live traps. Great thanks to a person who has invented these ‘have-a-heart’ traps. It’s unfair to kill mice, if you can eliminate them in more humane ways, you should definitely try.

  6. Nelson Tansey December 9, 2012 at 5:41 am Reply

    I’ve tried a poison and it worked. Shop-assistant explained me how to apply it properly, what kind of bait to use, and how exactly it works. I’ve selected a kind of poison that dehydrates mice, so when they were dying they were looking for water sources. The only unpleasant thing about this was to find little pet cemetery just next to the fridge. Some mice have died under the fridge, and I had to move it to remove their bodies.

  7. Allyson December 9, 2012 at 9:55 pm Reply

    I’ve tried to get rid of mice with those standard old-fashioned traps. I had to throw them all away, ‘cause it’s just so disgusting to clean them. I think I’ll try the poison next time.

  8. Liza December 11, 2012 at 2:54 am Reply

    Cats are the best mouse control method! Unless you are not allergic to the cat’s fur, get a cat and you will find a peace of mind! I think it’s better when your house smells cats, rather than mouse litter and urine. I don’t know whether this method works, but you may ‘rent’ someone’s cat for a week or so – who knows, mice may run away from its smell.

  9. Mathew December 12, 2012 at 1:40 am Reply

    I don’t get the idea of those live traps. How do people find time to set mice free into the wild? I think live traps were originally meant for catching mice for experiments. I do agree that it’s humane to use live traps for coons, gophers and other big rodents, but mice… they are so tiny. I would go crazy if I had to go to the woods and set each single trapped mouse free.

  10. Allyson December 12, 2012 at 11:39 pm Reply

    Hedge apples! Why nobody recommends using hedge apples? Mice just hate them! My grandpa used to grow those – they are good for spiders, ants and other garden nuisances. No dehydrated mice, no traps, no smell, no poison – they are just perfect! I just wonder why this method isn’t a common knowledge…

    • Max December 13, 2012 at 11:02 pm Reply

      Wow, I’ve never known that hedge apples are so cool. I use them in summer as a kind of disposable balls for baseball xDD They do have a strange smell when you crush them, and I think it is the reason mice go away.

    • Karina December 15, 2012 at 2:33 am Reply

      Well, I think these mysterious hedge apples worth a try. They are cheap and green :))) We have a lot of these in my area. I know people use them for insects, but I’m not sure about mice and rats.

  11. Sofia December 15, 2012 at 11:23 am Reply

    I don’t know what’s wrong with my cat, but I still have mice in my house. Because Churchill (my cat) simply ignores mice, I use standard mouse traps (it must the most universal method to get rid of mice). I was considering using poison for mouse control, but then I found out that my cat sometimes eats trapped mice. I’m afraid Churchill can get sick if he’ll try a poisoned mouse.

  12. William December 16, 2012 at 2:42 am Reply

    I prefer traps. You always know where they are. But when you use poison, you get your house full of decaying mice carcasses. They can die in practically unreachable places. Traps rule!

  13. David B. December 17, 2012 at 4:34 am Reply

    If you leave in the country, simply make a compost heap and you will never have any problems with mice. They will feed on the heap and won’t go in search of food to your house.

  14. Susan W. Goodsell December 18, 2012 at 8:56 am Reply

    If you can locate mice holes you can stuff them with steel wool. It’s a great proven method. Mice can’t stand this thing. However, it works only in case you know where to put it. Good luck!

  15. Michael December 19, 2012 at 2:30 am Reply

    I think the best way to get rid of mice once for all is to identify the places from which they enter your house. If you can’t detect the holes, you will fight with these rodents for months and more. Once you have localized the enters, you will need to fix these holes or stuff them with mice-unfriendly stuff.

  16. Della December 21, 2012 at 1:53 am Reply

    I have a big problem with these pests. I don’t know where did they get food – my house is very clean, and I never leave any food on surfaces. But I always hear this annoying scratching.. and the smell! It’s awful! I’ve tried several homemade methods, but they don’t seem to be effective. I’ve never dealt with poisons, so I feel like calling pest control. I think these guys know what to do…

    • Sara Sykes December 21, 2012 at 7:39 am Reply

      Good choice! I think pest control services are the best option for those who are desperate to get rid of mice naturally. My neighbors had mice and they simply called professionals. Many people think that pest control is a very expensive option.. but I think if to sum the money you spend on traps and poisons, and take into account your time and effort, you will see that calling pest control is the wisest decision.

