Mice in the House

First found mice droppings in the pantry, then under the sink. Now it seems they're everywhere. Landlord has put out mice bait under the house and mouse trap in the house but the mice are too smart for that. Now they're crawling on my kitchen counters, which are devoid of food except for the fruit/veggie bowl they got into last night. What to do?
mice in the house, pest control
  37 answers
  • KMS Woodworks KMS Woodworks on May 23, 2013
    Pick up a half dozen Victor mouse traps...bait with peanut butter. Place the bait end along the wall or toe kick. Mice like to travel along the walls and edges. The more traps you place the better your odds of getting them. poke around under your sink, this is a very common entry point. (around plumbing pipes) Some coarse steel wood inserted in the holes and then fill with spray foam.

  • Cyndi Moore Tippett Cyndi Moore Tippett on May 23, 2013
    I was going to mention everything KMS Woodworks said. Everything you have done already will help too.

  • Lorraine Edwards Lorraine Edwards on May 23, 2013
    When I was a kid, my parents house was in a very wooded area and they swore by D-Con. Place D-Con trays under your kitchen sink, in your basement (if you have one) in the crawl spaces, attic-wherever. That stuff works great as apparently they are drawn to it, but then go to seek water outside. The food apparently interacts with the water and kills them, and the mice actually disintegrate into dust. This is what I think I remember hearing years ago. Either way, go to your hardware store or a Home Depot or Lowe's and get some. Also D-Con sells misc. traps that are no see/no touch. Sounds like you have quite an infestation. I hope this is behind you soon. (PS please be absolutely sure there is no food anywhere, including food on counters, dry goods, etc. and take great care to not have DOG FOOD around as they absolutely love the stuff. Good luck!

  • Sia@South 47th Sia@South 47th on May 24, 2013
    I'd get the Landlord to call in the Pro's and do a proper sealing/extermination. And have them keep the service going. xo

  • Ann Cushley Ann Cushley on May 24, 2013
    all great ideas...but I think Sia is right call the landlord..he should be responsible but make sure he does something if not followKMS and i'm not familiarwith D-con..good luck I hate those dirty little sneakers!!!!!!

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on May 25, 2013
    We called the "Got Critters?" guy and he came out, secured the house from invading monsters and put out traps. We have had no more trouble. It was about $350 but we are of the age we can't do those things any more.

  • Hilliriah Jacobs Hilliriah Jacobs on May 25, 2013
    I had that problem but i searched every where around the house where there could be possible entry such as a hole where the rats could come in,n when i found them i mixed cement and fill those space but make sure u put the bait down n if the rats have a hiding place in the house please clean up n find it. i have no more problems ps i keep my doors closed.If u have screen boors i would advise u fit a piece of plywood about 20 inches n across according to the width of ur door from the bottom up because rats will bite. throw out ur garbage every night.

  • Tonya Miller Dean Tonya Miller Dean on May 25, 2013
    My mom puts peppermint oil on cotton balls and puts them in her vents. They don't like it apparently and they stay away.

  • Lorraine Edwards Lorraine Edwards on May 25, 2013
    I think she already had the landlord put traps down, but buying d-con is something you can do yourself, doesn't cost alot of money and trust me, I'd do whatever I possibly could to be proactive and now depend on someone else (who does not live there) to take it as seriously as I would.

  • Sharon Schafer Sharon Schafer on May 26, 2013
    Soaking cotton balls with pure peppermint oil placing them in old jar top lids is a way to keep them out of areas where you have food stuffs and other areas that you don't want to use chemicals....and peppermint has a refreshing scent too

  • Toni Toni on Jul 20, 2013
    We have tried all of the above and now the mice walk around whatever is put out to deter them from walking around the house. I am going to try planting marigolds or something around the outside of the house next. If that doesn't wor, I guess I will set a place for them at the table and they'll have to start paying rent.

