Have you heard mice running around in your attic? It can be very unsettling knowing there are rodents living directly above where your family is sleeping.
If you are ready to tackle the problem head-on, we’ve outlined the best way to get rid of the mice fast and keep them from coming back.
To be truly successful in getting rid of mice, you have to find where they are nesting. If you don’t discover their “home base”, it becomes a much more difficult process.
Follow our tips to get rid of mice in the attic once and for all.
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The good news is getting rid of mice in the attic is one of the easier tasks since you can be more aggressive in your approach without worrying that children or pets may accidentally get into the traps.
Why Do Mice Love Our Attics?
An attic is a favorite place for mice for many reasons.
It is nice & warm.
Attics are warm, especially in the winter as the heat from our homes rises to the top of the house.
It is almost always quiet.
While mice will visit our kitchens and garages searching for food, they want to build their nests in a quiet, undisturbed location.
There are plenty of nesting materials available.
Mice make their nests from insulation materials, old boxes, and newspapers. Attics have these items in abundance.
Mice tend to breed rapidly, especially in the warmth of the attic where they feel safe. In a cluttered attic, a mouse will have hundreds of hiding places.
With the kitchen right downstairs, they will also have easy access to food. They will travel down through your walls, grab a snack, then come back upstairs to enjoy dinner with the family.
Mice are known to carry over 30 different diseases, and their feces and urine can create a health hazard.
So, if you think you may have mice in the attic and you want to protect the health of your family and your home, you should do something to get rid of them.
How To Tell If Your Attic Has Mice?
Before you try to figure out the best way to get rid of mice in attic spaces, make sure you confirm whether it is indeed mice or some other pest that is living in your attic.
If mice have inhabited your attic, they will likely leave a trail of evidence. The following will help you confirm if and where mice might be hiding in your attic.
- Dead mice: If you find a dead mouse in your attic, there could be more of them hiding in there.
- Footprints: Look for mice footprints if you have a dusty attic or sprinkle some powder so you may observe any fresh prints.
- Grease marks: Mice may leave dark smears and brown grease marks as they brush against objects in your attic, especially around corners and holes.
- Mice Droppings: Mice tend to leave small (3 to 8mm long) pellet-sized, rice grain shaped droppings along baseboards or corners.
- Nesting debris: Mice inhabiting your attic may have made a nesting site using light materials like insulation, lint, and paper.
- Noise: Mice are mostly active at night, so you may hear chewing or scratching noises in the ceiling or walls of your attic at that time.
- Physical evidence: Physical evidence of a mice infestation includes chewed up food packaging, including pet food, and chewed up/damaged insulation.
- Stench: If your attic has mice, the inside might smell really pungent like ammonia.
How to Get Rid Of Mice In the Attic
If you have confirmed that there are mice in the attic, then perhaps the best way to get rid of mice in an attic is to follow the steps below.
Step #1: Examine your whole house.
Look for any open gaps and holes, such as gaps underneath the eaves, in roof lines, or vents that mice might be using to enter into the attic.
These gaps or holes will be very small, perhaps the size of a dime or a quarter of an inch. You will have to pay tremendous attention to detail.
A black light can also be used to look for mice urine, which can help discover possible entry points they might be using.
The National Park Service in Washington DC provides some helpful advice when making a house inspection for rodents.
Specific entry points into your attic include chimney vents without screens, power lines leading to the roof, gaps or cracks along the eaves or dormers, and small holes in the roof.
For more information, check out this article on all the ways mice enter our homes.
Step #2: Block off the entry points.
Use steel wool to seal up all of the entry gaps and holes, so that mice are not able to chew through them again. The steel can be bolted in place or secured with clear silicone gel.
Rather than buying the supplies separately, you can buy a kit like this one from PestPlug.
The sealant also helps to block off the airflow alerting the mouse to new pathways in your house. Mice tend to follow the smells carried by air to enter through a gap or a hole, so this will further discourage them from getting into your attic.
Step #3: Trap or kill the mice.
Once you are certain that you have sealed everything; you may proceed to trap and remove the mice that are already living in your attic.
The Environmental Protection Agency recommends 3 ways to eliminate the mice: lethal traps, live catch traps, and rodenticides.
Setting mouse traps is the most inexpensive way of getting rid of mice in the attic. However, if you do not want to kill the mice and you want the cleanup process to be less messy, instead of snap traps, consider using a live catch trap:
When using a live-catch trap, the mice will get trapped inside, and you can then release them into the wild.
The most humane type of live catch traps are large enough to allow the mouse to move a bit with large air holes, so the mouse can get plenty of air while waiting to be released.
However, keep in mind that if you have not sealed your attic and house properly, more mice may return in the future.
Step #4: Cleanup and Removal
Finally, you may clean up and remove all of the droppings and nests you found in the attic. Be sure to wear gloves during the cleanup process.
You will want to throw away any chewed boxes. Take this opportunity to also remove any clutter, so it is easier to see if the mice have returned.
Hiring a Contractor is often the Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in the Attic
As you can see, to be truly successful in getting rid of mice, it does take a bit of work. You can of course simply lay out the traps & hope the mice don’t return but this rarely works.
If you don’t seal the house & block off their entryways, new mice will almost always find their way back into your home. Then you have to start all over again.
If you simply don’t have the time and resources to do it yourself, consider hiring either a pest control expert or a handyman. It may cost a bit more upfront, but in the long run, it will save you money and you can safely rest that your home has been secured by a professional.
A contractor can help you mouse-proof the house & get rid of the mice fast.
House mice are a common pest since they are fond of living in houses, especially in the attic.
A mice infestation in your attic can spread a plethora of diseases, so it is important that you remove them before that happens. Apart from the health hazards, mice can also cause a lot of damage to your home, such as chewing on drywall, electrical wiring, and wood furniture.
So, make sure to follow our tips to get rid of mice in the attic and be done with these pests once and for all. If you still need more tips, head back to our homepage.