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No more mice in the house!

August 16, 2012 by Karl

mouse berry berry berry

This article will show you how to kill those pesky mice every time and keep them out of your home, without calling the exterminator. Let’s face it. The tightest house will still collect mice from time to time, especially if you live near a field.    In the fall and winter they come in search of warmth.  The rest of the year they are just looking for a comfortable home.

First of all, forget the idea the mice like cheese.  This simply is not the case. A study conducted in 2006 by David Holmes of Manchester Metropolitan University shows that mice do NOT like cheese, and will only eat it as a last resort.  What they DO like is high carb sugary grains, such as cereal and pasta.  Many people have had luck luring mice to the trap with peanut butter, but I think it is actually the sugar in the peanut butter that they crave.

There are two things you need to do to get rid of the mice in your house.  The first is to thoroughly inspect the perimeter of your home and fill or block any areas where they could be entering.  Mice only need a hole the size of a dime to find their way in.  Use a small mirror and place it on the ground around the entire foundation to see what you find from the mouse’s perspective.  You might be surprised!  Once you find a hole, you need to fill it with some form of metal.  Mice can chew their way through anything else.

mouse hole

Here is a hole that I found recently.  It’s not a big hole, but it’s big enough for a mouse to crawl through.  I’ll fill this one with some balled up wire mesh, and may even put some cement over it.

Next, you need to find a good mousetrap to kill the mice that have found their way inside.  The old mouse traps still work well enough, but the mouse trap HAS improved over the years.  With the old traps, you may need to re-bait the traps several times before killing a mouse.  The trip lever is not all that sensitive.  This is the old style trap:


If you DO buy one of these, make sure it has the over-sized yellow trigger pad like this one.  This style of trap is still effective, but it is sometimes frustrating to set, and doesn’t always get the mouse before the bait is gone.

Here is the latest version of the mousetrap:

ortho mouse trap

You can buy this on Amazon here, or you can buy it at your local home center.  If you’re like me, you probably like shopping on-line more than running to the store.

This new “better mousetrap” by Ortho which I call the Jaws of Death has been improved in many ways.  First of all, it’s easy to set.  You simply squeeze the trigger and it is set!  Second, the trigger plate is SUPER sensitive.  If any part of the mouse touches the trigger plate, the trap will spring shut.  Third, disposal of the dead mouse is very easy.  You simply take the entire trap to the trash can, press the trigger, and watch the dead mouse land in the trash.  The packaging says that you throw away the whole trap, but that is not necessary.  I have used the same trap for as many as 10 mice.  It works FANTASTIC!  It is simple to use, and effective EVERY time.  I don’t think the mouse has ever had a chance to do more than sniff the bait.  I have NEVER had to re-bait this trap.

As far as bait goes, I have used peanut butter for many years, but have just switched to using a small flake of sugary cereal along with the peanut butter.  What I find with the peanut butter is that it needs to be a sugary peanut butter such as Jiff or Skippy.  Both of them add lots of sugar.  It also doesn’t go rancid as easily as raw or natural peanut butter.

Between policing the outside of your home, closing places for them to enter, and setting these new traps with the proper bait, you should no longer have a problem with mice in your home.  Please post a comment below to let me know your results!  I LOVE feedback.  Also, don’t hesitate to check over my other articles in The Frugal Berry.


  1. Celiza says:

    Mahatma Gandhi once said,”I hold that the more helpless the creature the more entitled it is to the protection by man, from the cruelty of man.”

    Please consider humane ways to take care of a wild mice problem. Have-a-heart traps are wonderful for live-trapping – you trap the mice, then release them away from your home. And prevention is always the best cure – there are bobcat/predatory urine pellets you can sprinkle around your home on occasion that are all more inexpensive than buying several traps that kill, and keep mice away.

    I really appreciate your site and your clear and concise ways of teaching thing, I just hope you will take a humane way of pest control into consideration. Thanks.

    • Karl says:

      I respect your opinion, but if the mouse (or any creature for that matter) is in my house it’s fair game in my opinion.

    • brent says:

      OR, just get a cat… much more “natural”..

      • Celiza says:

        I have cats and I do not disagree with you or Sue on keeping them to get rid of wild mice – it is a natural instinct, and at least the mouse serves some kind of purpose should they eat it if it is going to die. The cats do tend to need to be de-wormed frequently if they eat a lot of mice though. I just think there are both cheaper AND more humane ways.

        • Sue says:

          My cats don’t eat any of the mice they happen to catch. They are indoor-only cats so they fully expect a “reward” after the hunt is over. They will present the mouse as a “gift”, as it were, and then they are rewarded with a tasty treat like chicken or turkey. They are policing their turf so to speak. As far as parasites go, my vet keeps me stocked on the proper meds in the event that one gets ingested, which has yet to happen. I work in an animal shelter so I am all for treating all creatures humanely but I have to agree with Karl on this one. If mice or insects for that matter get into my home, all bets are off. If we humans happen to see and catch the mouse first, it is released unharmed back outdoors. But with 4 cats who are all way faster than us, well then, let nature take its course.

          • Celiza says:

            Like I said, I’m not disagreeing with you. 🙂 Funny that you should mention it, all the cats my family has ever had ate the mice – some would bring them as gifts but most were almost completely eaten. My own cats are indoor only and they eat bugs, which makes me happy. Have a good one.

  2. Sue says:

    The toughest mouse I have ever dealt with was when we lived in another state about 15 years ago. This mouse got into my laundry room where he hid under the clothes dryer and our dog’s dishes were kept in there. He was not at all interested in any of the foods we set on the traps, peanut butter, honey, cereal, nuts. What he went after was our dog’s food which was chicken and grain based. So I baited the traps with 1 piece of kibble glued down with syrup, since he was an expert at stealing the bait without springing the trap. It took a month to catch him but we finally got him when the trap finally proved to be quicker than him. We now live in a house that backs up to an open field and mice do get in occasionally but I no longer need traps. I have 4 indoor cats that make short work of any mice that venture inside. The ultimate all-natural mouse trap.

  3. Debra Wyza says:

    I grew up on the Ohio River. Whenever the river came up we got mice. And we had corm fields on either side of us, so when planting or harvest time came around we got mice.

    One good idea is to put the trap inside of a small box. We used to use pop tart boxes or shoe boxes. Cut a small hole in one side and put the bated trap inside. We always used bird seed on peanut butter. Then we didn’t have to get anywhere near the mouse when it died. We could open the box to check if the trap was tripped (and reset it) or if there was a mouse in it. But that’s as close as we ever had to get to them.

    The box idea has the added bonus of keeping the dog, cat or small child away from the trap.

  4. Christine says:

    These snap traps do work well. Place traps along a perimeter wall or edge of a cabinet. Mice like to hug the wall or baseboards. Sometimes you don’t even need bait! These traps are much more humane than a cat or have-a-heart trap (or the worst: poison!). It’s instant death versus X hours of near-death terror. I have a cat too and I think just the smell of cat fur deters mice!

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