How to Get Rid Of Mice and Rats: A DIY Guide To Rodent Control

The last thing you want to see in your house are pesky little mice running about.

Having rats and mice causes anxiety and stress. This is because you can’t rest easy knowing that there is an uninvited guest in the house. Mice will nibble on your food, invading your personal space and contaminating different things.

Worse of all, if infected mice will spread diseases.

A mouse or rat problem could indicate the standard of cleanliness in a place. However, despite your best efforts to clean up, an annoying little rodent can make its way into your home.

You might have a clean house, but who knows, maybe your neighbors don’t. If your neighbor has a mouse infestation it could spread to your house as well.

You can hide all the food away, but mice can still find something to nibble on.  They love chewing on non-edible items, including fabrics, wires, or even plastic.

Before we tell you how to get rid of mice and rats, let us first find out a bit about these pests:

Know Thy Enemy

Although mice and rats belong to the same family of rodents, they are different.

A mouse and rat differ in looks and size and even have different behaviors. In order for you to know how to get rid of mice and rats, you must know what type of rodent you are dealing with so that you can act accordingly.

Mice are small, have big ears and a pointy nose, whereas rats are bigger, don’t have big ears and have thicker tails.

When it comes to behavior, rats are quite careful and cautious about everything and don’t get into things easily, unless they can ensure that everything is safe. Mice, on the other hand, are curious little creatures that love to sniff around and get into anything and everything that seems interesting to them.

You would not have a rat and mouse infestation at the same time because rats can eat mice and the two don’t get along together. In either case, you are dealing with two equally irritating little pests that can seriously damage your house.

Why Are Mice And Rats Dangerous

Mice and rats are not your average rodents. They aren’t like cute little hamsters that you can keep in your home. These rodents are wild and tend to spread diseases and cause destruction in the house one nibble at a time.

There have been cases where an entire house has caught fire simply because there was an electrical spark created by a rat or mouse nibbling on the wiring. In most severe cases, people have died from food poisoning because there was a rat infestation in the kitchen.

Mice and rats carry and can spread the following diseases.

· Hantavirus

This is a life-threatening disease and is known to spread to humans via rodents such as mice and rats. This virus is mostly caused by a white-footed deer mouse. Hantavirus spreads to people if they inhale or are exposed to the droppings or urine of an infected mouse. In 2012, at Yosemite Parks, three people died and ten were hospitalized when they lived in a cabin that was infested by such mice.

· Bubonic Plague

This is the infamous plague that infected and killed one-third of the European population in the 14th century, and it lasted in different areas until the 19th century. It is also known as ‘Black Death,’ and rightly so. Even when people thought the plague was over, some people were still infected after they went on camping trips or if their house was near a forest.

· Salmonellosis

This is a type of food poisoning that is spread by the feces of rats and mice. There are reports of more than 40,000 Salmonellosis cases every year in just the U.S. alone.

· Rat-Bite Fever

Food contaminated by infected rats causes this fatal and deadly disease. Symptoms start to occur in as little as 3 days, followed by vomiting, fever and muscle pain.

· Danger to the House

Other than these severe health risks, mice and rats also cause damage to one’s property by destroying attics and insulations. This usually occurs if they don’t have much to nibble on in the kitchen, so they tend to look for other things to munch on.  They have digestive systems that have adapted to the environment with time so they can easily eat different non-edible materials as well.

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Signs You Have a Mouse or Rat Infestation

Getting rid of mice and rats might be daunting, but it’s not that difficult. Here are some signs of a mouse or rat infestation signs of a mouse or rat infestation in case you aren’t too sure:

· The All-Too-Obvious

If you see a dark little figure scurrying or skittering about in the middle of the night in the kitchen area or in the hallway, then it is time to face the ugly truth of a rodent infestation. There could be nothing else than these little pests. Squirrels hardly ever invade other people’s homes and unless you have a pet hamster on the loose, you know for sure that there is a rat or mouse in your home.

· Food Nibbled or Bitten Off

If you see tiny bite marks on food such as crackers, chocolates, cookies, fruits, then it is a clear sign that a rodent has munched on it. Mice and rats can’t carry the entire food so they just bite off whatever they can and run off to their hideout until their next mealtime. Look out for food crumbs and particles thrown at different places as well.

· Wires or Plastic Things Chewed On

When you see small bite marks on plastic items or wires where nobody can easily reach, it is surely a mouse or rat up to no good.

· Droppings and Odor

This might seem a bit disgusting, but if you see small or skinny pellets of feces that give off a bad stench, then you know that there are rats or mice in your house. It is a strong indicator that a rodent or two has comfortably found a little home for itself and is doing its dirty business whenever or wherever it can. If the dropping is small, then the mouse is responsible for it, and if it is more than an inch long, then you have a rat in your home.

