Have you spotted gnaw marks, heard scratching noises, or smelled musky odors, like stale urine, in your home? Then you have field mice on your premises. Mice can hide for a long time and look innocent, but carry serious diseases. Thankfully, there are surprising tricks to keep those little creatures out of your yard.
Get rid of mice by applying Fastrac bait, which will kill them within 24 hours. Place snap, sticky, electric, or live catch traps. Give mice a bar of chocolate and spray peppermint oil and apple cider vinegar in every corner they can access. Seal their pathways, scare them with cats, and install hardware cloth-made fences.
In this article, we’ll discuss 20 surprising tricks to push mice away from your surroundings, the various signs of field mice infestation, their most dangerous effects on humans and properties, and we’ll share some helpful tips to keep your yard healthy and mice-free.
15 Tips to Keep Field Mice Out of Your Yard
Keep field mice out of your yard by trimming your trees and shrubs so that mice can’t pass through gaps. Also, grow mice repellent plants, flood their tunnels with water, store your pet food and feeders away from them, and maintain clean surroundings.
The following practical tips will help you keep field mice out of your yard.
- Trim plants and trees
Regularly trim your trees, shrubs, and limbs so that mice can’t pass through the gaps. Wrap the main trunk of the tree with one foot of galvanized steel but make sure to remove it in the spring to avoid damaging the tree.
- Plant mice repellent
Protect your yard with sowing plants or trees that repel mice, like pennyroyal, garlic, onion, camphor, lavender, marigolds, rosemary, and wormwood. These plants deter the mice when they taste or sniff them.
- Surround the bulb with gravel
Protect your tulips, crocus, and hyacinth bulbs from mice by surrounding the planting hole with crushed gravel since these are tasty bulbs that mice enjoy eating.
- Don’t sow veggies too close to your house
Keeping pests away from plants is challenging. Therefore, you better avoid sowing vegetables too close to your house if you don’t want them to invade the inside of it.
- Destroy their tunnels with water
Every time you see their tunnels, destroy them, over and over again. To do so, flood them with water so that they won’t return.
- Develop the structure of your property
Develop and repair your house or garden shed to get rid of mice since unmaintained places are a good shelter for mice, especially during winter.
- Avoid using straw as compost
Avoid using wheat straw as compost for your plants as it will turn the area into a nesting place for mice, which like fluffy materials.
- Clean up your compost stack
Avoid open compost heap. Enclose it in a protective and mice-proof room. It also helps shorten the time it takes to make a richer fertilizer for your yard.
- Don’t keep garbage in your yard
Keep your yard waste-free. It’s a nice way to keep your garden mice-free as well. Indeed, garbage stacks that stay for a long time provide warmth and shelter for mice.
- Don’t keep wood stack near your house
Avoid placing your wood stack near your house as it can cause wood burning, and is also a warm and protected home for field mice. Instead, move them at least 20 feet away from your house.
- Clear your surroundings
Like wood stacks, bushes and other landscaping are also good hiding spots for mice. Even small clearing deters mice from entering your premises.
- Cover your trash bins
Always secure your trash bins covered. Ensure to keep all garbage inside the heavy-duty bins. In addition to your garbage bins, also cover your stored seeds and pet food.
- Keep your pet food indoors
Pet food is a great bonus for field mice. They will eat all the remaining. Thus, you better keep the feeder or bowls away from mice as soon as your pets finish and clean leftovers.
- Scare them with dogs
Mice are afraid of dogs and will run away and hide as far they can when they spot one. Therefore, you should train your dog to attack the mice and protect your home. Some breeds of dogs strongly fight the mice infestation threats.
- Keep lights on
Field mice are nocturnal, sensitive to bright lights, and have poor eyesight. Besides, loud noises and lights, even coming from flashlights, scare them. Therefore, they will avoid lit areas and hide away in holes and cracks.
12 Ways to Tell If There Are Field Mice in Your Yard
You can confirm that there are field mice in your yard if you spot them and see their tiny droppings and bite marks. Other signs of their presence include a musky smell like stale urine, scratching noises, and damages or disappearances of sown seeds.
Mice are active at night. They attract mounds of trash, organic waste, and more. If you have them in your yard, check them for signs of mice. Remove them from your lawn to prevent future mice problems and resolve issues with them.
