There is a mouse in my house.

What's the most effective way to get rid of the mouse (and any "friends" it might have) and ensure that it doesn't come back.

  • 6
    Just a note, if you have seen one, there are likely more hiding out of sight. In addition to getting rid of the ones inside, you need to take a look around your house and determine where they are getting in. You can kill them all day, but if you do not find the entry point, this will be a recurring problem. – James Van Huis Nov 30 '10 at 23:17
  • Thanks @James Van Huis. See this question - diy.stackexchange.com/questions/3224/…. I always just assumed mice entering in the fall was a problem for everyone but maybe not. – Jeff Widmer Dec 1 '10 at 10:31

14 Answers 14


Use a mouse- or rat-trap:

Picture of a mouse-trap from Wikipedia

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the image.)

  • Use chocolate for the bait. – Jeff Widmer Nov 30 '10 at 15:13
  • 15
    Peanut butter works well too. – Doresoom Nov 30 '10 at 15:15
  • 7
    Or better yet, the best of both worlds: a Reese's Cup! :D – Doresoom Nov 30 '10 at 15:15
  • definitely peanutbutter !! .... works great on freeloading chipmunks that scare the bejezus out of your wife ..... or so I'm told :-) – user45 Nov 30 '10 at 16:01
  • 3
    It's very important to put the traps in the correct places (usually there are instructions with the traps, but in general, along the edges of walls, with the bait facing the wall, because mice/rats usually follow the walls) and it's important to use enough traps. One isn't enough to be sure. – Lev Bishop Apr 18 '11 at 3:52

Get a kitty:

alt text

(Thanks to Wikipedia for the image)

  • 7
    Kitty is a great gadget that can be used even after the mouse is gone. – sharptooth Nov 30 '10 at 15:28
  • 5
    When you have a cat, you then have a dead-mouse problem. It isn't unusual to find a mouse that looks like furry sausage being dragged from room to room. Not fun. – sal Nov 30 '10 at 18:58
  • 6
    I can't see that this is a truly viable solution. A cat is a much bigger investment than a few traps. In addition, you are not guaranteed to have a mouse killing cat. My previous cat was deathly afraid of mice. – James Van Huis Nov 30 '10 at 23:57
  • 2
    I dearly love our cat, and she's a great hunter, but she has a penchant for bringing her kills into the house to share with us. And sometimes they're not dead. Our last mouse in the house was one of those. I also wound up chasing a bat out through a skylight, and have had the dubious fun of chasing down snakes and lizards she got tired of playing with. – Bob Murphy Dec 1 '10 at 5:40
  • 2
    Even borrowing a cat would do, just leave the cat to wander around the kitchen for a couple of hours and it will leave enough scent that the mice stay away. – mgb Apr 18 '11 at 17:41

There's always the live trap option as well.

Advantages include:

  • No mess
  • No poisons to worry about


  • The mouse can always find its way back if you don't take it far enough away.

I haven't used these myself, so I'm not sure how well they work.

alt text

  • Don't get this if you have a cat. Our cat whacks these then pounces on the mouse as they try to escape. – sal Nov 30 '10 at 21:17
  • 4
    I had bad luck with this specific trap design. It seemed like the mice could get to the bait inside and either sneak out, or not trigger the trap. – James Van Huis Nov 30 '10 at 23:03
  • I've used a Havahart live trap before, and it works pretty well on mice. You do have to take them far away to let them loose. – Bob Murphy Dec 1 '10 at 5:42
  • If the mice keep coming back, there is always the bucket of water option in conjunction with this kind of trap. Not sure if a regular trap would be more humane in that case or not. – Doresoom Dec 1 '10 at 20:38
  • This link (terriermandotcom.blogspot.com/2005/09/…) refers to a different live trap design that may work better. – auujay Dec 2 '10 at 18:03

Shoot it with a BB gun. No kidding, I killed one in my old apartment this way. And if you're a good shot, it's one of the most humane ways to kill them.

Just have some Resolve, or other carpet cleaner on hand. They bleed way more than you'd think possible.