    • Jackieta325 Jackieta325 on Nov 04, 2014
      I was just about open to that point last year, but I am an insomniac and all night long heard them chewing their way in. Finally we called pest control, the guy was so nice. My husband was putting the traps under the house but not in the right places. He didn't charge us anything. Apparently they crawl very close to the walls. So the traps were placed along the walls, every once in awhile I heard a big snap! I know this sounds a little tilted, but I couldn't wait for the next snap. Every morning he went under our home and brought out those filthy dirty rodents. Free loaders no more. We had to throw out our stove, they built nest or whatever and there were poops in all the insulation. I think it was a whole neighborhood of them. Yuck

  • Wabbitears Wabbitears on Jul 13, 2014
    I had excellent results with Peppermint oil. I soaked some make-up squares with it and put them in the pantry and all of my cabinets. It not only drove the mice away (no evidence, no droppings, no torn packages, etc) but all the occasional bugs that used to like the kitchen disappeared - and I live in Florida where bugs rule. Just replenish your pads - or sawdust filled packets inside of cheesecloth- so the smell is in there and they will give up as the strong smell works great for animals with strong abilities to find food.

  • Micki Micki on Jul 15, 2014
    The first thing is to try to find out how they are getting in. We had a problem years ago and my partner found a teeny tiny hole next to the porch (they used it like a freeway!) Once plugged and no more could get in we worked on getting rid of the ones in the house - he set traps, I preferred D-con. Two years ago it started again. I live in the country and it was bad. I couldn't figure it out. I discovered, by accident, that when I had the new mini-split air conditioner system installed the guys had drilled a hole to run wire through and for some reason didn't use it but drilled another. They didn't seal the hole they didn't use. I used that expanding foam and got new mouse traps that zap them with current in an enclosed box. They work great and so far so good. I also used peppermint soaked cotton balls in the pantry (and I have a cat).

    • Annalise Annalise on Jan 14, 2017
      D-con can leave dead critters in hard to get to places and also it can kill cats that might get to the rodents that have eaten it.... I had a friend that had that happen several yrs ago so unless they have changed the formula it might still be a possibility...

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Aug 26, 2015
    If you are not allergic, get a cat or two, just make sure you want a cat in your life and don't take them to a shelter, they get killed there.

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    • DORLIS DORLIS on Jan 14, 2017
      I have 4 cats. the mice get in, but do not last very long. Harley especially takes them out.

  • Carey Carey on Jan 13, 2017
    Just a note to let you know, a mouse can go through a hole as small as a keyhole. I had a trunk that had all of my special treasures in it stored while we were deployed to Germany. When we returned, I opened that trunk and dropped the lid as it was full of mice! They proceeded to run out the key hole as a rapid rate and it was soon empty of mice, but not their destruction.
    Also, they will chew right through the spray foam and use it for nesting. That doesn't work! Don't try it!

  • Jane Jane on Jan 17, 2017
    try sticky traps, steel whole around pipes

  • Jeanette S Jeanette S on Jan 17, 2017
    In my 46 years here in this house, i never had a mouse until a couple of years ago. The City tore down some old buildings on land that is now a park that used to be a hospital campus type center...that ran RATS...BIG ONES...not little mice to my house!
    We began to hear noises and then the dog began to stand and stare at the A/C vent! The fight began when I saw him scrambling off my back screen porch! I swear he looked as big as a cat!
    We called "Got Critter" guy and it was almost $400 to seal up the house. Then some months later, it started again. Called "Critter" guy back. He found a spot under where the main air duct enters the house and sealed it up...at a cost of almost another $400!
    It was worth every penny! That was no mouse...it was a junkyard RAT LOOKING FOR A NEW HOME!
    I have TERMINIX termite coverage and I called them to check out the place. They gave me a price of over $1,200 and a monthly contract which would have come to over $2,000!

  • Patty Patty on Jan 20, 2017
    I have also read that they run along the walls, and to set 4 or 5 traps close together.

  • Chrislee Chrislee on Jan 27, 2017
    The expanding foam idea does work IF you incorporate a little steel wool first. It hurts their little noses so they won't chew through it. Go get 'em.

  • Karen Jurasinski Karen Jurasinski on Jan 27, 2017
    I bought the Bell & Howell electronic pests repellants and they worked great.

    • B. Enne B. Enne on Jan 28, 2017
      Idk about Bell & Howell, but the other types work ok in open spaces like a crawl space or big rooms. If you have a lot of furniture they don't work well.

