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Question DetailsAsked on 8/30/2012

How do I get rid of mice in an old house, and odor of mouse urine?

Noticed a funky smell in kitchen weeks ago; it seemed to come and go. A man familiar w/ mice/ rats pulled out the fridge drain pan and said the odor was mouse urine; also found droppings. I'm horrified! House cat hasn't caught any mice, not that I want a dead one brought to me. Mouse/rat block poison is under the house,but hasn't eliminated them; now odor has spread to dining room; am afraid it may be in wood floors. How small a hole can mice get through? Do I have to set old-fashioned traps, or what?

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31 Answers

Voted Best Answer

You have a lot of questions. I will try to cover them all.

First, mice can fit through a hole the size of a dime.
Second, unlike rats, mice are very small; it would take a major infestation to generate a persistent odor as indicated.

Elimination starts by sealing the exterior foundation of the home, door sweeps, broken windows, cracks in the foundation, holes around electrical service, water faucets and dryer vents.

Secondly, food sources must be eliminated. Mice only need 1 gram of food a day and they extract water directly from the food they digest.

Next, mice infestations are more localized than people think, bait under the house might not have any effect. Heat sources like refrigerators and hot water heaters are suspect as a base of operation.

Snap traps are highly effective when used where dropping are found. Use a variety of bait, peanut butter (avoid this if children are present), brownie, fruit and even dental floss tied to the pedal (nesting material).

As for the odor, look for an enzyme based cleaner / deodorizer.

If the problem continues seek the help of a Pest Control Professional with rodent experience.

Hope that helps,

Andrew Deluca


Answered 7 years ago by adeluca


I agree with Andrew, he gave an excellent answer!

The only thing I would add to his response is if you have a urin smell you may have a major infestation. Mice like many rodents carry disease risk and you may save money in the long run hiring a professional.

Doug Longfellow

NaturZone Pest Control


Answered 7 years ago by dlongfellow


You can eliminate odors by four methods, open windows and air out the rooms, odor eliminating sprays. An air ionizer or ozone generator introduces negative to negate odors. A permanent way to keep odors away and your home smelling fresh and clean is repainting the walls in a room and add the paint additive Air-ReNu, which only has to be applied once works 7/24/365.


Answered 7 years ago by vincentvalle


Adopt another cat or two from your local animal shelter! Rodents instinctively avoid areas where cats live (they can smell the cats). Seriously, I wouldn't use traps. Your cat might be injured by one of those medieval devices. Also, your cat may be eating the mice already (in a house I used to own, one of my cats ate plenty of them. Love them little mousies; mousies what I love to eat; bite they little heads off; nibble on they tiny feet. Actually, she devoured them so quickly that all I saw was the tail disappearing like a piece of spaghetti.) Better to seal up all the holes, clean well, and fumigate.

Answered 7 years ago by Oleron


Actually, mice can get through a 1/4 " hole! See the Center for Disease Control's website for tips on cleanup of excreta, traps, mice and nests.

Cleanup of Rodent Urine and Droppings and Contaminated Surfaces

    During cleaning, wear rubber, latex, vinyl, or nitrile gloves. Spray rodent urine and droppings with a disinfectant or chlorine solution until thoroughly soaked. (See Cleanup of Dead Rodents and Rodent Nests.) To avoid generating potentially infectious aerosols, do not vacuum or sweep rodent urine, droppings, or contaminated surfaces until they have been disinfected. Use a paper towel to pick up the urine and droppings. Place the paper towel in the garbage. After the rodent droppings and urine have been removed, disinfect items that might have been contaminated by rodents or their urine and droppings. --- Mop floors with a disinfectant or chlorine solution.

Source: http://

Answered 7 years ago by roxles


You can rent an Ozone generator, close the house up and let it run for a day or so. As long as the stinky little creatures are not still in the house you will be rid of the smell without paying a professional.
You could need one machine for each room.
This is the way farmers minimize the smell from pig farms so I know that it works...
As for getting rid of mice and other unwanted creatures: you just need to sprinkle some moth crystals where you will not be breathing the fumes.
You don't need to use many and you can keep the unused portion in a sealed jar for many years.
Personally I prefer using moth balls. I have had bumble bees in the yard and placed a moth ball in the hole that they had created. They came out
acting drunk and never returned.
This goes for dogs in your yard as well. You make a hole large enough for the mothball and place it in the hole where they like to mess your yard and they will stay away...

Answered 7 years ago by SirStephen


Good prior answers. Two additional thoughts - aside from keeping floors clean (no food scraps dropped by kids, etc), is it possible the catfood (anddogfood maybe ?) is attracting the mice, if you don't think the cat is getting them ?

You also need to carefully ferret out ANY outside opening within about 3 feet of ground level that they could get in, and block that off to prevent a reinfestation after you think you have solved the problem. This includes getting down on the floor and checking for places where there is visible daylight coming under doors (seal with door sweepers), under the garage/house door seal (use vinyl bulb seal), around pipes or wires coming into the house (foam sealer and caulk), and under the garage rollup door (bottom strip running full width, overlapped at ends with weatherstrip seal), etc.