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Or if you spot a mouse outside, I'd opt for a .177 caliber pellet rifle. We've been having a mouse problem in our attic the last few months, and when I saw a field mouse scurrying about our backyard this weekend, I wasn't giving him the chance to get inside. A pellet rifle has a much farther range than a BB gun, and it is more likely to kill with the first shot (more humane).

enter image description here

  • 1
    Maybe I should have recommended safety glasses as well! :) – Doresoom Nov 30 '10 at 23:11
  • Yeap, glasses are a good idea - shooting inside a house can cause eyes trauma easily. – sharptooth Dec 1 '10 at 6:58
  • 6
    You'll shoot your eye out, kid. – Doresoom Dec 1 '10 at 23:43
  • 1
    I've also had luck with "smash its skull with a shoe" and a couple of days ago with "chase it into a cast-iron radiator and stab it with a skewer (mouse kabob)". In the latter case I'd already put down (no exaggeration) 8 glue traps, 18 regular mouse/rat traps, 4 batches of poison. All in one very small kitchen. Very wiley mouse managed avoid them all for almost 2 weeks so I stayed up late (they are nocturnal) until I saw movement and I chased it (hoping either to see its hiding spot or to repeat the shoe kill) but it ran into the radiator where I easily reach it, but a skewer was to hand... – Lev Bishop Apr 18 '11 at 4:08
  • I think you'd probably want a CO2 or one of the lesser pellet rifles for mice. A good break-barrel pellet rifle is effective for dispatching squirrels, and rabbits if you're a good shot, but would probably be a bit much for a mouse. – whatsisname Apr 8 '13 at 19:58

I'm a big fan of covered mouse traps. They work like the traditional mouse traps, but they keep the wrong critters (your pets, that is) from setting off the trap. They also have a nice cocking mechanism.

Covered mouse trap


Whether you are using any of the varieties of traps or poisons, you also want to remove all possible food sources for the mouse so that the only thing for them to eat is the poisons or the baits on the traps. Sweep the floors. Clean under and behind the stove and fridge. Empty the shelves of your pantry completely and look for droppings and chewed packaging to see where the rodent has been active. They can chew through paper, cardboard and thin plastic wrapping, so you'll need to put things like cereal boxes into locking plastic tubs.

PS: if you keep all your food in airtight locking plastic tubs, then you are also reducing your exposure to other kitchen pests: pantry moths, cockroaches, etc.


Glue traps. Probably one of the most inhumane ways to catch a mouse but they do work.

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  • 5
    I agree that they work, but I can't stand to use them again. – Niall C. Nov 30 '10 at 14:57
  • 1
    @Niall C. - This is what prompted me to ask this question... I caught the last mouse with a glue trap but I don't want to use them again. – Jeff Widmer Nov 30 '10 at 15:00
  • @Niall C @Jeff Widmer - Agreed. Awful awful way to trap a mouse. – Mike B Nov 30 '10 at 18:12
  • 2
    We used them when we lived in student housing. Works well, nice and clean, as long as you don't mind the squealing. Whack the trap and mouse against the side of the trash can to kill the mouse before throwing it in the trash. – Vebjorn Ljosa Apr 18 '11 at 17:45
  • 1
    I've used these and successfully released the mouse. They'll come off with some vegetable oil and patience. – uncle brad Apr 20 '11 at 14:29

For live traps, I have had good luck with the Ketch all.
alt text

It will trap multiple mice in one shot, it is reliable, and the mice seem to enter the trap even without baiting.

  • Make sure you check these often. I had a neighbor once that had one of these and never emptied it ever. It was stomach churning to look at it. – Biff MaGriff Mar 21 '12 at 22:50

For kill traps, the best one I have found is the Victor electronic mousetrap.

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I had several types of kill traps laid out in my house, and these seemed to be the busiest of the bunch.

  • How easy is it to tell something's in there? I hate the closed-in traps, as I can't tell if there's something in there that needs emptying. – Joe Dec 1 '10 at 0:39
  • @Joe- they have a green light that blinks for 24 hours after a mouse is zapped. Additionally, in many cases the mouse's tail will still be sticking out, so it is usually easy to see. – MarkD Dec 1 '10 at 1:31

There're poisonous compounds for that - they come as poisoned seed or poisoned wax, so it's unlikely that a human or home mammal eats them.

