How to keep mice out of your garden?

by Debra

Hi everyone, I have mice in my garden destroying my vegetables and I have also noticed them in the barn and shed. Please can someone tell me how to prevent them from coming into my property?

  38 answers
  • Bijous Bijous on Feb 16, 2019

    Hi. Mice can be a real problem. Plant peppermint around the perimeter of your garden. Make sure the perimeter outside your garden is clean and not overgrown. As a last resort, use mothballs in and around the garden. Good luck!

  • Lifestyles Homes Lifestyles Homes on Feb 16, 2019

    Mousetraps. Bait traps up on fences and away from dogs.

    Maybe you could put a wire mesh around the entire garden on a green house-type frame. Rodents can climb up walls with no problem.

  • Pat Pat on Apr 11, 2017

    You most likely have voles in the garden (they look like a combination of a mouse and mole). They tunnel under plants and eat the roots. You can buy poisoned grain at Earl May to put in their runs or Lowes sells a vibrating tube that will chase the voles away... they do not like vibration. We used both and have had success in our yard.

  • Fiddledd224 Fiddledd224 on Jul 03, 2017

    If you don't want to exterminate or use mouse traps, try scents that mice hate like used kitty litter, peppermints, or mothballs.

  • I have some "no-kill" traps.

  • Charles Charles on Jul 03, 2017

    "Just One Bite" bar. Produced by Farnam Companies, Inc. Break off little chunks. Rats eat, head for water, and croak. THIS works magnificently. Good for Opossums, and other critters also. Do not feed to your husband!

  • Have you tried sprinkling cayenne pepper in the garden?

  • Jewellmartin Jewellmartin on May 27, 2018

    You need some green garden snakes. Check online and at local pet shops. They will stay in your garden as long as they can catch their food. They are not poisonous. ☺️

  • Pam Groba Pam Groba on Apr 07, 2017

    Get rid of bird feeders and outdoor cat and dog food. Keep the yard and surrounding grass mowed. They will chew the wires in your car!!!

  • Is there anything in your yard that might attract them? They love woodpiles and every winter I have a bit of a problem myself, but now I have 6 cats that kill them for me. Do you have pets? If so, I do not recommend poison. I also spray the perimeter of my property and the base of the house with vinegar once a month. This does help to deter them a bit, and if there is something in the yard they want, they go for it. Is anything overgrown? That might be why they are there, you unknowingly provided them a hiding place and possible food source. Can you possibly post a photo to help you further? You can always set traps using dollar store peanut butter, but need to be placed where pets and kids can't get to them. Does this help any?

  • Hillela G. Hillela G. on Jun 03, 2017

    You can try sprinkling pepper and garlic around your garden- they hate that!

  • Cam21714060 Cam21714060 on Jun 03, 2017

    Mix castor oil and some liquid detergent with water and pour it into their holes.

  • T. Martinelli T. Martinelli on Jan 06, 2018
    Call the health department

    • Pra28313410 Pra28313410 on Jun 27, 2022

      Tee hee! Health departments will instruct u to call an exterminator. Or, they will find a way to cite YOU.

  • Mogie Mogie on Aug 03, 2019

    Create a plant- and weed-free border around your landscape, especially on the side that is next to a woody area, a field, or another untended, wild area. This helps keep meadow mice out of your landscape so they won’t burrow in your yard or garden. Ideally, the border should be at least 3 or 4 feet, although a 15-foot border works best. Apply rocks or mulch to the area to inhibit vegetative growth.

    Install a fence around your landscape to keep meadow mice from coming into your landscape both from above ground and underground. Chicken wire with 1/4 inch or smaller openings work well. Bury the fence at least 6 inches deep and extend it above ground 12 inches. You can also protect gardens and individual specimen plants in this manner instead of the whole landscape.

    Trap meadow mice using mouse traps baited with apple slices. Walk around your landscape and track where their tunnels are located. Place the traps so the baited ends are facing the tunnels. Use the traps per manufacturer directions. At least 50 traps are needed for a small garden area for effective control. Discard dead meadow mice in plastic bags or bury them.

