There is an old saying “to catch a mouse, you must think like a mouse.” The truth is there is a little more to it than just that, and a number of circumstances can influence which approach will work best for you. In this guide, I’ll cover all the best strategies including trapping, non-lethal methods, DIY solutions, repellents, poisons, etc.
I’ll also show you what I think is the best way to get rid of mice. Before we get started with this guide, I just want to point out that if you have mice in the walls on your home, you should check out my guide on how to get rid of mice in walls here. For all other cases, the guide posted below will help you out.
Here Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice – Updated to 2023
1. Snap-E Mouse Snap Trap
Our no.1 spot for 2023 it is still Snap-E mouse trap. If you’re looking for something a little more high end than the Victor trap below, look no further than the Snap-E mouse traps. If set properly, these traps produce some seriously impressive results and make it very unlikely that a mouse can take the bait without tripping the trap.
The yellow bumper on the end of the trap makes it less likely that the mouse will be cut when the trap shuts close. While I find the Victor traps rarely cause bleeding to occur, it does happen from time to time.
Trapping is a tried and true way to get rid of mice, as well as my personal favorite. You might be surprised to learn that there way more types of traps than just the standard snap traps most people associate with traps.
Every year these traps are used to effectively remove millions of mice. I’m a numbers guy and I like those numbers!
Here is a Very Important Consideration When Using Traps
One thing to keep in mind about traps is that after mice see their buddies get whacked or caught by your traps they’re going to start getting skittish.
Pro tip: Mouse traps are most effective when mice are unfamiliar and curious about them. For this reason, and that fact that traps are inexpensive, it’s best to set many traps right away before the mice catch on.
Another pro trapping tip: One smart thing to do is keep some traps baited but unset. After the mice get a free lunch they’ll be hooked and destined to try to get some more free samples off your other traps, with no luck of course.
2. Victor Mouse Snap Trap
In the world of pest control, there is nothing more tried and true than a standard Victor snap trap. These traps have been around for over 100 years!
One thing I really like about these traps is that they are so inexpensive you can just throw them away with the dead mouse. While you can reuse them, I do not recommend it.
The base of the trap is metal and it has a metal trap petal. Simple but effective is the name of the game with Victor traps.
3. Tomcat Press and Set Mouse Traps
If you’re someone who hates the idea of setting traditional mouse traps or having your finger caught in a trap, Tomcat Press and Set Traps are a great option.
With these traps, you can place bait over the petal, then simply press the tab back until it snaps and you’re good to go. They work pretty much the same way as standard snap traps, when there is enough pressure on the petal it cause the trap to snap shut.
The trap has two rows of teeth to dig into the mouse, resulting in a quick death and little chance of escape.
4. Reusable Easy Set Mouse Traps
Reusable Easy Set Mouse Traps are cheap, easy to use, have a sensitive catch mechanism, and reusable. Many users have reported catching mice within 30 minutes of setting these traps.
The only real negative complaint I read about these traps is that the stop working after a few catches. That is not the traps fault though, as this reflects typical mouse behavior. You see, once a mouse sees one of his buddies get whacked they start to catch on that traps basically equal death.
A way to prevent this from happening is to keep some traps unset and baited so that mice can take the bait without consequences. This will make them take the guard down and likely head over to another trap where they will get whacked.
Considering you get 6 high-quality snap traps for under $15, this deal is quite a catch!
5. Victor Electronic Trap
Victor electronic mouse traps are well designed. Basically, the mice enter one end of the trap through a small hole. As they enter they have to pass through several barriers that are designed to be almost like a maze. Once they get to the end of the trap there are two little electrodes.
Once the mouse touches both electrodes, they are essentially shocked to death. It might sound a little harsh, but they do die quickly (Advertised as instantly). The device does require 2 AA batteries to operate. There is a small lid on the top of the trap so the mice can be easily disposed of after the kill. Just like other traps, a little bit of peanut butter place on the far end of the trap should do the trick.
