How to get rid of mice in my basement ceiling rafters

Updated March 23, 2017

Mice are great at surviving, and when they work their way indoors, they usually find plenty of shelter and food, making homes an ideal place to nest. Unfortunately they also carry diseases, ruin food and cause structural damage. House mice are often found in basements, and one sure way to get rid of a mouse infestation is to make the home inhospitable to the rodents and to trap and dispose of the mice currently living there.

Get rid of food sources. Deep clean cupboards, flooring and countertops in the kitchen as this is where mice will often travel for food. Empty garbage bins daily, and make sure the area around the receptacle is kept clean. Store pantry foods in plastic or glass sealable containers. Avoid leaving pet food out after the pets have eaten.

Make a home less hospitable. To successfully get rid of mice in the basement, you must take steps to prevent new mice from entering the building. Prevention begins with the outside of the house. Move all potential shelter away from the house. This includes wood, brush or compost piles as well as trash bins and appliances. Make sure all basement windows fit securely, and cover any visible holes with metal or glass.

Choose your traps. The two most widely used mouse traps are glue boards and snap-traps. Neither trap uses dangerous chemicals, which can be deadly to both people and pets. Glue boards catch mice much the same way flypaper catches flies. While snap-traps lure mice in with bait and close on the mouse when the mechanism is triggered. Many glue boards are scented to attract mice, while snap-traps must be baited. Popular baits for mouse traps include peanut butter, cheese and chocolate.

Place the traps. Mice use their whiskers to help them travel by feel, which means the mice travel very close to walls to navigate. In the basement, place traps along the walls and across rafters at regular intervals of 10 to 15 feet apart. Concentrate on areas where the most mouse activity is found. Identify places where mice congregate regularly by mouse droppings and chewed materials.

Check and dispose of traps safely. Check traps daily and dispose of any mice in a safe and sanitary manner. Wear thick gloves before handling dead rodents. For extra protection and easier disposal, hold a plastic bag inside-out and grab the trap or rodent. Pull the bag right-side out, and tie it up promptly. Dispose of the rodents in a trash receptacle for regular garbage pickup. Clean the area thoroughly, and wash your hands with soap and warm water after handling.


It may take several trapping sessions to completely eliminate mice in the basement. Avoid placing food bait on glue traps as this can break down the sticky substance.


Don't let children or pets near traps.

Things You'll Need

  • Mouse traps
  • Household cleaning supplies
  • Gloves
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About the Author

Jeannie Knudson is an avid traveler with a love for the written word. She has been a freelance writer for over 15 years and holds a Bachelor's Degree in English from the University of Northern Iowa. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and experiences on eHow and