Find Out How to Kill a Mouse Quicker, More Humanely, with Less Mess, and without a Big Extermination Bill

Edited by
Inga Cryton
Reading Time: 10 minutes.
Updated: .

You need to know how to kill mice. It’s not that you have animosity towards rodents in general. But after all, mice are carriers of dangerous diseases, leave unpleasant fecal and urine trails on your spic and span floor, and steal and contaminate food supplies.

Besides that, they make scratching noises inside the walls when you’re trying to sleep and prowl about scaring you as you get your late-night snack.

But mice have survival instincts just like all other animals. And killing them is not going to be as easy as you might think.

But there are ways to kill mice efficiently that anyone can employ once he or she knows about them. Read on to find out some of the best tips and tricks for ridding your house of rodents as fast as possible.

Mice Extermination Tips

There is a super-abundance of mouse killing tips, both online and off, and no one could hope to name them all. Some tips are bogus, others are impractical for most people, and still others are so obvious it should go without saying.

We list here just 5 key mouse extermination tips that we think are among the most helpful:

  1. Use peanut butter or another high-protein food like bacon to bait your traps. Mice crave protein and won’t be able to resist it.
  2. Tie any non-sticky baits to the trigger with floss or fishing twine to prevent thefts and increase the chances of a kill.
  3. Arrange traps along walls with the trigger end up against the baseboard. Mice hug the walls during their evening foraging time, so this greatly enhances your traps’ effectiveness.
  4. Thoroughly vacuum and clean your house to eliminate crumbs. It only takes a few grams of food in a day to keep a mouse alive, so you need to deprive them of all food except bait.
  5. Don’t forget the outside perimeter through which mice enter your home. Seal of entry points; stuff steel wool into mouse holes (they can’t chew through it); cut down weeds along your foundation; and remove junk and debris they might use for cover.

If you have a mouse infestation, click on the first link to learn more about how such infestations start and grow. And click on the second link learn more about how to get rid of mice, with or without resort to “lethal methods.”

In Your House

The best way to kill mice in your home may differ a bit from the best way of killing them in a barn or garage.

In the home, you have to worry about the safety of kids and pets, about not poisoning anything other than the mice or accidentally snapping fingers or toes. You also want traps that can be hidden out of sight (or at least be inconspicuous) and that doesn’t make too big a mess when they strike a kill.

Killing Mice in a Vacation Home
How do you kill mice at your vacation home while you aren’t even there? Use a homemade bucket trap with a few inches of antifreeze at the bottom. The mice fall in, drown or drink a sweet, deadly poison, and then stay “preserved” for you for months and months. And the plank and turn-can mechanism of the trap keeps working without having to be reset!

But choosing “home-friendly” traps is only part of how to kill mice at home.

Here are some other key principles:

  • Put down numerous traps all at once on day one. Day one is when you usually catch the most mice due to the element of surprise.
  • Keep the pet dish empty when not in use, or you’ll be feeding as many mice as dogs or cats.
  • Click here to learn how to get rid of mice in the attic because that’s one of the most common entry points. And attic mice often spread to the rest of the house below.
  • Use homemade mouse traps to save money and recycle old 2 liter bottles or 20 ounce bottles at the same time!

The Fast Way

Killing mice requires persistence, not just a one-shot attack. That said, you want to kill your mice as quickly as possible so you can stop having nightmares of being overrun by rodents, only to wake up and find out it’s true.

Speed is not substitute for persistence in mouse killing.

Read on below to learn tips and advice for achieving speed, effectiveness, humaneness, and more in your quest to be mouse-free with as little delay as possible.

The 4 Best Ways to Kill Mice

Mice, unsurprisingly, can leave this world in a wide variety of ways. Some of them are natural, like dying of mousy old age or being eaten by a pouncing cat or a swooping hawk. Others are more “man-made.”

How can you make mice die? Let me count the ways.

1. Poison the Bait

Mice and poison blocksThat’s an obvious one, but it’s not as easy to know which poison to use. Click here to learn how to choose the best mouse poison.

2. Snap Mice to Death

Whether a traditional snap trap or a covered “kill and hold” trap that keeps mice out of sight and where you don’t need to touch a dead mouse or clean up mouse splatter – sudden death through mechanical engineering is definitely a traditional option.

Best Snap Trap
Tomcat Mouse Snap Trap
Tomcat Press 'N Set
Mouse Snap Trap
This trap is an easy and effective way to get rid of mice. It's sensitive enough to catch even the craftiest of mice, and it's easy to set so you don't have to worry about setting it wrong.
Tomcat is my pick for the best snap trap for those looking for a cheap but effective (old school style) of mice traps.
Read Verified Customer Reviews

3. Drown Mice in Water (or Antifreeze)

As mentioned above, a bucket trap can kill mice be drowning.

