How to get rid of mice and rats in the house

Rodent control: How to get rid of mice and rats in the house

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Mickey Mouse is cute and all, but his real-life friends have no business being inside your home. Unfortunately, mice and rats can’t read, so putting up a “No rodents” sign won’t keep the creepy critters away. Knowing why they come inside in the first place, however, can help with rodent control.

“Rodents like what we have to offer them: food, water and shelter! If there is an opening, they will take advantage of it and then take advantage of the safe spot and food resources in our homes,” Chelle Hartzer, Orkin entomologist and technical services manager, told TODAY Home.

Like many of us, mice and rats don’t love the cold, so they tend to seek shelter in the cooler months especially. They also gravitate toward a few specific rooms in your house.

“They like safe places with access to food. That could be your attic with access to the fruit tree or trash bin outside your garage with birdseed and pet food sitting out or your kitchen with dark cabinets and plenty of food options,” Hartzer said.

Rodents like to nest in dark, secluded areas, so basements are also one of their favorite stomping grounds.

How to keep ants and other pests out of your house

How to tell you have a rodent in the house

Just because you haven’t seen a rodent in person doesn’t mean it’s not there. If you suspect that you have a mouse in the house, you could be right if you see any one (or all) of the following signs:

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  • Mice droppings: The little pests often leave their signature calling card in rooms where food is stored, along the baseboards and under sinks.
  • Greasy rub marks: Rats in particular leave greasy dirt marks behind them as they travel the same pathways over and over.
  • Chew marks: While searching for food and water, rodents can chew through any number of materials, including wires and plastic.

Are mice and rats dangerous?

Sure, they’re creepy, but do rodents actually pose any real health dangers? Unfortunately, yes.

“Rodents can carry a number of diseases and they can pick up particles of contaminated foods and transmit salmonella and E. coli. While many diseases transmitted by rodents are not common in the U.S., they do still exist,” Hartzer said.

And that’s not all! Rodents can also bring other pests like fleas, ticks and lice into your home, and trigger allergies in some individuals.

Rodents can also cause some pretty serious damage to your house and have been known to chew through drywall insulation, car wiring and electrical wires.

How to get rid of mice and rats

If you’ve ever spotted a mouse or rat in your house, you know how unnerving it is to realize you have a rodent creeping around. If you’re in need of some serious rodent control, there are a few easy ways to deter mice and rats from sneaking into your house. Try the following, for starters:

  • Seal any structural cracks or crevices with caulk or steel wool: “House mice can fit through openings as small as a dime and rats through openings as small as a quarter,» said Cindy Mannes, vice president of public affairs for the National Pest Management Association.
  • Keep basements and attics clutter free.
  • Eliminate any excess moisture around the house.

Store firewood at least 20 feet from the home.

If you’re past the prevention phase and you need to get rid of a mouse, there are plenty of do it yourself pest control options:

  • Peppermint oil can keep mice away from areas of your house that they haven’t already invaded.
  • Glue traps or snap traps are one of the most reliable ways of getting rid of a mouse.
  • Mouse bait stations are perfect if you have little kids in the house! They contain poison that only the mice can reach, and little kids can’t get their hands inside. Win, win!

If these DIY rodent control methods aren’t working, it’s time to call in the pros.

«Professionals know the right tools to use and most importantly, the right placement. Rodents are small, but they are smart and it takes someone with experience and knowledge to assess the situation to remove the problem quickly and safely,» Hartzer said.

If you’re looking to banish than just rodents, check out our guide to getting rid of ants and getting rid of bed bugs.

Shop TODAY takes care to recommend our favorite items chosen by trusted experts and editors, as well as inform our readers of great deals, customer favorites, and newsworthy products from around the web. For more on our process, click here.

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How to Get Rid of Rodents in your Shed

Stuart Little was famous in Hollywood. However, in real life, mice never wear decorative sweaters and they certainly do not have respect for others property.

