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How to Get Rid of Mice in the House When Traps & Poisons Have Not Worked

Updated February 21, 2017

A wild rodent, the common house mouse (Mus musculus) is most active at night and rarely seen. House mice are small brown or grey rodents with tiny, beady eyes and relatively large ears. A grown adult mouse weight about 14.2gr and is 5 to 7 inches long, including the 3- to 4-inch long tail. Mice spread disease through their faeces and parasites. If traps and bait have failed to rid your home of mice, try other methods.

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  1. Prevent mice from entering your home by sealing all possible entrances. Mice can squeeze through the smallest places such as around plumbing pipes, or where telephone or television cable lines enter the home. Tear off pieces of steel wool and push into all spaces around pipes or wires entering your home. Use a screwdriver or kitchen butter knife to force the steel wool into even the smallest spaces around the pipe. The mice cannot chew through the steel wool and gain access to your home. Screen necessary openings such as around fans or chimneys with wire mesh.

  2. Repel mice with scented candles. Mice love fresh fruit but are repelled by artificial scents. Scientific tests have indicated that mice especially hate artificial vanilla and strawberry scents and will leave an area permeated with the fragrance.

  3. Practice good sanitation and maintain a clean habitat. Mice are attracted by crumbs and spilt food. They like foods high in fat and are drawn to nuts, grains and cereals. Keep these type of foodstuffs in sealed, airtight, mouse-proof containers.

  4. Turn on the lights. Nocturnal by nature, mice have poor eyesight and dislike bright lights. They are repelled by blinking strobe lights or "blacklights." A blinking light left on in a garage, basement or workshop will drive out mice. Although mice exhibit poor eyesight, they have a keen sense of smell and are attracted mainly by food odours.

  5. Tip

    Review your home for mice infestation on a regular basis. Don't count on the family pet to keep mice away. Mice are actually attracted by pet food and pet odours. The most obvious signs of a mice infestation is the presence of droppings (1/8 to 1/4 inch long, dark in colour and pointed on both ends), damage to stored food items or materials used for nesting or the sounds of squeaking, running or gnawing. Male mouse urine is especially odorous, repugnant and very noticeable.


    Do not use moth balls. Moth balls are intended for use in small enclosed spaces only far away from both pets and humans.

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Things You'll Need

  • Steel wool
  • Wire mesh screen
  • Scented candles

About the Author

A passionate writer for more than 30 years, Marlene Affeld writes of her love of all things natural. Affeld's passion for the environment inspires her to write informative articles to assist others in living a green lifestyle. She writes for a prominent website as a nature travel writer and contributes articles to other online outlets covering wildlife, travel destinations and the beauty of nature.

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