- Are mice invading your home?
- Do you need a proven plan to get rid of them quickly?
- Are you looking for the best mouse traps and the strategies to use them correctly?
- Or do you prefer more natural methods to get rid of mice?
- Maybe you are at the end of your rope & and ready to hire a mouse exterminator?
Whatever your situation is, the best way to get rid of the mice is do it fast. You need to take immediate action. This is a critical step to getting rid of mice.
Mice can very quickly take up residence in your home and start nesting. If they find a source of food & a little shelter where they feel safe, they will likely not leave the house again.
This series of articles will give you all the strategies for getting rid of mice fast whether you use mouse traps, repellents, live traps, exterminators, humane or natural methods.
It can be very easy to get the mice out of your house as long as you have a plan of action & follow through on that plan.
Here are the 5 Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice
1. How to get rid of mice using mousetraps
Mousetraps are normally the first thing people try when they discover they have mice. This is a tried & true method of getting rid of mice. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions on getting rid of mice with mousetraps.
How many mousetraps do I need?
You should buy way more than you think you need. Your goal is to catch all the mice within the first few days of setting the traps, not over the course of weeks when they will have had time to breed & make more of a mess. I recommend setting out 6 mouse traps at a bare minimum. And it doesn’t hurt to use a few different type of mouse traps.
What type of mouse trap is best?
Here our Top 3 Favorite Mouse Traps.
- The Victor Electronic Mouse Trap is a true customer favorite, since they are quick, clean & effective. They are easy to set & you don’t have to touch the dead mouse – plus the electric shock is quick & humane. You don’t need to worry about stolen bait with this mouse trap.
- The Snap-E Mouse Trap is the best selling and highest rated snap trap . These traps are easy to set, easy to bait and easy to release & reuse. They are made of strong plastic & steel, so will last a long time. Amazon has a great deal on a 6-pack too, so this is a nice economical solution.
- If you prefer a humane mouse trap, we like the Havahart Live Catch Mouse Trap. This live mouse trap gets our vote since it has a cage design that allows air to circulate while your mouse is waiting to be released. There are a few other humane mouse traps options, you can read a comparison in our Humane Mouse Trap Review article.
If you are still undecided, visit our best mouse traps page to see the pros and cons for each type of mouse trap, plus helpful tips for using them.
Where should I put the mousetraps?
Once you have your mousetraps, you need to place them in the correct location. Place the mouse traps near where the mice are living for your best success rate. This is a critical step in your success to getting rid of mice with mousetraps and the one people most often overlook.
Tap into your investigative powers and find out where the mice are sleeping. Place the traps a few feet away from their home base along the walls or baseboards. Another great location is behind furniture. Mice are very skittish, they will be more likely to investigate a new object if they feel safe. If you don’t get any mice in a certain location after a few days, be ready to change it up a little. You may either change the bait you are using, the location of the trap or even the type of trap you are using.
How often should I check the mouse traps?
The short answer is at least twice a day if possible. You want to remove the mice you catch from the traps as soon as possible. This is important for health reasons, since you don’t want to allow the mouse to start decomposing & spreading bacteria. You will also want to set another trap in its place to keep getting rid of mice.
If you are using the live traps, this is especially critical. When you use one of those plastic tip traps & don’t remove the mouse from the small enclosure within a day it will suffocate.
If you are using live traps to be more humane, make sure you can empty them often. The plastic enclosed ones should be checked about every 8 hours or so, while the cage type traps should be checked at least daily. If you can’t do this, using one of the snap or kill traps is actually much kinder.
How do I know when I have caught all the mice?
You will know you have been successful in getting rid of mice when you don’t see any droppings or other evidence for several days. Make sure you regularly clean up all mouse evidence, so you can tell if the mice are coming back.
2. How to safely use bait & poison to control your mouse problem
Making the decision to use poison to get rid of mice is a controversial one. Some people feel it’s cruel since most poisons work by dehydrating the mouse. But it’s a personal decision. Mice carry diseases and can be a real health hazard, so sometimes it comes down who is more important? Your family’s health or the mice? If you do decide to use poison to kill the mice in your home, just follow these precautions.
