There's a mouse in the house
Until this year, the only time that I've had mice or rats in the house were when my daughter had pet mice and rats, and one of those times we did have one loose in the house. (Science fair project got loose.) Anyway, this year was awful, we found one mouse in the utility room, and several outside, if not more.
I tried the sticky traps, and caught one, but after that, they learned to avoid them. So 3 boxes of sticky traps, were definitely a waste. Poison didn't really work, not even when I mixed it with bird seeds that they had opened and were eating on for weeks.
Mice are smart. When one dies, they know to avoid whatever killed it, so when trying to get rid of mic or rats, you want to be smarter than the rodent. Be one step ahead, because they're already there.
Whether the mice are outside or inside your house, you want to find the best way to get rid of them. Humane traps are great, and by setting up one in the house and several outside, I was finally able to get rid of the mice.
Consider the following tips to getting rid of rodents in your home.
Humane Mouse Trap
Get Rid of Rats
You want to start with a few basic things before you really start getting rid of the rodent.
First, make sure that you clean up the house. Get everything that you can off of the floor. Vacuum crumbs, pick up dirty clothes, and put dirty dishes in the sink. Mice are scavengers, so you want to make sure that you clean your kitchen and put foods in storage containers and putting anything loose or open away.
Once the house is clean, you want to figure out how the mice are getting in. Find any hole that leads to the outside, and caulk it. Mice can get in and out of small holes that are at least 1/4" in diameter, which is pretty small, so don't put it past them, caulk them all. Make sure the check windows, doors, and walls. Check the foundation to make sure that there aren't any missing pieces, if there are, fix it.
Make sure to fix any leaking plumbing, dripping faucets, and other places that will give the rodents access to water. You'll want to close off the drains in the showers, sinks, and bathtubs, when they're not in use, and use by using rubber stoppers or drain screens.
Now that you've fixed the problem areas, you'll want to set up a few traps. Humane traps work great, most of them are reusable. There are many different types of humane mouse traps to choose from. The humane traps are great for those who don't want to see the mouse, or rat killed. If you want to release the mice, you'll want to go at least one mile from your house, as it won't take any time for them to return and start all over. Just make sure to remove the rodent according to the directions for that trap.
Otherwise, you can purchase sticky traps, snap traps, ultrasonic devices, or poison that will kill them.. Well, the sticky mouse traps, just catch the mice, but they get stuck on them. The one mouse that I caught with the sticky trap, was hard to see because he just kept trying to get off, and ended up dying slowly. If you don't want to watch the mouse die, consider the snap traps or poison, or just purchase the humane rat traps.
Just remember that if you opt for methods that will kill the rodent, you need to be careful where you put the devices. You do not want other pets or children harmed in the process of getting rid of the rodents in your house. Put poison and snap traps in areas where your other pets and children can't get to. Make sure that other pets are a proper distance away with the ultrasonic devices; these claim to be safe for cats and dogs, but not pet hamsters, gerbils, chinchillas, guinea pigs, and other small pets. But, cats hear better than guinea pigs, and dogs, cats, and people hear better than chinchillas, so keep that in mind.
Use caution with the methods of getting rid or mice that can kill the rodents.
Get Rid of Mice Naturally
- Peppermint oil is a natural deterrent. Its smell is so intense that rodents will not go near it. All you have to do is put a few drops on a few cotton ball and place the cotton balls in areas where the mice may come into the house, such as doorways, vents, windows, etc. Peppermint plants near the entryways is also an alternative.
- Put steel wool inside any holes that you find because the steel wool pads will prevent the mice from using the hole to get back in. Mice just can't chew through it.
- Put used cat litter around the entrances to the house, as the mice will smell the cat urine and be turned away.
- You can purchase the fox urine granules to help keep mice and other small rodents away.
- Placing dried snake poop around the entrances in the house or where you think the mice are getting in, can help keep them out of the house. You can try the pet store for their snake poo. Just make sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets.
- Fresh cab is an all natural rodent repellent that keeps rodents away but does not kill them. It's safe for children and other pets, but I'd still make sure that you put it in places where your pets and children cannot get to it, as a precaution.
