Mice are problematic pests throughout the United States. Not only can they cause serious structural damage, but they can also carry deadly diseases. Worse still, there is no particular “mouse season” homeowners should be aware of.
These little rodents procreate year-round, and they are incredible breeding machines. And due to their vivacious appetites and desire for shelter and warmth, mice have a propensity for seeking out human households.
Attics make an excellent hiding space for mice, and because we humans don’t frequently visit our attics, it’s not uncommon for a mouse infestation to quickly get out of hand up there.
Do you have mice in attic problems? If so, you’ve come to the right place. We are going to help you discover how to get rid of mice in attic issues, and teach you how to keep them from coming back in the future.
Let’s get started.
How To Identify If You Have Mice in Attic
Strange sounds and smells can alert you to mice in your attic.
Getting rid of mice in the attic is a process that takes time, money and commitment. So, before you invest in this endeavour, let’s first make sure you are indeed dealing with mice.
One of the first signs of a mouse infestation in the attic is going to be a sign of droppings. Mouse droppings are smaller than most other rodent droppings. They are long, dark, and about 1/3rd the size of a grain of rice.
Listen To The Sounds
Mice are nocturnal and most active at night. During this time, listen for the subtle sounds of chewing, scampering and clawing in the ceiling or walls.
Also, pay attention to your pets. They often see and smell things before we do. If they are barking, sniffing or scratching at walls, or staring at the ceiling at night whining, you likely have mice in attic problems.
Rodent urine produces a strong, musky odor that is hard to miss. And, in spite of their small size, mice leave behind lots of feces and urine that can quickly build up. Mice in attic issues are even more complicated, as urine and feces can build up and seep through the ceiling, especially in large infestations.
Follow your nose and pay attention to strong smells and where they are coming from. This will be a good indicator of if you have mice in attic issues you need to deal with.
Mice make their nests by collecting and shredding materials like clothing, paper, and other fibers. They build these nests in dark spaces, including beneath storage boxes in attics, in rafters, and along wall corners. These nests will likely include a number of different materials and fibers that are tightly bound together and look like small burrows.
If you have mice in attic issues, you’ll also have gnaw marks on wood, flooring, boxes, and sometimes even wiring.
Seeing A Mouse
Last but not least, if you physically see a mouse in your attic, you’ve got mice in attic issues. There is no need to check off any more of the boxes and it’s time to find out how to get rid of them.
However, if you’re still not sure, take a look at the below video.
This video talks more about how to identify mice in attic problems
How To Get Rid Of Mice in Attic – 8 Steps To Follow
There are a few steps you can follow to identify mice in the attic.
As you likely already know, there are several methods you can use for rodent control. However, not all methods are going to be right for you, especially when dealing with mice in attic issues.
Some of the Most Common Mouse Control Options Include:
- And Home Remedies
Most people find that a combination of methods works best for getting rid of mice in the attic. That said, there are some do’s and don’ts of using the above methods when dealing with getting rid of mice. We’ll list those below.
For now, let’s go over the 8 steps you should take when getting rid of mice in attic issues.
Step 1 – Try and Identify The Severity Of Your Mouse Problem
Mice have babies year-round, and within the first 50 days of being born, mice are ready to reproduce once again. A single female is able to produce up to 10 litters a year, with up to 14 pups in a litter. This means that a single pregnant female can have up to 140 pups a year, though on average most mice produce around half of that.
Still, that’s a lot of mice. The longer you’ve had mice in your attic, the more mice you will likely be dealing with.
Step 2 – Locate The Main Entry Point Along With Other Entry and Exit Points in Your Attic
The mice in your attic have likely gotten in through vulnerabilities in your roof. However, they could have also entered through an open window, cracks in the siding of your home, or small holes along your chimney.
Mice can squeeze through holes as small as a dime, so be vigilant when looking for these potential entry points. Also, pay attention to the outside of your home and notice any trees or shrubs you have lining your house.
Any foliage touching your siding can act like a ladder for mice, giving them easy access into your home. Follow these potential rodent ladders and look for entry or exit points.
Step 3 – Seal All Entry Points Using Chew Proof Mesh or Materials
This is a temporary and quick fix you can use until you get your rodent problem under control. Once you’ve located the entry points, seal them completely. This will ensure no more mice get into your attic and also reduce the chances of the mice that are already there from getting out to go somewhere else in your home.
