How to Get Rid of Mice in the Winter

Mice serve as part of nature's cleaning crew. Mice eat the garbage and other foods left behind by other animals and humans. The bad news is that they reproduce rapidly and can spread disease just as rapidly as they reproduce.

Get rid of mice before they do serious damage to the wood or wiring in your house.

Ridding your house of mice is a challenge year round, but in winter it is even more so as the little rodents are looking for a warm place to hide, eat and breed. There are electronic devices, natural remedies, traps and poisons that will do the job. Each has it's pluses and minuses, and it may require a combination of two.

Electronic Devices and Natural Remedies

    Sonic devices make noise that irritate mice and you.
  1. Set the ultrasonic devices in strategic areas in your home. Two main types of devices use sound purportedly to chase mice from the home. The audible sonic type, available for purchase at many home improvement stores, typically has three settings, one of which emits a loudly audible piercing sound that is meant to drive mice, rats and some insects from the area. The drawbacks are that you have to put up with that noise for several days before the critters are chased away and that the range is limited, so you will more than likely chase them to another area of the house.

  2. The virtually inaudible ultrasonic option is supposed to accomplish the same purpose. The drawback is that these devices do not penetrate walls where the mice are likely to be hiding. Set up the inaudible devices as close to the area where you see or hear mouse activity.

  3. Spray a liberal amount of peppermint oil solution in and around areas where you have seen or heard mice. The recommended formula is one ounce of peppermint oil for every two quarts of warm water. Placing cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around the outside of the home is another method. The advantage is that there is no nauseating chemical smell and your home will actually smell good. The disadvantage is that it is effective only where it is placed so you will need to have quite a bit of peppermint oil on hand.

  4. Place moth balls behind walls and in other areas where mice may occur. The big disadvantage with this solution is that the odor from moth balls is toxic. The advantage is that moth balls are far cheaper than peppermint oil.

  5. Another natural solution is spraying predator urine, available from outdoor stores, in strategic locations around the exterior of the house.


    The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
  1. Bait some snap traps with peanut butter, and set them behind appliances and other areas. Traps should be placed against the walls as the eyesight of the mouse is limited so they run alongside walls using their whiskers as a guide. A snap trap typically is cheap and disposable, but it also can be messy.

  2. A glue trap is effective, but messy.
  3. Set some glue traps around the house in areas where you would place snap traps. Glue traps are set and safer than the snap traps. However, glue traps can capture snakes, rats and the occasional bird.

  4. No-kill traps can ease the conscience of the animal lover.
  5. Bait and set the no-kill traps in areas around the house. No-kill traps let a mouse in but not out. The mouse can be removed safely and released elsewhere. While you do not kill the animal, these traps generally capture only one at a time.


    Poisons will work but can have unintended consequences.
  1. Hide poison rat trap blocks behind appliances, or where you see or hear mice activity. On the plus side, you don't have to empty traps or release live mice into a field far away. However, poison blocks are effective for years, so you can forget that you placed one and accidentally poison a family pet or small child. Another minus is that the mouse crawls away to die, often behind a wall or under an appliance, and the smell of decayed animal can permeate your home.

  2. Contact poisons can be sprayed to help eliminate your winter guests.
  3. Spray contact poison in the warm areas of your basement and behind appliances. The mouse will die after walking through the poisoned areas and cleaning itself with it's tongue.

  4. A poison trap will keep your pet from eating a poisoned mouse.
  5. Set the poison traps on each corner of your home. The poison trap combines the effectiveness of a poison with the ease of a trap. The mouse cannot escape to be eaten by an owl or a cat, and you can dispose of the body safely.