Answered 7 years ago by LCD


Great Stuff expanding foam has a new product in green can for rodent holes or access points. I just used this to seal all access points I saw in the crawl space. Steel wool also is good for plugging holes, but I would use the Great Stuff in green can for insulating also. It is carried at Home Depot, but you have to search for it sometimes.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_95794004


First of all, are you sure they're Mice and not Rats? The first thing we would do is find and remove whatever 'Poison Baits' were thrown under your home or anywhere inside it! That's where your odor problem came from - dead mice or rats rotting in your walls or attic spaces! There are obvious entry points in or around your home allowing dying (poisoned) rodents to enter in your walls or attic spaces!

At the very least we would perform a thorough inspection of not only the interiors of your home but also the exterior environs to determine any 'nesting' or 'entry' sources. Mice can enter through a dime-sized hole or gap in your eaves or through the plumbing vent pipes on your roof, A/C line chaseways or even gaps around windows and doorways. Areas we find we would advise you on corrective measures. Any 'Rodent Proofing' needed we can be performed by us.

So far as 'odor' is concerned we carry the enzymed based sprays and ULV misting whole area fogging products designed to destroy odor causing germs and bacteria.

Critter Control of Florida

Answered 6 years ago by GaryKasper


Peppermint oil. They hate it. Squirt bottle....spray around every possible entry...including under exterior doors, especially garage door(s) and the door from garage into house. Google it and there are many places to buy it. I just got some and I do not have any evidence of rodents...but I do this as insurance. I live in the desert (Tucson area) so many neighbors report having one now and then. One is 10 too many.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9783069


I tried everything, and still would get mice inside in the winter. I adopted a cat which my niece could no longer keep, and what a good mouser! In two years, she killed two mice, and I have never seen another one or any droppings.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_95717255


What I thought was an interesting comment is that you said that you put bate under the house. My assumption is that you have a crawlspace, not a basement or a slab. Typical crawlspaces are very neglected areas and mice can enter in various and many small openings,especially just above the foundation at the sill plate and the sill boxes. Openings for AC lines, water spigots, etc. are often missed because people generally hate beong in there. We are often faced with the same problem, especially when fiberglass insulation is used as it is a favorite home for mice.

We are very successful at using steel wool in these small holes and then spraying closed cell foam insulation into these sill boxes. The crawlspace floor and foundation needs to be reviewed and sealed if necessary, which is also very recommended for numerous other reasons.


Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9806935


I was an orchardist for 13 years and what we used in the orchard was not the same as what we used in the house, I think most orchardists have a chronic mouse problem in their homes also. I found that old fashioned traps baited with cheese coated in peanut butter worked the very best of anything I tried, Granted the poison decon worked good but you just might find them dead inside your couch or favorite chair as happened in my case. It was the smell of decay that alerted me. Since this poison dehydraytes it's victoms they seek the nearest water source but unfortunately they die on the way to that water source. Poisoned oats were and are not for household use.

Source: Self

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_957031240


I have a cabin that we purchased that had similar issues. I'd recommend good old snap traps with peanut butter as well as the Tin Cat resetable-type trap with a glue strip and peanut butter. As far as getting rid of the odor, I'd start with bleach water and really wipe everything down until there is no visible dirt. Then go to Home Depot and buy a gallon concentrate of OdoBan. This stuff is amazing. It kills EVERYTHING, but yet is supposed safe to use... The smell can be a bit overpowering for a while, but it's not really a chemical smell. I would wait a day in between the bleach and Odoban though so you don't get a reaction. Anyway, I haven't had a wiff of mouse smell since I've used it.

(Info From Home Depot below)

Kills 99.99% of germs such as Streptococcus pyogenes (Strep), Escherichia coli 0157:H7 (E.coli)(pathogenic strain), Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus (Staph) and Klebsiella pneumoniae on hard, nonporous, nonfood contact surfaces in 60 seconds

    Fungicidal against germs such as Trichophyton mentagrophyte (the athlete's foot fungus), when used on surfaces in areas such as locker rooms, dressing rooms, shower and bath areas and exercise facilitiesEffectively controls and inhibits the growth of mold and mildewKills HIV-1 (AIDS Virus), influenza A/Hong Kong and Herpes Simplex type 2 in 60 seconds


Answered 6 years ago by Guest_91940244


Ditto for what has been said... AND there are new mouse traps that are so easy to use and reuseable if you want to. I so recommend them over the old snap traps... these break the necks very quickly..much more humane than catching a leg. The metal ones work ONCE... then the mice leave some sort of odor... and you could put the traps in 100's of mice and not catch one. snap-e mouse trap 6 pack
Snap-E Mouse Trap-6 Pack

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9263805


Fire. And lots of it.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9513875


I recently experienced dead rat odor in my home. My neighbor with an adjointing wall asked me if I had the horrendous odor in my home as well. Of course I said yes, he gave me just a brown paper bag half full of regular Barbeque Charcoal. He told me to put the charcoal near the area with the most smell and the the cahrcoal would absorb the odors. I did as he instructed and I think it helped clear up the smell quicker than usual. (Yes this is not the first time having dead rat odor, I live in a hilly area near Dodger Stadium with lots of critters).

