Want to learn how to keep mice out of your house?
If you see mice in your yard, then you should start to think about protecting your home from an infestation. Finding the most effective ways to keep mice away will save you a lot of time, money, and stress from having to worry about getting rid of them too.
This guide will take you through 10 easy and natural ways to keep mice away from your home. This one is all about prevention rather than cure.
First, let’s look at why you need to have a good mouse control plan in place for your home.
Why are mice pests?
Mice are considered destructive pests due to their population sizes and the damage they cause. Let’s look at what issues they can cause if they decide to infest your home.
Mice breed quickly
If you think that one mouse running around your home isn’t an issue, then think again. Mice are prolific breeders and one mouse can turn into hundreds within a few months.
If your home provides the right conditions of food and shelter then they’ll make plenty of nests to mate. It only takes six weeks for those babies to start breeding themselves! Can you see how quickly that can spiral?
Female mice tend to stick around in their nesting sites, so that’s an issue that won’t be quick or cheap to solve.
Mice are destructive
In large numbers, mice are incredibly destructive to home property. They tend to cause a lot of damage through their instinct to bite and chew. In your home this means they chew through wiring, insulation, furnishings, and clothing. They are also likely to find their way into food stores which you will need to discard and replace.
Fixing mouse destruction can become very expensive if left uncontrolled.
Mice carry disease
Mice are well-known carriers for several diseases that they can pass on to humans and pets. The most common diseases they pass on are Hantavirus and salmonella. Often this is through you coming into contact with their feces and urine.
Correct clean-up of mice waste requires protective gear. Without this, you can become unwell, which can cost you a lot of money in medical bills.
Mice are disruptive
Having mice in your home can start to drive you crazy in the place you should be resting. That’s because mice in your walls can cause a lot of issues with noise and smells. Mice scurrying through walls, scratching, and squeaking will grate on you very quickly.
The smells from a build-up of mouse urine and feces in poorly ventilated areas will also cause you a lot of discomfort in your own home.
Mice cost you money
The reality is that an uncontrolled mouse infestation is going to cost you a lot of money. That may be from pest control services, medical bills, or replacing items that have been chewed.
The best way to stop any of this is to deter mice from coming into your home in the first place.
You’ll be happy to know that there are a few methods you can use to repel, deter and exclude mice without causing them any harm.
Let’s take a look at which ones will work best for your home.
10 ways to keep mice out of your house
1. Use Physical Barriers
One of the best ways to stop mice from getting into your home is to prevent them from physically gaining access. The problem is that mice can fit through a space the size of a dime. This can be from holes, cracks, or gaps in your walls, windows, chimneys, vents, and pipes.
The best way to stop this is by using materials such as caulking, steel wool, or fine mesh screens. That’s because the mice can’t chew their way through these materials.
Take your time to inspect outside of your home for any areas where mice may potentially gain access. This may be a time-consuming task, but you’ll save yourself a whole lot of hassle if you are able to keep the mice out.
2. Use light
Mice are mostly nocturnal animals, which means they much prefer to move around under the cover of darkness. This helps provide them with a bit more protection from becoming a meal for the local predators.
That means they can become easily scared by sudden bright lights. You can use this to your advantage by installing motion or sound detector lights around your property where mice are likely to venture.
The most successful type of light is strobe lighting (this one has great reviews). Mice will not want to stick around when these are installed as it makes their environment extremely disorientating.
This solution is simple as it doesn’t need much effort, apart from the initial light installation.
3. Go Ultrasonic
Mice also don’t like to hear sudden high-pitched noises when they are moving around or nesting. They associate these noises with predators such as owls.
You can buy electronic sound repellents that emit sounds that you can’t hear but are irritating for mice. The good news is that these devices also work well on other pests such as squirrels, rats, and insects.
This ultrasonic device is the best rated on Amazon. All you have to do is read the review to see how well these work at keeping mice away.
But, if you have a larger home I would recommend you a set of these devices (this set is a good deal). That way you can use them at various points around your house, this will help you get the best effect from this deterrent method.
4. Be food aware
One thing that will attract mice to your home and keep them coming back is easy access to food. Mice are opportunistic eaters’ and only need tiny potions of food to survive. So even if you think those small crumbs aren’t a lot, they are a feast to a small mouse.
Keep any worktops and counters and cupboards clear of foods, crumbs, or dirty dishes as much as possible. Make it a habit to clear your kitchen before bed each night as this is when they will likely raid.
Paper or cardboard packaging can be easily chewed and used as nesting material by mice. To avoid this start using strengthened plastic or glass storage containers for pantry food.
5. Remember pet food
One way that you may be attracting mice into your yard in the first place is having pet food or bird seed available for them.