  • Peppermint - oils or plants in containers around home

    Mix 1 part flour, granulated sugar, and baking soda. Place in a shallow dish where mice are most likely to find it. You can sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar, chocolate powder, or finely chopped nuts to make it more enticing – just add a bit more baking soda to compensate. What happens is when this hits their stomachs the baking soda forms a gas that ruptures their stomachs = dead mice.

    Place shed snake skins on holes. If you don't have pet snakes or know anyone who has, you can purchase skins off Etsy

  • Kelly Denoyer Russell Kelly Denoyer Russell on Sep 11, 2018

    Kill them before they enter. Only way. Poison bait boxes (only works on mice) and fill a 5-gallon bucket 60-70% with water. Set alongside the shed. Use a 2x4 board as a ramp to the top. Toss in a handful or two of black oil sunflower seed. Works for both. I took out 36 one summer. 6 in my first bucket and then it slowed down to a couple at a time.

  • Jessina Van Datta Jessina Van Datta on Dec 29, 2013

    A mouse can squeeze into any hole or crack the size of a dime. Make sure you have no openings this size to the outside from within the barn or shed and it should eliminate the mouse issue.

  • Letty Letty on Dec 29, 2013

    I have heard and read that spraying peppermint oil, putting mothballs, or sprinkling pepper flakes deters mice from entering. Also, disturbing their nests makes them leave. Constantly be moving things around and remove any nests. They get tired of rebuilding.

  • Waysouth Waysouth on Dec 29, 2013

    Smells don't put them off! You simply must not let them into the barn or shed, as mentioned, no gap seems too small! Glue fly screen material over all vents, fill all cracks and cavities with that expanding foam, seal all joins of, well, everything! Steel wool doesn't work for very long, they push or pull it out of the way. Seal, seal, seal, They may not have such grim determination to break into a place if there is no food for them.

  • Elaine Killingsworth Elaine Killingsworth on May 03, 2015

    For the barn and shed there is a sealer, a urethane spray foam sealer, in a can, easy to use but hard to destroy. Once this has dried in place, the mice will not chew their way in. I used it in my garage to seal the cracks for weatherproofing and to keep rodents out. It works well for both. Ask your hardware salesman, he'll know what it is.

  • Belinda Patrick Belinda Patrick on May 04, 2015

    I've used oil of peppermint (not the cooking kind) & soaked cotton balls. Put cotton balls (1 each) in every corner & at the door. You can put it underneath the shed & most mice will leave as they don't like the smell of peppermint. Plus it makes it smell so good. Can even do it in the house & attic - just put it on a saucer so the oil doesn't stain anything. Not harmful to animals.

  • Kmdreamer Kmdreamer on Jul 27, 2020

    Make poison sandwiches: peanut butter mixed with poison spread on 2 slices of bread make a sandwich leave we’re they frequent.

  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Apr 30, 2021

    In small areas, trapping may be an effective way of reducing vole populations. Try Havahart live vole traps situated perpendicular to the widest vole runways or near the nesting sites at the base of trees and shrubs. Bait traps with peanut butter. Set baits midday to early evening when voles get more active.

  • Cynthia H Cynthia H on Oct 01, 2019

    Barns are tough because of the multiple openings, nooks and crannies, and type of large doors. Tighten up every opening you can find. Garage door size sweeps on the bottom of the large barn doors would help. Remove any food source so they aren't attracted. You don't mention what else is in the barn, like hay which they use for nesting. A couple of cats would help.

  • Bambi Bambi on Oct 01, 2019

    In the barn, I keep all my various feeds in garbage cans with lids. We have 3 barn cats.

    The most helpful around OUR barn is we have a LOT of coyotes. Mice and rats are their most common food. We have never had an issue.

