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How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats in the Home and Garden

You may be at home cleaning your kitchen or laundry room without a care in the world, when suddenly out of the corner of your eye, you see something run. It’s something relatively small and dark, but you saw it! And then you realise, you’ve just had a brief encounter with a mouse. Or even worse, a rat!

These little creatures might make cute pets, but they’re a horrible guest when not welcome. Mice and rats may give you a fright but they can also carry icky diseases that you don’t want your home and family subjected to. When you first spot a mouse or rat, it could be a sign that there’s more than just one trying to move in. Your best course of action is to try and get rid of them. There are a few different ways to get rid of these little nasties, and they don’t all involve handling them with your bare hands! Here are our top tips for getting rid of mice and rats from your home.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is a great natural way to get rid of mice and rats from a particular area. If you know that they’re only trying to get in your garage or laundry or a specific area, you can use peppermint oil to drive them away. Dab some oil onto cotton balls and place them in various spots around the room or area. The oil will dissipate into the cotton easily, so make sure to reapply the oil to the cotton balls a couple of times a week. This oil is safe for pets and humans, just be sure to select oil that specified it is 100% pure. This method also works outdoors as well as indoors.


Another natural way to get rid of rats is by using mothballs. Mothballs can be used to deter mice but only works around 65% of the time. You must be cautious about using mothballs as they are highly toxic to pets and humans. If young children or pets eat them, this can cause great sickness and possibly be life threatening. Mothballs should only be used in well ventilated areas and are used to help control mice by placing them directly out of the box and in and around problem areas.

Mouse and rat baits

There are a few different products on the market to choose from when it comes to baits. Some will have natural ingredients and others will be a little more potent. Depending on the type you choose, some require multiple doses and others will be just a one off dose. It is best to read the instructions of the product you choose to see what will need to be done for it to work most effectively.

Clean out the source

More than likely, there’s a reason mice and rats are wanting to pay a visit to your house. You may have a small bird in the home and the mice want to eat some of the bird seed. You may have pet rabbits and the rats want to get into your garden shed to eat all of their pellets. Or, you may just have some garbage that is easy to get to.

If you know of a source that these critters are trying to get to, get rid of it. You don’t have to get rid of your pets, but rather try and remove the food that the pests are trying to access. You could move the food to a new location or ensure there isn’t excess food for pests to feast on and consider moving garbage bins further away from your home if possible.

Create barriers

If you have mice and rats in your home, they’re getting in from somewhere. Try and stop them by removing their access into your home. If you know where they’re coming in, it’s time to block access. If there are small holes in walls and floors where they’re getting in, block them by filling the holes with a substance like gap filler. Clean the area around the gap and fill it in with the product. Allow it to set and sand it back if you need to, to smooth out any rough areas.

If you’re not sure how they’re getting in, take a good look around your home for any cracks, holes, or gaps in walls, cornices, floors, and even under doorways. You may notice an odor coming from any areas where they’re getting in. Don’t be deterred by that tiny hole you find in the corner. Mice and rats are incredibly sneaky and will get in and out some of the smallest gaps imaginable!

Get help from your cat

If you don’t own a cat, we don’t suggest getting a new pet for the sake of getting rid of mice and rats. However if you already own a cat or kitten and have a litter box or tray that they use, you may want to move the tray closer to where your rodent problem is. Mice and rats don’t like the smell of cat urine, so once they smell this after entering the home, they’ll be sure to clear off pretty quickly.

Electronic pest control

There are some devices on the market that promise to get rid of pests easily with the use of electronic beeps. They’re usually high frequency sounds that cannot be heard by humans but are hated by mice and rats. These devices can sometimes work really well but for more stubborn issues, you may find the rodents getting used to the sound. This can be a problem too if the device is a little on the pricey side.


The best traps are humane ones that don’t kill the pests. This is because killing the mice or rats means that you may attract more of the nuisances into your home as they try to make up for lost numbers in their team and need to try and get food for the remainder of them. They may also try and breed more to make up for the ones you are killing so you can end up with a vicious cycle that can be hard to break.

Get traps that will catch, but not kill them. That way, you can then release them elsewhere. It is best to take them to a wooded or bushy area close to 2 kms away from your home. This ensures they don’t make their way back to your place, and gives them somewhere new to be.

Pest control

Of course, there’s no shame in calling in the experts. Pest control personnel are highly trained and can help you get rid of pests that you can’t. A lot of exterminators will use environmentally friendly products, so you can be at ease knowing your family will be safe. Another great thing about calling in pest control is that some will even provide a warranty period and guarantee. Not only can you ensure you can get rid of rodents, but they will stay gone for a good long while.

You may even find that their services will help you to get rid of other nasties you didn’t even know you had like ants, cockroaches, fleas, spiders, ants and many more. Call Pestline now for a free quote now or find out more about our mice and rat control services.

2 Responses to “How to Get Rid of Mice and Rats in the Home and Garden”

By Pauline Troon - 5 June 2020 Reply

We have mice in our home. Don’t know where they are getting in. We have a 3 bedroom home’ open kitchen and living area. 2 bathrooms. We live in Albert Park. Have you got an approximate cost to do the whole house and also when would you be available. Also some Pest control services have some sort of guarantee? Also how long would we be out of the house. Do the mice etc just disappear? Thankyou

By Ann - 21 March 2021 Reply

Ten years ago I had a rat and mouse infestation, nothing would help.
In desperation, I got two baby kittens. I have not seen a mouse or rat for ten years.
The cats are fat and lazy, it’s the smell that works, not my fat and lazy cats.

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