- You spot them
The best way to tell that mice are in your yard is when you see them. They usually pass on top of power lines, fences, and trees at dawn and dusk.
- You find mice droppings
You can also conclude that there are field mice in your yard if you see their droppings. Mice excrete 50 to 80 tiny droppings every night. Most droppings are usually found where they eat and stay, including near drawers, food packages, below liquid surface, and hidden areas. Check the area around droppings for either active or new mice infestation.
- You see bite marks
Mice’s bite marks are one of the signs that they exist in your yard. Newer bite marks are lighter in color and turn dark later on. To determine the age of droppings, compare the bite mark you’ve seen on common material that you know is old. Lighter-colored bite marks show a continuing infestation. Bite marks help determine whether the rodent is a rat or a mouse as larger bite marks are caused by rats’ teeth.
- You smell a foul odor
Cats and dogs recognize the presence of mice through their sense of smell. Therefore, if you see your pets pawing at certain corners in your yard, there must be rats or mice nearby. If the infestation is active and big, you can detect it through an ongoing smell.
- You have spotted mice’s nests
If you see mice’s nests, there must be a continuing infestation in your yard. Mice use dried plants or leaves, shredded paper, and fabric to create their nests.
- You hear scratching noises
You’ll hear mice scratching at night, when they are most active. Listen for noises between the walls and below the floorboards.
- Tiny plants disappear
Mice often destroy new plantings, seedlings, and sprouts at night. They eat plants from below by pulling and biting the roots.
- There are holes in the soil
One of the main signs of the presence of field mice in your yard is the holes in the soil, where mice dig to look for food. These animals are popular for digging extensive holes, not only for food but also for shelter and nesting.
- You see small tunnels in the ground
Mice usually make small tunnels in the ground, connected by the small entrance and exit holes. These tunnels are mice’s crossroads and allow them to harm plants by passing under the ground.
- Heaping of soil
Mice make a pile of soil above the ground to mark their entrance to their tunnels.
- You detect grease marks
You’ll see grease marks if mice brush against the walls of your yard on common paths. Check for dark marks and dirt that their body leaves around holes and corners.
- You see dead or alive mice
If you see field mice during the day, it’s a sign of a large infestation.
20 Effective Ways to Remove Field Mice from Your Yard
You can remove field mice in your yard using Fastrac, which kills them within 24 hours, spray peppermint oil and apple cider vinegar in areas they can access, or apply electric, sticky, or live catch traps. You can also give them poisonous food for mice, like chocolate, seal their pathways, or install fences made of hardware cloth.
Read on for more surprising tricks that help get rid of those mice for good.
- Using Fastrac
Fastrac usually kills mice within 24 hours. Apply one bait block per placement, spaced with an 8 to 12 feet gap in infested portions. You may need up to two blocks in areas with great mice activity.
- Spread peppermint oil
Mice hate the strong scent of peppermint. Thus, using some prevents them from entering or roaming around your yard. Spray peppermint oil in different corners of your home that mice can access and in areas where there’s no mousetrap.
- Use snap traps
Snap traps are a tried and true way of removing mice from your yard. Put some under the kitchen sink, behind the stove and refrigerator, or in your attic. Although, the best spot to place traps is where the mice are sleeping. If you can’t locate them, look for signs of their presence like droppings, chew, and grease marks.
There are various types of snap traps, such as a bar, clam, and hidden kill. These traps kill mice quickly. Although they are a bit difficult to use, they are inexpensive, reusable, and diminish their population.
- Electric traps
This type of trap kills mice fast and causes them a fatal electric shock. It has light or other signals that light up when a mouse is caught. This trap is usually bigger than most kinds of traps, powered by batteries, and much more expensive.
- Sticky traps
The adhesive surface of this trap easily traps mice and prevents them from escaping. A sticky trap is simple to set, yet, it’s disposable and must be kept away from pets and kids.
- Live catch traps
This kind of trap catches mice but doesn’t kill them. It won’t reopen until you release the captured mice. Release them at least three miles away from your home because if mice return, they will be harder to catch again.
- Install ultrasonic devices
This technological device emits ultrasonic frequencies that only field mice can hear. These animals are irritated by this noise, which forces them to escape from the area.
- Safely apply bait and poison
Applying bait and poison to pests is hazardous, but mice infestation also carries serious diseases that threaten human health. Just be careful when handling poison, and keep it away from children, pets, and food. Peanut butter is one of the most effective baits, as well as chocolate, cheese, and nuts.