  • Johnchip Johnchip on Jan 27, 2017
    Mice live in families, not batallions. You may have more than one family in the house. Glue traps are the best and the open flat ones are cheap. And you know when you go them. Use them in corners and along walls and under sinks until you see no more. Repellants are nonsense. Mice breed fast, so you have to get the whole family in one swoop. repeat the glue traps in the same areas until you see no more. Likely you have a few areas you need to trap. Also they are not after your food as much as your water. So use them near any water soure. One last point, if the glue trap is gone (disappears), you may have rats, that is a bigger issue.

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    • Julie Julie on Feb 06, 2017
      put the sticky trap with the mice stuck to it in a trash bag and throw it in the outside trash. No need to wack them.

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Jan 30, 2017

  • Jay Jay on Feb 01, 2017
    I just read that mice, flies, spiders, and most inspects hate Peppermint! So buy a couple Peperment plants or grow your own. Just place them in various Sunny Spots because they love full Sun.
    Also, I read that you can make your own Spray Deterrant with Pure Essential Peppermint Oil from a Health Food store. Get an empty Spray Bottle and the ratio is 9 Parts warm water (just to make it mix easier) to 1 part Essential Peppermint oil. You can spray it almost anywhere , just test that the oil is non staining on the area first.
    I'd empty my cabinets and spray them inside. I haven't tried it, but I will during Spring Cleaning. Good Luck!

    • See 1 previous
    • Barry Dingle Barry Dingle on Feb 05, 2017
      The other problem with poison is; If the mouse dies inside, where you don't see it, (inside a wall, under an appliancem behind or under a cabinet or cupboard), it will STINK as the carcass decomposes. My favorite solution is one that I learned from my dad. Keep a BB gun handy and when you see one of the little critters, shoot it. (of course that will only get rid ofe one at a time and could take a while, but it's more fun than searching for the origin of that stench from one that was poisoned and died inside your wall.

  • MahtaMouse MahtaMouse on Feb 02, 2017
    Check around the perimeter of your house. I discovered mice AND rats  were getting inside two ways... one was a small round vent?? hole in the floor under a kitchen cabinet and, an attic vent screen had a hole in it (squirrels AND rats both can chew through mesh). Once inside, along with cupboards, etc.; mice can and will, crawl inside your stove/oven insulation; peeing and pooping and ruining your stove; so go medieval on their hineys.... pull out all the stops with traps along walls (they don't run across floors)... glue traps can be grizzly, but effective. Just remember, mice and rats are smart and learn from others. Also try and figure out why and where they're coming from to begin with... I have a neighbor who tosses bird seed like chicken feed all over her lawn for the birds and squirrels

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Feb 02, 2017
    I keep telling myself that I love them no matter what.

  • Pav12707785 Pav12707785 on Feb 04, 2017

  • AJ AJ on Feb 04, 2017
    In November 4 years ago, during an atypical cold spell in SE Washington, a herd of field mice invaded were running amok all over my two-story home. Despite living next to a pine forest on one side and an undeveloped grassy lot on the other, never had seen a mouse, much less one in the house -- likely because till 2007, always had at least one indoor/outdoor cat companion.

    Thinking I could solve this one my own, tried multiple OTC extermination tactics. The only one that proved effective: before going to bed (for another sleepless night -- :-)) was to fill both sides of my double kitchen sink with water up to about half the height of each bowl, then smear a glob of cheap non-crunchy peanut butter just above the water line on all four sides of each bowl. Retrieved the drowned bodies the following morning, using an old pair of long-handled kitchen tongs and then disposed into plastic grocery sacks tied at the top and dumped into the outdoor trash bin. Eliminated close to 20 within a few days with this strategy. Yes, cleanup was definitely gross and yucky -- deep-cleaned my kitchen sink with Clorox and Comet every day! -- plus guilt-ridden, after one Internet site consulted stated that killing mice by drowning is totally inhumane -- but hey! This is MY HOME!

    Managed to suck up another 2 with my little Shop-Vac when I saw them enter the business end of the hose late one night . . . . (Yes, the Shop-Vac bag was immediately disposed and machine innards sanitized with Formula 409 and Lysol cleaning wipes.)