Step 4 – Set Traps In High-Activity Areas and Check Them Regularly
You have the option of using catch and release traps or lethal traps when it comes to catching mice, and the choice is yours. If you do choose to use a live trap to catch the little culprits, make sure you release them at least five miles away from your home so they can’t find their way back.
You can also use poison-baited traps to catch mice. When using this method, do so carefully. We advise against leaving out free-standing poison, as this could result in a mouse dying somewhere that is difficult for you to find, which could cause more problems for you.
Step 5 – Place Repellents In The Attic To Repel Mice
You can use this method while also trapping the mice at the same time. Using mouse repellents is not only a great way to get rid of mice in attic, but also a great way to keep any future mice from coming around.
We will list some great mouse repellent options for you further down.
Step 6 – Inspect, Clean and Remove Debris In The Attic
Clean up as much as you can. Although the attic is typically used as a storage space, it’s still important to keep it as clean and tidy as possible. Remove unnecessary debris, paper, and other clutter, and sweep and vacuum.
It’s also wise to store clothing and other items in air-tight plastic containers as opposed to cardboard boxes, which can hold moisture, break down, and attract other pests including spiders and insects.
Step 7 – Permanently Seal All Entry Holes and Reinforce Your Attic’s Exterior
Once you’re sure you’ve gotten rid of the mice, seal up the entry points and do another quick examination of your home to make sure you don’t find any more. Look around all the following locations for potential rodent entry points:
- Around your Chimney
- Gaps between sidings
- Holes or vulnerabilities in brick
- Vulnerabilities in your roof
- Roof vents
- Weep vents
- Around utility lines
- Around your HVAC unit
- Along door frames
- Vulnerabilities along your foundation
Step 8 – Take Steps To Prevent Future Mice in Attic
Once you’ve managed to get rid of the mice in attic issues, your next step should be working on prevention. You can prevent mice using a number of methods including ultrasonic pest repellents, home remedies, and more.
Bests Products For How To Get Rid Of Mice in Attic and Prevent Them From Returning
Using the proper products can help eliminate mice in the attic more quickly.
Getting rid of mice in attic isn’t only about sealing entry points and setting traps. As we mentioned above, you should also take steps to prevent these pests from coming around in the future.
For this reason, we’ve listed a few of our favorite products for not only how to get rid of mice in the attic, but how to keep them from returning.
CaptSure Live Mouse Trap
If you prefer to use a live trap for getting rid of your mice in attic issues, then we recommend the CaptSure humane live trap listed above. This trap is specifically designed for smaller rodents like mice, and traps them without causing them harm.
You can bait the traps with peanut butter or any bait of your choice. Place them in high-activity areas in your attic and check them frequently. Remember, when releasing the mice, be sure to do so at least five miles away from your home to ensure they can’t find their way back.
Noa Store Live Mouse Trap
Another live mouse trap is by the Noa Store. This trap is a metal mouse trap that includes a window at the top so you can easily see if you’ve caught the mice in attic. The order includes four traps, and each trap can catch multiple mice, making it ideal if you have a larger mouse problem.
You can also use this trap to bait mice with poison bait if you wish, or simply relocate living mice at least five miles away from your property.
D-Con Snap Mouse Trap
Covered snap mouse traps are often safer for those with children and pets because they reduce the chances of you having your fingers (or a pet’s curious nose) injured once the trap is set. This is a lethal mouse trap that comes in an order of four, and each trap is reusable.
It is easy to set and kills mice quickly, reducing their suffering to make it more humane. Just be sure to check the trap often to ensure you don’t leave a dead mouse inside the trap for too long.
Ultrasonic Pest Repellent
No products found.
Last, we have an Ultrasonic Pest Repeller to help you repel mice and other pests in your attic and throughout your home. These repellers work by emitting ultrasonic sound waves and vibrations that are irritating to pests like mice and insects, but harmless to people and pets.
The Do’s And Don’ts Of Getting Rid Of Mice In Attic
Refrain from putting out free-standing rodent poison, and instead use traps.
We know that not all methods for how to get rid of mice in the attic are for everyone. Still, regardless of the method you use when going about rodent removal and control, it’s wise to follow a few tips from experts.
