How to Get Rid of Mice the Do-it-Yourself Way

Meet the Pest

Mouse extermination is one of the easier do-it-yourself pest control projects. There are both lethal and non-lethal options with a wide variety of price points. Before deciding how to kill mice, you want to make sure that mice are the pests you are actually dealing with. The common house mouse is brown or gray with a pointed nose and small eyes and a body that measures about 3 inches long. The tail is usually as long as the body and has little to no fur. Also, the head and feet are very small when compared to the rest of its body. While this may sound like the description of a perfectly cute pet, it is important to know that mice can carry a host of nasty diseases and parasites including, but not limited to, salmonella, Lyme disease, and tapeworm. It’s better to learn how to get rid of mice than adopting them into your family.

Bed & Breakfast

If you have a mouse in the house, you likely discovered him by the droppings he left in or around your cupboard. Mice prefer grains, like cereal or crackers, seeds, and sweets; basically everything you keep stored in your pantry. If provided with a hearty food supply, mice will reproduce rapidly. Ideally you want to learn how to get rid of mice before they start a family! After all, they don’t enjoy living out in the cold, cruel world when your home is so cozy, warm and full of tasty treats. Knowing where your house guest has set up camp makes mice extermination a little easier, so be on the lookout for nests of shredded paper or piles of stuffing inside old boxes, under furniture and appliances, or hidden inside cracks in walls or other voids.

Quit Bugging Me!

Your first step will be deciding if you wish to use lethal or non-lethal means for your do-it-yourself pest control. Snap traps, zapper traps, and glue traps are all deadly to mice and have been proven to be effective ways to get rid of mice. Simply set the traps and bait them if necessary (away from children and pets but in areas that you know the mice frequent). Be prepared to set several traps until you are certain all the mice have been captured. Poisons are also a very effective extermination tool, but they come with a couple of harsh warnings. Anything that can kill a mouse can probably harm a small child or pet, so this option should be used with great caution. With poison, there is also the issue of not knowing when or where the mouse will die. Finding one accidentally is not a welcome site and having a mouse perish inside the walls of your home is not a welcome smell. Catch and release traps are a good option if you just want to learn how to get rid of mice, not how to kill mice. These traps work by luring the mouse in and then shutting him up inside. As long as you have a way to dispose of the mice, and can release them far enough away from your home so they don't come back, catch traps are a viable and humane option.

Good Riddance

After determining how to get rid of mice from your home, you will want to be certain to keep any future mice from entering. Here are some simple, do-it-yourself pest control steps you can take to make your home less attractive and less accessible to mice:
  1. Repellents: Use commercial or herbal repellents, like peppermint oil, in the areas where the mice are likely to congregate.
  2. Copper Mesh: Seal any openings larger than 1/4 inches with copper mesh, one of the few substances mice cannot chew through.
  3. De-clutter: Mice like to live within 25 feet or less of their food, so cleaning up the spaces around likely food sources will lower your chances of housing more mice. Messy floors, stacks of boxes, and piles of newspaper all have to be cleaned. Outside, you should move debris or wood piles 50 feet from the exterior of your home.


Learning how to kill mice or just how to get rid of mice is something many homeowners will face. If you keep your cool and follow all the steps outlined here, you will eventually have success. And if you still think mice are cute, go to the pet store instead.

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