6. Humane Smart Mouse Trap
If you’re looking for a way to get rid of mice without killing them, Authenzo traps are as good as it gets. These traps work much like a standard cage trap that would be used for larger rodents like groundhogs.
Basically, when the mouse enters the trap and heads to the back of the trap to get the bait, the door closes behind them. It’s a very simple contraption, but very effective. Once caught, you want to relocate the mouse far away from your home so that it does not return. There really is no industry standard as far as how far is far enough. I would say between 1 to five miles should do the trick.
So you can get rid of a mouse without killing it… what’s the downside?
The only problem with traps like these is they are more expensive. If you have a large infestation the cost to buy a dozen or more traps would be quite high. That said, if you have just a few mice running around your home, these traps are great.
Related Article: 10 Best Rat Traps
7. Rolling Log Mouse Trap
Rolling log mouse traps are the best for mass infestations. A rolling log trap is a great lethal or non-lethal trap. If you’re looking for a humane way to get rid of mice, simply do not add water to the bucket. When the mice fall into the bucket they will be trapped and you can then relocate them.
With a rolling log trap, all you need is a bucket, the device itself, a little bit of peanut butter, and some water if you intend to kill the mice.
Basically, all you do is build a ramp from the ground to the top of the bucket with a board or other item you have laying around.
First, you need to drill or poke two holes in the side of the bucket directly across from each other. You then can insert the rolling log trap into the holes you just drilled.
Pro tip: once you insert the ends of the rolling log trap into the bucket you can spray the ends with a lubricant like WD-40 so that the rolling log spins even easier.
Then, all you need to do is slather some peanut butter in the center of the log. The mice will smell the peanut butter and climb up to eat it. They will then start to climb out onto the log to get the peanut butter, but because they are never perfectly balanced the log will spin and they will fall into the bucket. There really is no limit on how many you can catch in one night, which is why it’s great for a massive infestation.
Here is a video where you can see it in action:
8. Glue Board Mouse Traps
Glue traps are another type of trap that are nonlethal so long as you check the trap regularly so you can release it. Basically, they’re just a piece of cardboard with a strong adhesive on the surface that is strong enough to hold a mouse down if they
Related Article: 5 Best Baits for Rat Traps
9. Neogen Rodenticide 45-pack Rat Posion
Neogen is one of the best-known companies when it comes to rodent poisons. They sell baits in many forms, including nuggets, minibars, bars, and bait packs. While this is one of my go-to baits, I think I actually prefer the Farnam Just one Bite Bait Chucks that are next on this list for full-blown infestations.
The nuggets come in 3/16 and ½ inch. What separates Neogen from other baits is that their product contains no wax. This makes the bait feel more like natural food, and since you’re competing against other food sources available to mice, you need to ensure you present them with something that is as tasty as possible. This will ensure they actually eat the bait… a lot of bait. We’ve had great results with Neogen baits, just keep in mind that just like other foods and baits, it’s most effective when fresh.
These baits use an anticoagulant that results in the mice being killed within 4-5 days. For this reason, don’t be disappointed if you’re still seeing signs of mice after a few days. These types of baits just take time to work.
This bait can be used inside your home or outside your home (within 100 feet). As mentioned elsewhere in this guide, be sure pets, children, and untargeted animals are not harmed by the baits.
If you don’t feel comfortable handling baits, you can also check out their bait packs for mice here. The mice chew through the packs to get access to the food. That makes it so you never have to touch and that the bait is fresh when the mice get to it.
Pros and Cons of Using Mouse Poison
Rodenticides, informally known as mouse poison, is essentially pesticide that kills mice when ingested. There any many types, but for purposes of this how-to guide, we’re not going to cover them all in-depth. I’m just going to share which ones I have found to be the most effective over the years.
Pro 1: Rats die over time without any pain. They simply feel much weaker, but cannot associate eating the bait with their symptoms.
Pro 2: Along with making this method humane, the fact that the mice die slowly and cannot associate eating the bait with feeling poorly, baits remain effective over time.
