One of the most frequently asked questions people ask about rodents is how to get rid of mice in your house. This whole site is dedicated to the various methods for eliminating a rodent problem, but sometimes it’s important to go back to the basics. Understanding why mice are in your house is the key to understanding how to get rid of them. Mice don’t come to our home just for the fun of it. Their sole purpose in life is not to make you miserable even though it may seem that way.
The only thing a mouse has on its mind is survival. Just as we humans have our own basic needs such as food, water, and shelter, mice have these same needs… more food and shelter than water – mice can get their fill of water based almost entirely from the food they eat in their regular diets. So understanding that a mice is simply out there to survive, you can recognize that the reason they are in your house because they need (and have found) food and shelter.
This begs the question – how to get rid of mice. The answer is pretty straightforward – remove the food source and eliminate their shelter. Then prevent mice from coming back in the future by sealing up any access points. So let’s break it down because this is the whole point.
Remove the food source. Mice do not stray far from their nests. If you have mice in your house, then there is likely a nest nearby… it’s probably in your house, garage, attic, basement, or maybe just outside near your foundation. Wherever it may be – it’s close. Remove the food source by storing food in sealable plastic containers. This removes any scents in the air and makes it pretty much impossible for a mouse to get in. Mice can easily chew threw cardboard and other paper based storage containers. They will not only chew this to get into food, but they will proceed to shred the paper to build their nests… and this leads us to the next important thing to consider.
Eliminate their shelter. This one is a bit more nebulous as there are a lot of mouse friendly places in a home, but you don’t have to make it easy for them! If you took away their food, you’re in great shape. They can’t stay around forever if they don’t have anything to eat. While you may be doing your part, if you’re living in a multi-dwelling building (i.e. apartment complex, or other) then our neighbor’s might not be doing theirs. What to do? Eliminate the access points to your home. Mice can get through openings the size of a 1/4″ in diameter – that’s the size of your pinkie finger! Clog up all holes that may provide entry into your home. If you’re looking for a quick and temporary fix, try steel wool. It works great because mice cannot gnaw through the metal… they can try, but they will fail. For a more permanent fix, use caulk or some other type of sealant depending on the situation. Now that you’ve got the food and shelter out of the picture, what’s next?
Lay out traps to catch them. There are a variety of traps from the simple snap trap to a mouse trap on steroids, the Victor M260 Multi-Kill Mouse Trap. You may even wish to use one of the ultrasonic mouse deterrents. The information on these different extermination techniques are all available, it’s just a matter of formulating a strategy that you are comfortable with and then executing it. If you don’t like the idea of seeing or handling dead mice, you’re not going to want to use a snap trap that will snap its neck. You should consider a live catch trap or one of the electronic shock traps that have an easy disposal container in which you don’t even have to view the mice when tossing it out with the trash.
If you’re looking for more info on getting rid of mice in your house, I’d strongly recommend browsing some of the resources available on this site.
Best of Luck!