Keeping Mice Out of Your Home

Mice often come into our homes to find food and warmth; keeping them out requires some persistence on your part. This is a guide about keeping mice out of your home.
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July 25, 2006 Flag

I have accidently stumbled on a way to keep those 4 legged kritters out from under your cupboards. We live in the country and sometimes have a problem with mice getting into the house. They seem to love my lower cupboards (even with 4 cats) and I find traces of them.
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I accidently left a potpourri toilet bowl deodorizer under the cupboards. No mice! It was still in the wrapper and not opened, but, they stopped getting into my cupboards! I now hang one on the rails on the sides of the braces that hold the shelves. This way they are not touching your pots and pans that you keep there. (I would not reccomend this where there are food products.)

By Joyce from Decaturville, TN

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August 11, 20060 found this helpful
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I've looked all over for these "potpourri toilet bowl deodorizers" and cannot find them. Where did you buy them? Right now, I'm trying a lemon scented deodorizer to keep the mice away, but I wonder if the potpourri scent is what works? Thank you!

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April 28, 2008 Flag

We were so disgusted when we found a mouse had made his way into our kitchen cupboards. We found a half inch space along the bottom of the cupboard doors where the nasty little mouse made his way in. I knew I needed molding or something to cover that space, but needed something right then (in the middle of the night) that wouldn't be an eyesore. What ended up working perfectly were several clear plastic rulers I had bought (3 for $1) at a dollar store. They were JUST the right size and shape and had holes already drilled in them. I could have screwed them on, but instead I hot glued them to the bottom of the cupboard where the door meets the cabinet box and this worked just fine! Now those nasty creatures can't make their way into my cupboards and eat my cereal!

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April 28, 20080 found this helpful
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Not to burst your bubble; because your idea is definitely a good one...but keep your eye on the rulers. It would take a determined mouse only a few minutes to chew through the rulers. If you find nibble marks, try using a metal ruler or other metal strips. Be sure to tape over any remaining holes, (or fill with hot glue), to keep the buggies out.

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Questions

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1 found this helpful
April 21, 2010 Flag

I moved into a new construction 3 years ago. Since then, I've been having problems with mice. I'm not sure where they are coming from. I make sure doors are closed because there is construction around the area where I live and I know rodents tend to roam those areas. Despite of my efforts, I keep on finding mice droppings.

At first, I would find droppings inside my cabinets. Since there is no food in any of my lower cabinets, the mice are now outside in my kitchen area.

I've used traps and just this year I've caught 4. Where could they be coming from and more importantly how can I make sure they stop coming in?

By Ponce from Chicago, IL

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April 21, 20100 found this helpful
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We were plagued with mice & we tried everything! Every sort of trap, bate & poison. Nothing worked! Until we got a mouser! Smokey was a stray cat, left to live in a parking lot of my daughter's apartments by someone who moved away & left him on his own, so we figured we could give him a better home where he could be fed every day & still live outside & sleep in our garage. But we fell in love with the little fella & now he has the run of the house & goes outside too... & let me tell you, not only has he take care of the mice situation, he has gotten rid of our severe mole problem too! We thought having a pet would be a hassle, but he's easy to care for & makes us smile!

Go to a shelter & find yourself a cat that's lived on his or her own for a time, these are the very best hunters!

Shelter cats come already vaccinated & neutered, so this will save you money too! I knew a guy who kept his garbage on his porch until he'd get enough to go to the dump, & I always wondered why he never had a mouse or rat problem, so I asked him & he said there were 2 stray cats who lived in the neighborhood that he'd sometimes feed & they kept the mice away!

Since you live in the land of cold winters, you'll have to let your cat inside when it's cold or you'll have to buy a heated pad for his cat-house. When we first got Smokey, before we let him inside the house, we put a kitty door in our enclosed back porch so he could come inside & we bought a heated pet pad with a thermostat & put this on top of a soft bed made from a folded blanket. It was up off the ground & he slept there every night. Not only did he get rid of all the mice we had, but he continually keeps them out!

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April 22, 20100 found this helpful
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The long term solution here is to get a cat. It is a cat's job to rid our homes of rodents. That is why we domesticated them in the first place.

Cats are very little trouble. Get two so they can keep each other company. And if you want them to keep mice out of your house, you have to let them in the house. And no declawing. These are supposed to be working cats.

Cats also are good company, cuddly, and are good stress relievers. There is nothing like a purring cat on your lap to make you feel content.

