How to get rid of mice humanely

Updated February 21, 2017

Mice can be a troublesome problem. While your first instinct may be to purchase poison, there are simple things you can do that is not so deadly. By learning how to keep mice out, humanely trap and remove any mice in your home and repel any mice from entering your home in the future you can have a mouse-free home in no time. Best of all, you won't be exposing children and pets to deadly toxins.

Preventing mouse infestation.

Get rid of all entry points. Mice can enter through spaces as small as a dime. Seal any holes and cracks with cement, mortar or caulk. Use steel wool, screening or metal plating for larger holes.

Check around any plumbing and wiring conduits. These are notorious for being entries for mice and other pests. Make sure they are sealed effectively.

Double check once you think you have every possible entrance sealed. Walk around the perimeter of your house slowly looking for any possible entry points. Check around the ceilings, in the attic and in the basement. If you don't prevent them from getting in, you will be fighting a losing battle.

Declutter your house, garage and basement. This will get rid of any shelter that mice could use to build nests.

Remove high grass, wood piles, weeds, debris or anything else that mice could use as cover that is within 15 m (50 feet) of your home. Mice will not roam further than 7.5 m (25 feet) from their nest, so you want to encourage them to nest as far away from your house as possible.

Remove and seal any potential food sources. Don't free feed pets. Feed them once or twice a day and pick up any food that is not eaten within 20 minutes. Mice will climb to get at food, so if you have birds, feed the birds what they will eat within 20 minutes. You can feed the birds multiple times per day, if they are used to being free-fed. Make sure your dustbin has a cover that seals well. Keep any food in plastic containers. If you eliminate the food source, you will get rid of the mice.

Eliminating remaining mice

Once you have reduced the chances of mice getting into your home, you will need to purchase a live mouse trap. These can be found online or at most home & garden or hardware stores.

Bait and set the trap. Contrary to most cartoons, mice do not favour cheese. Use peanut butter instead. Nuts, bread and gum drops are also known to work well.

Check the trap daily. Release any mice caught in the trap at least one mile away from your home or else they will re-enter your home. Do not do this step during cold weather because the mouse will be unable to survive.

Reset traps until all mice are gone. If mice become "trap shy" bait the trap without setting it a few days. Then reset the trap.

Take some steps to repel any mice from entering in the future now that you have sealed your house and got rid of any mice that have already invaded. Planting mint inside and outside your house is a good way to repel mice. The smell is a natural repellent.

Apply fox urine. When mice smell it, they naturally want to get away from it. However, fox urine can encourage other dogs to "remark" that area. It has also been known to attract bobcats, who hunt fox for food.

Install ultrasonic devices. Others will tell you that they don't work. While it is true that rodents are capable of hearing ultrasonic sounds, there is no evidence that these noises are unpleasant to them. They may work in small spaces (about 4 metres (15 feet)), but will not penetrate objects or go through walls.

Attract some owls to your back yard. Building a nest box is a good way to attract these predators.

Things You'll Need

  • Caulk
  • Steel wool*
  • Live mouse trap
  • Peanut butter
  • Mint plants*
  • Owl nesting boxes*
  • Fox urine*
  • Ultrasonic devices*
  • *Optional
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About the Author

Darcy Logan has been a full-time writer since 2004. Before writing, she worked for several years as an English and special education teacher. Logan published her first book, "The Secret of Success is Not a Secret," and several education workbooks under the name Darcy Andries. She received her Bachelor of Arts in English and Master of Arts in special education from Middle Tennessee State University.