  17. Edwin December 22, 2012 at 2:27 am Reply

    It’s so strange that they still produce poisons for pest control. I think it’s dangerous for humans and pets, especially small children, and it’s not an ecological way to fight with mice. I would rather use a standard mouse trap than use poison that pollutes nature and can do harm to my children.

  18. Jose December 23, 2012 at 2:03 am Reply

    When you decide to start your war against mice, it is a great idea to cooperate with your neighbous. If you have a good plan, the mice will go away soon. I had been trying to get rid of mice for three months, and then I realized that my neighbours had the same problems. So, we discussed the problem, fixed the holes in our house and said goodbye to mice. Sometimes it happens that you fight pests that come from the next door houses. Cooperation and planning is the answer!

  19. Glenn December 23, 2012 at 2:11 pm Reply

    My problem is i have mice an i have even felt them walking across the bed ,when im trying to sleep I cant use poison because of my pet birds. And i cant afford an exterminater There was a family next door to me (Im in a trailer park ) and they just moved out Thats when i started having this problem What can i Do ?

    • Paul December 23, 2012 at 2:37 pm Reply

      The best option is using sticky pads. I’ve bought a dozen of them and they worked. The only thing to remember when using these devices is to refresh the bait. One more is to pick large pads, cause in case you use the small ones, mice can escape. Of course, it is very distressing to see all those mice, especially when you know that they die slowly in these traps, but I think it’s better to use sticky pads than to smell mice urine and litter all over your house. No mercy!

  20. Julie December 23, 2012 at 11:31 pm Reply

    I use sticky pads and real traps. I just dont get these creators because i get rid of them and then in 3 to 4 months they are back I usually kill 2 at a time I notice them right away. I am frightened of them and I am a clean freak so I am always looking for there droppings. Does anyone know if they travel in pairs and could they be getting threw a doggie door. also what about the electronic devices are they any good I am just so desperate to do anything. If i put poison outside the home would it keep them away?

  21. James December 24, 2012 at 12:52 am Reply

    When I had mice I just felt like throwing bombs into their holes! It’s so awful to open a cupboard and see two mice sitting and gnawing your favorite cookies! I just didn’t want to touch anything in the kitchen then, I was always washing my hands. My mom insisted on traditional mouse traps. We have caught a few mice, but there were too many of them.. We had to call pest control. They acted quickly and efficiently. They also gave us practical advice on how to prevent mice and so on.. I think it’s the quickest and the most surefire way to eradicate mice.

  22. Rita December 26, 2012 at 2:33 pm Reply

    If you don’t want to have mice in your house, make it mouse-proof! Sealing your house against mice is just a piece of cake – simply fix all holes and keep the food in glass or metal containers so that the mice can’t reach it. Don’t leave food everywhere, wipe crumbs, and regularly sweep the floor and you will starve them out! By doing so you will make your house unattractive to mice and they will leave.

  23. Steve December 27, 2012 at 7:46 am Reply

    I think getting a cat won’t make that much difference. If you have a few pests, it can help make them leave. But in case of a huge infestation, it’s better to opt for a more reliable method. I can’t understand why people are afraid of mice poisons. Modern poisons are absolutely safe, I have some basic chemistry knowledge and I must admit that most of the poisons are harmless to people, children and pets, and they work for mice only. If you buy a certified poison in a specialized store you will never get dangerous chemicals.

  24. Claudia January 1, 2013 at 3:24 am Reply

    Live traps rule. I think poisons and traps are bad not only because they are cruel methods or can do harm to your health, but because they make your house full of dead mice. Normally, mice carcasses don’t smell much, and it can be rather difficult to find all of them. The worst thing is that they can spread many diseases.. I’ve tried to use oil pellets as a ‘safe’ poison. I then found entire graveyards of mice in my house, especially near the fridge. My advice is to use live traps or to hire a professional team.

  25. Shirley J. January 4, 2013 at 7:47 am Reply

    I’ve done some maths and found out that it’s better to hire a professional mouse exterminator than to fight with mice yourself. Sure, if you have a few mice, you may not need to use pest control services, but if the mice are very annoying, it’s a great idea. I was so stupid that I didn’t call them from the start: 1) I spent about $50 on traps and $15 on poison; 2) I was risking my hamster’s life (when using the poison); 3) I had to clean the traps (disgusting!) all the time. But then I’ve seen an ad in a magazine and I was a bit surprised with their prices. Moreover, they promised to check the house for free. I called this pest control service and they saved my house! They said I had a few holes in the walls, and the mice were entering my dwelling through these holes. So, they just fixed those, put some traps, gave me some general advice on preventing mice and left. I haven’t seen any mouse in my house since then :))) Don’t waste your time, effort and money – find your mental equilibrium with pest control guys %)

  26. adele martin January 4, 2013 at 7:03 pm Reply

    we put steal wool in all the holes that we can fine. be the next day we saw mice droppings in the floor. help. all the food is in seal containers on my counter tops. so what can we do?