Some cats are better hunters than others, and females are often the better hunters. However, I have a neutered tom that is a wanton killer--mice, birds, squirrels, even once, a jackrabbit!

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January 11, 2013 Flag

The house next door to us was empty for about 3 years, while the bank that foreclosed on it and renovated it back to habitability. There must have been about 20 people living there at one point. Thankfully, a lovely young couple with two small children, bought the house. The bank, also must have hired an exterminator, prior to putting the home up for sale, and the mice that must have been living in an empty quiet house, have decided to move into "our" house. We can not afford the expense of an exterminator. My husband has set traps, but I think the problem is bigger than just setting a dozen or so mouse traps. I have two dogs and am reluctant to put out poison. Any suggestions? I would prefer to just humanely make them go away, as opposed to killing them, but will consider all suggestions.

By Kathleen

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January 13, 20130 found this helpful
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I'd agree with the suggestion to add some cats to your family if you didn't already have the dogs-who depending on breed might be rather good mousers.

If any pet succeeds at catching the mice, though, you might be looking at a vet bill to clear the fleas and internal parasites mice carry and pass on to pets. I moved into a house that had been empty for several years and my cats duly presented me first with their catches (which they then ate before I could catch the cat that had caught the mouse!) and then the vet bill to deal with fleas and parasites. Oh ick!

The most important thing is to make your home as unappealing to the mice as you can-no crumbs, no left out food including fruit in a bowl, no dog bowls (right, your dogs will love that-not-but mice are pretty bold and will eat and drink from pet dishes), plugged entry holes including gaps around pipes under all sinks. It isn't easy and it isn't a one time effort-you have to make it part of your regular routine for the rest of your life.

Excellent advice regarding mouse control specific to your area is available on your local Extension office web pages. Create a search term on your preferred search engine using: your town or county name plus university and the name of your state plus the words extension office. For example: Houston County University Alabama extension office

Once the search results come up, click through to the site map for your county office and browse the available (and printable-free!) info pages. There should be several pages about controlling not only mice but rats, squirrels, bats, snakes, insects, etc, that like to think of your home as a motel-fast food take away-potential permanent new home.

Also lots of great info at the County Extension site on gardening and other home helps-all free, and all on the web.

County Extension offices are nationwide in cooperation with all fifty states university systems to provide residents with free or low-cost information resources specific to each county in the system. All of the printable information online is absolutely free. Some services provided by extension office agents do have a low cost fee-water and soil sampling for homeowners, for example.

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January 13, 20130 found this helpful
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I copied this from thrifty fun about two years ago and have been doing this ever since at my house and Knock on Wood we haven't had a mouse in the house since. I just refresh the Ex-Lax yearly and I put some under our deck outside so the dog couldn't get in and in inconspicuous places in the house that I know he cannot get too. Honestly this has worked.

We owned and operated a seasonal fishing camp/resort out in the bush. Our cabins, lodge and washroom facilities were basic & simple. It was a summer business. In the fall we closed down, and in came the mice, although we lived year round on site with 5 cats! I tried everything to protect the cabins, house, etc. from the mice! Now you cannot mouse proof over 11 acres of resort out in the bush, can you? Thanks to a old timer bush man we did.

You may laugh out loud at his wisdom on getting rid of mice or other rodents, when you think about how his bush man solution works out in the boonies, with seasonal cabins, a lodge, workshop, garage and our house.

Here it is, and it worked like a charm for us. It is to feed them Exlax... super strength if you can. Rodents love Exlax! We placed it outside & inside. If we thought a cat or dog could get at it, we covered it so that only a rodent could get in and eat it. Even if a bigger animal did get it, it wasn't deadly.

The old bush man told us. Rodents are smaller, their digestive systems are smaller. A little Exlax goes a long way! Rodents live in communities or families. If one gets sick in "home space". They learn fast and leave for a safer environment.

A mouse/ any rodent loves the chocolate wax like bar of Exlax! Add peanut butter to the bars if you like. It is "Dairy Queen Deluxe" for rodents. Once the word is out among fellow rodents about the "after effects" of the food supplied, they leave the area for healthier food, as well as, communicate and smell the

"Gastric Distress and Results" of the afflicted Exlax filled rodent to the community!

We thought it was crazy until it worked. The mice were gone and we were trouble free for over 5 years! Easy and inexpensive! Yes, some rodents had diarrhea as they packed up and left, but we never smelled it. Anyway this worked for us up until we sold the resort and moved!

