How to Get Rid of Mice in 5 Simple Steps
Mice remain one of the most common rodent pests that inhabit the UK, and while they are mostly harmless, an infestation can cause severe disruption to both domestic and commercial properties.
What are Mice?
There are six different mouse species currently inhabiting the UK, five of which are native. Their life expectancy is relatively short in the wild, averaging at about a year. However, the doormouse, which was introduced to the UK in 1902, can live up to five years in the wild.
Despite their being six species, they can all be characterised by their brown fur and soft white neck and belly. Their size ranges from 8 – 14cm and they can weigh anywhere between 18g to 24g.
Where to find mice
Before we discuss the best ways to get rid of mice, it’s important to know the main areas where they reside. For example, if you buy mouse traps and are not sure where to place them, they will likely be ineffective.
The main reason mice infiltrate our properties in search of food, warmth and shelter. So, anywhere where they are able to source food and create a nest, they will stay.
Common places you may find mice in residential properties include:
- Living rooms (behind TVs, sofas and floorboards)
- Bedrooms (in ceilings, cupboards and under beds)
- Gardens (check cracks, gaps and fissures in exterior walls for nests)
Common places to find mice in commercial properties:
- Storage rooms (they are usually quiet, full of items and rarely visited)
- Ceilings (among vents, pipelines and high-up crevices)
- Within walls (check gaps, cracks and fissures)
How to get rid of mice
- Locate their nest
The first step to getting rid of mice is finding where they are nesting. Mice are nocturnal creatures that rarely make an appearance in daylight. For this reason, it’s unlikely you will spot them. However, there are some telltale signs to lookout for, including:
Droppings – mouse droppings are usually grouped, so look out for droppings around your property. For more information on mouse droppings and how to identify them, please visit our mouse dropping identification page.
Scratch and gnaw marks – mice will typically gnaw on items of furniture in order to grind down their teeth. They will also scratch and gnaw at materials to obtain materials for their nest.
Pawprint marks – if the mice have inhabited a space or area that’s rarely visited, you may be able to find pawmarks in the dust.
- Decide on the best mouse trap
The most effective way to eliminate the presence of mice is laying traps. However, understanding how traps work and what trap is best for your mouse situation is essential. For example, some traps will instantly kill mice, whereas others will simply trap them for the purpose of relocation.
Below, we have featured the most popular and effective mouse traps:
Bait traps – bait traps work by luring the mouse into the trap using a form of bait. Once inside, the mouse cannot escape. Bait traps come in many forms, but most utilise a hatch or lever that when activated, shuts the mouse inside with the bait for safe transportation and relocation.
Snap traps – snap traps work by luring the mouse onto a platform that when applied with pressure, releases a snap trap (usually a metal bar) which instantly traps and kills the mouse. Snap traps are commonly used to humanely kill mice.
Live traps – similar to bait traps, live traps are designed to lure the mouse in via the traps unique design. They feature tight entrances that are appealing to mice (as they like squirming into small spaces) but once inside, the mouse cannot escape the same way it entered. Bait can be placed inside the trap to further encourage the mouse to inspect and engage.
Glue traps – glue traps have varying success rates and are not as common as the above traps. Sometimes, mice are strong enough to escape the traps, or at least drag it along with them. In this case, at least you would be able to hear them.
Note: If you are suffering with a larger infestation, traps may not be the most effective solution. Rodenticides are commonly used by mouse and pest control technicians when it comes to eliminating large numbers of mice. However, these are powerful deterrents and should only be used by qualified technicians in only certain situations.
For more information on this, please contact our mouse experts today.
- Choose your mouse bait
The bait you choose to lure and trap the mice is an essential part of removing mice from your property. Not all baits will work which is why it’s important to choose one of the following when luring mice into traps:
- Peanut butter – peanut butter is one of the most common mouse baits you can buy. It’s cheap and readily available to anyone, peanut butter is sweet and has a strong smell that mice will pick up on. Simply take one teaspoon of peanut butter and place it on the trap.
