Having mice in your home is both a nuisance and a health hazard. They can cause property damage, create a mess, and produce unpleasant smells. In addition, repelling and removing rodents from your home can be a hassle if you don’t know what you are doing. It can also be dangerous if you use toxic chemicals and poisons. It’s a good thing, then, that there are some simple ways to effectively get mice out of your home without the use of toxic chemicals and poisons.
Discouraging Mice Naturally
1Keep your home clean. Many times mice are drawn into homes on the search for food. If there is nothing to eat, mice will be less likely to stay. Keep all food stored properly in airtight containers or in places that are safe from mouse attack.
2Apply peppermint oil. Peppermint oil is a natural deterrent. The smell is simply too intense for rodents and they will not try to go near it. It also helps to mask the scent of any tasty morsels that have been missed when cleaning. You can get peppermint oil in most health food stores and even some major grocery stores.
- Place a drop or two on a cotton ball.
- Place a cotton ball under or near your garbage can to deter mice from getting into it.
- Place the cotton balls in areas where mice are likely to enter your house, by doorways, or heat vents, etc.
- Peppermint oil cotton balls need to be replaced after 5-7 days, depending upon the quantity of oil you put on it.
- Try growing peppermint plants near the entryways. You can use the mint in cooking, as well as it serving a deterrent purpose.
3Use dried snake feces. Visit a local reptile center, zoo, or pet store and ask for some dried snake poo. Place near entrances and in places where mice seem to go. This will keep mice away.
- Be sure to keep the feces out of the reach of children and pets.
4Zap mice with ultrasonic sounds. There are electronic units sold that emit an ultrasonic beeping sound that rodents hate. They should be available at your local home improvement store or online.
- These work only on a single line of sight, so you need to know the exact path the mice are taking.
- The units may only work for a short time because mice can become used to them.
5Use a commercial, organic deterrent. Many companies that specialize in organic garden and home products make mice repellents that are better for the environment than traditional poisons. Many of these products use natural ingredients, such as peppermint, that are known to be disagreeable to mice. They won’t kill mice but they should keep them out of areas where the product is applied.
- These products should be available at your local gardening or home improvement center. If you want a specific product, try doing a online search to see where it is available locally.
6Get a cat. A house cat can take care of the problem, especially if you have an outdoor/indoor cat. Cats that spend time outdoors are more likely to hunt to find their own food and may track down that mouse. Just beware, not all cats have enough energy or interest to hunt mice. Well-food indoor kitties might just see the mouse as a toy, and grow quickly bored of it after scaring it half witless.
- Even if you don’t have a cat, you can use used kitty litter to deter mice. Place tubs of used kitty litter around entrances of the house. The mice will sniff the smell of cat urine and clear off in a jiffy.
- If you have a large infestation, a cat may not be enough to totally get rid of it. However, once you eliminate the infestation, a cat will probably prevent reinfestation.
Put your trash cans far from your home. Mice smell garbage and get attracted to your house. If you keep the cans away from the house, they are less likely to take up residence in your home.
8Promote the nesting of birds of prey in your yard. Build a shelter box in your garden to attract some onto your property. This may take some time, but it’s worth the effort if you can attract a wild mouse eater to your yard.
- Make sure the shelter box has no nails or safety hazards.
- A barn owl is the best. A family of barn owls can eat many mice in a night! However, you might attract other types of owls or birds of prey with your nesting box.
1Find the location where the mice are entering. Sometimes there will be greasy stains, and there will almost always will be feces near an entry point. There is also a characteristic odor.
- Mark the spot with caulk if it was hard to find, so that you can find it again easily.
2Block up any holes in interior walls. Start with the interior walls, as it’s best to leave a way out for the mice. They may leave your home or apartment for easier pickings elsewhere. 
- Use spackle or caulk to seal holes that are relatively small. If you have larger holes that can’t be fixed with caulk or spackle, you will need to patch your plaster or drywall. This is a bigger job but important, as a mouse can surely fit through a bigger hole.
- Make sure baseboards are secured and do not have gaps, so that mice can’t squeeze out from behind them.
- If trapped within the walls, mice may chew new holes. This is why it is important to give them a chance to leave before sealing up the exterior entry point.
3Seal the exterior entry points. The usual recommendation is to fill holes with steel wool. Unfortunately, steel wool rusts and thus is not a permanent solution. Instead, use green kitchen pads, cut to the right size, or copper scouring pads. The pads must be secured to the sides of the hole or the mice will eventually pull them out. Large holes will need to be repaired.
