In the dark of night, you hear something scratching and chewing in the walls. The sound is reverberating, pretty strong and persistent. Suddenly, the noise ceases as if someone is waiting for you to go away. Does that sound familiar? Well, it seems you have mice. So how can you get rid of these little invaders? And how did they get in in the first place?
Some mice are smart enough and do not betray themselves by loud sounds, which misleads you into thinking that your home is free of rodents. To avoid this mistake, look for some visible signs of mice like droppings, holes, smudge marks, footprints, tail marks, damaged food packaging and furniture.
Once you have detected a mouse infestation, you should act without delay. But which measures have proved to be really effective?
The best way to get rid of mice in the walls is by setting traps along the wall where mice are active. At night, the rodents will follow their path, foraging for food, and will get trapped. We recommend choosing electric traps that are safer for humans and pets, more effective and kill rodents quickly without causing suffering.
The best option on the market is the Victor M250S Electronic Mouse Trap. The device kills up to 100 mice per charge, comes with a removable kill chamber and a safety switch. With this trap, mice will not escape and baits will not disappear.
Now, let’s take a look at all available ways to get rid of mice in the walls.
What You Will Learn from This Guide:
1. Making Holes in the Wall
We would not recommend this approach to those who have never done such things before. Making holes is not actually a difficult task, whereas repairing walls is something that requires skills and knowledge. So if you have relevant experience, take the following steps to get rid of mice in the wall.
First, locate the area in the wall where mice are most active. That said, there should be no wires or pipes in that section of the wall. Second, take a pencil and draw a circle for the hole. Attach a plastic container with a trap to the wall beneath the circle so that you could align it with the hole. Drill the hole and be prepared that a mouse may run out of there. As soon as a mouse is trapped, remove the container and cover the hole with a strip of duct tape.
You may choose the XFasten Aluminum Foil Reflective Duct Tape that is designed for metal pipes and air vents. It is a heavy-duty, industrial-grade aluminium tape suitable for insulation, repairing, and sealing. Since the tape withstands extreme temperatures and humidity, you can use it to seal both hot and chilly surfaces. It sticks well to a wide range of materials including concrete, metal, plastic, and ceramic. Due to its pressure-sensitive adhesive layer, the tape is easy to use and very affordable.
Now, once you dispose of the captured mouse, remove the duct tape and place the container inside the hole again. Repeat these steps as long as there are no mice left in the wall.
2. Seal Up & Caulk All Entry Points
It would be useless to take pains to get rid of mice in the wall if they have free access to your house. Therefore the next step you should take is to inspect your house, detect all entry points and close them. We recommend focusing on areas where pipes enter the building as well as on basement foundation. Keep in mind that mice can fit through the tiniest holes or gnaw their way to make them bigger. Use silicone sealants to caulk openings and screen the vents with fine mesh.
This Stuff-fit Copper Mesh for Mouse Rat Rodent Control is a perfect choice for preventing mice from entering your house. With a length of 30 feet, the mesh is woven so that it is hard for rodents to chew through it. Unlike many other competitive products, it is made from a blend of materials, not just cooper. In addition, the item is double-folded and resistant to rust and stains. That said, you can easily cut it with scissors to get the needed size.
3. Trapping Mice is the most effective way to kill rodents
Setting up traps around the house is the most effective way to kill these rodents. Even though rodents hide in the walls, they come out of there to forage for food and that is where they become vulnerable. And yet placing the right trap in the right place is half the battle.
The key to success is a good bait that lures the rodent into stepping on the mechanism and thus activating the trap. Bear in mind that mice are omnivorous and can eat a wide range of foods. The most preferred foods include peanut butter, grains, chocolate, fruits, and soft cheese. You may use ready-to-use poisonous baits, which we will discuss in the next section. Now, let’s take a look at different types of mouse traps.
Electric Mouse Traps
The only downside to these traps is a higher price. As for the rest, electric traps are the most effective, humane, clean, and fast method of killing mice. The device catches mice quickly and electrocutes it within seconds, sparing the animal from suffering. Electric traps are easy to clean, especially those options that come with a removable kill chamber. Such a trap is enclosed in a box, which makes it safe for humans and pets.
The Victor M250S No Touch, No See Upgraded Indoor Electronic Mouse Trap is perhaps the best product on the market. Based on innovative technology, it is a high-capacity trap killing up to 100 mice per charge. Once captured, the rodent has no chance to escape while the green LED light is on to let you know when the animal is killed. Another advantage of this product is that a chamber where rodents are electrocuted is removable. This allows you to safely change baits and clean the device more easily. On top of that, the product features enhanced safety properties due to a special switch that deactivates the unit when it is opened.
Rules of Getting Rid of Mice in the Walls: Effectiveness Based on Scientific Evidence
Expert Opinion: Michael Potter, Extension Professor, University of Kentucky
Michael Potter, Extension Professor, University of Kentucky
Michael Potter is an entomologist and Extension Professor at the University of Kentucky. He has been an invited lecturer all over the U.S. and a speaker at multiple scientific conferences on pest control held globally. Besides, Dr. Potter holds numerous awards for his contribution to pest management in urban environments. In particular, in 2011, he was awarded by the National Pest Management Association. Dr. Potter cooperates with the pest control companies and conducts on-site inspections.
Michael Potter says that traps are better than poisons when it comes to a small number of mice in the house. According to him, the advantage of trapping lies in the fact that the rodents are caught by the device and you will not face a problem of decay smell coming from the dead mouse in walls. The expert notes that the effectiveness of trapping largely depends on proper baiting, mentioning peanut butter and bacon as the most preferred ones.