  • Wendy Wendy on Sep 13, 2018

    I have successfully used Ridex plugins for many years. They can be found on Amazon for an affordable price. My house is almost 2,000 square feet so I have 4 plugged into the far corners of the house. Be aware, though, that you cannot have pets such as guinea pigs, etc. as these devices are reported to kill them.

  • Therese C Therese C on Oct 21, 2013

    As cruel and terrible as this sounds, it works and is the safest thing around other pets. On our farm we had mice and barn rats, yuck...the best thing we came up with, due to cats and livestock, was placing small bowls of Coca Cola in out-of-sight places. Change it every day as it goes flat, and only takes 3-4 tablespoons per bowl. The mice will drink it and go away and bloat and die, as mice cannot pass gas. It sounds very mean I know, but if you worry about your pets, it is the most 'natural' thing I know to do, and if your dogs do get ahold of them it will not hurt the dogs.

    • See 1 previous
    • Sunnii Thomas Sunnii Thomas on Apr 01, 2022

      why not use a alka seltser tablet with peanut butter on it. would that have the same effect?

  • Christel Christel on Mar 25, 2018

    We use a wire screen to keep the pests out of our fruit, vegetables, and plants in the garden.

  • Johnavallance82 Johnavallance82 on Mar 20, 2022

    Get a CAT inside our outside. They will sort it for you.


  • Chloe Crabtree Chloe Crabtree on Mar 22, 2022

    Mint, pennyroyal, garlic, and onion are just a few. Try planting them in your garden. Mice are also repelled by camphor, lavender, and wormwood. You can find dried lavender in health food stores and some garden centers.

  • Agnes Chrzanowska Agnes Chrzanowska on Mar 31, 2022

    set up traps or get the outdoor cat

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on May 13, 2022

    We have 2 feral cats and they do a great job outside. On the inside we had an infestation...tried bait traps and they were ignored, conventional snap traps with peanut butter went untouched, lastly the cardboard sticky traps worked well. Bought a multipack from Walmart and placed them flat on the floor, the mice were drawn by the smell. The traps were placed where they tend to run, along the base of the walls, we kept moving them because the learn where to avoid really fast. It took about 1 week to be mouse free.

  • MarthaJean MarthaJean on May 14, 2022

    Put chips of peppermint around garden. Cut bars of soap & put around safe places inside of barn.

  • Micki Micki on Jun 30, 2022

    We have pack rats here in Arizona. They will get into everything and also your car and car wires and chew it all up. We did not have any pack rats until our neighbor moved his large plastic storage container from one side of his back yard clear over to the opposite side of his yard and right next to our short concrete wall after pack rats chewed his old one up. My daughter was sitting on the patio and saw a pack rat (they are pretty little) jump onto his storage box and right into our back yard. The dogs went nuts trying to catch it …..without success. A friend told me to put out the green Irish Spring bar soap. So I bought a bunch of bars. ..And put one open whole bar in each corner inside by the garage door, one by the door that leads into the house from the garage and several bars on the back patio., One in the drawer of a little cabinet on the patio. Oh I almost forgot that I put one in my car on the passenger floor. It makes my car smell fresh. You might try it for the mice but don’t let the dogs get at it.

  • MarthaJean MarthaJean on Jul 09, 2022

    Irish spring works very well in our home. May also repel them in the garden. Pet neutered cat works well also. Hope they don't ruin your garden. Good luck! mjl

  • Kimberly Seibert Kimberly Seibert on Jul 15, 2022

    I agree...garter snakes...we have many in our rarely sed them...they will take care of mice, spiders and all kinds of bugs that can wreak havoc on any vegetables..

  • Mogie Mogie on Nov 11, 2022

    Remove all sources of food the mice can get to. Don't put stuff in plastic garbage cans metal only I found this out the hard way.

  • Michael Phillips Michael Phillips on Jan 08, 2023

    A 5 gallon bucket with put 2 gallons of water in it then a 2 inch wide board as a ramp and stick peanut butter around the inside of the bucket about 3 inches from the top. The mice will fall into the bucket and be unable to jump back out because of the water. Good luck.