Eliminate Mice, Rats, and other Pests from Your Backyard Shed

It’s one of those unfortunate facts of life, sheds = pests. There are many types of pests, but with the proper precautions, you will never have to worry about rodents taking over your shed.

In our last installment, Bugs In Storage Shed — Learn How to Keep Them Out , my buddy Mr. Storage Shed regales us with his tale of woe — a fight with the wife, who recoiled in horror at ants in their shed, while he laughed — until he ended up sleeping with the bugs. Guess who’s laughing now?

Well, it’s both of us! As we move on from from ants in your pants , err, sheds, now we’ve got it worse! It’s mice, and rats!

So, how do we get rid of these nasty and annoying furry pests?

Ridding Your Storage Shed of Rats and Mice With Poison or Traps

This is how rats survive in the wild. One man’s leftovers becomes a delicious meal for all. Source: MediaMonarchy.com

Well, you can pay an arm and a leg for an exterminator. While that may be necessary in the end, it’s always best to arm yourself with plenty of knowledge (and artillery) in these cases. Sheds can be magnets for rodents if improperly maintained. An exterminator will get them once and leave, but you’ve got to live there. So, the best bet is to come up with a long-term plan and on-going solution.

Rats and mice are hard to get rid of once you’ve got them. Poison and traps are your best bet. Sure, there are some other natural ways to keep them at bay, but for long-term solution, it’s best to just get in there and kill them quickly.

Mouse traps like this one by D-Con can work very well at getting rid of mice.

Depending on where you’ve got them living, traps may be your better solution. Disposal is the only problem in this case, because who wants to pick up a dead rat? Gross! But it’s easy and usually a one-stop shot, so to speak.

Keep in mind that if you use traps, you’ve got to be creative about moving them into different spots. Also, make sure you switch up the bait regularly. Rats and mice are smarter than you might think. They will remember. So keep moving those traps and setting out new ways to bait them.

If you use poison, depending on where the rodent dies, you may have a smell issue on your hands. It’s also possible that the rodent will eat the poison and then move into a different spot, making it hard to find the body. A dead rat or mouse can stink up your storage shed for weeks on end. So keep this in mind when setting out poison. But if you use poison, you may not have to deal with the dead rat, unless it dies right smack in the middle of the floor.

Humane Rat/Mouse Disposal

If you want to get rid of rodents humanely, try this method.
The Smart Mouse Trap – Humane Rat Trap.

Some people prefer not to kill the rodents, rather relocate them. In this case, sticky traps will trap the animal, but keep it alive.

Electronic rodent repellents are also becoming popular. But a quick Google search and perusal of reviews reveals that these often only work in the short-term. If you’ve never had rodents or have only a few, these might work. But if you’ve got an infestation, don’t count on these working for the long-term. They get used to the sound and then just come back.

Animal Watch Guards

It seems the most logical, if you’ve got rodents in your storage shed, to just get a cat or small dog. Cats will likely keep mice at bay.

Cats like this one are born to hunt down rodents. Just look at this cat’s expression. I’m intimidated just looking at him. Meow with attitude…

But if you’ve got rats, it’s better to get a rat terrier, which are known to be vicious at rat killing. Plus, they’re cuter than rats.

Some suggest getting a snake. But I’m not so sure that this is a great solution, especially if you’ve got other small animals around the yard, or small children.

Natural Rodent Solutions

Aside from bombing them with poisons and traps or having vicious animal attack guards, there are other natural solutions.

Rodents don’t like certain smells and once you’ve eliminated the main problem, putting out these smells nearby can help keep them at bay.

  • – Mothballs
  • – Fox urine (can be purchased)
  • – Peppermint and spearmint oil
  • – Cayenne pepper
  • – Cloves
  • – Ammonia
  • – Dryer sheets
  • – Citronella

Make Sure They Don’t Come Back

Once you’ve gotten rid of your rodent problem in your shed, make sure they don’t come back by following these tips.