See More ImagesMouse roller for 5-gallon bucket
Read Verified Customer Reviews

4. Electrocute Mice

Traps like Victor Humane Electronic or a homemade electrocution trap can kill mice fast with only a small, not-too-dangerous shock.

See More ImagesVictor M250S Mouse Trap
Read Verified Customer Reviews

What Is the Best Way?

Intent on killing all your uninvited rodent boarders who scurry about eating your food but don’t pay any rent? If so, the next step is to “choose your weapons.”

It’s inherently a bit opinionated to say which is the best mouse trap to use in the house; but be that as it may, I can recommend the following three for three different situations:

  1. Use a small “not touch, no see” covered snap trap for smaller sized mice (d-CON is a good brand for this.)
  2. For larger mice, set up a bucket trap (but be sure it’s a foot or more tall since mice are very good jumpers!)
  3. For “normal sized” mice, use a poison bait station trap with an in-but-not-out “trap door.”

Killing Them Instantly

If you have a big heart for those furry little rodents (but don’t want them around the house), you might consider any number of catch and release style mouse traps. Glue traps are widely considered the least human of all mouse trapping methods, which is why I didn’t even list “gluing them to death” under the “ways to kill mice” section.

Electronic RatKillerMany snap traps are mechanical marvels that can kill a mouse instantly with minimal pain (many traditional snap-traps end up catching tails, arms, and noses, however, when the mouse “moves the wrong way.”)

Electrocution traps, however, are often the most completely instantaneous and humane way to kill a mouse. Follow the link to learn all about how to build or buy a great electric mouse trap.

What Is the Most Effective Way?

I’m glad you asked! Here are a few key principles to keep in mind as you wage your war on “mouse-dom:”

  • Rotate until you find prime real estate. Location is key in killing mice. Move your traps around every 2 or 3 days if they aren’t catching anything yet.
  • Experiment with baits. PB is usually irresistible. But mice also like hazelnut butter, Cheese Whiz, jams and jellies, lunch meat, and more. Keep trying till you find their favorite food.
  • Watch and investigate. If you notice where mice have run or hid in the past, put traps there. If you see trails or evidence of where they’ve been, set traps there. Mice are creatures of habit and will return to the same locations and travel the same paths many times.

Mice bait infographic

Mice Killer Products I Can Use

There are numerous mouse-killing products on the market you can use to resolve your infestation.

As to traps, we cover the best mouse traps quite thoroughly at this link, so no need to repeat it here: just click to discover your prime mouse trap options!

As to rodenticides, look for the 3 best options:

1. JT Eaton Bait Block Rodenticide

JT Eaton has peanut butter flavoring so as to attract mice. One nibble is lethal for rodents. These mouse blocks kill mice after just one “meal, ” though it can take up to 2-3 days for them to drop.

See More ImagesJT Eaton Bait Block Rodenticide
Read Verified Customer Reviews

2. Farnam Just One Bite Bar

Just One Bite works about the same as JT Eaton but in bars not bits, and using bromadiolone (causes internal bleeding and death to mice who snack on it.)

See More ImagesJust One Bite II Bar to kill mice
Read Verified Customer Reviews

3. Tomcat Liquid Mouse/Rat Concentrated Bait

Mix Tomcat with water, PB, or sticky baits. Or even put it in the water bath at the bottom of your bucket trap.

See More ImagesTomcat Liquid Concentrate by MOTOMCO
Read Verified Customer Reviews

What Kills Mice Fast?

Probably the fastest acting mouse poison you can use is that offered by JT Eaton Bait Block Rodenticide. Some others may be about as good, perhaps, but certainly, no one beats the fast-acting ingredients in these bait blocks.

The JT Eaton is best used in a bait station, and you attach each block with a wire that passes through a hole in the bait chunk’s center (so mice won’t drag it away.)

On the other hand, if you want to kill mice through traps and just use bait as a lure, Victor’s electrocution mouse traps are probably the fastest kill.

Victor Traps Product Comparison

Anyone facing a rodent infestation has a wide array of effective mouse killing traps, poisons, and strategies at his or her disposal. The options, both as to store-bought and homemade traps, are nearly endless.

But it’s not uncommon to get a slow start at trying to catch and kill mice. Don’t give up. Adjust, readjust, experiment, and keep trying – sooner or later, you’ll lure mice to their deaths. Mice are simply too curious (and too hungry) to resist.

You can find further details of Mice Control here.

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EDITED BY
I have been working on pest extermination information for a long time and am excited to share this information with you. I also provide product recommendations for my favorite pest extermination products.
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