Another reputed scientist, Robert A. Pierce from the University of Missouri, stresses the importance of proper trap placement. It is crucial to set traps in the areas where mice have settled because they rarely travel far from their nest. Therefore, if you need to catch a mouse living in wall spaces, install traps close to or along the wall. Each night, mice follow their path, searching for food, and this is where your traps should be set up. That said, you should not space them more than ten feet apart, meaning you will need multiple traps rather than one or two.
For more severe infestations where rodenticides are needed, Robert M. Timm from the University of California recommends grain-based baits. Such baits in a loose form or in pellets and are packaged in packets that keep them fresh. They are also easier to place in the walls and safer for humans to handle. Mice gnaw these packets and eat the poisons or bring them to other locations where they share the trophy with others. There are also wax-coated baits that are particularly useful in humid environments.
Catching mice: snap and live mouse traps
Snap Mouse Traps
This is a traditional type of traps that originally were made from wood but now are available in plastic. When a mouse steps on the trap, the lever snaps back into place, catching or killing the rodent. This device is easy to set and lasts a long time, given it is made from durable material.
One of the good examples is the d-Con Reusable Covered Mouse Snap Trap, 1 Trap (Pack of 5). Unlike many other more traditional options, this item comes with a protective cover to protect your fingers. Measuring 6 inches in length, the device is large enough and will fit a mouse of any size. A sensitive trigger kills rodents quickly. That said, it is easy to use. All you need to do to change baits and dispose of dead rodents is to lift the cover.
Live Mouse Traps
This is the most humane way to get rid of mice in the wall. After catching the rodent, you release it somewhere far from the house. There are large live traps made from metal and smaller plastic tubes. The former is more durable and humane as there is enough room for the animal to move around.
This AB Traps Pro-Quality Live Animal Humane Trap Catch provides enough room for the largest mice and even rats. It measures 10.5 inches in length and is designed to have a high success rate. The trap is made with a wire mesh that will not hurt or harm the captured animal. The device is equipped with the patented locking mechanism preventing the rodent from escaping. According to satisfied customers, the product is well designed and easy to set up and clean.
4. Kill Mice in the Walls by Poisoning
Actually, any expert would warn you against poisoning mice settled in the walls. Why? The thing is that in most cases, they do not die immediately and have enough time to come back to their shelter in the wall. The problem of a dead mouse is perhaps as challenging as the problem of an alive. The dead corpse of a mouse emits an obnoxious smell that may render your life unbearable. More importantly, this kind of odor persists for 10 days and longer and is hard to remove.
Yet if you are an ardent supporter of the most drastic measures in mouse control, here is what you should know about rodenticides. The most popular type of mouse poison is anticoagulants. They work by preventing the blood from clotting, which causes internal bleeding in the rodent and its death. It may take about a week before the mouse dies after eating the poison. First-generation anticoagulants kill mice after a single dose, whereas the second-generation ones require multiple doses and are considered safer.
There are also other types of rodenticides including strychnine, yellow phosphorus, and arsenic. Metal phosphides are fast-acting poisons and are suggested for controlling mice that have developed resistance to anticoagulants.
JT Eaton 709-PN Bait Block Rodenticide Anticoagulant Bait is highly popular among customers. This is a poison based on Diphacinone, a second-generation anticoagulant that dramatically reduces the amount of Vitamin K in the blood. The bait comes in the form of convenient blocks, with each pail containing as many as 144 blocks. The 9-pound pail is resealable for safer storage and will last long. And rest assured, mice will not be able to pass by these enticing baits flavored with peanut butter.
5. Modern Approach: Ultrasonic Mouse Repellents
Ultrasonic mouse repellers emit an ultrasonic wave inaudible to humans and pets but disturbing rodents. This sound will not kill or harm a rodent but rather creates an uncomfortable climate for them to stay in your house. For this reason, installing ultrasonic repellers is suggested as a preventive measure. Another downside is the need for plugging the device into a socket, something that may be inconvenient for some people.
ZEROPEST Ultrasonic New Pest Control Set of 6-Packs would be a good choice as you will need multiple devices to install them in all rooms. Otherwise, mice will just move from one room to another, rather than leaving your home. The device is equipped with a powerful chip, meaning it will be much harder for mice to resist the emotional impact of ultrasound. Keep in mind that the effect will be seen in 3 or 4 weeks, therefore, you will have to arm yourself with patience. The device has a blue LED light indicator showing when it is on or off.
6. Keep Mice Away Using Repellent Sprays
This is the least effective approach that is frequently recommended for the prevention of mice infestation. And yet, repellent sprays could be a good addition to your pest-control program. The main idea is to create an unfavorable environment for rodents, deterring them from setting up nests in your house.
You may make a repellent yourself using essential oil. One of the most popular recipes suggests mixing a teaspoon of peppermint essential oil with 3 cups of warm water. Pour the solution in a spray bottle or soak cotton balls in it and then apply the solution to the areas where mice have been active. Alternatively, you may purchase a ready-to-use rodent repellent. The major argument in favor of commercially available solutions is that they are longer lasting and more potent.
Take this Rodent Sheriff Pest Control – Ultra-Pure Peppermint Spray, which is a safe and natural solution to a mouse problem. Formulated specifically for rodents, it works both indoors and outdoors. The solution is based on natural peppermint oil, the smell of which is repulsive to rodents. One pack contains two bottles that are sufficient for 1,000 sprays each. Each bottle features an easy-to-press sprayer and is comfortable to hold.