How to Get Rid of Mice in Walls & Ceilings

How could you dislike an adorable furry animal that is just looking for a warm, safe home with lots of food? Mice might seem cute, but trust the experts at Pest Pros when we say: they get a whole lot less cute when there’s a family of mice in the walls and ceilings of your home. Once inside your home, these little creatures can tear apart your building structure, furniture, electrical wiring, and even bring in diseases.

Perhaps the most problematic aspect of sharing your home with mice is how quickly they reproduce. A typical mouse will have 5–6 young mice up to 8 different times per year. So if you find one mouse in your walls or ceiling, there is a good chance that there is a large nest, or soon to be. In this article, we will share how to know if there are mice in your walls and ceilings, how to get rid of them (the most effective method being to call an expert), and general mice control techniques to prevent them from entering the home in the first place.

How Do Mice Get in My Home?

The general public often associates mouse infestation with a dirty home or building, but that’s not always the case. Mice are simply looking for warmth, security, and easy access to food — and, of course, human homes check off all of the boxes. Restaurants have historically been a favorite for rats and mice but during the pandemic, we saw local businesses close, switch to take-out only, offer limited services, etc. Mice adapted and began to settle in homes more frequently. As mice look for a new home, they are looking for any type of entry point whether that be a crack in a foundation, holes in the siding, gaps around windows, or open doors.

How Do I Know If Mice Are in the Walls and Ceilings?

Now that you know how and why mice will enter your home, let’s go over mice in walls and ceilings. Mice are smart animals and usually stick to dark areas — but that doesn’t mean you can’t find them if you know what you’re looking for. Here are some signs of a mouse infestation in walls and ceilings:

  • Sounds: Rustling in the walls is one of the most noticeable indicators. One way to test whether you have mice, rats, or bats is by thumping on the wall. Mice and rats tend to react quietly compared to bats.
  • Holes in Food: If you also find holes in food bags that don’t look like the result of another family member (like the family dog), there is a good chance it was a mouse. Despite their small stature, mice eat 15 to 20 times a day so keep an eye on your food.
  • Holes in Fabric, Cardboard, Furniture: Do you notice small holes in the fabric, cardboard boxes, furniture, and/or paper? These mammals will chew out bits of accessible soft materials to build their nest.
  • Droppings: One easy thing to spot are mouse droppings that look like small, dark seeds. The newer they are, the shinier they are.
  • Ammonia Smell: You might recognize a musky ammonia-like smell. Mice mark their territory just like other animals and the distinct odor can linger for a long time.
  • Foot Tracks: Mice might leave footprints and tail tracks on dusty floors. However, this is a little harder to notice unless you haven’t vacuumed in a while.
  • Odd Pet Behavior: Last but not least, your pets might notice pest infestations before you do. If you see your dog or cat looking under appliances, into holes and etc., you might want to follow their lead.

Now you may be wondering, how are mice even getting in between your walls and ceilings? Many don’t realize that they are talented climbers and can go straight up on vertical surfaces if the wall or object has enough texture. Mice can also jump around 18 inches and are good at squeezing through small cracks and holes. That being said, the nest could really be anywhere in your home but walls and ceilings are ideal for mice because it’s dark and untouched by humans.

How To Get Rid Of Mice In Walls And Ceilings?

Like with anything in the world, you can try solving the issue yourself. Getting rid of mice in your home (and keeping them out), however, requires professional expertise and care. DIY solutions can be great temporary fixes, but you’re going to be better off in the long-term calling a trusted pest control company to eliminate and prevent the problem effectively. If you live in Washington or Oregon, give us a call today for a no-cost estimate!

Alternatively, if you want to try to get rid of mice in walls and ceilings yourself first, here are a few options that might temporarily work:

Set Traps

Mousetraps are effective and are still the go-to for pest control companies. We recommend leaving snap traps at the bottom of your wall so you don’t have to deal with decaying mice in your walls or ceilings. But, there is still a lot of room for error and we cannot guarantee that this will solve the mice infestation without professional care.

It requires expertise and the right equipment to sweep out all of the mice. The other part that is often overlooked by homeowners is the aftermath. Even if you were able to calm the mice infestation yourself, you would have to dispose of the pest carcasses and clean the inside of your walls and ceilings. Rodents are messy and require proper sanitation. After cleaning, you’d need to perform exclusion techniques and strategies to prevent another mice infestation from happening.

Natural Mice Repellent

Mice have a strong sense of smell, which makes them excellent food hunters — but it also makes them susceptible to certain smell preferences. Mice dislike peppermint oil, cayenne, pepper, and cloves, for example. Soak some cotton balls in these essential oils and place them at entry points if you are able to find them, but keep in mind this typically does not resolve the entire infestation; mice are smart enough to create another entry point to get to your food.

There are several other natural mice “repellents,” but they often do more harm than good. Some have suggested using fabric softener sheets, for example, to stop traffic through entry points; mice and rats like the softness of these sheets, however, and will oftentimes use them as cozy additions to their nests. Apple cider vinegar and water is another common suggestion as a mice repellent but is ultimately just old folklore.

Get A Cat

Cats are a mouse’s worst nightmare! So, cat lovers rejoice: cats can be great for mice management. That said, it’s a tall task for a single cat to eliminate an entire infestation in the walls and ceilings.

To reiterate, your best method of eliminating and excluding mice from inside your home is to call a local professional like Pest Pros. With our expert know-how and equipment, we can ensure all mice are removed from your walls and ceilings…and give them no reason to come back!

General Mice Exclusion Strategies

There are also things you can do to try and prevent mice from entering your home in the first place.

  • Store Your Food Carefully: Place grains, pet food, and other dry goods in glass or metal containers.
  • Eliminate Additional Nesting Materials: Store all unused fabric, rugs, and blankets in storage bins. Recycle unused paper and cardboard.
  • Seal Entry Points: This is especially important during the cold months. Seal tiny holes in your foundation, siding, and doorways.
  • Ultrasonic Devices: These products emit rodent-distressing sounds undetectable by humans. Occasionally, these products will work for all types of other pests, including bats.

Call Pest Pros for Mice Removal & Exclusion

A little overwhelmed? Contact the mice removal experts! We have a team of licensed, local professionals that have over 50 years of experience in the pest control industry. We help families and businesses in the Pacific Northwest with all types of pest control services, and are looking forward to hearing from you!