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How to Get Rid of a Mouse in Your House

Updated on October 27, 2013

When mice get into your house, you have a big problem! These pesky little rodents are more than pests---they are dirty and carry disease. That's why it's important to have good methods of mouse control. By taking simple steps, you can get rid of the mouse problem in your home.

Last year, we had a very bad problem with mice in our home. We decided not to use any type of poison, and we did not want to hire an exterminator. So we did a lot of research to find out how to control our mouse problem. And we did get rid of the rodents with humane traps and a little bit of extra work. But we have had no mouse problems this year!

One mouse can turn into a big rodent problem.
One mouse can turn into a big rodent problem.

How to Get Rid of Mice

Mice, rats, and other rodents can be difficult to control. There are several methods you can use, including trapping and extermination. We decided to eliminate their food and shelter resources and use humane trapping.

To get rid of the mice in our home, we first started by determining how they were getting into our house. We figured that once we knew how a mouse could get into our home, we could figure out how to keep them outside. And I'd rather have the pests outside the house! But my big problem was that I wanted to get rid of the mice without killing them.

How are the Mice Getting In?

Like most rodents and small animals, mice are looking for shelter. Thus, the first step to mouse control is to remove their source of shelter. First, we tried to figure out how they were getting into the house. You will have to search through your house to see where the mice are spending their time. Do you near noises at night? Since mice are noctural creatures, you might want to listen at night to see where they are spending their time.

You should also look for mouse droppings. You will typically find mouse droppings in the kitchen or bathroom, and they will probably be hidden in a cabinet or under the sink and other places where the mice are active. Once you have identified where the mice are playing, you can pinpoint their favorite spots and start looking for their point of entry.

In our case, we had two main points of entry. First, the tiny rodents were scurrying through the open garage. Second, they were crawling through cracks on the outside of our home. These cracks were primarily near windows and doors, and simply needed a bead of caulk to seal them. In some cases, the mice had chewed a hole to make their own entrance. In these cases, we stuffed the hole with steel wool before sealing it.

Mice Will Sneak In Your House

Then, we took a walk around the outside of the house and looked for places where mice, rats, or other rodents could enter the house. Since a mouse can squeeze through a hole that is only 1/4 inch in diameter, you need to look very well. Arm yourself with a caulk gun and caulk every single place that you find. In most cases, the key to effective mouse control is to simply seal off every possible entrance.

If you find a mouse hole that is larger than a bead of caulk, stuff it with steel wool or copper mesh before sealing it. Mice have sharp teeth and can chew through wood to get to a nice warm shelter. If the mouse can get through the hole, it will. Your house is much warmer than the cold air outside.

How to Keep Mice Out

The next step in our mouse control process involved walking the perimeter of our garage. We examined each corner of the garage, including the ceilings and walls that go into other areas of the home, and sealed off any areas that a rodent could use to access the house. Again, we used caulk and steel wool. We repeated this process in the attic and crawlspace. Of course, these areas are harder to access, so we had to rely on old-fashioned mouse traps and rodent poison for mouse control in these areas.

Mice Love to Hide

Then, we pulled out the weed whacker and removed all long grass from our property. Rodents and other pests love to hide in grassy areas, particularly if they are close to your home since it emits heat. These are also some of the best places for nesting, which will lead to more little baby mice!

As we trimmed the area, we noticed a few mice scurrying to another part of the yard. So we knew we were on the right track! For the most effect rodent control, keep the grass clipped, pull your weeds, and remove any debris from your backyard that may provide a shelter for the mice.

How to Get Rid of Mice

Mice Love to Eat

Of course, you want to remove all food sources that may tempt the mice. Keep dishes clean, food wrapped, and pantry products in plastic ware. If you are unsure where the mice are feasting, you might want to stay up late one night and start listening. Since mice are nocturnal, you will near them better at night. You can also search under the cabinets and through the pantry for mouse droppings. If you see the mouse droppings, you know you've had a visitor. This will be the best place to start securing your food in mouse-proof containers.

Next, you want to pull out the vacuum. While your human guests may prefer ham sandwiches, your mouse guests are perfectly content munching on crumbs. So make sure you wipe down all countertops and sweep the floor well. Pay particular attention to vacuuming the couch if you eat in the living room. This area is frequently forgotten by us, by the rodents will remember.

A mousetrap is an effective way to get rid of your rodent pest problem.
A mousetrap is an effective way to get rid of your rodent pest problem.

The Mouse Trap

Finally, we decided it was time for trapping. I personally prefer the humane mouse traps. It's a white mouse trap, where you could put food in a little place in the back. It's a spring trap for mice; when the mouse enters, it is spring loaded and captures the mouse without hurting it. We captured well over 14 mice this way. We used Cheese Whiz in the trap and used it as bait. It worked like a charm.

Mice Love to Reproduce

Mice are very successful at reproducing. Thus, before long, your small mouse control problem can become a very large rodent problem! Once the mice have found food and shelter, they will start the nesting process.

Getting Rid of the Mice

After we caught the mice, we drove off to a field and dropped off the mouse. It was far enough away that the mouse wouldn't find its way back. Every mouse took off and ran away, looking as healthy as ever. I figured they could live happily with the rest of their rodent friends. And we finally achieved a mouse-free house, and we figured out how to get rid of mice without killing them! Our pest control solution worked!

I have also heard from other sources that electronic ultrasonic rodent repeller devices work. The idea is that you plug in the rodent device and it sends out an electrical sound that is so high pitched you can't hear it. It repels spiders, bugs, mice, and rats. There are several brands, including Riddex, Mouse Master, and Havahart. I personally have not tried these devices, though.

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    • ratboy252 profile image


      8 months ago

      humans are dirtier and carry more diseases

    • danielneves profile image

      Daniel Neves 

      2 years ago from London, UK

      I do agree mouse proofing is not really possible at void space level. Mouse proofing a roof space would be a major undertaking and possibly not be very beneficial. Mice do not fly.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Bought those electronic things, don't work.... mice were right eating just as if nothing was happening. Now put out boxes that trap them.

      Now, my problem is that since they have been in clothes drawers etc...., I have to throw all out because of poop and pee on them... an expense don't need but feel is needed.... right?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I have this problem right now in my house! ((I am afraid of mouses ((Thank you for information, I will listen for mouse tonight.

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Thanks for the info. I will use it to un-invite my new house guest.

    • DonnaWallace profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Wallace 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      I am glad that you have not had a rodent problem in your home. Mice can be difficult to control.

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 

      8 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      Fortunately we have not had mice in our present house but have had in previous ones.A fairly high foundation helps.


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