How to Get Rid of Mice Without an Exterminator

Mice can contaminate your food with their droppings, cause structural damage by chewing on wood, and create safety hazards by chewing on your electrical wires.

Cheese is not considered an ideal bait.Cheese is not considered an ideal bait.
According to the Illinois Department of Health, a female mouse can have five to 10 litters of five or six young in a single year. It is in your interest, therefore, to get rid of mice before they use your home as a place to raise their family. Hiring an exterminator, however, can be expensive. Fortunately, DIY options do exist for getting rid of mice.

Clean up food. Mice crave grains, cereal, and peanut butter. However, they are scavengers and will settle for anything they can get. So, cleaning up any food you have lying around is essential. Additionally, make sure all food containers are sealed, as mice are attracted to the scent of food.

Clean up the rest of your house. Many people think that they only need to clean up food to discourage mice. However, places to hide (such as piles of clothes and tipped-over boxes) give mice the courage to move around your home.

Seal entrances, such as door sills, cupboards, and cracks in the basement. Mice need an entrance of only 1/4-inch in diameter to enter your home.

Setup mouse traps. Mouse traps vary, but include the popular Victor snap trap (a piece of wood with a spring and platform that holds the bait) and multiple-catch traps (which can trap and hold several mice at once). Almost anything will work well for bait, though the most effective options include peanut butter, vanilla flavoring, and strips of bacon. According to Ken Martin, Internet retailer of pest-control products, you are not serious about getting rid of mice unless you have at least a dozen traps set up.

Put out poison. Poisons, also known as rodenticides, cause mice to bleed to death internally. Most poisons are simply small pieces of bait that you sprinkle around your home. Keep in mind that poisons can be very harmful to pets and children.

About the Author

Thomas King is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Law where he served as managing editor of the "Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law." He currently lives in Aberdeen, Washington where he writes and practices law.