  • – Keep your shed well sealed
  • – Plug any holes
  • – Don’t leave food sources available
  • – Don’t leave anything for them to nest in

Follow all these tips and keep a good rotation in place and you’re sure to keep your storage shed rodent free!

Consider a future Shed Liquidators’ Gambrel Shed to keep mice at bay. Our sheds are professionally installed and securely assembled to avoid cracks and openings for rodents. Contact us with any of your shed questions!

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25 Responses to How to Get Rid of Rodents in your Shed

I store clothing and Christmas decorations in large plastic totes. The damn mice still get in! They have destroyed sweaters, bathing suits, tshirts, you name it!! And they had a field day with the decorations and my cat bed!! Tried moth balls and decon. Nothing! Any other suggestions?

I just cleaned up the shed with lot of dead mice. I had placed the baits and they ate and some died inside :(. I am planing to plug in the solar rodent repellers around. I have put in the mothballs in. I have heard that cayenne pepper is effective. I have sprinkled the rat snake reppelers around the shed for now (They smell like moth balls).

Did you find any solution yet?

I have to comment on the use of “sticky traps” for humane removal of mice. They are one of the most inhumane methods of catching mice. They get stuck on the glue and cannot be removed. They die a slow, panicked, painful death. I never use them ( my in laws have used them and then call me in a panic to take care of them! It’s much more humane to use a trap than these things! Rant over

This is 100% true. PLEASE never use sticky traps. They gnaw off their own limbs to try to free themselves. No animal should be tortured this way.

Agreed it pains me to know this item is sold

Hiya Diane. The first time I encountered a mouse and a glue trap was when I was about 19 or so and had gone to my mom’s for a visit. I had no idea there was a mouse issue, so when I heard the poor (and nasty and awful)little critter thrashing around I set out to rescue and relocate it. I put it in a small but relatively deep plastic tote and dumped some flower on it. It was able to free itself a little at a time and not continue to wind up back in the glue. Drove it out to the country and said goodbye. 19 years old was a long time ago and I am less sentimental about it these days. What does a 19 year old know about property damage anyways, lol.

I have something in my shed which is nibbling at our black refuse bags and nearly always pulling out wet wipes. Have no signs of droppings that I can see. Anyone know if this is likely to be rat,mouse or something else

Good Morning Karl,
Hmm. Are the wet wipes scented? If they are scented, it could draw he attention of many different kinds of bugs.

I have recently used Decon underneath my shed and underneath my front steps is it OK to use this there ? I just read a story about a family who used a pesticide when it was mixed with water it let off a poisonous gas now I am afraid and unable to reach the tablets I put under shed and front step i’m very frightened if it rains we could be poisoned. What do I do?? There is only one small block under the step under the shed I broke into pieces a few small blocks and stuck in little pieces under shed is this OK .

How do you get rid of snakes in your shed

Good Morning Jim,

Here is a nice article on trapping snakes so they stay out of your shed. Hopefully this helps. Good luck.

I have a shed attached to my chicken coop. I now keep all food in large metal trash cans with lids. My bee hive frames and boxes are a magnet for mice to create nests and lay in them. So I bought a chest-style freezer and store my frames in it. (You can even find broken freezer chests free online and store stuff in them like bagged seed, cushions – anything mice use for eating or bedding. I had hundreds of stacked plant pots which they were nesting in, so I moved them outside to a greenhouse.

Fox urine is the best solution I have had . They also a combo Fox/ bobcat urine powder for long term repellant

Is there a way to draw them out of the shed? I was going to bomb it but really don’t want them to die IN the boxes they already got into

Hi there…we just found out w have muce waving at us when we opened the door.we are goung to put decon in the shed to kill them.Wondering if they eat it and crawl outside and the cat gets the mice will it kill her too?shes quite the hunterbut never goes in the shed .

