Getting Rid of Mice and Rats + Keeping Them Away (Updated 2021)

by admin | Last Updated: January 3, 2021

Getting Rid of Mice and Rats + How To Keep Them Away

brown mouse running away with food
Table of Contents

Rats and mice can be attracted by a number of things but it is likely that they may be attracted by morsels of food left around the house. Bird feeders and other types of food items that can also attract them, leading them to find holes and entrances into your property. They may also be attracted by any types of fruit trees and plants that you harvest or water sources, such as drain pipes but thankfully there are ways to prevent them, get rid of them and important signs to look out for.

How To Identify Rats & Mice

If you have a feeling that you may have some type of infestation, you may need to look at some signs. If you have already seen a mouse or a rat around the house then you are going to want to be sure which one of the two it is. A mouse can be distinguished from a young rat by its larger ears and longer tail, in comparison to a rat. Mice are also usually lighter in colour, often a light grey or brown and a lighter shade on their bellies, these are known as house mice. Whilst they rarely do any major harm, they are in fact a pest and you will want to rid your home. Some of the things to look out for if you are worried about an infestation is:

black and white mouse eating
Mice are generally a lighter colour

1 – Rat & Mice Droppings

These may look like small tiny little dark balls scattered in areas around the house.

2 – Evidence Of Nesting

Perhaps little bits of outdoor twigs or things that appear to look like a nest.

3 – Grease Marks And Grease Tracks

This could be around your kitchen or on your surfaces, so be sure to always keep them clean and look out for evidence.

4 – Physical Damage To Structures

You may find that things have been torn, ripped, or appear to have been nibbled at. You may not know exactly how it’s happened but it is possible that it is from a rodent.

5 – Damaged Plants

If you notice torn or nibbled plant leaves, it could be that a mouse or rat has been eating from it.

How To Prevent Mice & Rats On Your Property

Nobody wants rats or mice on their property but unfortunately you can’t stop them from being on your land, as mice and rats are found in every garden; but there are ways to prevent them. You may first need to do a little inspection of your home, to look for any corners or behind cupboards and under sinks, where you think that they may crawl through. They can get through the tiniest of spaces so be sure that you are looking well enough. You may then want to start the following to ensure that your home is properly secured from rats and mice:

Seal any cracks and holes on the outside of the home including entry points for utilities and pipes

You can use some regular UniBond sealant to smooth over any cracks and holes.

Mice and rats will often climb up trees and may be able to make their way into your home via windows or air vent systems, even drainpipes, so keep your bushes cultivated.

Keep tree branches and shrubbery well trimmed and away from the house

Keep basements, attics, and crawl spaces well ventilated and dry

You can do this by using a dehumidifier which will allow the air to remain at its best.
Do not leave your garbage or any bins opened or in the entrance to your home. Rats will often scour the area for food so you need to be very careful.

Store garbage in sealed containers and dispose of it regularly

How To Get Rid Of Rats & Mice

If you have already got an infestation, then your clear goal is to rid your property of the rats and mice. There are plenty of companies that offer support and action against rats and mice but there are things that you can also do yourself in order to keep on top of. You can always look at a simple mouse trap, there are plenty to be found and will capture the rat or mouse, to allow you to release it back into the wild somewhere. These traps do kill mice, and are created to kill them quickly and mercifully. It can be an effective remedy for pest control.

There are also mouse traps that do not kill also. If you have opted to get the professionals in then you can expect them to use a range of different techniques to rid your home of mice. They often use traps, glue boards, sanitation, and rodenticides. Exterminators will always fully analyse to see where they are getting in also.

Do’s And Don’ts of Rat & Mice Removal

You need to look at a few things when you are tackling this issue yourself. You want to be smart and savvy and not make things work. It’s important to look at the following checklist of dos and don’ts to ensure that you don’t make any mistakes:

Bite Treatment

If you have come into contact with any rats or mice, and you have been bitten by one then it’s good to follow through on some basic first aid. Control any bleeding and clean the wound with soap and warm water. Clean inside the wound, be sure to rinse away all the soap, to avoid irritation and then cover the wound with a clean dry dressing. On very rare occasions it could lead to an infection so keep an eye on the area, if it looks to be red or the wound seems to be growing in size, seek medical advice immediately. You can take regular paracetamol for the pain as required.

brown mouse running away with food
They’re cute and cuddly until they bite

About Rats & Mice

How long are they likely to stay in my house? Will they die quickly?

Mice have a life expectancy of 18 months to two years but they could have already infiltrated your home with a family which means that they could settle easily in a part of your home for many months.


Do they pose a hygiene threat?

Although they are generally quite clean animals, they tend to pick up and carry germs and diseases from other people’s trash. They may be spread through urine or droppings, or from any ticks or fleas they might have picked up along the way. Always clean throughout if you’re worried about a rat or mice problem.

Should I make a homemade trap?

It isn’t fool proof that a homemade trap is going to actually capture a mouse but if you did want to try this option first, then it’s important to look on a specialised website that will give you the best details.

If I see a rat in the house, how do I capture it?

Mice are quick paced little creatures and so it would likely be relatively hard to capture it yourself. Instead, try to work out where it is going in order to find the hole in which you can then block up.

What smells or scents will keep them away?

Peppermint oil, apple cider vinegar can be placed around the outside of your home to deter them. As well as steel wool and other preventative measures such as used kitty litter.

Will my dog and cat keep them away?

No. Mice and rats are pesky creatures and will not often be deterred. So even if you have a pet, they may not notice the infestation and therefore they wouldn’t be able to stop them.

Should I clean more often?

Poor sanitation is one thing that attracts mice, so keeping things clean is going to assist.

When to call in an expert?

If you can smell strong odours and see evidence of the mice in many areas of the house you could call the experts in.

When do rats and mice come out?

They are nocturnal for the most part, so the chances are they’ll be out when you’re in bed. This is why mouse traps work effectively because they are usually out when no humans are!