Learn the most effective strategies to keep mice out of your garage, set up traps, and how to seal your garage to prevent rodents from coming back.
And don’t miss the seasonal tips at the end to prevent mice from targeting your garage in the summer and winter months.
Mice are naturally attracted to garages. They offer warmth, shelter and are typically easy for these clever critters to get into.
Garages are usually the first places mice will go before making their way into your home. And if left unchecked, a few mice can turn into a full-blown rodent infestation in a matter of months.
Use the guide below to learn how to properly seal your garage to keep mice out and how to set up traps to get rid of any mice that are already living there.
Table of Contents
Why Mice Love To Live In the Garage
There are a few reasons why mice might be attracted to living in your garage.
- Warmth – When the weather gets cold, mice seek out shelter and warmth. Your garage offers a safe refuge from frigid temperatures.
- Clutter – Most garages are cluttered, which gives mice plenty of places to hide away from predators.
- Access to birdseed, dog food, and other edibles – If you’re like most homeowners, you probably store your birdseed, dog food and other edible food items in your garage. But if you don’t store them properly, mice can easily gnaw their way into bags and cardboard containers.
- Nesting Materials – Your garage is a goldmine of nesting materials for mice from cardboard to paper, cotton, leaves, debris, and other materials.
Read Related: 5 Of Our Favorite Mouse Proof Garage Storage Ideas
The signs of mice in your garage may be obvious or quite subtle. You may notice droppings along the walls or find chewed corners of cardboard boxes. If your garage is dusty, you may even see tracks left behind by the mouse.
Less obvious signs of garage mice include grease marks on your baseboards and small piles of dog food or birdseed in the behind furniture.
Once you see these telltale signs, it’s time to take action. The first step will be to set traps to kill the mice.
Setting Traps & Using Bait in the Garage
Once you’ve identified the signs of mouse activity. It’s time to set the traps.
Traps are one of the most common ways to get rid of mice, and they work particularly well in garages.
What Types of Mouse Traps Work Best in the Garage?
My favorite mouse traps for the garage are the ones that provide a quick kill. I like to set two different types of mousetraps in my garage: electric and snap traps. And often I will just use the electric mouse traps.
Electric traps are nice in the garage since they are enclosed and in my opinion, are one of the safest to use near the entrance from the garage to the house.
When I take the dog to the park, we go through the garage to get to the car. And I don’t want her accidentally setting off a snap trap. I’ve always used the Victor electric traps shown below.
- 100% Kill Rate - Beveled columns also help to...
- Humane, High-Voltage Shock - Once inside, the...
- Built-in Safety Features - A safety switch...
However, snap traps are the gold standard for catching mice. They are fast, effective, and inexpensive. So depending on the level of mouse activity, I will supplement with a few extra snap traps.
I like to set the snap traps behind the furniture or places where I’m unlikely to set them off. Behind the refrigerator and workbench are the two places mice hide in my garage.
I use a whole range of snap trap brands, depending on the latest deal since I like to buy them in bulk.
If you don’t have pets or children in the home, you may also choose to use bait stations in lieu of the electric mouse traps.
Where to Set Traps in the Garage
Here are a few basic guidelines for finding the best location to place traps in your own garage.
- First, you need to determine where the mice are getting in, or at the very least, where they like to hide. Droppings are a clear indication of entryways or hiding spots.
- Place the bait in a location you know the mice frequent, ideally close to their nesting location. Along the walls, in corners, and under furniture are all good locations.
- Use effective bait in your mousetrap. Mice may love cheese in cartoons, but they aren’t big fans in real life. Foods like peanut butter or chocolate are much more effective.
- Check the trap(s) frequently to see if the mouse has taken the bait.
- When using a humane trap, you’ll need to release the mouse at least one mile from your home. If you’re using a traditional trap, you’ll need to dispose of the body quickly.
If you have pets or kids, make sure that they cannot access the traps, or consider choosing a trap that’s non-toxic.
Humane traps are also a smart choice for families with kids and pets. Just be mindful that you will need to relocate the mice several miles away from your house so they don’t return.
I personally find these a little harder to use in the garage, since I don’t use mine daily and forget to check them. But your schedule may be different.
Here are a few things you should keep in mind before you set the traps.
- Traps that use poison are hazardous to pets and kids. See our article on using mouse poison safely.
- Spring traps can injure children and pets – especially if you use a tasty treat, like peanut butter, as bait.
- You’ll need to dispose of the body, and avoid touching the dead mouse. Remember, rodents carry parasites and diseases.
- Glue traps won’t kill the mouse. Instead, mice get stuck and starve to death.
That being said, setting up traps is a fairly simple process and can be done safely with a bit of care. Once the traps are set, it’s time to check the garage for easy access points.
How to Seal Your Garage to Prevent Mice
The best way to get rid of mice is to prevent them from getting into your garage in the first place. There are quite a few ways these pesky rodents may be entering your garage, and you’ll want to take steps to seal and reinforce these areas.
Here are the five most common fixes to secure your garage from mice.
1. Repair The Weather Stripping Around The Garage Door
Garage doors are the simplest and easiest way for mice to get in.