Here are the do’s and don’ts of getting rid of mice:
- Do inspect your attic regularly, even after you have gotten rid of the mice in attic. Remember, it’s easy to miss mice, and it’s even easier for a few stray rodents to reestablish an infestation.
- Make sure you clean and organize your attic. Don’t just clean the spaces where you found the mice. It’s also a good idea to replace cardboard storage boxes with solid plastic containers that shut securely.
- Seal up cracks and holes in the roof, siding, and flooring. Not only will this prevent future mice, but it will also prevent other pests from getting into your home.
- Don’t put out free standing rodent poison. Mice will eat this poison and then possibly die inside walls or other hard-to-reach areas. This could result in a horrible dead mouse smell that can last for several weeks and even lead to other pest problems.
- Do not attempt to clean up mouse droppings and nests without proper gear like gloves and a mask. Mice can carry serious diseases in their feces including hantavirus, which can be deadly.
- Don’t leave your attic cluttered. While this is likely a storage space for you, try and keep it as organized as possible to reduce future mice in attic problems.
Home Remedies For How To Get Rid Of mice in attic
Moth balls are specifically designed to repel and prevent moths, but they can also prevent rodents.
Would you prefer to forgo using store-bought methods for how to get rid of mice in attic? If so, you may be interested in do it yourself pest control options.
While mice are certainly problematic and often difficult to get rid of, they are also sensitive animals that can be deterred using a number of household ingredients you likely already have on hand.
Let’s take a look at some of the best home remedies you can use for how to get rid of mice in the attic.
Many people find that essential oils work well for getting rid of mice, rats, squirrels, bats, and even insects due to their overpowering scent. Best of all, most essential oils smell great to humans. However, not all essential oils work best when it comes to rodent control.
Some of the best essential oils to get rid of mice include:
- Eucalyptus Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Lavender Oil
- Citrus Oil
- Clove Oil
- Cedarwood Oil
- And Lemon Oil
DIY Essential Oil Mouse Repellent Recipes
You can use essential oils a number of ways for rodent control. One of our favorite methods is the DIY essential oil mouse repellent spray below.
- 10 to 20 drops of the essential oil of your choice
- 2 Cups of water
- 1 Spray bottle
Simply combine the above ingredients into a spray bottle and shake it well to mix. Then spray this solution around your home and attic every few days to keep mice and other pests at bay. This solution is safe to use around children and pets, and it is also harmless to the environment.
Another method you can use is the cotton ball method. This is more of a targeted approach to rodent control when getting rid of mice in attic.
Just soak several cotton balls in the oil of your choice listed above and place the cotton balls in high-activity areas where the mice were. You can also palace them near any potential entry and exit points. Replace the cotton balls with freshly soaked cotton balls every two to three days.
Dryer sheets work similarly to essential oils because they produce a strong, potent smell that pests hate but humans like. Simply place a few dryer sheets in and around your attic to repel any potential mice that are already there and to keep future ones from returning.
Like dryer sheets, mothballs produce a strong odor. In fact, moth balls were actually created for pest control, and though they are specifically designed for moths, they work well for rodents, spiders, roaches and even bed bugs.
However, moth balls contain a chemical known as nephthalene, which can be harmful to children and pets if ingested. When using this method for how to get rid of mice in attic, do so with caution.
Crushed Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper can cause irritation to the eyes, nose and throat, and for sensitive rodents, this is a strong deterrent. If you want to use Cayenne pepper, you can combine some into a spray bottle with water and spray it along rafters and flooring in the attic. You can also simply sprinkle some crushed cayenne pepper along potential entry points as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar, Alcohol and Water
Apple cider vinegar is an acidic, strong smelling liquid that will repel a number of pests. It can also be used as a cleaning agent when combined with rubbing alcohol or even vodka. To make your own apple cider vinegar spray for how to get rid of mice in attic, follow the below instructions.
- 1 cup of rubbing alcohol or vodka
- 1 cup of water
- 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
- 1 Spray bottle
Combine the above ingredients into a spray bottle and spray it on surfaces. You can also use this product to clean glass and mirrors. However, don’t spray this solution on stone surfaces like marble, as the acid in the vinegar can damage it.
Steel wool is an excellent tool you can use when looking for ways to temporarily seal up potential entry and exit points around your home. Steel wool is chew proof and easy to use, and you can easily stuff it into small crevices and holes you find around your house. Best of all, if you don’t already have it on hand, it’s easy to find at most hardware stores.
