Teach Me To (series)

How To Get Rid Of Mice In Your House

get rid of mice

Need to get rid of mice? Been there, too. Oh sure, they have sweet little twitchy-nosed faces. But there’s nothing sweet about having them tear into pantry items, chew on wires to grind down their ever-growing teeth, or leave their little, brown, disease-carrying deposits (about 70 each day per mouse!) throughout your house. And that’s just what you can see.

Mice leave urine trails to communicate with other mice. Males try to mark their territory but every other male mark over the marks they come across. All that mouse urine in a house is an unseen trigger for asthma and allergies.

And if you don’t address the issue immediately, you’ll have a bigger issue in no time. A female mouse is sexually mature at 2 months of age. Thereafter, she can produce as many as a dozen babies every three weeks. That’s right. Every. Three. Weeks.

So you need to eliminate mice from your house. There’s no live and let live.

Catch & Release Method To Get Rid Of Mice

There are several types of catch and release mousetraps available on the market. You can even DIY your own like this nifty one.

I once used some store-bought catch and release traps. They didn’t work great. Problem was, when mice have the run of your whole house, investigating a baited trap is simply one option among many they have. They might go in, they might go elsewhere. If you watched the video, you’ll notice that mouse was confined in a box to begin with. He had nothin’ else going, so why not go for that peanut butter? When mice have the run of your whole house, investigating a baited trap is simply one option among many they have. Click To Tweet

(Full disclosure: I actually did catch two live mice in my humane traps. But then I was too grossed out to deal with them. So I put the traps in a bucket, drove to the local fire department, and asked the firemen to release the mice from the traps in a field next to the fire department. They were greatly amused and total sports. They did it for me, but I never used those traps again. Too embarrassing.)

Another thing about this method, the Center For Disease Control doesn’t recommend it. Why? Because when mice get caught they tend to panic and pee/poop – creating the disease and bacteria-laden products you’re trying to get away from.

Deter Them From Coming In

There are a couple of methods to keep the rodents from coming in your house in the first place.

One method is to install ultrasonic units. But they don’t work. At all. Here’s proof.

There are some smells that really put mice off. One is cat urine. Some people spread used cat litter around their house. But I’m thinking if mice urine is undesirable, is cat urine better? I think not. It’s gross.

Another smell they don’t like is peppermint. It’s advised to put 100% pure peppermint oil on cotton balls and strew them about your house. But it’s not advised by me. Mice loooove cotton balls for nesting material. As soon as the peppermint oil dissipates, those cotton balls will be mouse property. And you’ll hear them laughing at you.

Really the only thing you can do to deter mice from coming in your house is to prevent them from coming in. Fill all holes 1/4” and larger with steel wool. If you can fit a pencil in it, a mouse can squeeze through it. Steel wool is impossible for mice to chew through.

Inhumane Methods To Get Rid Of Mice

Glue traps are a lethal, but inhumane way to get rid of mice. Their feet get stuck on the traps and they die – eventually, a slow and scary death. Don’t use these ever.

Another nasty way to go is to use the DIY method that involves filling a 5-gallon pail with water and constructing a ramp to the top. The mice fall in the bucket and drown. I couldn’t do it.

Lethal Means To Get Rid Of Mice

The classic (and cheap!) wooden snap trap is tried and true. But bait it properly. Hot glue a piece of cheese topped with peanut butter to the bait bar. This will ensure the mouse doesn’t run away with the bait before the trap engages. Understand you’ll have to set several traps and will have to dispose of a successful catch.

Another quick and humane method to dispatch mice to their eternal reward is electric mousetraps which deliver a lethal charge in the confines of a little box. They take 4 AA batteries and deliver 50 charges per set of batteries.

These are the two methods recommended by the CDC for dealing with household mice. And if you’re willing to take on the project yourself, they’re the best way to go. But my personal favorite method is to call in a professional and let them safely bait the house.

A few years ago we lived in a house that was over 100 years old. It had a creepy dirt cellar accessed from outside that was a winter palace for mice. These mice worked their way from cellar to the attic – defecating everywhere in between. And ain’t nobody got time for that!

I called a professional exterminator who placed poison pellets in strategic places and the next day, no more mice poop in the kitchen cabinets or anywhere else. Victory in a day! $90 for peace of mind. Totally worth it.

get rid of mice