Yes, if it kills mice, it can kill your cat and you could run up huge (unnecessary) vet bills trying to save her. Or the poisoned mouse could be caught by an owl, which then feeds it to her chicks, and voila, you have wiped out an entire family. Please consider more humane and environmentally friendly methods of pest control.

I second the complaint about recommending sticky years. NO, they are NOT a way to relocate animals. They are cruel, and should be banned.
Poison is also a problem – it can lead to dead rodents in your wall (pee-ooo!) and can poison cats, dogs, or Hawks or eagles which eat the poisoned rodents.

Traps not years, I meant, sorry!

What about plugging holes with steel wool? I have corrugated walls and was thinking of hiving steel wool into it where they get in.

Yes, that always works too.

exactly the issue I have too – glad to know it might work

When I catch the mice what is best way to humanely to get them a new place to live where should I put them

Hi my son keeps his fishing bag in the shed he has bait in his bag but in sealed containers .his bag ha a few holes chewed in it Could it be rats or squirrels . We have a lot of squirrels come in our garden . One of the holes is mor square the material has been tore of and is on the floor

Yeah I have a shed out back that’s pretty much infested with them rats don’t care how I get rid of them I just want them gone the best thing I read was the fox urine

If you have an indoor cat, you can scoop the litter box into an old coffee can, sprinkle some of the urine clumps around the outside of the shed, then poke holes in the lid of the can & set it inside the shed. Repeat weekly. Seems to work as well as fox urine & seems to also keep the squirrels at bay. Sometimes, I’ll collect the cat fur after a brushing and put that in the shed for a few days just to shake things up a bit.

www.shedliquidators.com

How to Get Rid of Mice in the Garage

Yaorusheng / Getty Images

Mice and rats in your garage can cause health and emotional problems. They make nests in wall insulation, chew through electrical wires and are highly unsanitary. Luckily, you can easily get rid of mice yourself. You can lay traps with taut springs to snap off their heads, or lay poison. You can also trap and release them, which is more humane and less dangerous for pets and children. You might need to use a combination of elimination tactics to get rid of these pesky varmints.

How to Get Rid of Rats and Mice in Your Home

Identifying Mice

If you have a mouse infestation, you likely have house mice, which come in a variety of colors like brown, tan, black, grey, and white. They have a pointed nose, beady black or pink eyes, a long, hairless tail, and small rounded ears.

If you have deer mice, look out for characteristics such as grey or tawny brown coloring with a white underbelly and feet, a short tail, and finer hair. These mice don’t typically grow more than 30 centimeters long.

Signs of a Mouse Infestation

If you have an active mouse infestation, there are a few fairly obvious telltale signs that can confirm your suspicions. Of course, if you see a live mouse or droppings, that can be a dead giveaway, but you should also look out for unusual odors (like urine), holes in any materials that weren’t there before, rodent nests, or scratching or scampering noises. Mice like to hide in containers, crevices, behind materials—really anywhere they won’t likely be seen by anyone. Decluttering your garage is the fastest way to locate a mouse infestation.

Treatment

Garages are a popular place for mice because they offer warmth, but don’t think that they won’t enter your home—that’s the next step. If left unchecked, you could have yourself a full-blown infestation. Act fast and you will be rodent-free in no time. Here’s how to treat a mouse infestation in your garage.

Bait Live Traps

Bait live mousetraps in strategic places inside the garage with pieces of cheese or a lump of peanut butter. Set the traps near a wall and keep the bait end near the suspected access point. Check your traps daily and send live mice off into fields miles from your home.

Add Conventional Traps

If you want double coverage, set conventional mousetraps by placing traps under shelves, in corners, along with window casings, and in the rafters. Look for access points and place traps near these openings. Check traps on a daily basis and remove dead mice before they decompose and start to smell.

Line the Outside With Mouse Repellent

Mouse repellent sprayed around the outside of the garage helps prevent new infestations.