  27. nicole boylan January 12, 2013 at 3:22 am Reply

    Grandma used to tell us that when she was a girl, they would leave a bowl of coca cola out. Mice cannot burp, so the gas the coke caused
    would make their stomachs pop. Have no idea if it’s true or not…

  28. Leroy January 12, 2013 at 3:45 am Reply

    When I discovered mice in my house I was shocked. I would found their litter practically everywhere: in my bed (disgusting feeling, yep), in the kitchen, on table surfaces. The worst thing was the smell and that awful scratching noise in the darkness. I have never had similar problems before, so I didn’t know what to do. I went directly to a specialized shop to buy some traps, and I was told that ultrasonic devices are the best thing! I’ve spent roughly $100 on these devices, but they were not effective! I’ve noticed that the amount of bugs, spiders, flies and other insects has decreased, but the mice were still there! I don’t know what I did wrong.. maybe it’s cause my house is very big.. So I decided to use the old proven method of mouse traps (traditional) and I must admit that it worked! Don’t let them scam you, select proven methods!

    • Erin January 12, 2013 at 8:51 am Reply

      I’m sure you used those top-notch traps in the wrong way. My sister had mice problem and she used ultrasound and electric traps, and both were great. But anyway, I think these cost too much.. I would better get a cat or use cheap conventional traps.. These ultrasonic traps are for techno geeks %)))

  29. Kelvin Trojacek July 12, 2013 at 7:49 am Reply

    I am continually invstigating online for tips that can aid me. Thank you!

  30. Elmo July 14, 2013 at 7:10 am Reply

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  31. kathleen morgan February 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm Reply

    we use regular traps. we catch a few and I think everything is ok until I see more droppings. I constantly clean the pantry and keep things sealed but they return. it has been a fridged winter and I suppose they come in more because of the cold but I cannot get rid of them, I suppose we will have to bite the bullet and get professionals.

  32. cfugett August 8, 2014 at 6:57 am Reply

    Coca cola works great!!!! But cleanliness and an air tight home is also essential.

  33. brian October 12, 2014 at 7:04 pm Reply

    Mice leave pheromone trails so when you kill them others find easy paths back into your house via these trails. Sealing up the entry points goes a long way to becoming mouse free.
    For weep holes install stainless steel. Don’t settle for plastic which mice chew through. Don’t settle for materials that clog the hole and lead to moisture build up in your wall.

  34. Luisa F. October 20, 2014 at 6:51 pm Reply

    I found the way to kill them. I took cement, yes cement! and mixed with coconut and they eat that, I don’t see anything anymore. I think, I killed them all. I hate the smell, doesn’t matter how I clean, the house doesn’t feel clean. I was paranoid, they bring terrible illness. I bought the new plastic traps with the teeth and I still waiting, I got none. I think, we don’t have the problem anymore!!

  35. John Doe October 23, 2014 at 11:40 pm Reply

    Come on people! These mice are eating us out of house and home! They are giving us and our children diseases, and you want me to set the mouse free outside of my house, so that it can go kill my neighbors kids? No thanks, I’d rather have a dead mouse than a disceased child! Children are more precious than mice!!!!

  36. juju November 13, 2014 at 4:29 pm Reply

    Fresh Cab Bio-Based Mouse Repellent
    Bobcat urine

    One and 3 absolutely work and you don’t have to kill the poor animal. Like you- they are only looking to come in from the cold.

    Two- poisons should absolutely not be used. They can be ingested by other animals or pets and should never ever be considered.

    Three. Traps are inhumane – and pets could also get into them.

    Four- children are attracted to these traps- you never want them in your home

    Go all natural and take the time to find the holes and patch them up.

    “john Doe”… you need to get real and man up. They are not killing your kids or your neighbors kids- your children probably eat dirt and worms with more germs in them.

  37. Jack Martin June 17, 2015 at 9:08 pm Reply

    Pepper mint oil, works good.

  38. andy June 30, 2015 at 10:15 pm Reply

    I have them in a condo right now in mid summer. And these enjoy eating those poison blocks and never die. Probably arrived with the welfare housing group. What now???

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