- Always place mouse bait in sealed bait stations.
- Don’t place the baiting stations out in the open. They should be under cabinets, behind the refrigerator, etc. These are the places mice are likely to hide anyway.
- Only use poison inside the home. Don’t place it outside where a pet could accidentally eat it.
- Wear gloves when handling the bait. Dispose of the gloves afterwards & wash your hands thoroughly.
- Store extra bait containers or poison in a safe location out of the reach of pets or children.
3. How to get rid of mice using natural methods
Natural methods for getting rid of mice include the use of deterrents like strong smells that drive the mice away. Peppermint and used kitty litter are both known to be effective mouse deterrents. See our article on Getting Rid of Mice with Strong Smells for some specific tips.
Getting a cat or a rodent hunting dog like a terrier is another very natural way to get rid of mice. Did you know that rat terriers earned their name for their skill at hunting rats?
4. Get Rid of Mice by calling in a professional mouse exterminator.
When do you know it’s time to hire an exterminator? If you have been trying to get rid of mice for more than a few weeks, your best solution is to hire a mouse exterminator. Most people will try to catch the mice first, which is common. But if you have been trying a while and have not been successful, keep in mind that mice breed very quickly and can have up to 5-10 litters a year.
This is also the easiest way to get the mice out of your house. Just leave it up to the professionals. Here are just a few reasons why:
- A professional mouse exterminator will know all the places mice like to hide. They will save you a lot of time in locating the source of your mouse problem.
- They are trained in all the evasive tactics mice will use to escape your traps. They know the best baiting tricks & ways to catch even the smartest rodents.
- They will know how to find the areas of your home where the mice are getting in. And a good mouse exterminator will seal up the points of weakness in your home for you. Or at the very least give you instructions on how to do it yourself.
- Finally, your mouse exterminator will follow-up and inspect your home to see if they were successful in getting rid of the mice. They will replace the traps, refill any bait stations and adjust the plan as needed to ensure the mice are completely gone.
Before you hire any contractor to come in your home, you should always check their credentials and be sure to compare quotes/service offerings from several companies. If you decide to consult a true mouse control expert, see our article on How to interview & hire a mouse exterminator.
5. How to prevent mice from coming inside your home
No matter what method you decide to use to get rid of mice, you will need to work on prevention. And you can start this step while you are still catching mice; in fact I highly recommend it. We have a page on prevention which will help you take all the right steps to keep the mice away. The 2 most important steps are to keep food stored away in sealed containers and secure your house from any points of entry.
You may decide to hire a handyman or let your mouse exterminator secure your home. But keeping all your food tightly sealed is an easy fix. Take a look through your kitchen and find any food that is not already in a mouse proof container like a can. This includes loaves of bread, fruit, bags of sugar or rice, dog or cat food, boxes of cereal, etc. Place these items in a tightly sealed aluminum can or very secure plastic container.
And don’t forget to look in other areas you store mouse tempting items. For example, if you have a big bag of birdseed in the garage, the mice are just going to love you. The mice may not go for your little bit of peanut butter in your mouse traps, they’ll take the big open bag of birdseed instead, then tell all their friends to come on in and join the party.
Summary of the 5 Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice
- Use our tips for using mouse traps to get rid of the mice.
- If the traps alone don’t work, try bait stations.
- Experiment with natural methods like peppermint oil or kitty litter.
- Hire an exterminator & let someone else do the dirty work.
- Take precautions to prevent the mice from returning.
Follow one of these 5 ways to get rid of mice, or better yet you can try them all!
Just remember to act quickly. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes. What starts off as a small family can quickly become a mouse infestation if you wait too long. It’s much easier to get rid of 6 mice, than 30 or more.
Thinking about hiring a mouse exterminator? Get started today and receive no obligation estimates from pre-screened pest control companies near you.