    Alas, the pitter-patter of little feet persisted, day and night, and I finally called in the pros. Costs me close to $400/year now for quarterly pest control service -- mouse bait boxes on home exterior, foundation spraying with rodenticides/insecticides -- from Senske Services but finally have had no major problems. However, just in case, have peanut butter-baited Trapper Pads strategically placed throughout the house, just in case . . . .

    The damage from their invasion was heartbreaking. In addition to just the mess, Their presence totally ruined the entire contents of the attic -- all children's toys, books, puzzles, stuffed animals, dolls, and other kid stuff I'd saved since the late 1980s for my now-adult kids to share with their own children -- two garbage bins' worth of family legacy/artifacts now are disposed in the local garbage company's landfill.

    Post-mouse eviction cleanup advice, per Internet sources I consulted: invest in latex gloves, surgical masks, and plenty of the industrial strength Formula 409 with antibacterial ingredients. Spray affected surfaces (rugs, furniture, drawer interiors, floors, and all other surfaces) with the stuff and let dry before you sweep or vacuum. Dispose of vacuum bag/empty vacuum canister in outside trash bin.
    Four years on, I still freak out at the sight of a stray coffee ground on my kitchen counter or stove top.

    Thanks for reading, if you did -- :-)

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    • Patti Lemaire Patti Lemaire on Feb 21, 2017
      Nothing beats a good cat. I've always d a house cat, never had a mouse problem, just lots of kitty cuddles.

  • Joanne Troiano Joanne Troiano on Feb 08, 2017
    The sticky traps are great. I leave them under the radiators year round for bugs. I keep my silverware and utensils in plastic bags with a sticky trap on top decorated with seeds. As clean as I keep this place, I always catch one or two a year. My dogs don't help and the cat use to bring them home.

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Feb 08, 2017
    Thank you, will stick this note to the fridge so it will be handy for next time.

  • Laura Siebrecht Laura Siebrecht on Feb 08, 2017
    We live in the country and were infested with mice about two years ago. Nothing worked not traps of any kind or mint or even poison. Then one day we rescued two kittens from the outside dogs and put them in a large carrier in our kitchen and when they got use to living with us about two weeks later they were allowed the run of the house and ta da no more mice were ever seen after that

  • Ag Castor Ag Castor on Feb 09, 2017
    They're not called house mice for nothing. When we had our roof redone and the old wooden gutters removed, the roofers found many mouse nests under the eaves three stories up. We never saw them in the house, though, and no damage anywhere. It seems to amuse the cats to stare at the walls. The field mice that came in as toys never lasted long, though.

  • DORLIS DORLIS on Feb 10, 2017
    You may not like finding dead mice around the house, but cats do the trick. The mice learn there are cats in the house and stay away. Plus, let the cold spell go away and the mice will go back outside. ALSO, DO NOT LEAVE FOOD SCRAPS ANYWHERE IN THE HOUSE. They are coming in for food and warmth, DENY THEM FOOD AND THEY WILL SOON STAY AWAY.

  • Lindcurt Lindcurt on Feb 11, 2017
    Get a snake. Cats cannot get into all the places that mice go - but a snake can.

    • DORLIS DORLIS on Feb 12, 2017
      Got a couple of them also. They got in the house and I had evicted 2 before I called conservation agent. He said leave them alone. They usually stay in the walls and basement and do no harm. These are little ring necked snakes about 18" long and as big around as your little finger. I have not seen them around the house so I leave them alone. What the cats do not catch, they do.

  • Leah Schroeder Leah Schroeder on Feb 13, 2017
    I am using peppermint essential oil on cotton. Evidently mice don`t like strong odors I tried all kinds of traps bur have smart mice, So far the pepper mint is working

  • Franne Thompson Wood Franne Thompson Wood on Feb 21, 2017
    Mice will eat just about anything you have. If you can stand the smell of mothballs, spread lots of them in areas where you suspect mice are gaining entry.
    Mothballs tend to repel mice. Good luck.

  • Judy R Gatewood Judy R Gatewood on Feb 21, 2017
    Plug in sonic varmint chasers. Hardware stores have them. About $20+. I have two in garage and one in basement haven't had a mouse in 2 years.