- Spray apple cider vinegar and water
Spray this mixture around your house or in any area mice can access. Re-apply this solution once a month.
- Apply Fabric softener sheet
Field mice can bear the smell of fabric softeners. Put multiple sheets of fabric softener in suspected entries of mice. It will not only keep them away from your property but will also keep your home smelling fresh and clean.
- Sprinkle mashed potatoes
Field mice will ingest sprinkled mashed potatoes and will not be able to tolerate the expansion of flakes in their stomachs, which will kill them.
- Place onions in holes
Simply slice an onion, place it near the holes and gaps, and wait for the mice. The smell of ammonia is very strong for mice and instantly kills them.
- Seal their pathways
Check all mice’s pathways, like holes, cracks, and gaps, which allow them to access your house. Seal them with appropriate materials such as steel wool, hardware cloth, cement, and plaster. Plus, install weather strips on your doors and windows if there are large gaps.
- Proper pest control
Constant pest control is the best impediment for any type of pests. Observe what’s happening outside your home to prevent concerns inside your house.
- Remove their terrain
Remove all unnecessary things inside your house like limbs, old cars, scrap appliances, and broken furniture. Store the lumber stacks away from your home and remove vast vegetation as mice consider them as their hiding place.
- Don’t feed the mice
Keep your trash cans covered at all times. Harvest the ripe yields from your garden and trees. Pick all fallen fruits, even rotten ones. Feed your pets in the morning and don’t leave any food around. Store pet food safely or inside containers, away from mice. Mice are resourceful when trying to get food and could eat your expensive items to get their way.
- Get a cat
After acquiring a cat, you will observe fewer mice in your place. Even though the smell of a cat and its urine already discourage mice from staying in your area, cats also enjoy chasing them, and sometimes wound the mice and run as far as they can go.
- Install sturdy fences
Mice can’t enter your yard if you install sturdy fences. Therefore, make fences using hardware cloth and bury the edge of the cloth 18 inches below the ground. If the mice dig the soil, they will hit the wire mesh and turn their backs.
- Impose professional advice
Generally, the most effective method for removing mice from your yard is to impose professionals’ advice on mice infestation as experts provide better results when dealing with pests than you would while working on your own.
- Take similar steps with your neighbors
Come up with the same treatment as your neighbors or as your community regarding mice infestation because your neighbors most likely deal with the same problem. You can opt for one of the most effective and most applicable solutions listed above.
16 Areas You Could Check for a Field Mice Infestation
Field mice are commonly found around homes, and specifically in garbage bins, storage spaces, furniture, and kitchen and laundry areas. They also use attic and insulation portions, garages, vegetation, the walls of your property, and any hidden corners where they might get food, do nesting, and find shelter.
If you encounter a field mice infestation, you’ll be cautioned through different mice’s signs and activities, like scratching noises and bite marks that show mice are hoarding the food they find inside your home.
Possible areas to check for mice infestation include:
- Trash bins
Check whether or not there are field mice in the recycling and trash bins in your yard. They love garbage, and if you keep them outdoors, expect a lot of droppings and bite marks on the bins.
- Storage spaces
Storage spaces are most vulnerable to field mice infestations as these rodents love to destroy fabric and plastics. Thus, always make sure your belongings are safe from pests, and store them inside hardcovers.
- Kitchen and laundry appliances
Check behind the appliances, such as the dishwasher, refrigerator, stove, washing machine, and dryer, as field mice are strained from the heat they produce.
- Garden sheds
Inspect the tunnels under your yard sheds, where they make a house of their own. Look for signs that indicate they have been digging.
- Bird feeders
Regularly check bird feeders if you have any in your yard because field mice are attracted to them since birds usually drop seeds from feeders. If you own one, you better store the bird seeds in a sealed container.
Check the internal door inside the garage to see if there is any track that might allow mice to enter other internal areas. Inspect the area for holes, especially around door frames or at the bottom of wooden doors.
Look into overgrown vegetation, especially near walls, that field mice may use as shelter. Shrubs, vines, and overhanging branches near the property can serve as a way for mice to reach eaves and roofs.
- Garden sheds
Make sure to inspect your garden sheds, as mice love to hide there. If there is a water source inside your shed, it will turn into their home.
