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How to get rid of mice naturally and humanely.

Last Updated: May 10, 2021

What do you do when a mouse invites itself inside? Here’s how to deal with mice—naturally and humanely.

After a hard day’s work, we all look forward to relaxing with some good food and drink. But when a mouse wants to relax with you and your food and drinks … that after-work routine becomes a little less relaxing. So what do you do next?

Not sure how to get rid of mice in a humane, eco-friendly, nontoxic way? Don’t worry — we’ve figured out all of the natural options for mice removal for you, so you can get back to relaxing ASAP!

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But first: Why are there mice in your house?

Ah, the question no one wants to have to ask! It happens to the best of us. If you’ve discovered a mice infestation in your home, they’ve no doubt come in through a door or tiny opening in search of warm shelter and plenty of crumb-foraging opportunities. In fact, even an opening as small as a dime is enough to invite a mouse in to explore your home. That means there could be entryways everywhere.

And then, if unchecked, they procreate, and you end up with a mischief of mice as roommates.

Why is it bad to have mice in your house?

Most of us find mice adorable, at least in theory, and lots of people keep them as cute little pets. So … why is it so important to keep wild mice out of your house? One word: health.

Wild mice carry several diseases that — ick! — can spread to humans — and if you’re allergic or you have asthma, they’ll make your life miserable.

As we mentioned above, mice have an uncanny ability to multiply with lightning speed. These furry little beasts might mean no harm, but they sure can spread it! Some of the diseases spread by rodents, including mice, are the stuff of legend — and the focus of many history books — Black Plague, anyone?

Here are a few diseases that mice carry:


Got mice? Here’s what to do until they’re gone.

If mice have already made themselves comfortable in your home, make sure you clean food prep and eating surfaces frequently while wearing a protective mask and cleaning gloves.

Keep little people and fur babies in your home safe by disinfecting all surfaces and changing water bowls that have been left unsupervised during the night.

4 ways to get rid of mice naturally

Here are the best ways to get rid of mice naturally, without killing them or calling a pest control professional:

1. Lock them out

Do mice have access to your home? Are you unknowingly advertising a warm space for them to hide and feed? Check your home for spots mice could be able to get inside and block them off.

Locate entry points by looking for droppings and holes that are dime-size or larger. Yes, you read that right — mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a dime. Focus on tight, warm areas, like around pipes or at the back of cupboards. Pack those tight spaces with steel wool, which mice can't chew through to get back in.

2. Keep it clean

If cleaning day has been taking a back seat in the business of daily life, it might be time to bust out your cleaning gloves and scrubbers, and clean your whole house from top to bottom.

Mice love a dirty, cluttered house, since it offers plenty of places to hide and lots of scraps to scavenge. Nothing a little elbow grease can’t fix, though! Deep-clean your kitchen and any other rooms where you’ve seen evidence of mice. Eat at the table to reduce enticing crumbs across various rooms, and avoid leaving food out on the counter, where it’s accessible to mice. Store dry goods in airtight food storage containers that are impervious to the sharp teeth and claws of tiny scavengers. Keep pet food stored away in containers too, so that mice don't have access to it.

3. Remove their access to food

Eat at the table to reduce enticing crumbs across various rooms, and avoid leaving food out on the counter, where it’s accessible to mice. Store dry goods in airtight food storage containers that are impervious to the sharp teeth and claws of tiny scavengers. Keep pet food stored away in containers too, so that mice don't have access to it.

4. Repel mice naturally

Break out your peppermint or clove essential oil, and soak a cotton pad with it. Put the cotton ball where mice like to hang out — your cupboards, drawers, and entry points — to repel them naturally.

Shop natural rodent repellent

You can also get a ready-made natural rodent repellent product, like Earthkind’s StayAway Rodent, which is a fan favorite of Grove members ... but be sure to use it exactly as directed.


Why poison isn’t a great option ...

Using poison to combat a mice infestation might seem like the easy route, but poison causes intense suffering. It also puts pets, small children, and wildlife at risk.

When domestic cats, wild owls, foxes, and other critters eat poisoned mice — which are easy targets for these predators — they, themselves, get poisoned.

If you want your house mice killed dead, get a couple of cats!

Will mice stay away if you have cats?

In reality, Tom usually wins out over Jerry in the cat-and-mouse game. As long as no one in your household is allergic, a cat is an easy, cuddly way to keep mice away. Farmers have used cats to keep mice at bay since, well, forever.

If you can’t have a cat for any reason, cat litter can be used to deter another mouse invasion. Sprinkle cat litter in the areas that the mice seem to be frequenting.

3 ways to trap mice humanely

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Just because mice may be deadly disease vectors doesn’t mean we have to torture the little beasts in the process of getting rid of them. Here are three ways to humanely trap mice if your attempts at driving them out naturally didn’t work.

1. Live-catch traps

These traps catch the mice without killing or harming them. They consist of a chamber or cage with a trigger-activated door, which won’t reopen until you release the mouse far from your home.

2. DIY glass-and-coin trap

This may sound like a joke, but it actually can work! Put bait inside a large glass that is propped up on one side using an upright coin. When the mouse runs in for the bait, the coin will fall, and the mouse will be trapped in the glass. Then, you can release the mouse wherever you want … outside of your house.

3. DIY bucket, stick, and cup trap

Another one that seems right out of the movies: Use a stick to skewer a plastic cup, then lay the stick across the top of a bucket, and place bait (peanut butter works great) on the cup.

The mouse will try to run to the cup to get the bait and then fall into the bucket.

If doing it yourself isn’t your style, don’t resort to crueler methods of getting rid of mice, like glue traps and conventional mouse traps. Instead, look up a humane and eco-friendly pest control specialist to help you out with the dirty work.

What is the best bait for mice?

Mice love munching on tasty treats, so they’ll likely trigger your trap if you set out the right bait:

High-calorie treats

Think peanut butter, hazelnut spread, chocolate, or buttered popcorn — YUM! Just don't eat all the bait while you're waiting for the traps to work!

Nest building materials

Mice make their nests using cotton balls, dental floss, yarn, twine, and the like.

Food the mice are stealing

Whatever food the mice have been sneaking away in the night — pet food, candy, birdseed, or the crumbs on the counter — also make excellent bait.


Where is the best place to release a mouse?

Do yourself and your neighbors a favor: Don't release your mice too close to home. Release any mice you catch first thing in the morning, several miles from where you live — ideally in a remote, natural area without a lot of houses nearby.

Otherwise, they'll be back — just like your well-meaning in-laws.

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Ready to tackle the dirtiest spots in your home? Grove Collaborative has you covered with Clean Team. Each week, we’ll do a deep dive into how to clean a different place or item in your home. No spot is too small — and we’ll tell you how to conquer them all, naturally.