Tips and Strategies
How to Get Rid of Mice
Just because mice have invaded your home doesn't mean you have to let them stay. Try these tips for dealing with those pesky rodents, based on their natural habits.
Mice: A Big Problem in a Pint-Sized Package
You see a shadow move from out of the corner of your eye. Then, you start noticing droppings along your baseboards, in the pantry, and maybe even on the kitchen countertops. You might as well face it: You have a mouse in the house—and probably more than one! Once you get over the "yuck" factor, there are some simple, no-nonsense steps you can take to get rid of mice.
Quick Guide to Getting Rid of Mice
- Choose the type of mouse trap or bait station that best fits your needs.
- Put mouse traps or bait stations in places where you see mouse droppings.
- Store food in sealed containers and don’t leave crumbs lying around.
- Don’t leave out bowls of pet food.
- Seal up all cracks and openings that lead outside.
How to Get Rid of Mice: The Details
Use Mice Behavior Against Them
Mice are creatures of habit - they like to take the same path to and from their nests. They're also very curious, so they'll check out any new thing along the way. Those two behaviors will help you control your mice problem. Put your traps or bait stations in several places where you see mouse poop. If you don't catch a mouse within two days, move the trap or bait station to another spot.
Keep Food Away from Mice
Mice need a nice, warm place to live. Your house will do just fine. They also need only a little food, and not much water—the moisture in fruit and bread is enough. Make sure you store your grains and cereals in sealed containers. You should also store your fruit, potatoes, and other perishables in your refrigerator. Sweep or vacuum up any crumbs, and keep your garbage can lid on nice and tight.
Dog Food: Delicious to Mice.
If you leave a bowl of food outside for your dog, you're effectively hanging out a sign on your home that says "Mouse Café". If you leave some food in a bowl inside, you're encouraging any pests you have to ignore the bait you've put out. So if you want to get rid of mice, put the leftover food away once Fido has eaten.
Make Your House Less Inviting
Mice can find a way into your house pretty easily. They can fit through a hole the size of a dime. That's why it's important to seal any cracks or openings around your foundation, windows, garage, or anywhere else. If you have rough siding on your house, such as brick, they can climb right up to the second floor without any problem, so be sure to check for openings at that level as well.
See the article Rodent-Proofing Your Home for more information.
Traps vs. Baits: What Works Best for You?
The method you choose to get rid of mice depends on your own needs and preferences. Tomcat offers a wide range of rodent solutions to fit your individual scenario. Can you stand seeing the mouse once it's caught? Do you want to see evidence that it's dead? Fortunately, you have options. There are products that take advantage of a mouse's natural curiosity and need to scavenge food.
Traps can be baited with peanut butter, cheese, or Tomcat® Attractant Gel to lure the mouse in for capture. They provide evidence of an effective capture or kill to track behavior as well. There are several different kinds of traps, and each provides unique benefits for rodent control. If you don't want to see the mouse after it's dead, try the Tomcat® Kill & Contain® Mouse Trap. If you don't mind seeing the mouse once it's dead, try the easy-to-use Tomcat® Press 'N Set® Mouse Trap. If you prefer a catch and release option, use the Tomcat® Live Catch Mouse Trap. All of these traps are extremely effective when it comes to getting rid of mice.
Bait is placed in a bait station where the mouse enters, nibbles on the bait block, then leaves, and usually dies in its nest within 1 to 2 days. (It will not remain in the station.) Bait stations are available in child resistant, like the Tomcat® Mouse Killer Child Resistant, Disposable Station, and child & dog resistant, like the Tomcat® Mouse Killer Child & Dog Resistant, Disposable Station, options. The child & dog resistant stations can be used indoors or outdoors, while the child resistant stations are intended for indoor use only. Bait stations come in disposable, for smaller problems, or refillable, for large infestations. The good news is, each 1-oz. bait block in a Tomcat® Mouse Killer bait station kills a lot of mice* (up to 12)!
*Based on no-choice laboratory testing