Mice are one of those pests that no one wants to end up with in their home. Not only are they very unsanitary leading to the spread of various types of diseases, but they also can do a lot of damage. Between the burrowing in the walls, chewing on cords, and leaving their droppings scattered around, you’ll definitely want to get rid of them.
Luckily, there are plenty of proven techniques you can use to keep your home rodent-free. Follow these 35 tips and tricks for keeping mice out of your home and garage and your rodent worries will quickly become a thing of the past. Remember, the best strategy to use for keeping your home clear of pests is to practice prior prevention. It’s much easier to keep the rodents out than it is to get rid of them after the fact.
1. Do regular inspections.
Before you do anything, you need to make sure there is not already an infestation. Inspect your home and garage for mouse droppings, tooth marks, tracks, and torn up paper. Shine a flashlight into any dark places that they might be hiding.
2. Block up any entry points.
Mice are great at finding small cracks to enter the home. Tiny rodents can go into holes as skinny as a pencil. Seal any cracks near windows, underneath doors, and around pipes with caulking or weather strips.
3. Utilize steel wool.
Rodents can chew through all sorts of plastics, paper, and even drywall. However, metal is rodent proof. This means that steel wool is one of the best choices for filling in holes and cracks. Squeeze some into whatever areas need to be patched up.
4. Clean up food particles.
If there isn’t food lying around, mice have no real reason to enter in the first place. Make sure to sweep often and clean up any crumbs that might be left on the floor or counter. Sanitize all surfaces regularly.
5. Mouse traps work great.
Keep a few mouse traps around in case you need them. If you suspect that there are unwanted visitors in your home, don’t hesitate to set them out and see what happens. You’ll want to use a variety of types including bait traps, glue traps, live traps, etc.
6. Turn on some lights.
Dark places tend to invite rodents. Making sure areas are well lit can help prevent mice from deciding to make a nest. They are nocturnal and hate the bright lights.
7. Cover entry points with aluminum foil.
For some reason, rodents dislike aluminum foil. If you line the bases of your doors and other cracks with the thin sheets of metal, they won’t enter. If you have food on your counter, wrap it in aluminum foil to keep the rodents from eating it.
8. Select proper bait.
If you are trying to trap mice, it’s important to use the correct bait. Different mice have different preferences. Use whatever they have been eating in your home as bait. You can also use nesting material like cotton balls as bait.
9. Tie the bait to the trap tigger.
The last thing you want is for the mice to “make off with the cheese”, so to speak. Try using dental floss to attach the bait to the trigger of the trap so the mice can’t easily steal it. You can also glue it on with hot glue.
10. Spray some peppermint oil around.
Not only will it make your house smell nice, but it will also keep mice away. Just make sure to mind your pets if you have them. It can irritate the respiratory tracks of dogs and cats.
11. You can make your own mouse trap using a bottle.
It’s catch and release so it won’t injure the mouse. It works just as good as any store-bought trap, yet it is very simple to make. You can find a video tutorial on how to build one here.
12. Be smart with your trap placement.
The best place to put the traps is perpendicular to walls. The mouse will run along the baseboard and go straight into it. If the trap is in the middle of the floor, they might approach it from the wrong angle. Mice normally don’t venture farther than 10 to 20 feet from a food source.
13. Set out a dish of antifreeze.
This only works if you don’t have pets. Antifreeze is sweet so animals are attracted to it. However, once they consume it, it will poison them.
14. Mice don’t like strong scents.
If you cover a cotton ball in garlic powder or cayenne pepper and plug up a hole, it will keep the mice from passing through. You can also place the cotton balls strategically in your home or garage.
15. You can also use strong scented soaps.
Soaps have the same effect as spices do. The mice will avoid them. Place a few bars in the cracks and corners of areas where mice might want to build a nest. It will keep them away.
16. Bait stations are very effective.
These are little packets of poison that mice are attracted to. They chew through the packet, eat the contents, and die. They are slightly dangerous though if improperly handled, so if you have young children or pets, they aren’t recommended.
17. Cover big holes with bricks.
If you have holes that aren’t able to be filled with caulking or steel wool, consider blocking the area with bricks. They are too heavy for mice to move and can prevent them from entering.
18. Fill small holes with dryer sheets.
Dryer sheets are another strong scented option for keeping mice from entering the home. Just make sure to change them every few weeks. The scent on the sheets wears off over time.
19. Secure your garbage containers.
Mice only need three to four grams of food per day to survive. Even crumbs on the ground around the cans are enough to sustain them. Garbage attracts all kinds of rodents and other pests.
20. Use ammonia for cleaning.
It’s great for making glass surfaces shine, however, it’s also the perfect rodent deterrent. They detest the smell of it. Using it as a cleaning solution is a good strategy for preventing mice from visiting.
21. Remove debris outside the home.
If you have piles of debris lying around the foundation of your house, it’s only a matter of time until mice set up shop there. A clean yard means mice are less likely to get near your home, let alone enter it.
22. Store food in glass containers.
If mice get into your food cabinet, they can quickly gnaw through everything. However, if you store your food in glass or other hard-sided containers, they won’t be able to access it. All those cardboard boxes that most items come in are a no go.
23. Stay organized and clean up clutter.
If you have any clutter inside the house, it may be harder to spot mice. It provides places for them to hide out of sight while they wait for their opportunity to come out and seek food. Make sure to keep things like toys neatly organized instead of in big piles.
24. Adopt some cats.
Mice are no match for cats. The cats will hunt and scare the rodents off. It’s in their nature and they’ll need no coaxing. Mice know it’s in their best interest to stay as far away from cats as possible.
25. Keep mothballs in your closets.
Your grandparents have probably been doing this for as long as you can remember. The smell of the mothballs will keep moths and rodents out. Neither like the strong smells.
26. Use air fresheners regularly.
They will make your house smell really good. Although, mice won’t like the scents. They are not fans of most varieties of air fresheners.
27. Be mindful of your landscaping.
If you have a lot of big hedges of other plants and bushes right up against the side of your house, it might be best to remove them. These make excellent habitats for mice to live. At the very least, keep the plants well-trimmed at the base.
28. Secure gaps around utility lines.
One lesser-known spot that rodents can enter homes is around utility lines. Wherever your electricity or cable lines are attached, there are often small gaps. Make sure they are filled up.
29. Make sure your chimneys have screens.
Rodents are great at finding ways to get in. An open chimney is an open invitation for them. Make sure to cover the tops of chimneys with vents or screens.
30. Treat the mice to a glass of soda.
They are attracted to the sugar. However, they can’t handle the carbonation. It will ultimately kill them if they drink enough of it.
31. Attach guards onto your gutters.
The gutters of houses often fill up with leaves. Mice love to run along them and hide in there. They are like little roads for mice. Installing gutter guards will help to block the path.
32. Deter mice with cloves.
Cloves are an excellent holiday spice. Spreading some around your garage or home will make it smell fantastic. The additional benefit is that mice don’t enjoy the scent.
33. Use more hot sauces when cooking.
The spicy smell that cooking with hot sauce creates will permeate the air of your home and drive the rodents out. It is way too intense for them. Mice are not fans of spicy flavors.
34. Seal the areas around pipes.
Check underneath your sink and other areas where pipes are for gaps and cracks. If any exist, fill them up with caulking or steel wool. This can keep mice from entering the home at that access point.
35. Don’t keep any food in the garage.
Garages are always opening and closing. It’s super easy for mice to get in. That’s one reason you should never keep food or fridges in the garage. You don’t want to incentivize them to enter.