How to Repel Mice

If you've seen a mouse or spotted the telltale signs of rodent activity - such as droppings, gnawed food wrappers or tiny footprints in floor dust - you need to take action quickly. If you're not thrilled with the idea of trapping mice, another option is to systematically drive them away. Learn how to repel mice with the step-by-step instructions below.

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Facts
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How to Repel

1Identify Areas of Damage

The focus of your mouse-repelling efforts will rely heavily on the location(s) in which your mice are living. You can determine this by seeking out and pinpointing the damage or activity throughout your home.

Common signs of mice include:

  • holes in food packaging or other types of packaging
  • ripped paper, cardboard, clothing or other fibrous material
  • mouse nests
  • small tooth marks on wooden baseboards, cabinets, windowpanes, etc.
  • mouse droppings: dark seed-shaped droppings about 1/4" long
 

2Choose the Right Mouse Repellent

The best products for repelling mice and other rodents indoors are ultrasonic mouse repellents. These devices plug into your wall and drive away rodents using irritating sounds at frequencies that only they can hear.

Different ultrasonic products vary by their signal strength, and the one you select will depend on the size of the area you want to protect. The power is often indicated by the number of speakers a device has:

1 Speaker
  • average-sized room in a house
  • small office
2 Speakers
  • large-sized room
  • attic, basement, garage
3 Speakers
  • business, large office
  • warehouse

TIP: Ultrasonic waves cannot travel through walls or other obstructions, so you will need one device per room at the very least.

 

3Repellent Placement

The positioning of your devices is key to their effectiveness. Ultrasonic waves travel more like light than sound; since they cannot penetrate walls or other physical barriers. Install your repellents according to their manufacturer's instructions. Here are some guidelines to keep in mind:

Install at least one unit in each room where you've identified mouse activity.

The area around the device should be clear of all furniture and other obstructions.

If there is any potential obstruction that you cannot move, you may need to install a second device on the opposite side of the obstruction to ensure the entire room has coverage.

TIP: Ultrasonic repellents will affect all rodents, including rodent pets. It's important to relocate any hamsters, guinea pigs, etc. to a room without a repellent.

 

4Remove Food

Mice require an available food source within 10 feet of their nests; otherwise they will have to relocate. By maintaining the cleanliness of your home and making food inaccessible, you can help to drive them out.

Clean your home on a regular basis: sweep, mop, dust, sanitize, etc.

Store all food and pet food in rodent-proof containers.

Do not leave pet food out after feeding times.

Wipe up and sanitize all areas where crumbs or liquids have spilled.

Keep all indoor and outdoor garbage in secure, airtight containers.

Clean up fallen berries, fruits and seeds that surround your home.

TIP: Removing clutter and piles of clothing, boxes, etc. from closets will also help reduce nesting materials.

 

5Eliminate Points of Entry

After driving out your mice, keep them out by sealing up all possible points of entry in your structure's interior and exterior:

  • loosely-fitted shingles, drains, wall panels and baseboards
  • faults in your foundation
  • holes and cracks on the exterior and interior walls, including those on the roof
  • spaces underneath doors, garage doors, etc.
  • spaces around the openings for electrical wires, cables, water pipes, vents, etc.

TIP: Mice can fit through an opening the size of a pea, so it's important to cover up even the smallest cracks. For repairs, use rodent-proof materials like metal, steel wool or concrete.

 

Expert Tips

When selecting an ultrasonic mouse repellent, be sure to select one that uses varying frequencies, so that mice do not get used to the sound.

Ultrasonic sound waves are safe and cannot be heard by humans or non-rodent pets like cats and dogs.

Repelling mice often takes several days, so it's important to be patient during the process.

For more repelling tips, read How to Repel »

 
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