How to Get Rid of Mice - Natural Home Remedies

Whatever your situation is, the best way to get rid of the mice is do it fast. You need to take immediate action. This is a critical step to getting rid of mice. Mice can very quickly take up residence in your home and start nesting. If they find a source of food & a little shelter where they feel safe, they will likely not leave the house again.

With a little creativity and curiosity, mice can wiggle their way into even the cleanest apartments and homes. They may look harmless, but mice can wreak havoc on your home and carry diseases. If you can’t stand the idea of using traps or poison, there are plenty of home remedies that can help rid you of your mouse problem once and for all.

11 Natural Home Remedies to get rid of mice

Why People Prefer Home Remedies

Why use home remedies when poisons and traps are readily available? Most people prefer home remedies because:
  1. They’re effective
  2. They’re typically non-toxic and natural
If you have pets or small children, the last thing you want to do is set up traps or use poison around your home. Home remedies are usually simple, harmless to kids and other pets, and in many cases, the more humane option.
Over the years, farmers and homeowners have shared their tricks and tips on how to get rid of mice naturally, and many of these remedies use items you probably already have in your home.

10 Home Remedies to Get Rid Of Mice Naturally

1. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint Oil for Mouse Control 

Mice aren’t big fans of peppermint. Its fresh scent may smell great to you, but it will send mice running for the hills. Place a little peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them in entryways, kitchen cabinets and suspected entry points.
If you want to go the extra mile, try planting mint along the exterior of your home to deter mice and keep them away from your home altogether. If you prefer not to use oil, you can use mint leaves or mint toothpaste instead.

2. Instant Potatoes

Image result for Instant Potatoes 

Instant mashed potatoes are a frugal way to get rid of mice. Simply sprinkle a few tablespoons where the mice frequent. The mice will eat the potatoes, but the flakes will expand in their stomachs and kill them before they’re fully digested. Just to be safe, make sure that the flakes are out of reach of any pets you have.

3. Proper Food Storage

Keep food in tightly sealed containers

Keep food locked up tight
Looking for a simple way to send those pesky mice packing? Make sure that your food is properly stored away.
Mice can – and will – gnaw away at just about anything to get into your home and your food. Keep food in airtight, plastic containers and out of the mouse’s reach. While you’re at it, move all of your trash cans as far away from your home as possible.

4. Hole Patching

Mice can’t sneak into your kitchen cabinets and pantry if there’s no entryway into your home. Remember, mice can fit through even the smallest of holes and cracks. Seal holes in exterior and interior walls to prevent them from wiggling their way inside.
Seal any holes mice may use to sneak in your house

Seal any holes larger than 1/4 inch
Finding holes can be like finding a needle in a haystack. Here are some tips:
  • You’ll almost always find feces near an entryway.
  • Mice sometimes leave behind greasy stains around entry points.
  • Mice also leave a distinct odor behind, so you can use your nose to sniff out possible entryways.
Once you’ve located possible entry points, mark them with chalk, clean the area and get ready to seal it up.
If the hole is small, you can use a copper scouring pad or green kitchen pad to seal the entry point. Mice won’t be able to gnaw through these materials. If the hole is large, you’ll need to repair it.

5. Used Kitty Litter

If mice smell cat urine, they should turn around & go the other way

Place used kitty litter in the entry way
Cats are natural predators of mice. If a mouse suspects a cat lives in your home, they’ll quickly run the other way.
Many farmers and homeowners suggest placing tubs of used kitty litter near suspected entry points in your home. The mice will smell the cat’s urine and scurry away.

6. Natural Predators

Introducing natural predators into your home or backyard is one of the most effective and natural ways to get rid of mice.
Of course, the simplest and easiest solution would be to get a cat. Most people find that after they bring a cat home, their mice problem is solved in a matter of days. Just remember that a cat is a serious commitment, and while they’re excellent mouse hunters, you’ll still need to care for them just as you would any other pet.
Owls are natural predators of mice

Attract owls to cut down on the mouse popularion
If cats aren’t your thing, you can try and attract barn owls. Barn owls are also natural predators of mice. Just one family of these owls can devour 15 mice in a single night – talk about effective!
To attract barn owls, build or buy a nest box and place it in your yard. Nesting boxes should be mounted 10 to 15 feet from the ground. If you don’t have a tree where the box can be mounted, a pole or even an old shed can be used. You will find the distant hooting of owls in your yard is quite a soothing sound.

7. Steel Wool

Image result for Steel Wool

Use steel wool to patch holes
Remember those holes and cracks we talked about earlier? If copper scouring pads or green kitchen pads aren’t deterring the mice, steel wool is another great option. Mice cannot chew through the wire and it actually irritates their teeth.
Simply stick the steel wool in any cracks, crevices or holes in your home to keep mice out. You can use a bit of silicone to keep it in place.

