How to deter mice from living in your home

Preventative measures are important otherwise the underlying causes of a mouse problem will remain, inevitably causing re-infestation to occur.

Prevent entry

First, identify where the mice are living and feeding, as well as the routes they take between these areas (look for holes, droppings and footprints). Remember, mice can squeeze through a hole the size of a pen, so you may have to look carefully. Once you've found their access points you need to do what you can to stop them from getting in to your home.

  • Cover holes/gaps in walls and around pipes.
  • Fix a bristle strip to the bottom of doors. These can be bought at your local DIY store.
  • Use thin wire mesh to cover ventilation holes.
  • Place wire balloons (less than £2 from builders' merchants) in the top of drain pipes.
  • Fit cone guards to the bottom of drain pipes.
  • When planting bushes make sure they're at least 3 feet from your house. Short, tidy vegetation in your garden exposes mice to predators.
  • Try planting mint; mice hate the smell.

Cut off their food supply

Chances are that if there's nothing for mice to eat in and around your home, they'll move on to greener pastures by themselves. You should try the following:

  • Give your house a good clean. Even a few crumbs from the toaster could tempt a hungry mouse into your home. Keep food in sealed containers.
  • Dispose of rubbish immediately and clear up spillages.
  • Clear up fallen fruit from trees and leftover bird food in your garden.
  • If you regularly find litter around your home from local shops, call your local council to arrange for them to clear it up.
  • Make sure birdhouses and feed trays are out of reach.
  • Keep bin lids closed.
  • Keep yards and alleys clean.

Important information regarding our DIY help and advice

We try to make the advice on our website ( as useful and reliable as possible. However, the purpose of this advice section of the website is to provide homeowners and private landlords with general guidance and useful tips only. It doesn't necessarily deal with every important topic or cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals and might not be relevant or appropriate in all circumstances. It is not designed to provide professional advice or financial advice and should not be relied on as such. Click here to read the disclaimer in full.