Seeds and grains are the main food source for mice so they’ll continue to come back if they get easy access to feeders. Try to use a bird feeder with a tray that can catch any mess before it falls onto the ground.
No mess bird seed (like this) is another great way to prevent a good food source from accumulating underneath for the mice to eat.
Outdoor pet bowls are also an easy food source for the mice to eat. Try to take these in each night to stop mice contaminating their food and passing on diseases.
6. Spray predator urine
Mice are prey for a lot of wild animals. That means they are hard-wired with sensitive noses to alert them when a predator is in the area. If a mouse smells a strong scent of a predator it will avoid the area as much as possible.
Spraying predator urine around the edges of your yard can help to keep mice away. The best type of urine to use is bobcat but it’s hard to get a brand that works well, so I recommend this brand of Fox urine instead. Other than owls, these animals are the biggest mice predators. That means mice want to avoid them at all costs.
It’s best to use large predatory animals that are native to your area. Remember that you’ll need to reapply the urine frequently, especially if the scent has been washed away with heavy rain.
7. Smell Deterrents
That keen sense of smell that mice have also helps them to find food easily. Yet that sensitivity can be a weak point for them as they can become easily irritated by overpowering smells.
You can use these smells around your yard to make it more uncomfortable for them to stick around. The idea is that they will seek out locations that aren’t so irritating.
Smells that mice don’t like are:
- Cayenne pepper
You can spray or sprinkle these scents around areas of your yard to naturally deter them. Choose entry points into your yard or areas with heavy mouse footfall.
One of the downsides of this method is that natural smells are easily washed away and need to be reapplied frequently. One way around this is to use a commercial repellent spray (like this one). These usually contain egg whites which helps the smell stick around longer even in wet weather.
8. Clean up your yard
If your yard is attractive to mice it makes your home an easy target for the mice to explore. The biggest attraction will be a food supply and shelter.
We’ve already discussed pet food and birdseed, but other means of food are vegetable crops, fruit, and nut trees. Try to keep your yard clear of any fallen fruit and nuts which might attract rodents, especially in the fall. Using netting can keep the mice from getting access to any vegetable plants.
Trash is another big attraction for mice. The food smells are tantalizing for them, and they happily feast on leftovers. Try to use a trash can with a secure lid and store it somewhere secure. If possible, try to put your trash bags out on the morning of collection rather than the night before. This will stop the mice from accessing the bags overnight.
Trimming back overgrown bushes and tidying away gardening machinery can also help keep mice away. It reduces the number of hiding spaces that a mouse can use.
9. Use cleaning products
There are a few cleaning products on the market that you can use to keep mice away. You may even have these already lying around your house and can use them straight away.
Cleaning products mice hate are:
- Irish spring soap
These products work because they are very strongly scented and irritate the mouse’s sense of smell. You can spray or sprinkle these products around the parameter of your home or entrances to keep mice at bay.
10. Consider a pet
Having a cat or a dog in your home can often have the added benefit of keeping mice away. Cats will naturally hunt any roaming mice, and dogs will likely chase them away.
Although it can be a risky strategy as not all domesticated cats and dogs will naturally chase mice. You’d also have to consider the impact of having pet food around which can attract more mice in the first place.
Yet animals omit smells that naturally deter mice from your home. Even without then giving chase, the mice will be wary of building a nest with such a large animal around.
Lethal Methods as Mice Deterrent
In a guide about keeping mice away from your home, you may have noticed that there is no suggestion of lethal methods.
This guide is generally aimed at preventing mice before your home is infested. Yet it’s understandable you may be looking to get rid of an infestation of mice first.
There are a few methods you can use to get rid of mice in your house including:
- Mouse poison
- Glue traps
These are all successful methods of getting rid of mice. Yet it is important to remember that killing one mouse may not solve your problem if you have a large infestation. You also need to take into consideration there are risks to using these devices. This includes causing harm to other wildlife, pets, and small children if not used properly.
If you have a large infestation it may be best to discuss your issue with a reputable rodent control expert in your area.
The real issue is that you need to make changes in your home so that it’s a less attractive environment for the mice. If you don’t you’ll pay a hefty price tag to get rid of one lot, only for more to move in, and the problem repeats.
There are several humane ways you can deter mice from your house to prevent and infestation. Most of these methods are intended to make your home as uninviting as possible for the mice to stay around in safety and comfort.
Once they realize that your home isn’t a great place to find food or somewhere they feel safe, then they’ll soon move on.
All these methods are simple to put in place and need little to no maintenance. It’s minimal compared to the effort you’d need to put into getting rid of mice once they settle in.
I recommend using a few of these methods together for the best effect. That way your home will remain a mouse-free zone.