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5 Simple Ways to get Rid of Mice without Killing Them

Updated on December 14, 2016
Michael Kismet profile image

Michael is an author that has a passion for the environment, and is trying to save the planet, one reader at a time!

humane way to get rid of mice and rats
humane way to get rid of mice and rats | Source

Have you ever personally killed a mouse?

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How to get Rid of Mice without Killing Them

A single random mouse might seem cute, but if you spot one, there are bound to be an entire horde of mice living in your home. They are known for their vivacious breeding habits. All it takes is just one of these furry critters to get in, and within a matter of weeks, there could be dozens. Once they start nesting, it then becomes an uphill battle trying to get rid of them.

Living with mice isn't just embarrassing or bothersome, it is a major health hazard. They use their urine as a method of communication. So, as they're scurrying around your house foraging for food, they are systematically urinating everywhere, spreading disease. Mice also have the tendency to gnaw on wires, which becomes an electrical nightmare.

A single stray mouse may be cute to me, personally. But, once you start hearing them during the night, flipping and flopping around in your walls, it is definitely time to take action. But, I am a lover of all animals, and I just don't have the heart to kill them. The following are five simple ways to get rid of mice, without killing them.

how to get rid of mice naturally
how to get rid of mice naturally | Source

#1 Mouse-proof your Home

One of the easiest ways to rid yourself of a rodent infestation, is to prevent one before it even has a possibility of happening. Most homes are invaded by rodents during the cold winter months, to find a nice warm place to nest, eat, and have their young. Here is a comprehensive checklist to rodent-proof your house:

  • If you have trees near your home, make sure to trim down branches that can be used as a bridge. They will enter through any opening in your roof or attic to get themselves inside your walls.
  • Locate any holes and gaps that mice can squeeze through, and seal it off with something highly durable, such as sheet metal or steel wool. Keep in mind that your average mouse can fit through any opening a little bigger than 1/4 of an inch.
  • Use weather stripping to seal all window frames and doors where it presents easy access.
  • Position your trash cans a good distance from your home.
  • They tend to have their nesting in old storage boxes, the interior of your walls, and anything soft that can be used as bedding for nesting material. I've even seen a few nest in an old stuffed animal in the garage. Clean out any vulnerable areas where they can bed down.

Peppermint Oil to get rid of Mice

Peppermint oil is an all natural deterrent against mice, and works like a dream. Definitely a must for a homeowner with pets or young children.

I highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for a non lethal way to keep them at bay.

#2 Use Scents that are Mouse Repellent

Some smells that mice absolutely hate include garlic, spicy scents such as cayenne pepper, and probably your best bet would be peppermint. Rodents like mice have a sharp sense of smell, so implementing these certain odors at key points in your home will deter their presence. Acquire some peppermint oil and cotton balls. Simply soak some of the cotton balls and place them strategically where you suspect their activity.

The great thing about using these aromas is that it's all natural, safer for household pets and children. Additionally, they won't do any harm to the them. However, it is prudent to keep in mind, mice are smart and can easily circumvent these measures. So, it is important to supplement this tactic with other tactics, such as sealing up your home, nice and tight.

#3 Keep your Home as Clean as Possible

Rodents love a house that is in an unsanitary condition. Clear the clutter from around your house, especially in your garage, attic, and closets. Keep as much of your food as possible in airtight glass or tin containers. Also, switch to metal containers for your trash, your garbage is their endless buffet. The average adult mouse can survive on just a few grams of food per day, so a few scraps or crumbs of food is all they really need, to get by.

These humane traps work great and will fit at least a dozen of them. I recommend getting a few if you're experiencing a full blown infestation.

#4 Using non-lethal Mouse Traps

A more humane alternative to traditional snapping rap traps and toxic glue traps are the non-lethal traps. They're used to catch them without incurring harm to the mice. The majority of these traps are bait based traps, luring them into an enclosure that makes it impossible for them to climb back out. As far as bait goes, mice have a bit of a sweet tooth.

Using cookie crumbs, some chocolate, even peanut butter will do nicely to entice them. The best place to lay the traps are around areas where they frequent, areas with droppings and signs of rodent activity. This catch and release method is only viable if you don't already have a full blown mice infestation on your hands. Plus, when you plan to release them, make sure you travel a minimum of half a mile from your home, or else they just come straight back. This approach takes a more considerable amount of effort instead of using poison.

#5 Lining Certain areas of your Home with Aluminum Foil

This may sound unconventional, but aluminum foil is like "kryptonite" to mice. There's something about it that is unnatural to them, and they steer clear of it. Although foil is a great deterrent for them, it really isn't too practical to have it strewn about everywhere. Lay down foil where you feel the highest concentration of activity is present. So obviously wrapping certain foods that are left out would be ideal protection from the mice nibbling and contaminating your leftovers.

best way to get rid of mice in your house
best way to get rid of mice in your house | Source

Interesting Facts About Mice

  • There are at least 30 known species.
  • They possess an acute sense of smell and excellent hearing, but have poor eyesight. They are nocturnal by nature and thus are most active at night.
  • As a pet, a mouse is most content having at least one other mouse to keep it company.
  • Females are capable of giving birth to litters of up to 15 at a time, after being only two months mature.
  • After delivering a litter, they are able to get pregnant again just after 48 hours time.
  • In Zambia, they are eaten as a rich source of protein and considered a delicacy.
  • They are very social animals and communicate using different sets of squeaks and their urine.
  • They can eat up to 25 times a day, thus they usually live near available food sources.
  • They can be quite athletic, capable of climbing, swimming and even jumping upwards of up to two feet.
  • When they are in the wild, they can eat almost anything they come across.

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    • profile image

      Dee 6 months ago

      Awesome article. Ive done the steelwool trick where I've found them entering under a bathroom cabinet... and then roommates got a cat... Quiet after 2 monthes. I also, not really humane, got thick sticky traps that Ive only found in Lucky's... put a peice of chocolate or bbq chip stuck right in the middle... and they lure in less than a week.

    • Chuck Bluestein profile image

      Chuck Bluestein 7 months ago from Morristown, AZ, USA

      This is a great article. Very good video that you added to it. I had a lot of mice coming into my third floor apartment. They were coming in with the pipes that went from the basement to my stove/oven. So I taped up all the places in stove that they could get into my apartment and never had a mouse again. So the most important thing is to mouse proof the home.

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