University of Maryland Extension



The common house mouse is a small rodent, grayish-brown with a gray underside, that can become a serious pest in the home. Another mouse that may also be found indoors is the white-footed mouse (see above photo). Mice become a problem in the fall when the colder weather drives them indoors. Mice feed on a variety of stored foods, particularly seeds and grains, and sugary products. Mice can live without free water because they usually get enough moisture from their food. They are nibblers, and move from food to food causing considerable damage and spoiling the food with their droppings and urine. They also damage insulation in the walls and ceilings by tunneling through it. Mice must gnaw to keep their constantly growing teeth trimmed. They may do damage to electrical wire insulation and cause fires.

You can control mice by using snap or live traps, poison baits and sealing openings 3/8 of an inch or larger around the house to prevent their entry. Glue boards are also available, but the mice may suffer a long time and the homeowner must also kill the mouse stuck on the board. The best places to position traps are along walls, inside and under kitchen cabinets, and in suspended ceilings. Baits can also be placed in ceilings, under cabinets but not out in the open unless they are placed in a bait station. A bait station should only provide the rodents access to the bait. It is important to remove all other sources of food including pet food left out over night. A house cat skilled in 'mousing' can also be helpful. Outdoors, natural predators such as snakes, foxes, and birds of prey will help control rodent populations. After several weeks of trapping, baiting, and habitat modification you should be able to eliminate a problem with mice in your house.

Maintained by the IET Department of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. © 2020. Web Accessibility

University programs, activities, and facilities are available to all without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, age, national origin, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, religion, protected veteran status, genetic information, personal appearance, or any other legally protected class. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in any event or activity, please contact your localĀ University of Maryland Extension Office.