- Seeds – a mouse’s diet primarily consists of seeds, so this is an obvious choice. Although they do not have the same potency as sweeter foods, they are familiar to mice and therefore a good choice of bait.
- Chocolate – again, a sweet and accessible form of bait, chocolate has a strong potency and works well with mice and other rodents.
- Pet food – if you have cats and/or dogs, simply take a small bit of their food and place it on the trap.
Note: be sure that all traps are kept out of the way of pets and small children to ensure their safety.
- Remove them from the premises
Knowing how to effectively remove mice after they have been exterminated is important in order to deter future pests and keep your property hygienic. Removing dead mice from your home or property is a straightforward task but it’s important to follow these steps:
- Ensure the trap has worked and the mouse is dead
- Check the trap has worked properly and will not cause injury to yourself when removing the mouse
- Transport the trap to an outside area away from your house, do not put the mouse in a bin
- Wear gloves when removing the mouse from the trap in order to reduce the risk of transmitting bacteria
- Clean the trap when you re-enter your property with disinfectant or follow the cleaning guide provided with the product
- Put future deterrents in place
Prevention is always better than a cure, which is why it’s important to ensure your property is properly protected to deter anymore mice from infiltrating. Simple changes such as filling in any gaps, cracks or fissures in exterior walls will block any potential transport routes for the mice. Other tips include:
- Cleaning your garden regularly – messy gardens offer an almost perfect habitat for mice, so be sure to keep your garden clean.
- Do not leave leftover food out – an obvious one but leaving food out will always attract pests, so be sure to clean up after cooking.
- Seal bins outside – if your rubbish beans are not closed or properly sealed, this will attract a variety of pests, including mice, rats, wasps and foxes.
How to get rid of mice in certain locations
Mice will nest anywhere they can find food, shelter and warmth. Below, we have listed the most common areas and ways to get rid of them.
- How to get rid of mice in the kitchen
If mice are in your kitchen, locate their nest (or located signs of infestation) and place traps within these areas. Some mice may be nesting behind your oven as it is a warm and hidden place where they are unlikely to be seen.
Traps should be placed either behind the oven or in front of it.
- How to get rid of mice in the bathroom
Mice rarely nest in bathrooms because they are often damp and clammy, which isn’t good for their nests. However, if they are in your bathroom (possibly in an airing cupboard), then be sure to locate the nest or have a rough idea of where they have been, and place traps in those areas.
- How to get rid of mice in the living room
Mice prefer to nest behind televisions, under carpets and sometimes behind sofas. For this, place traps underneath furniture towards the middle, to ensure you don’t trap your feet or disrupt the trap when sitting.
Note: be sure to place traps away from children and pets.
- How to get rid of mice in the ceiling/attic
Mice commonly build nests in ceilings because we rarely traverse that part of the home. You may hear scuttlings above which would indicate mouse activity. For this, place traps up in your attic as they will likely pass through here. Be sure to check on the trap every day to ensure the mouse has been caught and can then be responsibly disposed of.
- How to get rid of mice in the walls
Mice that are living within your walls are more difficult to eliminate. However, there are ways you can deter mice away from your home’s walls. Seal any entry points that the mouse may be using to enter the walls, this will either trap the mouse inside, or cut its entry back into the house. If the mouse has been successfully lead away from the house, seal the exterior wall to ensure it cannot return.
- How to get rid of mice naturally
Mice can be deterred and/or eliminated in many ways, but a “natural way” to get rid of mice would be to seal and fix any entry points in the house. This way, mice cannot enter your house and you will never have to deal with the threat of a mouse infestation in your house.
Suffering with a large mouse infestation? Call the experts!
If you discover a large infestation and would rather let the professionals take care of it, we are here to help. You can also find more information on mice on our mouse control page.
We also offer an emergency call-out service for both residential and commercial property infestations, simply click here to be put in touch with our emergency mice experts.