PS - As it looks and tastes like chocolate, DO NOT put where kids, adults or pets may eat it! You know what will happen with Exlax! Good luck and happy rodent free spaces!

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February 21, 2012 Flag

Will moth balls help get rid of mice? My cat is too large to get in the space where the mice are getting in behind my cabinets. I could drop moth balls down there. Maybe the smell of the balls would deter the mice.

By LAL

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February 23, 20120 found this helpful
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Peppermint oil on cotton balls.

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February 23, 20120 found this helpful
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Mothballs can kill your cat. Are you willing to risk that? If so, please just find it a nice home right now, before you deal with the mice.

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February 27, 2012 Flag

Is there anything you can put around your house outside to prevent mice in a old home?

By Bev

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February 27, 20120 found this helpful
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Any mouse deterrant product would only be a temporary fix and would have to be reapplied. You say you have an old house so there must be many places mice can enter. All openings no matter how small must be sealed from the outside. Especially around any pipes that enter the house and areas under the siding. No easy fix in an old house.

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February 28, 20120 found this helpful
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In my opinion nothing works better than a female cat.

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December 4, 2013 Flag

Do the Pest Offense plug-ins keep mice and rats out?

By Meka

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December 6, 20130 found this helpful
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Save your money and electricity. They do not work.

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Anonymous Flag
January 13, 20160 found this helpful

Save your money, I wasted way too much on them and they do NOT work !!

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November 22, 2012 Flag

How can you keep mice from getting in your kitchen drawers?

By mandy87

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Anonymous Flag
December 4, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

Get an inside cat. We have not had mice in years.

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October 12, 20140 found this helpful

IN our hold home in he quasi-country, I had a terrible problem with nice especially in my kitchen. I saturated cotton balls with the oil when i noticed droppings in the drawers. I changed the balls or resaturated them once the minty order was gone. I don't have a scientific reasons but it works and after a few months you can stop altogether.l Somehow, the mouse telegraph tells them not to visit.

The downside of this is that I lost my 4 star rating as an ultra friendly B&B for mice. Fomice withdrew its endorsement and even advised that mice stay away.

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March 18, 2012 Flag

I had my Kenmore Elite refrigerator (with interior water dispenser) in the garage at the house I am renting (I had to use their frig) for the past two years. I will be moving and was cleaning up the frig again and found that mice/rats had built nests in the bottom of the frig.

I cleaned up what I can reach after removing the lower back plastic panel where the vents are, but I am scared it isn't safe or sanitary to use anymore. I am not sure where the air is being pulled in to cool the interior and if it is pulling from where they lived since I could not reach all of the interior of the frig, then I don't think it is safe. Also, they could have possibly chewed on wires so I don't know if it is now a possible fire hazard. Please advise whether or not the frig is safe to use. Thank you.

By Annie

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March 19, 20120 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you have not plugged it in yet, please don't. Chewed wiring can blow a circuit or pop the breakers at the least.

If you have to, at least plug it into a wall that the circuit has been flipped off. Then, flip the breaker so you are not holding the cord or close to it. Good luck.

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March 19, 20120 found this helpful

The inside will still be sanitary, if it is sealed. As to its being safe, plug it in and see it there are any weird smells or anything questionable and if so, unplug it.

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April 24, 2013 Flag

How can I buy peppermint oil spray to use to get rid mice in my home?

By Vivian E

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May 26, 20130 found this helpful
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Just buy peppermint oil and add a few drops of it to a spray bottle of water.

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July 5, 20160 found this helpful

I currently am trying to get rid of mice from my kitchen. I've rubbed the inside of cabinets and doorways with peppermint oil and have even left an opened bottle of it in one of my cabinets. But seems to have no affect on the mice at all. I keep finding droppings exactly where I put the peppermint oil!

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March 7, 2013 Flag

I want to know why mice are digging in my houseplants? I have had houseplants for last 30 years, but never had mice in my home. I live in a mobile home and have 2 dogs. I want to rid my home of these little creatures without killing my plants. What can I put in my plants? I did find the hole they came in and closed it off. What can you suggest? Help.

By Ann

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March 11, 20130 found this helpful
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One of the easiest (and safest for your pets) ways to keep mice out of places is to place unused fabric softener sheets in the area. You can use a spring-type clothespin to hook it on the side of the pot. Don't let the sheet come in contact with the soil. You really only want the fragrance and the stronger the fragrance the better.