If mice have chewed through the weather-stripping on the door, a product like Rodent Guard reinforces the plastic and prevents them from getting back in.
These guards are made of metal, so mice can’t chew or gnaw their way through.
The Rickford Company Garage Door Rodent Guards
Rodent Guard can be used to fix weather-stripping
Vinyl or rubber sweeps or thresholds can also be used to eliminate gaps under the door. Here are two products to mouse-proof your garage door if the mice are using it as an entrance point.
2. Fix The Garage Door Threshold
The garage door threshold is the raised rubber bump that you install at the point where the garage door hits the ground. It helps to close any gaps left by your existing weather stripping.
Sensible Solutions Garage Door Threshold
- Replacement garage door thresholds to keep dirt, cold drafts, and pests out of the garage.
- 16 feet long (additional length available)
In addition to pests, it is intended to keep out water & wind to help insulate your garage and minimize your heating/cooling bills.
3. Replace Damage To The Garage Door
Garage door replacement vinyl can be used to fix the bottom of the door if it has been damaged either by wear or those pesky critters. This works on the metal roll-down type doors.
- Flexible vinyl seals out cold air and...
- Energy efficiency
- Durable and easy to install
The vinyl slots are inserted in the metal track located on the bottom of the door. When selecting the size to buy, be sure to look at the track size as well as the width of the door. A little WD-40 will help make the installation process easier.
4. Secure Any Access Holes For Plumbing Pipes Or Air Vents
Access holes for plumbing or vents are another possible entryway. Tighten any seals around vents, drains, and pipes to prevent access.
Deflecto Universal Bird Guard, White
The Deflecto Bird & Rodent guard will Seal dryer vents to keep the critters out.
A popular vent guard called Deflecto is also a great way to keep mice out of dryer vents. These protective vent guards are designed to be installed over three or four-inch clothes dryer or bathroom exhaust vents
5. Seal Air Conditioner Hose Connections
Check air conditioner connections and make sure they’re tightly sealed. Mice can squeeze through gaps as small as a fingernail, so poorly sealed connections are easy for mice to get through.
Video: Popular Products & Tips to Keep The Mice Out of Your Garage
Sealing your garage is a great way to prevent rodents from getting in. Once you’ve sealed the garage up tight and used mouse traps to remove the mice inside, you can take additional measures to repel the mice.
This is one more step to preventing a repeat infestation. Best results are often achieved when you layer several prevention tactics together.
Natural Ways to Keep Mice Out Of the Garage
If you’d like to try a natural mouse deterrent, here are a few more ways to prevent mice from nesting in your garage.
- Put a few mothballs in vented containers and place them in the corners of your garage or areas you know mice frequent.
- Apply peppermint oil to hiding places and entryways. Peppermint oil spray works great along baseboards.
- If you have a good mouser cat, let him hunt in the garage. I wouldn’t put the cat’s food in this area, but adding a scratching post to your garage with a little catnip rubbed on top would do the trick. This should be enough to encourage your cat to leave his scent in the area.
Mice can invade our garages at any time of year but here are a few tips specific to each season.
Keeping Mice out of the Garage in Winter
In the winter months, mice are seeking shelter from the cold. Keep an eye on the nesting materials you may have in your garage during colder weather.
Empty boxes from the holidays, towels to clean off the car, or extra clothes to keep you warm may also make a home for uninvited guests.
Walk through your garage and try to identify any pockets of cold air coming in. This could indicate a gap around pipes or another area that needs to be sealed.
Food is less plentiful outdoors, so they will also be especially attracted to any source of nutrition. Look for any possible food source or smells.
- Winter coats – if you keep any recreational gear like ski clothes or extra jackets in the garage, be sure to check the pockets for empty wrappers.
- Christmas Decorations – Do any of your Christmas decorations have edible elements? Popcorn and cranberry strings, candy canes or crafts may leave behind an enticing scent on your decorations.
- Trash cans kept in the garage during extreme weather can be a strong attractor of mice.
Summer Checklist For Keeping Mice Away
In the summer months, mice may look for refuge from the heat and a source of water. Here are a few things that may be attracting mice to your garage in the summertime.
Condensation from air conditioners or other appliances can attract mice. Inspect these areas and make sure there are no wet areas on the garage floor where the mice may be getting a drink. Also, inspect around equipment and seal any gaps.
And mice will always be looking for an easy meal. Summer barbeques, food gardens, and bird feeders all attract mice to our backyards. If you store any supplies for these activities in your garage, you could be unknowingly be attracting mice.
Gardening supplies like seeds and bulbs make a tasty treat. Make sure you don’t store these in a place where the mice will have access.
Sealing your garage and keeping seasonal items packed away in rodent-proof containers are the best ways to keep mice out of your garage at any time of year. It’s easy to miss one small item, and that’s all it takes for a hungry mouse to find it.
If left unchecked, a single mouse can lead to an infestation in weeks or months. By tackling the problem early on, you can eliminate the mice in your garage and prevent them from coming back.
Sealing your garage and setting up traps in the right locations are two essential steps to keeping the mice out of your garage.