- Mouse traps are natural, but as mentioned above there are many different kinds that you can consider, and depending on if you want the mouse killed or trapped live, the kind of trap will vary. Sticky traps do not kill, so you have to kill the mice yourself. Some of the snap traps may just maim the mouse, so you'll still have to kill the mouse. The ultrasonic devices can harm other pets.
- Humane traps are great, but you'll have to take the trap off at least a mile to release the rodent.
Disposing of the Dead Rats
If you decide to kill the rats, or mice, instead of using repellents or humane traps, then you'll want to make sure that you dispose of the bodies carefully. You want to dispose of the body as soon as possible, as you can attract animals that feed on rodents, and the poisons that you may have used can kill other animals, pets, livestock, and wildlife that may eat the body, which is why you want to put the body in a bag or a sealed bin to prevent other animals from getting to the body.
Use rubber gloves to pick up the body, and put it in a plastic bag. You can pick the rodent up with an inverted bag, tie the bag closed, and put the bag in another bag or in a container, such as a coffee can or sealed plastic lid.
You can wrap the body in newspaper or put it in a cardboard box and bury it; just make sure that it's in a place where pets or scavengers can dig it up. Make the hole at least a foot deep.
After disposing of the mouse, you'll want to clean the area where you found the body and anywhere that you had a trap or poison. Use a household cleaner that contains bleach or use diluted bleach solution. Spray any trails, living areas, or feeding areas, as well as where you found the body. Spray and fecal matter, and leave it; don't vacuum it or sweep it away because it can have airborne pathogens.
Get rid of any traps, poisons, etc. Wash your hands afterward, even though you used the gloves, and throw the gloves away.
Dead mice can be a health hazard to your, your children, your pets, and other animals, so proper disposal of the bodies is a must.
Shanon on May 02, 2020:
I agree that you don't have to feed them. I ha e two houses within 2500 yards of each other one that I live in on the farm, we are constantly catching them, and constantly throwing out foods from the pantry where they hew trough the new bags if we for get to place in plastic containers but other than that and a fee droppings you don't see evidence.
The second home which has been empty for over two year now, and in the process of remodeling....we now are seeing evidence of droppings when going back in. Trust me there is no food or snacks at that house at all, and has not been for over two years. So no they are not fed there.
Ali on November 16, 2015:
To the person above who said to simply stop feeding them... I just purchased a house that had been vacant sometime. We've been here less than a month and are over run!! I caught at least 8, three our first night here, my cat has taken out about 4 or 5, but they just keep coming. My house is very clean. I vacuum at a minimum two to three times daily. Dishes never sit out dirty, and I always put food away. What a rude pompous statement to make. They were serviving in an empty home free of all food sources, and yet, they were here. Apparently mice can and will take shelter in a place without a food source readily available. I'm sure have food makes things easier but I believe they will happily find shelter where they can.
Oleg on December 19, 2014:
Usually DCON works very well.Ive always had good luck with the poiosns and stick traps .Usualy their in the kitchen area if you place them behind the stove,bottom of the sink, behind the fridge.They usualy like those spots the most and they always travel along the walls ,unfortantly mice travel in familys so there might be 1/2 a dozen if your lucky.If you wanted to bait them,use peanut butter, cheese really does not work.They also make electronic repellers they run from $15- $30 but im not sure how well they work to recommend.Good luckReferences : ExperienceYears of hardware retail
Gustavo on December 16, 2014:
Stop feeding them! they would not be in your house in the first place if there wasn't easy accses to food. cleaning the place. (not trying to insult) putting all food in plastic tupperware type containers. not in any under counter cabinets. putting poison pellets out only works when there is no other food. so do this after mouse proofing your food. do not allow eating in places other than the kitchen/dining room and clean up all spills and crumbs from your floors. when there no more new signs of activity find all places where they get in and out of your place and plug them holes.References : this method worked for me.
Kathryn Lamoreux on July 21, 2011:
Your section on getting rid of mice naturally is really interesting. I didn't know that about peppermint. It's also good for relieving stomach aches... Not sure I'd try the solutions with animal dung, though. We've had a mouse problem for awhile, but sealing up entryways seems to be doing a lot of good. Great article!
JOYCE on June 26, 2011:
thank you much