Like cedar oil, cedar mulch gives off a strong odor that is pleasant to humans but is repulsive and even poisonous to rodents and insects. If you have mice in attic, consider using cedar mulch to repel them. Simply pour cedar mulch around the perimeter of your attic, and add a handful to storage boxes to keep rodents and insects at bay.
Used Kitty Litter
Cats are the obvious nemesis of mice, so it’s no surprise that mice will forgo hanging around any area with potential kitty activity.
With that in mind, use pre-used kitty litter to deter mice in attic and around the outside of your home. Of course, because this method calls for USED kitty litter. Only use it in your attic if your attic is simply a storage space.
When To Call A Professional For mice in attic
Mice are prolific reproducers, and this can make removing them difficult during a large infestation.
Although mice are small, they can bring big problems. Mice can cost you hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars in structural damage. They can even be dangerous, especially if they chew through wiring in your walls.
Worse still, mice are unsanitary and carry a number of deadly diseases including hantavirus and salmonellosis. Their presence can also lead to other home-invading pests like ants, roaches, flies and fleas.
If you’ve been dealing with mice in attic issues and can’t seem to get it under control no matter the methods you’ve tried, it may be time to contact a professional.
Professional pest control experts generally charge between $100 and $500 for rodent removal, although this price can vary depending on your location, the company you call, and the severity of your infestation.
That said, most professionals should be able to help you identify entry and exit points, and help you pinpoint the source of your rodent issue.
Once you have managed to get your mouse problem under control, your next step should be to focus on the preventative measures we have listed below.
Take a look.
How To Prevent Future mice in attic
Keep your attic organized and clean, and seal up any potential entry points.
Many people assume that rodents are only attracted to homes that are unclean or cluttered, but this isn’t always the case. Mice are attracted to shelter and food, and all homes can provide them with this.
Any home with vulnerabilities is susceptible to a rodent infestation, so it’s important to go the extra step when it comes to rodent prevention.
Practice Routine Home Maintenance
First and foremost, mice come in from outside. They can’t invade your home if they can’t get in, so be sure to practice routine home maintenance. Routinely check your home for potential entry and exit points, and remember that mice can get in through holes as small as a dime.
Trim Back Trees, Vines, and Other Vegetation
Remember, trees and foliage that run along your home’s siding act as a ladder to rodents, providing them with easy access to higher entry points like your roof, attic, or even your second floor, where potential entry points are less visible to you from the outside.
Keep mice at bay by trimming back trees, vines and other vegetation and keeping them at least three feet from your home’s siding.
Store Pantry Food In Airtight Storage Containers
Food is an obvious attractant to mice and other pests who have a strong sense of smell. You can keep foods from attracting mice to your home by storing them properly. Keep pantry foods in airtight containers made of either plastic or glass, and do the same for pet food and bird seed.
You should also keep perishable foods in the refrigerator when not in use, store food waste in sealed garbage bins and dispose of it accordingly, and refrain from leaving dirty dishes in the sink overnight.
Practice Good Housekeeping, and Keep your Attic Organized
Of course, while a clean house alone won’t prevent mice from getting inside, it can help keep them at bay by making your home less attractive to them. Sweep and vacuum your home and attic often, and reduce clutter.
Keep Your Landscaping Tidy
Mice like yards that are overgrown or have lots of debris to hide in before they enter our homes. Keep your yard clean and tidy, mow your lawn, and use cedar mulch along the perimeter of your yard.
Mice are also more attracted to yards that contain:
- Fruit Trees and nut trees
- Bird feeders
- Vegetable gardens
- Unattended Pet Food
- And unsealed Trash Bins
So, be sure to keep this in mind when landscaping and use protective meshes over gardens, remove fallen fruit below fruit trees, and harvest vegetables when they are ripe.
And there you have it – that is how to get rid of mice in the attic and keep them from returning. We hope this has been a helpful guide on rodent control, and that you remember to stay safe and protected when going about getting rid of these little critters in and around your home.
Thanks for reading!
Jack founded our blog after two decades of working in the pest control industry. His vast experience dealing with a wide array of pests allows him to diagnose issues quickly and get to the heart of pest problems quickly and effectively. He has serviced more than 2,000 homes over his career and there is hardly any pest situation that he has not seen before.