How to get rid of field mice in your home

Mice are attracted to your home for many of the same reasons that make it appealing to you. Your home provides shelter and food and water. While some people can view mice as cute, for homeowners, they represent hazards. Mice living in your home get into packaged food and make it useless, they chew on wiring and create a fire hazard, and some mice carry the deadly hantavirus.

Choose either traps or bait to get rid of mice. Traps require constant monitoring, and most require you to handle the carcase. Bait is somewhat a hands-free approach because mice often die out of sight, but they sometimes die out of reach and smell bad for up to two weeks as they dry.

Locate the food sources frequented by the mice, and position your traps or bait there. Since they return often to these places, this can be the simplest solution. Food sources can be found by inspecting packaged food for signs that they have been opened or for droppings around them. Also check items in out-of-the-way locations, including the backs of cabinets and places where pet and bird food are stored.

Locating their water source may be the easiest approach to finding mice. In nearly all cases, the water source will be your water heater. Other places to look are around plumbing fixtures, under and behind the dishwasher and refrigerator, and behind the washing machine. Simply look for droppings in these areas and when you find them, set your traps or bait there.

Keeping mice out is the best way to avoid a future mouse problem. Start by understanding that a full grown mouse can enter through a hole so small you can stick your index finger in it. Also remember that mice are great climbers and may also enter through small gaps on walls, windows or eaves.

Remove things that make your home attractive to mice. Clean up leaves and grass clippings, stack fire wood off the ground and away from the house, and repair any water leaks or standing water. During your cleanup, look for all possible entry points.

Fill gaps, especially around spigots and heat and air entry points, with copper or steel wool. Topping the mesh with expanding foam will also keep out insects. If necessary, repair larger gaps with materials that match your home. Finally, check your door and window seals from inside with little or no light on. If you see light penetrating from outside, you will need to replace or repair the seals.


Read and follow all directions and warnings on pest control product labels.

Things You'll Need

  • Mouse traps and/or bait
  • Airtight containers
  • Copper or steel wool
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About the Author

Stephen Robinson specializes in health and fitness writing. He was first published in "Inside Kung Fu" magazine in 2001 and continues to write online, primarily for Demand Studios. He is currently completing a degree in health, physical education and recreation at Walters State Community College and plans to seek a Bachelor of Science in exercise science at East Tennessee State University.