How to Get Rid of Mice Without Killing Them
Despite what a lot of people think, mice don’t enter your house just to torment you. They are wild animal that see your home as a shelter for them and their family. It is a place for them to say warm, hide from predators, and scavenge for food.
They do become a nuisance for you once they make a nest in your home. They will leave mouse droppings all over your house without a care, eat your food, and can carry diseases with them. Most people immediately want to set up traps or call an exterminator, but you can also try to get rid of mice without killing them. There are always humane options you can attempt first.
- Prevent a Mice Infestation Naturally
- Sanitation Control
- Remove Easy Entrance Points
- Seal Small Entrances
- Make Your Yard Less Enticing / Habitat Reduction
- Humane Traps that Don’t Kill Mice
- Humane Bucket Mousetraps
- Natural Mouse Repellents
Prevent a Mice Infestation Naturally
You may be reading this article because you want to get rid of the mice in your house so prevention might not seem important to you. You should keep this in mind as you try to rid yourself of a mouse problem. Once they leave your house, you need to take precautions to make sure no mice return.
A clean home is the opposite of where a mouse would want to live. If they cannot find easy access to food or nesting materials, they will likely move on. The homes with smells of trash or plenty of places to hide will be their first choice. Don’t make your home appear to be a mouse-worthy home.
Remove Easy Entrance Points
When you go in and out of your home, make sure to always shut the door behind you. Leaving your doors open make an easy entrance for mice to run into. They are curious critters and may even be running in just to check out the area. If they just came in for a peek and you shut the door without noticing, they are now trapped in the house with you and have become a permanent guest.
Seal Small Entrances
You’d be surprised at the tiny holes that mice and other rodents can squeeze themselves through. A mouse can generally fit through any hole that is larger than their skull, about ¼ in diameter.
If they want to get into your home, they’ll look all over to find a way in. Don’t make it easy for them! Look out for any gaps around pipes/fixtures, siding, bricks, etc. You can fill these gaps with either copper wool or cement mortar.
Make Your Yard Less Enticing / Habitat Reduction
Think of this as building a moat around your yard. Mice will only enter your house if they are near your house already. If you form a barrier around your yard of places mice won’t want to be then you keep them away more easily.
This doesn’t mean destroying your yard. It actually means making it more presentable to you. Clear away any brush or viney areas that mice might hide in and make a nest. Keep any garbage or trash far from your home or at least completely sealed.
Humane Traps that Don’t Kill Mice
If you already have mice in your house and prevention is no longer a viable option, then catching the mice is going to be the best option to get rid of them. Not all traps kill mice though, so there are humane mouse traps that won’t physically harm them.
These are catch and release traps that don’t harm the mice. You’ll want to avoid snap traps and mouse glue traps since both of them kill and/or hurt the mice.
Reusable Humane Smart Mousetraps / Mice Cubes
Some of these traps are so humane, that they are actually approved by PETA. Like regular mouse traps that kill mice, you’ll use a mouse bait to lure the mice into this container. When they get far enough in, the mouse will flip a switch that shuts the door on them.
Humane Bucket Mousetraps
There are a couple of different variations on these bucket traps, but they all work in a same way. Lure the mouse up a runway of sorts to the top of a bucket. They’ll reach for the bait that you set and fall into the bucket where they will safely stay until you are ready to release them back into the wild.
Bucket traps are great because they are a humane way to catch mice and keep them alive that can be reused. A single bucket trap is capable of catching multiple mice at a time and these are also cheap options to set up.
This is a newer trap that is really easy to set up. The plank hooks onto the edge of any size bucket. You can apply a sticky bait like peanut butter to the end of the plank. Set up a piece of wood or a stick that the mice can walk up to get to the bait. Once on the plank, their weight will release the plank and the mouse will fall into the bucket. The plank then snaps back into place so you can catch additional mice.
Bucket Rod Trap
This bucket mouse trap is like the plank trap except that it used a slippery or spinning rod to get the mice to fall into the bucket trap. They’ll walk up the board that you have set up looking for the bait in the middle of the metal rod. When they try to step towards it the mouse will slip and fall into the humane trap.
The only problem with this sort of trap is you have to get a bucket that matches the rod length whereas the plank trap is more universal.
DIY 5 Gallon Bucket Mouse Trap
This uses the same principles as the two traps above except that you get the satisfaction of knowing you built something useful. The cheap and easy way to do this is to use a beer can and a metal clothes hanger for your materials.
- Drill a hole in the bucket where the metal hanger will go through
- Put one or two soda/beer cans in the middle of the wire making sure there is enough room they can spin
- Smear peanut butter (a mouse’s favorite bait) on top of the cans
- Set a board up on each side leading to the wire
- Leave this out overnight near the mouse nest and collect your mice
Natural Mouse Repellents
A mousetrap is going to be your best option to getting rid of mice, but you can also try using a natural mice deterrent. These are generally better used to prevent a mouse infestation, but you can at least use them in areas of your home that you’d like to keep mice away from.
- Used kitty litter – the smell of cat urine scares mice away
- Peppermint – crushed up Altoids or peppermint essential oil keep mice away
- Fresh Cab – mice hate the smell of these pouches