They are quite effective - you leave them on a disposable plate somewhere in a corner near a place you saw a mouse and soon some of the sompound is gone and the mouse is dead. Some of such compounds prevent mouse degradation - they conserve its body so that the mouse dries up and turns into a mummy which is much better than degrading and smelling somewhere where you can't reach it.

Three major drawbacks:

  1. Some other animal could eat them and get poisoned.
  2. You never know when and where you find the dead mouse.
  3. Once the mouse gets half-poisoned it becomes sick and can move carelessly around the house. If there's a cat nearby it can easily catch and eat the poisoned mouse and get poisoned as well.
  • 1
    And the big drawback: It's possible that they'll die somewhere hidden, and start to smell. And they can smell really, really bad. – chris Nov 30 '10 at 23:50
  • Some poisons come preloaded into "bait stations", basically little plastic boxes with mouse-shaped entry holes, so that pets and children are less likely to get at the poison. I'd still only use them under/behind appliances in a house with pets and/or toddlers though. – Lev Bishop Apr 18 '11 at 3:47
  • If you have a heavy infestation of rodents, it's a good idea to put down unpoisoned bait for a few days in the same spots where you will later put poison. Mice/rats are scavengers and their natural behavior is to only nibble a little on a new food until they are sure it is safe (and also watch to see if their friends die from eating it). By getting them used to eating the same type of food from the same spot for a few days without bad effects, you have a better chance of killing more of them because they'll eat much more of it. – Lev Bishop Apr 18 '11 at 3:50
  • Because of the "rotting mouse in the walls" problem, I only use bait stations for outdoor locations. If you fill a station with bait and secure it to the ground, you can leave it alone for months at a time, which makes them good for places where you don't want to keep checking a trap. – myron-semack May 5 '11 at 17:42
  • Owls die from eating poisoned rodents - please don't do this. – barclay Apr 18 '13 at 18:33

Is this a good choice? Hardly, but you did ask! It is how the coyote would do it of course, if he tired of his roadrunner "diet".


  • Wouldn't that annoy the neighbourood if used on Sunday ? – Benj May 27 '13 at 22:34

Tomcat Spin Traps (or similar make/model)


  • No poisons.
  • Instant kill (supposidly)
  • Indicator to tell if mouse is inside.
  • No exposure to dead rodent
  • No graphic visual of death


  • Disposable ... once a mouse is caught the entire trap is thrown away.
  • Arguably inhumane as you're still killing the mouse.

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  • 2
    These have pretty low reviews on Amazon. Lots of buyers saying they don't kill the mice at all, which would result in them starving to death. – Doresoom Nov 30 '10 at 18:45
  • I have had bad luck with these type of traps. They didn't stay cocked. – mlibby Nov 30 '10 at 20:06
  • 2
    I've had these catch mice without killing them. – sal Nov 30 '10 at 21:14
  • 1
    A mouse that starved to death is a dead mouse. – ryanwinchester Apr 9 '13 at 5:16

I saw this on that castle prepper show. Take a 5-gallon bucket, place an aluminum can on a wire and secure the wire to each side of the handle when it meets the bucket. The aluminum can will now span the bucket and spin on the wire. Then add peanut butter to the can. The mouse will crawl out to get the treat, and spin over and fall into the bucket. The sad part of this show was they put bleach in the bucket to kill the mouse, not sure if that was actually necessary but I guess the mouse could jump out if still alive.

Find the video here, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSk79YcuIRQ

  • 1
    I use peanut butter with a Regular mouse trap. The stuff works MUCH better than cheese, at least for the local mouse species. – Wayfaring Stranger Mar 30 '14 at 13:29

I've taken care of a lot of mice in suburban homes, a farm, and houses in the country. I've tried all sorts of traps and poisons. What I've found works the best, by far, is The Better Mouse Trap The Better Mouse Trap It's a rocker style of trap, and while there now other brands using this same idea, this one still outperforms the others.

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