Con 1: Sometimes the mice will die in a place where it makes it difficult to retrieve the body for disposal.
Con 2: If you have pets or young children around they may ingest the poison, which can lead to serious injury death. If you do decide to you poison be sure your pets will not have access to that area of the house or use a bait station (I will include my favorites below).
Con 3: If an ineffective poison is used baits will not work.
Related Article: 12 Best Rat Poisons
10. Farnam Just One Bite Bait Chunks Rat Posion
Farnam is a mouse poison commonly used for large infestations. The main reason I like this product is that mice seem to love it. This poison is very powerful, hence the name “just one bite.” This stuff will kill pretty much anything ingests it, so I have advised many times on this page to be very careful using this around pets.
Important Tips for Bait Placement
Just like traps, bait placement is absolutely key if you want it to be effective. The strategy I recommend you employ is spreading out bait, rather than have a lot of bait only a couple locations. Just like fishing, the more lines you have in the water, the better chance you have of success.
For full-blown infestations are obviously going to require a lot more bait than just taking care of an isolated problem.
So What Are the Best Places to Leave Bait?
Just like traps, the best place to leave bait is where you’re finding signs of mice. Near their food source is probably the absolute best place because they’re likely hungry and already in feeding mode. Along the walls of rooms where you’re finding signs of mice is a great place for bait, as well as around areas you believe they’re nesting.
I recommend placing baits 20 to 50 feet apart. If you’re dealing with a larger infestation you can even bring those baits closer together.
Rodenticide Resistance and Tolerance
If you find a bait is losing effectiveness over time, it may be because mice may actually be developing a genetically linked resistance to that type of poison. If you notice this happening, I recommend switching to a different type of rodenticide.
11. ProTecta TRU Bait Stations for Mouse Poison
ProTecta Bait stations are just containers specifically designed to hold rodenticide (mouse poison). These are good to use when you have pets. Unless you’re planning on just using baits in a confined and locked area like a garage or attic, it’s a good idea to spend a little extra money and use a bait station.
This bait station by ProTecta checks all the boxes when it comes to choosing a quality bait station. There is a compartment inside the station that is protected by a covering that snaps closed. The smaller trap here is designed to be placed flush against a wall or in a corner.
The larger station is designed to simply be placed flush against a wall. This is where mice most commonly travel, making it an ideal location to place a bait station.
The package comes with 6 stations and one key. The dimensions are 5.25” x 1.25” x 3.75”.
I only recommend fully enclosed bait stations that are well designed and durable. Along with preventing pets, children, and other untargeted wildlife from accessing the bait, the enclosed area inside the station can also increase the effectiveness of baits because mice feel often feel safer in a confined space, which means they will like eat more bait.
High-quality bait stations are usually made of either a strong plastic of some type of metal. If they have a locking mechanism that is the best.
Important consideration With Mouse Bait Stations
While bait stations do make it hard for pets or children to access the baits. There is still the possibility that mice can grab the bait, leave the station, and then drop in on the floor. This now means the bait is totally exposed, which means pets and children can access it. That is why I usually recommend erring on the side of caution and considering another one of the best ways to get rid of rid of mice.
What About the Corpses After They Die? Won’t They Smell?
As mentioned, one of the main downsides of baiting is the fact that it may be difficult to recover the bodies of killed mice. Because mice are small, if one or two die within the walls of your home it usually will not produce a noticeable odor.
That said, I recommend doing everything possible to recover the body for a number of reasons. A rotting corpse can leave a foul odor and attract other pests, leading to a secondary infestation. The last thing you want to do solve one problem, only to be faced with another.
When dealing with the corpses, be sure to use gloves, a shovel, a pair of sticks, or other items that can be disposed of or left outside afterward. The carcasses can be buried, placed in a sealed garbage bag, or burned.
12. Pest Control Ultrasonic Repellent
If you do want to try this method, you can read more about the ultrasonic mouse repeller.
Ultrasonic Repellers: Do They Actually Work?
