How to Get Rid of Mice Naturally

Put an end to your mouse problem without toxic chemicals or a call to the exterminator. Here's how to get rid of mice naturally:

Catch Up on Your Yard Work

Mouse trap by a hole in wall
Michael Cogliantry/The Image Bank/Getty Images

The first step to getting rid of mice: removing their habitat. Spend some time cleaning up all of the overgrown landscaping, junk piles and brush in your yard, so mice are less tempted to live near your home, and therefore, less likely to enter your home.

Some areas that you may need to address:

  • Compost piles
  • Wood piles
  • Rock piles
  • Scrap piles
  • Overgrown grass or weeds
  • Overgrown shrubs
  • Leaves
  • Fallen trees
  • Messy sheds

Declutter Your Home

A cluttered room

Messy basements, garages, attics, and closets serve as ideal nesting spots for mice and make it difficult to pinpoint where they're living. Work to declutter these areas (and any others that may need attention), so your home is less inviting to them.

Lock Down Your Pantry

Food pantry

Inspect all the food in your pantry, and discard anything that shows signs of mouse tampering. Then, transfer everything to glass or metal containers with tight sealing lids. Mice are able to chew through paper, cardboard, and plastic, so you'll need to repackage cereal and other boxed or bagged foods until you have your mouse problem under control. If you don't have enough air-tight containers to do this, stick some of your food in the freezer. Before you put everything back, vacuum out your pantry and wipe up any spills.

Storing pet food indoors? Make sure it's in an air-tight container, too. Have a stockpile? Don't forget to give it the same treatment.

Ramp Up Your Cleaning Efforts

Clean your countertops regularly
Getty Images

Wipe down your kitchen table and countertops every night; sweep or vacuum the floor, and wash all dirty dishes. If you haven't cleaned under your fridge or stove recently, slide them out from the wall and vacuum up all the crumbs. Make an effort to eat all of your meals in the kitchen, so you only have one area to clean ​and get in the habit of taking the trash out every night. To get rid of mice, you need to eliminate all potential food sources from your home.

Make Your Home Minty Fresh

Mice don't like peppermint
David Q. Cavagnaro/Getty Images

Mice find the smell of mint repellent. Buy a bottle of peppermint oil (not peppermint extract); soak some cotton balls in it; then, place the cotton balls in areas where you've seen mouse activity. Reapply the oil whenever the scent begins to fade.

Note: If you have children or pets, be sure to place the cotton balls out of reach. Peppermint oil is widely used in cosmetics and cleaning products, but shouldn't be ingested full strength.

Make Sure Your Yard Isn't a Mouse Buffet

Bird Seed
Andrew Dernie / Getty Images

Like to feed the birds and other wildlife? If so, you're probably feeding the mice, too. Switch from offering seed and other store-bought foods to planting vegetation that the birds and animals will enjoy. And if you feed your own pets outside, be careful not to put out too much at one time. When food is left out overnight, it attracts mice and other nocturnal animals to your yard.

Trap Your Intruders

Trapped mouse eating some bread
Maiwolf Photography / Getty Images

Mice reproduce rapidly, so you need to get a handle on the situation as quickly as possible. Trapping is one of the fastest (and safest) ways to do that. If you don't want to cause the mice any harm, use live traps or glue traps. Then, relocate them a good distance from your home (to ensure they don't come back). If you don't mind killing your intruders, snap traps are another option. Just be sure to place them where humans and pets won't set them off by mistake.

Seal Cracks and Holes

Man Caulking Window
Thinkstock Images/Stockbyte/Getty Images

To keep mice out of your home over the long haul, you need to figure out how they're getting in. Mice can squeeze through pencil-size openings, so you'll really need to play detective to locate and seal all potential entry points. Caulk small openings; use metal or cement to seal large openings. Mice aren't able to chew through steel wool, so it's a great material to stuff holes with. 

Inspect all vents and drains leading from your home to ensure they're covered with fine mesh screen. This includes:

  • Soffit/attic vents
  • Ridge vents
  • HVAC drains/vents
  • Dryer vents
  • Gas vents
  • Kitchen and Bathroom exhaust vents

Also, inspect the bottom of all of your exterior door for gaps. Adjust the threshold to tighten the fit, and add door sweeps where appropriate.

Not Sure How Mice are Getting in?

Sprinkle flour on the floor in the areas where you've seen activity. Then, follow the trail in the morning.