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How to get rid of mice and rats at home

Hear the footsteps of mice and rats scuttling through the night? From prevention to extermination, here’s your guide to how to get rid of rats and mice.


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Want to know how to get rid of mice and how to kill rats? There are three stages: block off entry points, sanitise your home and exterminate rodents through traps or poisoned bait.

If you want to know how to get rid of a mouse using a natural and gentle alternative to poison or traps, sprinkle a few drops of peppermint oil in the areas of your home that mice visit the most often. It won’t kill them, but it will deter them from visiting a particular spot.

Step 1: Block entry points

It’s easier to prevent rats and mice from entering your home than it is to get rid of them once they’ve entered. Identify where rodents may be entering and seal them with materials that are difficult to chew through such as steel wool. Look out for droppings, claw marks and the sounds of scuttling for clues as to where these may be. Cracks through floorboards, unsealed drain pipes, holes in walls, and spaces between doors and floors can all be areas that allow rodents to creep in.

Step 2: Clean the house

Mice and rats love leftover food and overfilled bins. Store food in the fridge or in containers every night and disinfect your kitchen surfaces with a powerful cleaner like Jif. Take out food waste at least twice a week and disinfect the area to eliminate the smell of food. Involve the whole household in tidying up, making sure that all food is kept in sealed containers and surfaces are left spotless.

Step 3: How to kill rats and how to get rid of mice using traps and poison

If you still find that mice and rats are making their way into your home, you will need to find ways of exterminating them. Traps and poison are the two most common and effective ways of doing this.


Mouse traps are by far the cleanest, safest and most effective way of killing mice. When a mouse is caught, it’s easy to dispose of the body straight away. Once you’ve chosen your trap, place it in an area that they regularly visit. You may need to experiment with different types of bait to find the one that works but mice are attracted to foods high in carbohydrates. Peanut butter, chocolate, bread, nuts, strong-smelling cheese and wet pet food are all good choices.

If you want a natural mouse trap and catcher, a cat is great for getting rid of mice. Even the whiff of a cat can make rodents flee!


When it comes to how to get rid of rats, poison is a more practical and effective solution to getting rid of them than traps. Place the poisoned pellets in a part of your house the rats visit while making sure they are out of reach for children and pets. Don’t worry if rats don’t automatically fall for the bait as it takes them several days to get used to something new.

This method will also work for mice but as they are smaller, they may end up dying in a part of the house that’s difficult to reach and causing a stench, so it’s preferable to use traps.

Getting rid of rodents can feel like a lengthy and ongoing battle, but once you’ve followed all three steps, they will eventually leave your house alone.

  • Identify entry points and block them off

  • Sanitise your home, keeping food in sealed containers

  • Kill rodents using traps or poison

Originally published