Ultrasonic machines in theory work by generating sounds at a frequency that is intolerable to mice, but unnoticeable to humans. Mice hear frequencies within a range of 90 to 100kHZ
There is a lot of debate in the pest control community as to whether these types of machines are actually effective. In some laboratory tests, the mice seem to be affected by the nose, while in others they seem to be almost completely useless.
What I will say as a matter of fact is that there a lot of junk products advertised to be effective, but in reality, most of the reviews are fake and unverified. Another important consideration is that ultrasonic pest control devices have been around for decades, but are still not endorsed by most major pest control companies.
Some say, however, this is because major companies generate a lot of revenue from mouse control. If homeowners could simply plug a device into their wall, there would be no need for technicians.
I did test a couple of brands that didn’t work about 5 years ago. That said, there are a lot of new products on the market with great reviews. I’ll include them below, just keep in mind this mouse repellers are certainly not tried and true, and it seems to be hit or miss as to whether or not they will actually work.
Related Article: Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Work
13. Peppermint Oil Mouse Repellent
Mint is commonly advertised as being an effective rodent repellent, but does it actually work? Peppermint seems to be hit or miss, but I’d so most homeowners do find it as an effective way to get rid of mice naturally.
Below is a good video that strongly suggests that mint is an effective rodent repellent.
As noted earlier this method seems to be hit or miss. If you do want to give them a try they are relatively inexpensive.
One product you can try that I have personally used for spiders actually is this peppermint oil here.
Victor also makes natural rodent repeller packs specifically designed for mice you can find here.
14. Cats and Other Pets to Kill Mice
Who said watching cat videos on YouTube was a waste of time? So Long as they lead to you buying a cat, they’re quite useful for pest control applications. Cats are notorious for their ability to catch mice. So long as you have a cat that is healthy and active
Related Article: How to Get Rid of Mice in the Walls
Prevent Mice From Entering Your Home
The best way to keep mice out of your house is to make it very difficult for them to get inside in the first place. That means walking around your home and looking for possible holes or entry points the mice may be using to get inside your home. Look especially near plumbing and electrical entry points. After dealing with mice for years, I’ve learned that mice are predictable.
Food for thought: One female mouse can lay up to 10 litter of mice per year. That’s almost 1 litter every month. Each litter can have up to 14 babies and after 4 weeks those baby mice can have babies of their own. I’m sure you can imagine how quickly your problem can get out of hand. The moral of the story is to keep them out of your home, and if they do get in, get them out as soon as possible!
Leaving food out is literally like sending an invitation for mice to enter your home and stay there indefinitely.
Chances are if you currently have pet food out and you have a mice infestation, they’re currently taking some of that food and carrying it back to their nesting area.
Signs you have a mouse problem
Mouse droppings: One of the easiest ways to tell if you have mice living in your home is if you find mouse droppings. The most common place to find mouse droppings is along the walls of your home or if you uncover a nesting area. It’s not uncommon for mice to nest in a drawer, under a cabinet, or even in a shoe or boot.
Greasy rub marks: Mice fur is naturally grease, and since they like to cling to walls as they move, sometimes you can actually notice a discoloration along the bottom of the walls or baseboards of your home.
Chew marks: Mice like to gnaw and chew on things, and unfortunately, they’re really good at it. Along with noticeable marks, you may actually hear the mice gnawing on structures in your home.
More Reasons To Hate Mice in Your Home… Like You Needed Any More.
They attract and carry other pests: Mice can carry and attract other pests. Mice can carry fleas, lice, and even diseases.
They cause property damage:
Urine and Feces: Sure having urine and mouse droppings all-around your house is nasty, but did you know this can have serious health implications? Mouse urine and droppings can even cause allergies to flare in some cases.
Types of Mice
House mice are the most common type of rodent pest in the entire world. Fully matured house mice typically weigh between 0.5 and 1 ounces. They can easily be identified by their large ears and semi-naked tail (which is longer than the head and body of the mouse combined). House mice reproduce quickly and typically live around one year.