8. Humane Traps

Trap mice with cages to move them safely out of your house

Catch the mice and release them far away
If you can’t keep the mice out and you have no interest in harming them, try using a humane trap. These let mice in, but they can’t get out.
Once you’ve caught one, you can release it back into the wild. Just make sure you take the mouse at least a mile away from your home.

9. Onions

A little known home remedy is using onions to keep the mice out

Use a repellent like strong onions
Onions are another pungent smell that mice hate. This remedy can be a bit tricky because:
  1. Onions will rot if left out for several days, and
  2. Onions are toxic to some animals, like dogs and cats.
The scent will send mice running the other way, but just make sure you place the onion in a place where pets can’t reach it. And do make sure you place a fresh one out every day or every other day. Otherwise, you’ll have an entirely different (and smelly) problem on your hands.

10. Plaster of Paris and Cocoa Powder

Cocoa power is another home remedy to 86 your mouse problem

Prepare a homemade mouse poison using cocoa power and plaster paris
The plaster of Paris and cocoa powder remedy comes from a woman who lived on a farm in the Catskills.
  • Take dry plaster of Paris and mix with cocoa powder (or chocolate milk powder).
  • Set the mixture out where mice frequent. Make sure the mixture is dry.
  • The mice will be attracted to the chocolate and eat the mixture.
  • But soon after eating, they’ll leave your home to search for water and die.

Here are the 5 Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice

1. How to get rid of mice using mousetraps

Mousetraps are normally the first thing people try when they discover they have mice. This is a tried & true method of getting rid of mice. Here are answers to the most frequently asked questions on getting rid of mice with mousetraps.
  • How many mousetraps do I need?

    3 old fashioned wooden mouse traps
    The more traps you set, the more mice you will catch!
You should buy way more than you think you need. Your goal is to catch all the mice within the first few days of setting the traps, not over the course of weeks when they will have had time to breed & make more of a mess. I recommend setting out 6 mouse traps at a bare minimum. And it doesn’t hurt to use a few different type of mouse traps.
  • What type of mouse trap is best?

Here our Top 3 Favorite Mouse Traps.
  1. The Victor Electronic Mouse Trap is a true customer favorite, since they are quick, clean & effective. They are easy to set & you don’t have to touch the dead mouse – plus the electric shock is quick & humane. You don’t need to worry about stolen bait with this mouse trap.
  2. The Snap-E Mouse Trap is the best selling and highest rated snap trap . These traps are easy to set, easy to bait and easy to release & reuse. They are made of strong plastic & steel, so will last a long time. Amazon has a great deal on a 6-pack too, so this is a nice economical solution.
  3. If you prefer a humane mouse trap, we like the Havahart Live Catch Mouse Trap. This live mouse trap gets our vote since it has a cage design that allows air to circulate while your mouse is waiting to be released. There are a few other humane mouse traps options, you can read a comparison in our Humane Mouse Trap Review article.
If you are still undecided, visit our best mouse traps page to see the pros and cons for each type of mouse trap, plus helpful tips for using them.
  • Where should I put the mousetraps?

Once you have your mousetraps, you need to place them in the correct location. Place the mouse traps near where the mice are living for your best success rate. This is a critical step in your success to getting rid of mice with mousetraps and the one people most often overlook.
Tap into your investigative powers and find out where the mice are sleeping. Place the traps a few feet away from their home base along the walls or baseboards. Another great location is behind furniture. Mice are very skittish, they will be more likely to investigate a new object if they feel safe. If you don’t get any mice in a certain location after a few days, be ready to change it up a little. You may either change the bait you are using, the location of the trap or even the type of trap you are using.
  • How often should I check the mouse traps?

The short answer is at least twice a day if possible. You want to remove the mice you catch from the traps as soon as possible. This is important for health reasons, since you don’t want to allow the mouse to start decomposing & spreading bacteria. You will also want to set another trap in its place to keep getting rid of mice.
Humane mouse trap with mouse inside
Check mouse traps at least 2x a day for best results.
If you are using the live traps, this is especially critical. When you use one of those plastic tip traps & don’t remove the mouse from the small enclosure within a day it will suffocate.
If you are using live traps to be more humane, make sure you can empty them often. The plastic enclosed ones should be checked about every 8 hours or so, while the cage type traps should be checked at least daily. If you can’t do this, using one of the snap or kill traps is actually much kinder.
  • How do I know when I have caught all the mice?