- Walls of your property
Look for cracks and holes in the outer part of your property since field mice will find them, and you’ll discover their presence through their foul odor.
- Out-of-sight places
Check crawl spaces, false ceilings, and even walls.
- Attic spaces
Take a look into your attic as mice like safe places with a warm atmosphere.
- Inside cabinets
Check all of your cabinets as mice love to hide inside furniture and seldom emptied or inspected storage boxes.
Field mice can enter your home through the attic and go into your home’s insulation. They travel in the same routes and make their nests in insulating material. Thus, you better regularly check the insulation in your home since mice are known to cause expensive damages by nesting in there.
Debris can offer shelter to field mice, which like abandoned trees and can make their residence inside the hollow areas of trees.
- Compost stacks
Mice are famous as compost stacks pests. You can spot them when you dig the compost stack and destroy their nests. A mismanaged compost stack is like an all-you-can-eat buffet for mice.
- Wood stacks
A wood stack in your yard is like a hotel for field mice. They are attractive to mice, which enjoy making their nests there.
5 Dangers of Having Field Mice in Your Garden
The most dangerous problem caused by field mice infestation is serious diseases and bacteria that are lethal to humans, like hantavirus, salmonella, lymphocytic choriomeningitis, mice bite fever, and leptospirosis.
However, mice might also destroy your home furniture and appliances, contaminate and chew your food, and leave greasy stains around your house.
- They cause serious diseases
Field mice threaten your health and family, and as they reproduce quickly, they turn into an infestation. Mice spread numerous viruses and diseases through their dirt, which is dangerous when dried and breathed in, contaminates food, and infects humans.
Viruses and diseases caused by mice include:
This disease starts with fever and a cold. If not cured right away, it will turn into a critical condition that begins with shortness of breath, an ailment to kidneys, and results in death. It arises when the urine of field mice gets dry. The dust formed is lethal to human health, along with the dirt produced by mice.
Salmonella presents the same symptoms as food poisoning. It is caused when the food left in the cabinets is touched and bitten by mice.
- Lymphocytic Choriomeningitis (LCMV)
It’s a critical neurological problem, like an inflammation of the meninges and the brain caused when a human is exposed to mice’s saliva, fresh urine, droppings, or nesting materials.
- Mice bite fever
The bacteria are carried by mice and people get infected through their bites or scratches. Other animals, such as dogs and cats, can also get infected by this. People who take care of mice as part of their job or kids who live in mice-infested places have a high risk of contracting this disease.
This disease is caused by a bacterium called leptospira, coming from wild and domestic animals like cattle, pigs, dogs, and mice, which infect humans and other animals. The soil and water contaminated with their urine are common causes of this human infection.
- They destroy your home
Field mice like to chew wirings, especially in the attic and walls of your house. They do this to keep their teeth short and access areas where the wires block their paths. Once electric wires are uncovered, they spark, which can cause the house to burn.
Field mice also love to bite soft concrete, wood-like cabinets, drywall, plastic pipes, rubber, insulation, and gas lines. They make holes in insulation and build their nests in big appliances, which results in a short circuit, malfunction, and eventually leads to burning.
- They eat everything
Mice eat up to 15 to 20 times a day and bite anything. They eat grains, cereals or crackers out of a box, chew your vegetable crop, and partially eat veggies and fruits. They also make their nest near food sources, like in your kitchen or pantry. As previously mentioned, eating food they contaminated results can cause diseases.
- They multiply rapidly
Most homes have mice, even just one. Whereas, one female can breed at least 30 to 60 babies every year. Indeed, mice reproduce every year and a female can mate immediately after giving birth. Thus, you can see a new litter every 25 days.
- They leave grease stains in your home
Field mice leave greasy smears in the holes and cracks of your house that serve as their common routes, such as holes in your windows, chimneys, roof gap, and entries of pipes and wires. They fit into tiny spaces that are actually smaller than their actual size.
A field mice infestation is a common sign of poor sanitation. If you notice mice issues, remove them from your yard.
In this article, we discussed preventive measures, successful tips, as well as mice’s dangers and common hiding spots. So if you see even a single mouse, immediately apply any of the tricks mentioned above and don’t wait for them to multiply. Consider the human health threats they can pose and keep a strong, healthy yard free of field mice.