Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice: Fastest, Natural Home Remedies & More

By HomeAdvisor

Updated January 20, 2021

close-up of a mouse chewing a wire inside a house

The best way to get rid of mice is to seal up their entry points around your home. You can also use snap, electronic, glue or live traps or bait stations to deal with a current infestation. Cleaning up brush around your house and keeping the inside clean and free of exposed food and crumbs can also help.

When you see a mouse in your house, chances are more will follow. These tiny rodents sneak inside to find food and shelter. If they like what they find, they’ll stick around for a while. Not only are they worrisome, but they can spread up to 35 diseases. Learn what you can do to get rid of them and how to keep them away for good.

On This Page:

  1. Best Way to Get Rid of Mice
  2. Fastest Way to Get Rid of Mice
    1. Most Effective Way to Get Rid of Mice
    2. Best Way to Trap Mice in the House
    3. Best Baits to Use
  3. Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in House Per Room
    1. Attic
    2. Kitchen
    3. Basement
    4. Walls
    5. Garage
  4. How to Prevent Mice from Coming Back Again

Best Way to Get Rid of Mice

The best way to get rid of mice is to seal up their entry points into your home. Unfortunately, a mouse can fit inside a hole that is as small as a quarter of an inch — about the width of a pencil. For that reason alone, you’re going to need to take some time inspecting your walls and foundation. Check around doors, windows and pipes, as well, to make sure the seals aren’t broken.

Mice can also get through outdoor vents. Add quarter-inch hardware cloth to vents and openings that can’t be sealed. Repair cracks and holes with caulking, cement or polymer foam. Use steel wool as a temporary fix by stuffing it into smaller holes and cracks.

If you can’t find the entry points, consider calling in a pest control exterminator service. They know how to assess your home quickly and may spot holes you don’t see.

Fastest Way to Get Rid of Mice

The most effective way to get rid of mice when you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to do a home inspection and repairs is to use traps. Most of these DIY solutions are very cost-effective.

One tip from pest control experts is to use various traps if you have a large infestation. Even if you think you just have one mouse, there is likely more. Also, mice are smarter than people might think — some learn how to get around certain types of traps without getting caught.

Quickest Way to Get Rid of Mice
  • Hire an Exterminator
  • Set Traps
  • Seal Entry Points
  • Clean & Store Food
  • Set Traps
  • Clean and Store Food
  • Set Traps & Bait

Most Effective Way to Get Rid of Mice

Call an exterminator for the fastest, most effective way to rid your home of mice. If you want to go the DIY route, follow these steps:

  1. Inspect your home for entry points, usually found by following mouse droppings.
  2. Seal up all the entry points.
  3. Place traps around entry points and anywhere else you see droppings.
  4. Clean your home completely and seal away food sources.

Best Way to Trap Mice in the House

Choose from these main types of mouse traps to rid your house of mice. Each one has its pros and cons. Try one or a combination of a few or all:

Types of Traps
Snap traps Commonly available and effective. Inhumane.
Bait stations Not recommended since mice can die in inaccessible areas.
Electronic traps Effective and humane when used properly.
Glue traps Not recommended. Not humane.
Live traps Humane but require regular checks. Not recommended.

Many people consider snap traps to be the best way to get rid of mice in your house. These traditional traps are easy to use, and they don’t cost much, especially when compared to the cost to hire a rodent removal service that ranges between $200 and $600. However, snap traps are not very discreet: When you catch the mouse with one, you’ll see its dead body and, possibly, blood. The firm, spring-loaded snaps can also be dangerous to curious children and pets.

  • Bait stations are also inexpensive and easy to use, but they require some extra work. The mouse eats the poison in the trap and dies in another location. So, you may have to search for it so it doesn’t decompose in your house. There’s also a chance that the mouse can spit the poison out, which may be dangerous for pets or small children in the home.
  • Electronic mouse traps are almost fail-proof. They kill the mouse quickly with a zap, and the dead body is enclosed in a case. They’re safer to use around children and small animals. However, electronic mouse traps are more expensive than other types.
  • Glue traps catch mice well, and they’re generally good to use indoors and outdoors. They’re also safer for homes with children and pets. But they don’t kill mice right away. Many people, including The Humane Society of the United States, have declared them cruel and inhumane.
  • Live traps are your best bet if you’re looking for a humane way to trap mice. It catches the mouse, and you release it instead of killing it. Rodent removal experts say you must release the mouse at least a mile from your home, or it may return. You might also contact the mice when you’re releasing them, so be cautious and wear gloves.

The Centers for Disease Control does not recommend using live traps or glue traps. Mice caught in the traps tend to get scared and urinate, which increases your risk for disease transmission.

Best Baits to Use

No matter what trap you choose, setting it up is only half of the battle. You must use the right bait to attract rodents. While many people assume cheese is best, you’re better off using peanut butter since it’s calorie-dense and attracts mice. Chocolate, bacon, oatmeal and dried fruit are also good choices.

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Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in House Per Room

To get rid of all the mice in your home, you’ll need to address all areas of your house. While all regions use the same basic techniques and tools outlined in this article, you’ll want to note some specific considerations in each room. These include:

Special Considerations Per Room
Attic Trim trees and bushes they use as ramps
Garage Seal entry points
Kitchen Clean and store food properly
Walls Check for holes and seal
Basement Seal around the foundation and use mesh for venting

Best Way Get Rid of Mice in Attic

Rodents get into attics from walls and the outside. You’ll want to seal the tops of all open walls, set traps and trim trees around your home by at least two feet. Mice can jump over a foot.

Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in Kitchen

Keep a clean kitchen and seal all your food away in airtight containers. You’ll also want to place traps, but the best way to eradicate a rodent infestation is to avoid it. Discourage a mouse’s stay by removing all food sources.

Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in Basement

Basements get infested first since they’re closest to the ground. Seal up all the entry points around your foundation. Use wire mesh on any venting holes or pipes. Trim back all bushes and trees from your walls.

Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in Walls

You’ll need to identify all the entry points for walls and address the open tops in unfinished attics. Placing traps around obvious holes should catch the mice. If you use poison, know that they may die in the walls, and you’ll need to find them after they die or put up with the smell. Traps avoid this, plus repairing any holes you’ll need to make to clean out the walls.

Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in Garage

Handling rat and mice control in your garage and outside your home is easier than taking care of an infestation inside. And it’s just as important. Mice can get into your garage and feast on your car wiring.

You can still use a variety of traps in your garage. You’ll also want to patch holes where they may be entering. Once you have the infestation under control, here are some things you can do to prevent mice from returning:

  • Keep brush and weeds around your home and garage cleaned up.
  • Spread chemical or natural repellent around your home and garage.
  • Use ultrasonic mouse repellent devices.

How to Prevent Mice from Coming Back Again

Once you’ve taken care of your mouse problem, you’ll want to take steps to keep them from coming back to your home. Of course, patching holes and keeping up with repairs in your house is the first step. Keeping your home clean is the next step. A mouse is less likely to enter a home without easy access to crumbs and other food scraps.

You may also want to try natural repellents that are safe for humans and animals but deter mice. Peppermint oil on cotton balls is one option. A spray applied to potential entry points and made from one-fourth cup of laundry detergent, a tablespoon of spicy hot sauce, and a gallon of water is another. Some homeowners get a cat or two to help keep rodents at bay.

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