Now that you have made sure that these rodents are present in your house, here is how you can get rid of mice and rats the right and effective way:

DIY Rodent Control

If you are brave enough to do the task, then there is no better way to eliminate this problem than to do it yourself. You don’t need to call in an exterminator and fork out hundreds of dollars just to have one or two little mice or rats removed. You can just get rid of mice and rats easily and at a fraction of the cost by just getting some things; before you know it, they will be gone completely.

· Mousetrap

This is a classic solution to every mouse or rat problem, and one that is seen in every cartoon or movie. Getting rid of mice and rats doesn’t get easier than this because it is one of the most effective ways. They come in different sizes so it is best if you invest in a good quality mousetrap.

Once you have found what type of rodent you have, you can get a trap for it accordingly. If you don’t really know, just get a medium to large size trap and that should cover for both kind. Just put some food or the classic example—cheese—in the trap and see how it lures the mice.

· Rodent Bait

Some mice and rats are clever and sneaky and they have mastered how to dodge a trap. If your rodent takes away the food in the trap but doesn’t get caught, then you should challenge its agility with another rodent bait. Rodent bait is actually a poison that is coated with food scent that tricks the mice and rats into eating the poison. It is a slow poison and it starts working after a day or two.

· Glue Boards

If you want to know how to get rid of mice and rats in another ‘crafty’ manner, then you must bring in the glue. The smell of glue is very attractive to them and they will eventually come to it by sniffing their way about. Mice have heightened sound and smell senses that alert them instantly. This is an effective method for getting rid of mice and rats. All you need is cardboard and a jar of crafting glue. Just smear it all over the cardboard in a generous manner so that its scent can be easily picked up by them.

· Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is yet another great strategy on how to get rid of mice and rats. But the catch is that you have to mix peanut butter with half part boric acid. For a cup of peanut butter, just use half a cup of boric acid, mix it well and then make small balls of them. Place these balls in the areas where the rodents are likely to move about. Make sure there are no kids or pets around that area.

· Get Felix to Work

If you have a cat, then rest assured it will get around to catching the mouse in no time. Your cat might be domesticated, but its natural instincts as a predator will eventually kick in after seeing a rodent. Now for rats that are much bigger than mice, cats are too afraid to go after them. So don’t expect your cat to solve your rat problem.

Operation Clean-Up

After you have gotten rid of them, make sure to carefully inspect all parts of the house, including every nook and cranny. Clean away any droppings as they can cause diseases. Disinfect the area and use a fragrant spray to ward off the smell.

How to Prevent a Mouse and Rat Infestation

So now that you know how to get rid of mice and rats, you must take preventive measures so that you don’t have to deal with this rodent infestation nuisance ever again.

· Liquid Rodent Repellent

This is a great way to keep mice and rats away as this liquid has a cat-based scent. They instinctively know that their lifelong enemy and predator is nearby, so they don’t bother stepping inside your home. The scent is not that annoying to humans.  So you can spray it inside your house as well and never have to worry about a mouse coming over.

· Maintain a High Standard of Cleanliness

Most places get mice and rats because they are unhygienic. Make sure that your kitchen is spick and span clean every night after use. Mice and rats love to hang around trash can areas. They enjoy nibbling off plastics to get to pieces of food bits. Put a lid on your trash can and make sure it is tightly sealed.

· Seal the Zones

If you live near wild shrubs, then rats and mice might be found near the area. Keep your doors closed and windows sealed and shut, especially at night.

· High-Frequency Sound Devices

These devices are an absolute must for getting rid of mice and rats if you suspect they are in your neighborhood. They emit a special sound that can only be heard by them, and it irritates them a lot. They will stay away from the house as soon as they start hearing it.

So now that you have learned how to get rid of mice and rats using these DIY rodent control strategies, hopefully, you wouldn’t need to call in the pest control services.

Related Questions

What scent will keep mice away? 100% pure peppermint oil is just one of a few scents that will keep mice away from your home. But this is not a quick fix if you already have a mouse or two running around your house. If you do already have mice you can get rid of them quickly and easily if you use a mousetrap. Use a humane smart mousetrap if you just want to catch and release the mouse instead of killing it.

Can mice climb onto your bed?
If you are afraid of mice climbing into your bed I wouldn’t worry much. Do not worry unless you are sleeping on a mattress that is lying directly on the flow. Keep your mattress off the floor and elevated to avoid crawling rodents. Although mice are good at climbing and jumping they will usually avoid human contact. Rest assured they will stay away from your bed while you are in it.

Does baking soda kill mice?
You can use baking soda to kill mice if you can get them to eat it. Mice won’t just eat baking soda alone. In order to get them eating you must mix the baking soda with other food items. Peanut butter is my favorite food item I like to mix with baking soda. I mix the two ingredients together in small balls to use a bait for mouse traps. This is a very effective and fast way to catch mice.

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Lynn Edwards

I founded DIY Pest Control Guide with the intention of sharing practical, user-friendly pest control strategies. If you need assistance, reach out to me at - I'm here to help you reclaim your peace of mind.

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