What Attracts Mice? Tips to Catch Them

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Mice have two main attractors—shelter, and food. If you don’t leave your house tidy, or put food away, mice will figure out a way in. They require shelter from the cold, and if your place is enticing, you’ll end up with some unwanted houseguests!

They have the same basic needs as people: warmth, food, and shelter. When they have easy access to these things, mice will stick around, looking for nesting materials in their newfound home. Even though mice stay out of sight, they are dangerous nuisances—they cause damage to your furniture, leave urine and feces around your home, cause damage to your walls and floors, chew through wires, and spread disease.

What Attracts Mice to Your House?


Food is the number one attractor for mice, and typically the scent of food will lead them in from the outdoors. Make sure you always keep your garbage cans carefully lidded, and if you store food in your garage that you keep it safely stored away. Use cardboard boxes, storage containers, plastic bags, and airtight plastic containers to keep the scent of food from enticing the mice. Clean your pantry, and don’t leave food out on your kitchen counters. Store as much food as possible in your fridge and freezer, and don’t save the dinner mess for later—mice are attracted to all types of food smells.


Mice are constantly on the search for shelter, especially during the colder months. They look for shining light, for cracks and crevices, and for open doors and windows. Mice can climb along pipes and go through vents, and they will certainly make their way through a hole in your siding. Fill in any gaps at the exterior of your home using caulk, and make sure all your doors and windows fit snugly when they close. You can install window covers and door sweeps, and replace any vents that aren’t working properly. If you make your house impenetrable, there’s no way for the mice to get in.


Mice typically get their water from the food they eat, but if there is water available they will become attracted to it. Fix your leaky sinks and drippy faucets, secure your appliances, and check your basement for standing water. Your attic could be leaking rainwater, and make sure to bring in any pet bowls from outside during the night. Don’t leave your sink full of dirty dishes.

Tips to Attract and Catch Mice

Identify Where They Hide

The first thing to do is figure out how they’re getting in and where they are staying. To get rid of mice, thoroughly check entrances, as well as your cables, plumbing, and wiring. Mice can get in anywhere through the infrastructure leads of your building, and they’re looking for extremely small gaps. Do a scan of your house’s foundation, including your garage. Cover any gaps with wire mesh or caulk.

Place Mice-Pleasing Foods Near the Traps

There are many scents mice enjoy, including stinky cheeses, peanut butter, and bacon grease. Mice will leave their hiding spots if it means discovering food, and you can even trick them towards the spaces you want them to go by barring off other points of your house with scents they don’t like, such as ammonia and peppermint oil. You can choose between different types of mouse traps to make this easier.

Check Traps and Baits Every Day

Set lots of different kinds of traps, and check the baits daily. Mix up the baits and the traps, so that the mice don’t become used to any particular thing. If you use peanut butter, add variety with hazelnut butters, chocolate, or any other nut butters. If they become too familiar with one kind of trap, use several different kinds in different spots throughout your home. Also, make sure you’re regularly resetting the traps.

How to Prevent New Infestations

Keep the House Clean

Controlling the presence of mice is very important. Mice look for nesting materials wherever they stay, and that includes your home. Regularly keep your home clean and free of any extra materials they might want for their nests, such as shredded paper, pet hair, and clothing. Sweep up regularly and mop your kitchen and dining room to keep the scents of food at bay.

Store Food in Airtight Containers

Mice require food to stay alive, and if you keep all your food covered and properly stored, they will have to give up and move elsewhere. If they can’t find or smell a single source of food, there’s no reason for them to stick around.

Do Not Leave Water Sources Uncovered

Don’t leave water out, such as drinking glasses or your pet’s bowl. At night, make sure you are covering any water sources and firmly closing your bathroom doors. You can even cover your sink and drains to prevent them from climbing up pipes or moving about your home.

Seal Entry Points

Mice are constantly on the lookout for warm shelter, especially during the winter. Block all entry points into your home by using weather-stripping, caulk, or mesh. Look at your doors, foundation, siding, cables, and drains to make sure there are no ways in. Push steel wool around your vents, and shove dryer sheets into your drains.

In Conclusion, Call The Pros

Dealing with mice can be a hassle—it’s frustrating, expensive, demoralizing, and unhealthy. The good news is that you don’t have to deal with any infestation alone. Call the professionals at Hama Pest Control, and they’ll be on their way to deal with your mice, rodent, or pest problem. With decades of local experience, Hama knows how to treat mice infestations efficiently and humanely. Give them a call today and see the difference they can make.

Jake Garza
Jake Garza
Jake is the founder of Hama Pest Control, the preferred choice for pest removal and extermination in the Greater Toronto Area. With over thirty years of experience, Jake prides himself in bringing quality, knowledge, and care to Hama Pest Control's customers.
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