Seeing suspicious activity around your house, particularly around the kitchen area? Your home might also be housing some uninvited guests. Living with mice can not only be unsettling, it can be unsanitary. Even if you don’t have an aversion to the small furry beasts, mice can carry diseases and pass them to you or your pets through their saliva, feces, or other insects like fleas or ticks. If you’re looking for the best ways to get rid of mice, look no further.
Discovering a mouse or rat infestation can be a frustrating and stomach-turning experience. According to the most recent American Housing Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 14.8 million of the nearly 124 million occupied housing units in the United States reported seeing rodents in the last year. Dealing with rodents can severely disrupt your life and affect your health, but the good news is infestations can usually be taken care of with a few containment and prevention measures.
The main defense you have against keeping mice out of your home is to keep your house clean and free of clutter. Mice like to nest in shrubbery or excess foliage or even piles of boxes or trash. They also tend to reside in areas where food and water are consistently available. So although cleaning isn’t a favorite pastime, make sure to keep your living space tidy to make it inhospitable to pests. In fact, cleaning can even double as therapy – findings from a study conducted by Clorox found that regular cleaning was also associated with other positive health outcomes, including improved relaxation (indicated by 80% of respondents), heightened focus (77%), better sleep (72%), and increased productivity (72%).
StudyFinds researched the best ways to get rid of mice, ranging from prevention to extermination tactics. Our findings are based on the most commonly recommended methods across 10 expert websites. If you have ways to get rid of mice that have worked for your household, share with us in the comments below!
The List: Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice, According to Experts
1. Find and seal entry points and patterns
The first step to both stomping an infestation and preventing new ones is to identify how the mice even entered your home in the first place. “They move along walls and avoid open spaces, so follow where you see the mice droppings in both directions and you’ll know where they’ve been traveling,” says VictorPest. “Mice gnaw at drywall and similar materials, creating clean-cut holes up to 1 1/2 inches in diameter, but they can fit through any dime-size opening they find.”
Once you’ve figured out entry points, you can seal them with caulk, netting, or cement, or know where you should be placing your traps. “Basements, attics, crawlspaces and cracks around windows and doors are all possible entry points,” writes Good Housekeeping. “Figure out where they’re coming from, because putting traps randomly all over your basement floor isn’t going to do you any good.”
2. Set mouse traps
It can be a hard decision to use traps – some people feel they are inhumane and others would rather not deal with the disposal. But traps are an easy and direct solution with low investment. “The classic wooden snap traps will do the trick for light-to-moderate mouse populations, but keep in mind that most people underestimate mice infestations,” advises Terminix. “It’s not uncommon to lay a dozen traps for just one mouse – or what you think is just one mouse.”
There are a variety of different types of traps you can purchase. Snap traps are the most common and kill a mouse instantly, while other variations like glue, bait, or live traps also exist, depending on what you prefer. “Mouse traps are available in a wide variety of styles, including traps designed for quickly killing mice, as well as human live catch traps,” writes Insider.
3. Get a cat
If you aren’t allergic to felines, sometimes getting a cat can be the easiest solution to control mice. Cats are hunters, with smaller rodents like mice being their natural prey.
“Cats are some of the most effective mouse deterrents out there,” writes Smiths Pest Management. “If you can adopt a cat to help keep your mouse population down, do it.”
If you are allergic to cats or don’t plan on adopting a furry friend anytime soon, sometimes sprinkling cat litter around mice entry points can deter them. “If no one in your family has a cat allergy, getting a cat might just be the easiest way to get rid of mice. If a cat isn’t an option, buy cat litter and spread it in areas most frequented by the mice. This can act as a deterrent,” says Healthline.
4. Call a professional exterminator
If your mouse problem is significant enough to affect your quality of life and it doesn’t seem like any other methods are working, it might be best to call a professional. An exterminator or pest control will know exactly the extent of what you’re dealing with and how to take care of the situation. “If your traps aren’t working or you’re still hearing signs of multiple mice in your house, it’s okay to send for reinforcements,” writes MyMove. “An exterminator will find your mice nests and know how to get rid of mice fast.”
If your pest control decides to implement poison, make sure that appropriate safety measures are taken. “If there is a mouse situation that is so severe it feels like chemical control (poison) is necessary, definitely call an IPM professional,” says The Spruce. “It is important that mouse poison is used correctly. Professional pest control experts should be putting rodenticide blocks in a locking station that is anchored in place. These stations encourage rodent feeding while keeping bait locked away from people and pets.”
5. Take measures for prevention
The easiest way to prevent future mice infestations is to make your home inhospitable. Mice search for a few things when looking for a home: food, water, and shelter. “While it’s important to know how to get rid of mice, it’s also important to keep mice out for the future. Indoors and out, there are a number of preventative steps you can take to make your home less hospitable to mice and decrease the chance they’ll return,” writes Home Depot.
Remove any open sources of food or water and clear old clutter like trash or boxes that can be used as nesting locations. “Remove overgrown bushes, shrubs and trees that are close to your home. While rats and mice love to hide out in bushes along the perimeter of your home, many squirrels can enter homes via trees that hang over the roof,” advises Forbes.
- Good Housekeeping
- Smiths Pest Management
- The Spruce
- Home Depot
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