Mice Conflict Solutions

We think mice get a bad rap – after all, they just want a warm and cozy spot to live with good snacks, just like all of us!  Please make sure if you’re having issues with mice to follow these humane suggestions!

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“Get these out of my house!”

If you’re dealing with a native white-footed or deer mouse who has found their way into your home, they can be live-trapped and returned outside.  Remember to never use glue boards, snap traps, poisons, or electrocution traps.  Live traps are easy to find and are the only humane option.

Know that a mouse that has lived in a building for their entire life most likely won’t survive outside.  Please relocate them to an outbuilding like a shed or garage, if possible.

Keep Them Out

Prevention is key with rodent issues, and since mice can fit into openings the size of a dime, can be difficult.

Common entry points include utility pipe and wire entries, deteriorating siding, and cracks in your foundation.  If you think a mouse has entered through a particular area, sprinkle baby powder or flour that will help you find any tracks. 

Make sure your flowers and shrubs are rimmed at least a foot and a half from your home’s foundation so that, not only will mice find it more difficult to get in, but it will be easier for you to find potential or existing entry points.

Repairing any holes that mice may be using is very important. 

  • Plug cracks around drainpipes and small openings with wire mesh or quick-drying cement.
  • Use a copper mesh pan scrubber to seal openings without electrical wiring.
  • Ball up galvanized window screen and stuff it into larger openings, then finish with caulking or cement.
  • Fit smaller openings with expanding-foam insulation.

Just like all of us, mice want to eat.  If you’re having mouse issues, make sure your home is free from food sources for them.  For example:

  • Bread crumbs under your toaster
  • Spilled birdseed in the garage or shed
  • Pet food left out overnight
  • Food not stored in an airtight container
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Mice in Your Yard

Just like birds, mice love seeds.  If you don’t want mice around your birdfeeder, follow these tips from the Humane Animal Rescue of Pittsburgh Wildlife Center:

  • Use a Seed Tray: Install a seed catcher tray to catch stray seeds and hulls that the birds drop as they eat.
  • Choose No Waste Bird Food: A number of bird feeding options are available that reduce the amount of waste. Look for hulled seeds, including sunflower hearts, shelled peanuts, and hulled millet. You can also try suet, nectar, thistle, or cracked corn.
  • Clean Up: Use a broom to regularly sweep up seeds and hulls on the ground.
  • Store Smart: Store your bird seed in airtight, watertight, rodent-proof containers away from where rodents live.
  • Locate Feeders Away from House: If you have a choice, place your feeders closer to natural areas, rather than near your house.
  • Rodent-Proof Your Feeders: Use baffles to prevent rodents from climbing the pole, and place feeders where rodents can’t get to them. Avoid ground feeders if you have a rodent problem.
  • Rodent-Proof Your House: Because it’s impossible to keep mice and rats completely away outdoors, protect your home by sealing any cracks and openings where they might get inside

For issues with your compost piles, try mixing kitchen garbage with soil or wood ashes before burying it in the hot center of your compost pile.  If you have food scraps in an open compost pile, make sure to bury them under at least 8” of soil and then place a wire mesh barrier over the top held in place with heavy weight.  You may also want to seek out a pest-proof container for your compost pile, or a bin with wire tops or sealed lids.

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Please note, Humane Action Pittsburgh (HAP) is not a wildlife rescue and is unable to address concerns or assist with wildlife emergencies. Please utilize the resources on our website to find the appropriate organization to contact. Submissions to HAP through our contact form or email will not be able to be addressed.