Deer mice are also sometimes referred to as field mice. They are also sometimes misidentified as white-footed mice. Although deer mice are most commonly found in fields, it’s not uncommon for them to find their way into homes, especially during the colder months. They are usually about 6 inches long and 2.5 inches tall. They are a reddish-brown color with white fur on the underside. It is uncommon for deer mice to be found in cities. If you are planning on using snap traps to get rid of field mice, oatmeal or peanut butter like a charm. You can even use the peanut butter almost as a glue on the trap mechanism and press the oatmeal into it.
White Footed Mouse
White-footed mice are easily confused with deer mice.
Distinguishing Between Young Rats and Mice
One of the easiest ways to distinguish between rats and mice is by the size of their head and feet. Rats have much larger eyes and feet than mice. Take a look at some of the pictures of both rats and mice on this page and you will easily be able to tell the difference after seeing several examples.
Best Prevention Methods Depending on Setting
Getting Rid of Mice in Homes and Apartments if You Live In a City.
If you live in a city, it’s very likely that the mice nearly all of their time indoors. It’s very likely the mice will nest in areas near a readily available food and water source. The best way to prevent mice or rats from nesting in your living area is to make access to food and water difficult.
It is important to get rid of Mice and other rodents as they contaminate food with their urine, feces, and fur.
Getting Rid of Mice in a Rural Area
In rural areas, mice can be found both indoors and outdoors. Outdoors, mice feed on insects, seeds, and other food sources. But, during the winter months when things get cold and food sources become scarce, it’s very likely that mice will try to get into buildings. The best way to prevent this from happening is to seal up entry points into your home.
Related Article: 9 Best Mole Traps
Frequently Asked Questions About Mice
What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Mice Naturally?
In my opinion, the best to naturally repel mice is with peppermint oil. As mentioned above, this method seems to be effective on a case by case basis. There are a number of factors that could contribute to effectiveness including concentration, the size of the space it is being placed in, and how often it is reapplied/spread.
Are Mice Dangerous?
Mice are not dangerous, but they can carry very dangerous diseases and pests like ticks and lice that can have a number of effects.
Do Mice Bite?
Typically, mice do not bite but they may bite if they feel threatened or are cornered.
Which Way Do We Recommend?
If you call a professional exterminator to assist you with your mouse problem, they will likely place a large number of traps and seal entry up points into your home to prevent more rodents from getting in. This is the same method we recommend for most people.
Do Traps Work for a Full-Blown Infestation?
Yes, most exterminators will first use traps in an attempt to solve a mouse problem. In certain cases, however, you rat poison may be a more effective solution.
What Bait Would You Recommend Using with Traps?
I find peanut butter, crunchy peanut butter, or
Does Fox Urine Repel Mice?
No, I have never seen fox urine successful repel mice.
Do Mothballs Work to Get Rid of Mice?
The short answer is no. In my experience and from the research I’ve done, mothballs are not an effective way to keep mice away. Mothballs are a pesticide, so you do decide to try them, be careful when using them. I wouldn’t go placing moth balls around the living area of your house, but placing mothballs in crawl spaces, attics, and other areas mice are living outside your home would be fine. Just keep in mind that mothballs do have a potent odor, so use them conservatively and you can gradually add more if you think it is needed. Below is a video of one homeowner talking about how mothballs solved his rodent problems. Remember to follow the instructions on the box.
Here is a video from a YouTuber that actually tested if mothballs would deter mice, and he had no luck.
My name is Blane and I’m a life-long resident of Southeastern Louisiana. I’ve been working as Pest Control Technician and Inspector for about 1.5 years now.
I’ve worked in many other industries as well, including consulting, managing, as well as at the ground level in fields including Food Service, Corporate Automotive sales, and finance. Whether it be providing counsel, content, or hands-on support; my goal remains to add value to the lives of the people I serve.
If you have any questions regarding pest control, leave them below. I would be happy to help you out in any way I can.