Since you have found the hole they are entering from and sealed that off you shouldn't have more coming into your home. You may, however, have some still in the house with no way to escape. Putting out a small live trap is the most humane way to trap the mice and release them outside.

Please, please do not use any of the mouse poisons or glue traps. If you use the mouse poison and your dog ate the mouse it could also die. I am a licensed wildlife rehabilitator and mouse/rat poisons (like DeCon) kill a great many owls, hawks, raccoons, opossums, dogs and cats after they eat a poisoned rodent. The glue traps are just totally barbaric and make the animal suffer. As to the live traps you may be able to borrow one.

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March 11, 20130 found this helpful

Hello!

Digging to eat the roots is more the doing of fieldmouse or of voles than mice. Usualy they do not come into the houses unless they are trapped in or if they are very hungry!

Oil castor plant products are very good repellents but you should take advice to find the right product to use indoor without danger for your dogs. Sorry for the details but if it is a mouse, and specially in a mobilhome, it leaves behind a tipical smell that you would have noticed.

I could not agree more with Lilly who's advising you not to use poison, for the sake of your dogs and also because fieldmouse is one of the cutest intelligent and funny animal to watch. I do realize that this is not a thing to say to garden lovers ! although most of the time, gardeners blame on the fieldmouse what is in fact done by voles. Cheer up ! once back in its natural place close to your mobilhome and not inside, your fieldmouse will help you get rid of snails and catterpillars.

Hope this helps!

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0 found this helpful
April 17, 2012 Flag

How do you keep mice out of a house which is currently vacant and for sale?

By Tray C. from Nova Scotia

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April 19, 20120 found this helpful
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We owned and operated a seasonal fishing camp/resort out in the bush. Our cabins, lodge and washroom facilities were basic & simple. It was a summer business. In the fall we closed down, and in came the mice, although we lived year round on site with 5 cats! I tried everything to protect the cabins, house, etc. from the mice! Now you cannot mouse proof over 11 acres of resort out in the bush, can you? Thanks to a old timer bush man we did.

You may laugh out loud at his wisdom on getting rid of mice or other rodents, when you think about how his bush man solution works out in the boonies, with seasonal cabins, a lodge, workshop, garage and our house.

Here it is, and it worked like a charm for us. It is to feed them Exlax... super strength if you can. Rodents love Exlax! We placed it outside & inside. If we thought a cat or dog could get at it, we covered it so that only a rodent could get in and eat it. Even if a bigger animal did get it, it wasn't deadly.

The old bush man told us. Rodents are smaller, their digestive systems are smaller. A little Exlax goes a long way! Rodents live in communities or families. If one gets sick in "home space". They learn fast and leave for a safer environment.

A mouse/ any rodent loves the chocolate wax like bar of Exlax! Add peanut butter to the bars if you like. It is "Dairy Queen Deluxe" for rodents. Once the word is out among fellow rodents about the "after effects" of the food supplied, they leave the area for healthier food, as well as, communicate and smell the

"Gastric Distress and Results" of the afflicted Exlax filled rodent to the community!

We thought it was crazy until it worked. The mice were gone and we were trouble free for over 5 years! Easy and Inexpensive! Yes, some rodents had diarrhea as they packed up and left, but we never smelled it. Anyway this worked for us up until we sold the resort and moved!

PS - As it looks and tastes like chocolate, DO NOT put where kids, adults or pets may eat it! You know what will happen with Exlax! Good luck and happy rodent free spaces!

Copied from thrifty fun and have been mouse free since using it. I used this first in 2010 and knock on wood haven't had a mouse since in the house.

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April 18, 20120 found this helpful

Moth balls scattered about, esp. along wall where mice like to run will discourage them. Mice do not like to venture far from walls. It would be best if you can find where they are coming in and put the moth balls there. Good luck.

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September 1, 2010 Flag

I heard that packing limestone around the base of your house will keep mice away (apparently they don't like the limestone). Is that true?

By Chels from Winnipeg, Maintoba, Canada

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September 3, 20100 found this helpful
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No.

Crushed limestone is typically used in some areas to create a drainage field around the house. Believe me: it doesn't do anything to prevent mice. Due diligence is the only thing that works. That means keeping things clean, in good repair, and trapping/killing the varmits. Hope this helps.

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August 23, 2011 Flag

Who can seal the perimeter of my home/ I'm having problems with mice. Orkin suggested I get it done so I can keep the mice out.

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September 20, 2010 Flag

Does Irish Spring soap keep mice away?

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