If you’ve been hearing a mouse or other rodent in the walls of your home don’t panic. This happens frequently and there are many simple solutions. The best approach for you will depend if the mouse is trapped in one area or is moving freely into and out of the wall. Below, I have put together a guide to help you find the best method for you.
Here’s why you should take action immediately. Mice can cause serious damage by gnawing on wires, chewing on structures, tunneling through insulation, and spreading diseases. On top of that, mouse urine and droppings can cause allergies to flare up and have negative health consequences.
The good news is on this page is essentially a mouse eviction notice, and I’m going to share with you proven ways to get rid of mice in walls. Before we cover the different methods, we should discuss the most likely ways they got there in the first place so this type of thing doesn’t happen again in the future.
Quick Navigation: What's in This Guide?
- Step 1: Identification of Mice – Know Your Enemy
- Step 2: Choosing the Right Method to Get Rid of Mice
- Step 3: Preventing Mice From Being in a Home
Step 1: Identification of Mice – Know Your Enemy
Just because you hear a noise in the wall of your home doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a mouse. There a number of other pests that can find their way into the walls of homes. Here is a list of some of the most common pests you might find in the walls of your home, along with traits and signs you may find that can help you identify the type of rodent you are dealing with. For example, if you find droppings around your house you can use them to identify the type of rodent you’re dealing with.
House mice are called house mice for obvious reasons. They are typically between ½ to 1 ounce when fully grown. They have a small slender body with large ears. The tail is semi-naked and is very long (usually as long as the head and body of the mouse combined). Droppings are a ¼ of an inch and pointed on each end.
Deer mice are the most common type of mouse in the United States, even more so than the house mice. They get their name because their fur color resembles that of a deer. Deer Mice are typically small and have brown grayish-brown bodies. They weigh between 0.5 and 1.2 ounces. Their belly and legs are typically white. Deer mice prefer to live in fields and wooded areas, but because rapid urbanization it’s not uncommon for field mice to find their way into homes. Droppings are ¼ of an inch and pointed on each end
The Norway rat is also referred to as a house rat, brown rat, sewer rat. Norway rats are quite large and can be aggressive. They have a stocky body and typically weight between 10 to 16 ounces when fully matured. Some people are startled by their size and are even described as being as large as house cats. They have a blunt nose with ears that are close together. The tail is scaly and like the house mouse, their tail is semi-naked. Droppings are about ¾ inch long with blunt ends
Norway rats do not get as large as Norway rats. When fully matured they are usually between 5 to 10 ounces. They are a dark grey color, except on their belly which is a greyish white. They have a pointed snout, large ears, and a long tail. Droppings are about a ½ inch and pointed on ends
Other pests you might find include squirrels, chipmunks, raccoons, opossums
How can I tell the difference between a rat and a mouse? I actually wrote a short page on how to tell the difference between a rat and mouse you can check out here.
Ways Mice Get Into the Walls of Your Home
● Roof vents and Chimney Pipes
● Holes or gaps in the siding of your home, floors, crawl spaces, ceilings, and your foundation. (Mice can get into your home with an entry hole as small as a dime).
Signs of mice in walls
Noises coming from within the wall: You may hear the mice moving around and gnawing on structures.
Unpleasant odors like urine: When mice are living in the walls of your home for an extended period of time, you’ll likely notice unpleasant odors.
Gnaw marks: Mice like to chew on things, so loo
Smear marks along baseboards: Mice bodies have are oily, and because they like to travel along walls, this oil often rubs off and is usually easy to spot on white baseboards.
Hair: If you don’t have pets and you find an unusual amount of hair, particularly around the baseboards of your home, there is a good chance you have rodents living in your home.
Related Article: 12 Best Ways to Get Rid of Mice
Step 2: Choosing the Right Method to Get Rid of Mice
Method 1 – Drilling Hole to Catch Mice (Best for Mice Trapped in Walls)
In some cases, a mouse may get into the wall of your home and not be able to get out. So if one of the above methods does not work this is the best solution.
There are actually a few variations of this method, the underlying concept is the same.
Step one: Drill a small hole (nickel to quarter size) a few inches from the base of the floor near where you most commonly hear noises coming from.
Step two: Punch a hole in a cardboard box that will match up with the hole made in your wall. Also cut a hole in the top of the box so you can see inside to check if you’ve caught a mouse. Put a trap inside the box armed with peanut butter
Step three: Check the trap periodically (at least once a day) through the cellophane to see if you have caught a mouse.
How to catch a Mouse Video
In the first video what they do is simply drill a hole in the wall near where the noises are coming from. They then smear some peanut butter below the hole and cover it with a transparent container. They then tape the container to the wall securely. When the mouse enters the container they simply slide the container down so the mouse can not go back through the hole.
The man in the second video uses a very similar approach the homeowners in the first video. The only difference is in this approach two holes are drilled. Glue boards are placed below one of the holes, and the second hole is used to insert an object to push the mouse or mice out of the first hole onto the glue board. While this method is a little more involved since more materials are required, it may be a good alternative if the first method does not work.
The third video is very similar to the first, except they simply use a box. I recommend putting peanut butter inside the box, but it is not required.
Method 2 (No Drilling Required) – Traps or Glue Boards to Catch Mice
If you’re hearing sounds coming from different areas in a wall, the mice are likely not trapped. In these instances, the mouse or mice will likely leave the walls of your home during the night hours in search of food and water. When they do, you can catch them with glue boards, snap traps, or live traps.
When using this method, trap placement is absolutely key. You’ll want to place the traps near where you have seen signs of the mice, preferable near a likely entry point where the mice may be exiting and entering your walls. Mice love to travel along baseboards and hide out in corners, so this is a great place to set a trap.
We don’t recommend using poison because the mouse will likely be able to reenter the walls of your home before dying, and the only thing worse than a live mouse in your wall is dead one that is rotting.
Method 3 – (No Drilling Required) Moth Balls to Get Rid of Mice
If you have a persistent problem with mice and other rodents finding their way into your attic or the walls of your home, one simple solution is using mothballs. You can put them in crawl spaces, attics, etc. Here is a video I found where a homeowner explains how mothballs worked for him.
As mentioned in the video above, some mothballs are very potent and do have an odor. That means that you don’t need to use a large amount to deter mice from getting into the walls of your home or attic.
What to do if Mice Die in the Wall?
In some cases, a mouse may die inside your wall. If you hear noises coming from the same area over a prolonged period of time, a mouse or other rodent may be stuck in this area and die there. If this happens, you need to do everything possible to remove the corpse because a rotting carcass will leave a very strong and unpleasant odor. Along with the odor, a carcass can attract other pests and have negative health implications.
In this scenario, you have a couple of options, you can use an electronic borescope to locate to the corpse by dring coin-sized holes into the drywall near where the smell is strongest. If after cutting a hole you still do not find the carcass, try cutting holes adjacent to where the smell is strongest. Once you find the mouse, you will need to cut an opening large enough to remove it.
Or you, can go into the attack and see if you can identify where the rat may have fallen as demonstrated in the video on how to get mice out of the walls of your home.
Related Article: How to Get Rid of Rats Fast
Step 3: Preventing Mice From Being in a Home
Remove food sources that would entice rodents from entering your home. Keep human and pet food in a sealed container. Also, clean dirty dishes and countertops before going to bed. Take the trash out and keep it in a sealed container. If mice do not have adequate food or water supply in your home, they will likely leave.
Seal openings into your home: Look for openings around plumbing inside and outside of your home. As mentioned early, mice can enter your home through a hole the size of a dime. One item we recommend using is a mesh product called stuff which you can find here.
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.