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Having mice in the house is something that many people do not want. They even take extra steps to prevent mice and other rodents from infiltrating their homes. This is understandable as mice can pose various forms of health and other risks. Here, you can learn how to keep mice out of houses.

This blog post discusses the signs of mice in your home, the risks of rodent infestations, and when to invite mouse infestations and pest control experts.

Signs of Mice in Your Home

You may often not know that you have a mouse in your home until you begin to see signs of mice or rats. Here are some signs to clue in on the presence of mice:

  • Small dark mouse droppings that appear like tiny rice grains. You may find them along walls or close to food materials.
  • There are chew marks in food and chewed holes in food containers.
  • Gnawed areas along baseboards or the presence of floor holes
  • The presence of small mice nests in unused drawers or under cabinets. Such nests are usually made of shredded paper or wood shavings.
  • A pungent and musty smell
  • Alert behavior from pets can indicate the presence of mice. They may watch the walls intently.

Risks of Rodent Infestations

According to the well-known Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), mice carry quite several diseases and can quickly spread them. The CDC reports that mice can both directly and indirectly spread diseases through their urine, feces, saliva, and ticks. Diseases that mice can carry or spread include Lassa fever, hantavirus pulmonary syndrome, and hemorrhagic fever.

How to Get Rid of Mice in Your House

Read on for ways to get rid of mice in houses:

Block and obstruct all entry points

This is the most effective measure to keep mice and rats away from homes. Assess house foundations and walls and block potential entry points. Rodents that seek entry away from harsh external environments will, therefore, be unable to get into your home.

Also, inspect windows and door sills for joint cracks and block them tightly with steel wool. You may also use screws to fasten wire mesh patches over specific entry points.

Seal food containers and dry food

You will tend only to have mice in your house if they have a food source. Rodents and bugs search for sugar, flour, and other food items in bags and paper cartons. As such, be sure to seal such foods in plastic or metal containers and keep them in the refrigerator or on high shelves.

Keep certain doors and windows closed

Remember to keep garage doors, basement windows, and sliding patio doors closed. Make it a habit to close these doors to prevent rodents from entering your home. You can even take a further step and seal along the bottom edges of doors.

Set up humane mouse traps and bait stations

Live traps can alert you when rodents enter your home. A traditional spring trap kills mice quickly and without causing much pain, so you can use it if you have no problems killing mice. Strategically set mouse traps inside your home.

Find out where mice live and nest and position your mouse trap around those areas. Chemical control methods like rodenticide baits should only be used as a last measure to eliminate mice.

Choice of mouse traps

After you have removed food sources and nesting materials from inside your home, your next step can be to use mouse traps to eliminate the existing mouse population.

Here is a brief description of your choice of mouse traps:

  • Snap traps can be easily placed, disposed of, or reset. They provide instant kill with a strong snap but present a snap risk for pets and kids.
  • Catch traps are of different types, and they are used to catch and contain mice. You will need to perform a hands-on disposal.
  • Glue traps are coated with a sticky residue that traps the mice. They are less effective than snap traps and are considered to be inhumane.
  • Live traps can also catch and contain mice until you release them. However, they are illegal in some areas where using live traps as wildlife control is prohibited.

Use natural repellents like peppermint oil

Mice do not like certain odors since they have a strong sense of smell. Frequently applied eucalyptus oil efficiently repels rats. Peppermint oil is also quite effective, and so are cinnamon and cayenne. You can also use the chemical smells of fabric dryer sheets, ammonia, and bleach to keep mice away.

Get rodent-controlling pets

Various house pets can provide excellent rodent control as a deterrent against rodents. Owls that nest in gardens, young and aggressive cats, and terriers are known to hunt small animals. You can, therefore, use them to keep rodents away.

When to Invite Pest Control Experts

If you feel that your methods do not seem to keep mice away effectively, you may invite a pest control expert. They have other effective ways to get rid of mice or keep them out. This includes baits and heavy-duty poisons. Rodent control and prevention experts also have the equipment to eliminate bigger and more aggressive creatures like rats.

Tips to Keep Mice and Rats Away

Trapping mice may not be enough to prevent mouse infestations. You have to take preventive measures to deter them from entering your home. Use the following tips to prevent rodent infestations in your home.

  • Mice use shrubs and bushes as a protective cover from predators. Trimming shrubs and bushes can help prevent mice from entering your home.
  • Chili powder and vinegar are good mouse repellents. They help get rid of mice as it affects their sense of smell.
  • Rodent control and prevention experts can help you out with rodent-proofing tools and resources to keep mice away.
  • Ensure that you do not have cluttered areas where mice may find shelter.
  • Regularly clean your home of possible nesting materials.
  • Store your food in air-tight containers so mice and rats cannot access food supplies.
  • Only use garbage cans with fitted and tight lids. An available food source attracts mice and rats.
  • Promptly repair any damaged screens.
  • Install door sweeps to lessen the chance of rodents entering your home.
  • Remember to block holes from inside your home and outside your home.
  • Ensure proper ventilation in attics, crawl spaces, and basements. Also, keep them dry.
  • You can add sheet metal guards around pipes with hard, glossy paint bands around the bottom of vertical pipes to deter mice from climbing the pipes.

Measures that Fail to Deter Mice

Here are some measures to deter mice that professional rodent exterminators have found ineffective.


Although large quantities of mothballs can deter mice, they are not powerful enough to repel mice and rats. Rather than removing mice, mothballs tend to make homes smell musty.

Irish spring soaps

Irish spring soaps do not really prevent mice from entering houses. They would have to eat a large quantity of Irish spring soaps for it to affect them seriously.

Zinc phosphide

Pest management experts also consider zinc phosphide to be inappropriate for repelling mice. It would help if you did not use it in residences as it releases a highly toxic gas.

Even when licensed pest control experts use it during outdoor control of rodent burrows, they limit it to no nearer than 15 feet to an occupied structure as mandated by law.

How to Handle Dead Mice

You must be careful with your next steps after your trap or poison bait kills mice. As much as possible, do not touch dead mice. Instead, you should put on disposable gloves and place the dead mice in a sealed plastic bag for disposal in household trash.

Avoid adding them to compost heaps, flushing them down toilets, or letting your pet eat them. Remember to wash your hands thoroughly.

Safety Measures During DIY Mouse Control

  • Implement protective measures for both humans and the environment.
  • Lock away all traps, baits, and pesticides in a cabinet when not in use.
  • Mark and label all products.
  • Keep such products out of the reach of kids and pets.
  • Use tamper-proof bait stations and keep them safe from pets and kids.
  • Always follow label instructions on rodenticides.
  • Remember to wear PPE such as goggles, gloves, and long pants when working with pesticides.

Get Help from Pest Control Companies

You have now read up on how to keep mice out of houses. This post also considered the signs of mice in your home and tips to keep mice and rats away. You can get help from a professional pest control company if you have mice and rats in your home. They will have effective mouse control methods to help you keep mice out of your home.

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