Warning

Be very careful if you use mouse and rat poison as your control method. Mice and rats that eat poison go somewhere else to die. If your pet or another animal eats a poisoned mouse, that animal may also become poisoned and die.

Patch Any Holes, if Applicable

If you discover holes in your garage, patching compound or wood plus caulk helps keep mice out once you have cleared them from the garage. Seal holes larger than ¼ inches in diameter. Mice can squeeze through small openings.

If you are leery of using mouse repellent or chemicals, you can concoct a more natural mixture that mice hate. Mix one tablespoon of hot pepper sauce (the hotter the better), and ¼ cup laundry detergent in a gallon of water. Spray it on the outside of the garage. It works just like commercial repellents and won’t harm your pets or children.

For an eco-friendly solution, use ultrasonic mouse repellers inside the garage. These repellers prevent further infestations. An ultrasonic mouse repeller is inaudible to humans, but the sound it produces is very painful to mice. Mice will not enter a room where this device is humming.

When to Call a Professional

You may not have any trouble removing mice from your garage, but there are a few signs that you should leave it to the pros.

If you hear mice scratching in unseen areas of the garage or within the walls, you’re unable to trap them, or you continue to see droppings after your methods, a professional will be necessary. They can help you identify how the mice are entering your garage and can swiftly resolve your issues faster than a do-it-yourself approach. Even better: they can offer solutions that are both pet- and family-friendly.

Prevention

To mouse-proof your garage, declutter your garage and seal up holes after eradicating the critters. Keep food sealed or out of the garage, and put dog food, fertilizers, and grains in tightly sealed plastic containers.

Cats are reliable hunters, and a cat near or in your garage helps keep mice away.

Peppermint is a natural mouse repellent and is environmentally safe. Spray a solution of peppermint extract and water around the perimeter. This solution needs to be sprayed once a week and after rainstorms. Plant peppermint around the foundation of your home and garage. The smell repels rodents and perfumes your home.

Decluttering your space can also help prevent more mice from coming in. Mice love to climb, hide and nest in dark corners, so a cluttered garage is a perfect home for a family of rapidly procreating mice.

If you have food sources in your garage, seal them or move them to another location. Take inventory of the items you have in your garage. Items like fertilizer, grains, straw or large bags of dog food may not look like food for mice, but they love to contaminate, eat and carry off these types of products.

Mice vs. Rats

Rats, another class of unsanitary rodents, may also be invading your garage. They may be brown or gray, and between 5.5 and 7.5 inches long. You might discover a brown rat that is between 13 and 18 inches long with coarse brown fur. You may also have roof rats that are a bit smaller than brown rats and are grayish in color.

The trapping process for rats is similar. The first step is to clean your garage and limit areas where rats and mice can hide. Once you have cleaned out your garage, you will be able to see any damage caused by rodent infestations.

Reorganize your garage and keep boxes and other small items off the floor. Install wall-mounted shelves, build shelves with scrap lumber or purchase metal garage shelving to organize your space. Moving boxes off the garage floor prevent rodents from chewing through them in search of food.

Place live traps or spring-type traps no more than 10 feet apart along the windowsills and floorboards of our garage. In this case, more is better.

If you sprinkle toxic rat or mouse bait along the floorboards and ledges of your garage, be certain to let all members of your family know the toxic chemicals are there. Keep small children out of the garage until the chemicals have worked their magic.

It is a good idea to dispose of dead rats and mice by sealing them up in plastic bags. Sealing carcasses in plastic will prevent other animals from getting to the carcasses and ingesting poisons or diseases.

More Considerations

If you have a mouse and / or rat infestations or previously had one, wear a face mask when sweeping in the garage. Dust with unsanitary particles and viruses can get into your nose and throat and cause allergic reactions. Also, make sure to properly air out your garage after a chemical treatment to avoid locking in the chemical and risking your health.

www.thespruce.com

See also:  What Insects Does Sevin Dust Kill
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