Looking to get rid of mice in your home, barn, farm equipment, or other area? There are plenty of mouse repellent products and traps available to do the job, but not all of them are safe (or effective, for that matter).

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look into the following different options for how to get rid of mice:

  • Traps
  • Mothballs
  • Poison
  • Mouse Repellent Products and Methods

 

Why Mice are Bad

mice peeking through outlet holesDon’t let their cute little faces fool you – mice can pose a threat to your family’s health and safety. Here’s why.

Mice and other rodents carry a number of diseases and bacteria, including, but not limited to, hantavirus, lassa fever, leptospirosis, and plague. You don’t have to come in direct contact with a mouse to get sick; eating or drinking anything that’s contaminated with mouse urine or feces puts you at risk.

Aside from spreading illness, rodents have a remarkable ability to chew through all sorts of materials. From drywall to insulation, these little critters can cause some serious damage to your home. In fact, a mouse infestation may even increase the chances of house fire since they’re capable of chewing through wires.

With all this in mind, a mouse problem is not something you should ignore. If you notice any signs of mice living in your home, it’s important to take prompt action before the problem gets any worse.

How Mice Get in the House

If you discover a mouse in the house, the first thing you need to do is figure out how it got into your home in the first place.

Like most critters, mice are attracted to warmth, shelter, and food. Fall and winter are popular times for mice to migrate into human abodes, so it’s especially important to be vigilant about mice during these seasons.

Mice can enter the home in a number of ways, the most obvious being an existing hole or opening. You might be surprised at how small of an opening mice can squeeze through – about a quarter of an inch! – so it’s imperative to pay attention and seal off any holes or cracks you may find, no matter how big or small. Steel wool makes an effective sealant, as it’s one of the few materials that mice can’t chew through.

Aside from cracks or holes in your home’s walls or foundations, here are some other common ways mice can enter your home:

  • Doors
    It may seem obvious, but open doors invite mice to enter the home. Use a screen door during the summer months if you prefer to keep your door open (make sure the screen is fully intact).
  • Windows
    Inspect your windows for cracks or gaps, and check your screens to make sure there are no holes or tears.
  • Vents and Chimneys
    Install screens into these areas for additional protection.
  • Utility Lines
    Any openings for utility lines in your home should be sealed with caulk to prevent unwanted guests from entering your home.

How to Get Rid of Mice (Do’s and Don’ts)

Getting rid of mice starts with keeping your home clean. Clutter offers mice many places to hide and nest, while food scraps and spills make for an easy meal.

Cleaning and decluttering your home often will help to keep mice at bay. Store all of your food, including pet food, in airtight containers and ensure there is nothing left out on the counters.

It’s also important to clean up crumbs quickly and thoroughly, as they can easily attract mice.

Make sure you clean thoroughly and often, getting into any nooks and crannies mice may want to call home.
 Vacuum and wipe up any spills promptly to ensure your house stays as clean as possible.

But what happens if your house is spick and span, you’ve sealed any cracks or holes, and you still find traces of mice in your home? It may be time to take a stronger action against your uninvited houseguests.

1. Traps

A good old fashioned mouse trap can do the trick if you’re looking to get rid of mice for good. However, this isn’t always the most ideal way to combat your mouse problem.

There are two main types of mouse traps: snap traps and glue traps. Snap traps are triggered when a mouse walks across the trap, causing it to snap shut on the mouse. Glue traps feature a sticky adhesive that binds to the unsuspecting mouse as it walks across. The mouse will eventually die if it is trapped long enough.

The biggest downsides of mousetraps are the mess and cruelty. You’ll have to deal with a dead mouse, which is not only disgusting but it also puts you at risk of contracting disease. Between setting the traps and cleaning up the ensuing mess, they can be a lot of work.

2. Mothballs

Dog covering eyesMothballs, although toxic, are an inexpensive way to get rid of mice.

Take several mothballs directly from the box and place them in the areas inhabited by mice, specifically in attics, pipes, garages or basements and away from human and pet traffic. Pay special attention to small holes and cracks where mice can enter your home.

March_20_IG.jpgIt’s important to exercise caution with this method. Mothballs contain harmful chemicals and should not be used in non-ventilated area. This method can be extremely dangerous to not only humans, but pets as well. If a child or pet eats a mothball, they can become very sick, and the effects can be potentially life-threatening.

Keep in mind that if your mouse or rodent problem is in an outdoor area, the moth balls will dissolve in the rain or blow away with gusty winds. Therefore, moth balls aren’t the most practical way to deal with a mouse problem.

3. Rat Poison

Commercial rat poison is typically made of a combination of chemicals that are designed to kill rodents. The active ingredients range from anticoagulants (blood thinners) to bromethalin (a central nervous system toxin) to cholecalciferol (vitamin D3).

Unfortunately, rat poison poses a danger to your other furry friends, too. Cats and dogs are susceptible to ingesting rat poison, and the consequences can be fatal. If you suspect that your pet has ingested rat poison, contact the Animal Poison Control Center’s emergency hotline immediately.

4. Mouse Repellent

If you’re concerned about using harsh chemicals or poisons in your home, there are several mouse repellent options to explore.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint essential oil can work for getting rid of mice indoors or outdoors. It is a natural product that is safe for humans and animals, but you’ll want to make sure that the peppermint oil you use is labeled as 100% pure — otherwise, it won’t give you the results you want.

Simply add five to six drops of pure peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and leave one in each area that’s prone to mice.

Pay special attention to areas where mice can enter your home: Once the mice smell the peppermint oil, they won’t want to step foot inside your house.

The peppermint oil will dissipate quickly on the cotton balls, so you will need to replace them up to a couple times a week. (When you stop smelling the peppermint, that’s when you’ll know it’s time to replace).

There are a few issues with this method. First, although it may help to repel mice, this method may not work so well for existing mice infestations.

Secondly, the cotton balls must be replaced frequently. If you have a mouse problem outside, the cotton balls will need to stay dry in order for them to hold their scent.

Stay Away® Mouse Repellent

Stay Away® botanical rodent deterrent combines ease of use with biodegradable ingredients for a safe and environmentally friendly way to rid any home or farm of mice. The convenient pouches slowly release an odor that is offensive to mice and rats but pleasant to humans.

Rodents have terrible eyesight but a great sense of smell and they don’t want to nest in a place where they can’t smell danger coming.

Stay Away® comes in convenient pouches that you can use anywhere you have a mouse problem.

The best part? It’s environmentally friendly and safe to use! Unlike other types of rodent repellents or poisons, Stay Away® is safe for use around children and pets.

How Stay Away® Works to Repel Rodents

To repel mice, all you need to do is place the pouches where the mice are living and wait for Stay Away® to work its magic.

You won’t have any dead mice to dispose of, and there won’t be any foul odors from dead mice in walls or other hidden areas. The smell will force the mice to leave and find a new home and will prevent other mice from moving in.

A bonus? It’s virtually effortless! You won’t find an easier way to get rid of mice. Check out our eBook on DIY Pest Prevention Methods for Mice & Rodents.

 

DIY Pest Prevention for Mice & Rodents

 

Looking for more information on how to get rid of mice? Check out our handy guide:

How to get rid of mice using different methods