You will know you have been successful in getting rid of mice when you don’t see any droppings or other evidence for several days. Make sure you regularly clean up all mouse evidence, so you can tell if the mice are coming back.

2. How to safely use bait & poison to control your mouse problem

Making the decision to use poison to get rid of mice is a controversial one. Some people feel it’s cruel since most poisons work by dehydrating the mouse. But it’s a personal decision. Mice carry diseases and can be a real health hazard, so sometimes it comes down who is more important? Your family’s health or the mice? If you do decide to use poison to kill the mice in your home, just follow these precautions.
  • Always place mouse bait in sealed bait stations.
  • Don’t place the baiting stations out in the open. They should be under cabinets, behind the refrigerator, etc. These are the places mice are likely to hide anyway.
  • Only use poison inside the home. Don’t place it outside where a pet could accidentally eat it.
  • Wear gloves when handling the bait. Dispose of the gloves afterwards & wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Store extra bait containers or poison in a safe location out of the reach of pets or children.

3. How to get rid of mice using natural methods

Natural methods for getting rid of mice include the use of deterrents like strong smells that drive the mice away. Peppermint and used kitty litter are both known to be effective mouse deterrents. See our article on Getting Rid of Mice with Strong Smells for some specific tips.
Getting a cat or a rodent hunting dog like a terrier is another very natural way to get rid of mice. Did you know that rat terriers earned their name for their skill at hunting rats?

4. Get Rid of Mice by calling in a professional mouse exterminator.

Mouse exterminator with toolbox
Hire a mouse exterminator and let them do the dirty work for you.
When do you know it’s time to hire an exterminator? If you have been trying to get rid of mice for more than a few weeks, your best solution is to hire a mouse exterminator. Most people will try to catch the mice first, which is common. But if you have been trying a while and have not been successful, keep in mind that mice breed very quickly and can have up to 5-10 litters a year.
This is also the easiest way to get the mice out of your house. Just leave it up to the professionals. Here are just a few reasons why:
  • A professional mouse exterminator will know all the places mice like to hide. They will save you a lot of time in locating the source of your mouse problem.
  • They are trained in all the evasive tactics mice will use to escape your traps. They know the best baiting tricks & ways to catch even the smartest rodents.
  • They will know how to find the areas of your home where the mice are getting in. And a good mouse exterminator will seal up the points of weakness in your home for you. Or at the very least give you instructions on how to do it yourself.
  • Finally, your mouse exterminator will follow-up and inspect your home to see if they were successful in getting rid of the mice. They will replace the traps, refill any bait stations and adjust the plan as needed to ensure the mice are completely gone.
Before you hire any contractor to come in your home, you should always check their credentials and be sure to compare quotes/service offerings from several companies. If you decide to consult a true mouse control expert, see our article on How to interview & hire a mouse exterminator.

5. How to prevent mice from coming inside your home

No matter what method you decide to use to get rid of mice, you will need to work on prevention. And you can start this step while you are still catching mice; in fact I highly recommend it. We have a page on prevention which will help you take all the right steps to keep the mice away. The 2 most important steps are to keep food stored away in sealed containers and secure your house from any points of entry.
Don't give the mice easy access to your food
Don’t give the mice easy access to your food. Seal it up!
You may decide to hire a handyman or let your mouse exterminator secure your home. But keeping all your food tightly sealed is an easy fix. Take a look through your kitchen and find any food that is not already in a mouse proof container like a can. This includes loaves of bread, fruit, bags of sugar or rice, dog or cat food, boxes of cereal, etc. Place these items in a tightly sealed aluminum can or very secure plastic container.
And don’t forget to look in other areas you store mouse tempting items. For example, if you have a big bag of birdseed in the garage, the mice are just going to love you. The mice may not go for your little bit of peanut butter in your mouse traps, they’ll take the big open bag of birdseed instead, then tell all their friends to come on in and join the party.

Summary of the 5 Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice

  1. Use our tips for using mouse traps to get rid of the mice.
  2. If the traps alone don’t work, try bait stations.
  3. Experiment with natural methods like peppermint oil or kitty litter.
  4. Hire an exterminator & let someone else do the dirty work.
  5. Take precautions to prevent the mice from returning.
Follow one of these 5 ways to get rid of mice, or better yet you can try them all!
Just remember to act quickly. The longer you wait, the more difficult it becomes. What starts off as a small family can quickly become a mouse infestation if you wait too long. It’s much easier to get rid of 6 mice, than 30 or more.


You don’t have to resort to poison or inhumane traps to get rid of mice. By using a a few simple home remedies to get rid of mice, you can be done with them once and for all. The best part? Most of these home remedies are natural, so you don’t have to put your child’s or pet’s health at risk.


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