- Once you are sure that the interior walls are secure, seal any holes on the exterior of your building. You may use plastic scouring pads, but in some cases walls may need tuck-pointing or other repairs.
4Check entry points again. After a couple of days, look for evidence of any continuing mouse activity. If there is any, check the holes that you sealed, and look for more holes. Seal as needed.
- Clean up the area around the entrance. Remove feces and disinfect the area to get rid of the smell. Use a solution of one part bleach and ten parts water to accomplish this.
1Try a commercial live-catch trap. There are various traps that you might like to try using, all of which allow you to set the mouse free. The most common traps catch the mouse in a box that it can get in but not out of. This is a humane way to catch mice.
- Once you catch them, you will need to release them at least 1 mile (1.6 km) from your home, perhaps in a heavily wooded area to give them somewhere else to go.
- Killing or removing rodents won’t keep mice gone for long. When animals are killed or removed, more will move in to use available resources. In fact, killing or removing mice can actually result in a temporary spike in the food supply, causing remaining rodents to breed.
2Create a homemade humane trap. Use a glass bowl and a coin. Invert a large glass bowl with some chocolate stuck to the inside of the bowl. Balance the bowl at an angle with the large coin on the edge, edge to edge. Leave it in an area where you know the mouse roams.
- The mouse will enter under the bowl and reach up for the chocolate, upsetting the balance. The bowl will fall and trap the mouse underneath.
- Remove the mouse and place it well away from the house.
3Lure the mouse into a container it can’t get out of. You can set up a 10 gallon (37.9 L) aquarium with food in it. Put the aquarium in a spot that the mouse has been seen in, ideally in a place that blocks the mouse’s usual path. Place something next to the aquarium that the mouse can crawl up, like a stack of books.
- The mouse should try to get the food and jump in to the aquarium. Once inside, the mouse should be trapped by the high walls.
- Check the trap frequently.
- Put a top on the aquarium if you find a mouse in there. Release the mouse well away from the house.
4Throw a towel over the mouse. It will stay under the towel for only a short time, so you need to act quickly. Put an inverted waste-paper basket over the towel. Tuck the exposed bits of towel under the basket so it is in contact with the ground. Slide an LP record or large piece of cardboard under the basket and towel. Carefully turn the basket over the right way, with the cardboard tight against the lip of the basket.
- Take the whole thing outside and walk (or run!) the basket, mouse, and towel as far from your home as possible.
- Once you’re far from your home, release the mouse.
Do mice bite humans?
Not without provocation. If you agitate it, it may well bite in self defense. However, if you leave it alone, it will leave you alone too.
Will field mice leave in the spring?
No. Mice will come and go all year if they have access to food, water, and a place to multiply.
Do moth balls get rid of mice
Mothballs can help get rid of mice but they are only effective about half of the time. Most people use them to get rid of mice outdoors, such as under a house, as they can smell quite strongly and are toxic to humans and animals.
How do I clean up after I’ve gotten rid of mice?
If you are cleaning a porous material, like wood, use bleach.
If you are cleaning a non-porous material, like a countertop or stove top, use tea tree oil diluted with vinegar and water.
Do rubber snakes work as a repellent for mice?
Not really. It is the smell of a snake that will repel mice, not the appearance.
Can cinnamon sticks help to repel mice?
Yes they can. Try making a row or trail of the cinnamon sticks near the entrance/exit and roaming areas of the mice.
How can I keep mice away from a certain room?
Try putting something that they like outside where they gain entrance to the room. You can try to catch them with a live trap and put them outside, block the entrance completely, or put a mouse trap there.
If mice come into the vents under a mobile home what can be done?
The area under the trailer needs to be blocked off, so that mice cannot gain entry. Use screen, caulk, and any other building materials you have to seal all holes, no matter how small. Mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime, so you really need to seal everything.
Ask a Question
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- It’s best to put up mice repellents rather than traps inside your home. Wouldn’t you rather keep the mice outside in the first place rather than deal with them in your home?
- Mice are often infested with fleas, ticks, and/or mites. If an infested mouse is killed via trap or poison, its parasites will eventually leave the body in search of a new host. This may be of particular concern to pet owners or those with small children.
- Mouse droppings can be hazardous to your health. Spray any droppings with bleach or other disinfectants (eg. rubbing alcohol) before cleaning them up and don’t let them touch your skin or clothing.
- Get rid of mice quickly if you have dogs. Dogs have different immune systems than cats, and therefore may not be able to handle the possible diseases that mice carry.
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