How to Get Rid of a Mice Problem

Updated February 21, 2017

No matter how cute you may think they are, wild mice can be a dangerous thing to have in your home or office. According to the Michigan Department of Agriculture, mice are capable of carrying over 200 different diseases. They can also chew up your belongings, leave mouse droppings and cause a musky odour. Getting rid of a mouse problem depends on three things. First, you must make the area unfriendly. Second, you must prevent mice from getting inside. Third, you must get rid of mice you have.

Do a thorough cleaning of the area. This includes cleaning behind appliances and under furniture. Your goal is to remove any potential food sources for the mice. Throw out any open food sources or place them in mouse-proof containers.

Keep garbage in dustbins with tightly fitting lids.

Place all dog and cat food in dishes and pick them up at night. This includes water dishes.

Clean up any food that may be out before going to bed. This includes washing the dishes; wiping off stoves, tables and counters; and sweeping or vacuuming the floors.

Fix any potential sources mice may have for water, such as leaking plumbing or dripping faucets. Also, close off drains in showers and sinks when they are not in use with rubber or metal drain covers.

Look around the outside your home for any opening that can allow mice in. Mice are capable of fitting through holes larger than 1/4 inch, the same diameter as a pencil. Look for cracks in the foundation, gaps around wires or pipes and other holes. Seal them up with caulk, metal mesh or steel wool.

Make sure all doors and windows are secure. Cover the edges with metal or wire mesh to prevent mice from gnawing inside.

Cover air vents and chimneys with wire mesh. You can attach the mesh with caulk or a staple gun.

Trim high grass and brush that is within 50 feet of your home that mice can use for cover. Also, remove any clutter such as wood piles or debris that can be used as shelter.

Avoid using poisons and glue traps. Poisons are not only dangerous for pets, wildlife and children but can cause mice to die in the walls or other undesirable area. Glue traps are not recommended for several reasons, but primarily because, according to the Center for Disease Control, they can increase a person's risk of being exposed to the hanta virus.

Get rid of existing mice using live traps if you live in an area where you can release mice at least 1 mile from your home. If you live in a city or an area where you cannot "relocate" mice, use snap traps to kill mice effectively.

Bait traps using peanut butter, chocolate, dried fruit or bacon. Despite the stereotype, cheese is not a good bait to use for attracting mice.

Set the traps behind objects, in dark areas and close to walls where you know mice have been. The more traps you use, the better.

Bait the traps without setting them for a day or two until the mice have taken the bait. Then, replace the bait and set the traps. Check traps several times a day until you go two weeks without catching a mouse or seeing signs of mice.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire mesh
  • Caulk
  • Cleaning equipment
  • Plastic containers
  • Snap traps or live traps
  • Bait such as peanut butter, bacon or chocolate
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

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.