How to Make Mice Leave a House Without Killing Them

Mice can do a lot of damage to your house by chewing through furniture, wires and food. They also attract insect infestations with their food hoards, leave urine and droppings everywhere, and are linked to human diseases, like asthma. If you find a mouse infestation in your house, it's vital to get rid of it as soon as possible. You may worry, however, about the humaneness of killing mice in traps -- not to mention the safety of using traps or poison with pets and children in the house. There are ways to remove mice from your house without killing them.

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Mice may look cute, but they can cause many problems in your house.

Step 1

Determine that you have a mouse infestation. Signs may include hearing scampering in the walls, finding nests of shredded cloth or paper, or smelling a musky odor. An easy way to verify that you have mice is to sprinkle talcum powder on suspected areas, then look for mouse tracks in the powder the next day.

Step 2

Set live capture traps no more than 10 feet apart in areas where mice travel, such as near walls, on the path to food supply or near their nest. You can find live traps, which capture animals alive rather than killing them, at hardware or feed stores. Bait the trap with food, such as uncooked oatmeal, crumbled cooked bacon or candy.

Step 3

Check the traps daily and release the mice into a forested area, away from houses. If no mice are in the traps, try placing them in different areas.

Step 4

Seal openings to your house, such as cracks around wires or vents, to prevent mice from getting in again. Mice can jump up to 1-foot and squeeze through cracks only 1/4-inch wide.

Step 5

Mouse-proof your food containers, garbage cans and cabinets and keep clutter and crumbs cleaned up. This will make your house less attractive to mice.

Step 6

Clean up after the mice using rubber gloves, a cleaning cloth and disinfectant spray. Remove any mouse nests and dead mice from the walls or other hideouts and carefully wipe up mouse droppings. Dispose of mice and droppings in a double-sealed plastic bag in the garbage.