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9352465


Guest_9352465 - if you are in Chavez Ravine area I would suspect perhaps ground squirrels more than mice, but both possible. I weould put some effort into finding rodent sized (anything bigger than about a dime for mice) holes through your foundation and walls and get them plugged up, because rodent can be dangerous for many reasons, especially in SoCal - bubonic plague and other flea carried diseases, chewing on electrical insulation causing fires, building nests in or adjacent to furnaces or hot water heaters causing fires, etc.

Easiest way to block openings is stuff metal insect or window screening in the hole opening (outside face), then caulk it up. If determined they may chew through the caulk, but have to eat through the adjoining wood to get further - I have never seen a rodent go through cualked wire mesh. OF course, if you don't mind the look, larger holes can just be screened over with regulaar vent screening like your crawlspace openings probably have.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


I have kennels and the dog food brings field rats into my home and shops. Rats are HUGE so conventional traps do not work. There is a rat bait called Just One Bite...or One Bite..that I get a the local feed store. It comes in a pack of 4 bricks which can be broken into the size pieces you want. When I first used these, I was literally shocked at the number of very large rodents that were living amongst me! This stuff really works and now I keep it up in my attic on a regular basis. No more rat problem!! Its clean, easy to use, and very very effective. The problem now is that the EPA has "regulated" its sale and you now have to buy a case of it. Cost is between 40 - $45. If you do not feel you need that much, find friends or neighbors that want to share the case. Another note, make sure you put it where none of your pets can get into it and if you break it apart, be careful to sweep up any crumbs that fall. Hope this helps.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9173504


I had a horrible mouse problem for years until I did this:

I bought about 50 stainless steel scrubbies (they look like a silver rose bud all coiled up when you buy them). I used leather gloves and pulled them apart until they were long multi-strand "cords" and stuffed that up under the bottom of the lowest piece of siding at the base of my house (where it meets the cement foundation).

Then I went back and sprayed a small amount of that expandable foam (it comes in a hair spray sized can at Home Depot). Don't use a lot because it expands a lot and can push out your siding.

I also looked for any other entry points, like around the gas pipe that enters the home at the meter, hose faucet pipe that enters the home, etc. I did the same stainless steel and foam trick. NO MORE MICE!

I did this about 5 years ago and I haven't seen a mouse, a mouse dropping, or smelled urine, etc since I did this.

Good luck! I know you wrote the question in 2012, but I'm very proud of my solution! And it's is cruelty free! No mice were killed in the making of this solution. :-)

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_92144351


Mice can flatten their body to the thickness of a coin. I was told by an exterminator. If you have a crawl space they can eat the poison , but die before they leave the house. And start to rot in between the walls. If you turn out almost all the lights and wait near the droppings you will see them come out at night. Because you may have rats not mice. Rats droppings are larger than mouse dropping. Personally I would call an exterminator. I used Ortho Exterminators 20 years ago, and 2 years ago. And they still are very good at what they do. If it is a rental you would check with the local department of housing. And they would advise you in the steps that the renter would need to take.

Source: Experience with the subject

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_9359127


I was told that with rat droppings and urine in the attic, it is necessary to pull up all the insulation, thoroughly clean and disinfect the attic area, and then install new insulation. I was quoted a cost of $2.75 per square foot, so for 1,700 square feet, I was quoted a cost of $4,675 - an absolutely outrageous amount (they dropped it to $4,000 if I would commit to doing it right away!). With a 25-year-old house, replacing the insulation with R-30 or R-40 (in So. Cal.) isn't a bad idea, but I will be searching around for a much more reasonable approach and cost. Also, you should be aware that mice and rats love to chew on wires - they chewed on the wires in the engine of my wife's car and we had to have it all rewired - fortunately our home owner's insurance took care of that.

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_90497862


the best way is to put out moth balls(throw 'em in your attic)..You won't have dead rats, when they smell the odor, they leave. Don't let a pest control put out poison, that just causes dead rats in your attic and you have to put up w/the smell for about 6 weeks. I put moth balls in my garage too, it keeps away snakes, rodents, etc. It's cheap, easy and works!

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_9841128


I had that problem before for years in my old house. Whatever you dont hire anybody to get rid of the mice because its a waste of money. Buy a cat!!!! It will get rid of all your mice slowly in about three to six months. I actually brought 2 cats and they got rid of them quicker.

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_9530447


Mice may carry bacteria, viruses and other diseases. As a result, cleaning efforts following an infestation must be cautiously attempted.

It is important not to disturb dust particles or rodent xxxx in affected areas. Nest materials should also be left undisturbed during this time. Sweeping or vacuuming these materials may lead to the further release of harmful airborne particles.


Answered 5 years ago by Sophie


Put some peppermint oil on cotton balls all around the house. Also, wipe your baseboards with it. Mice hate the smell and will leave. This should help with the smell and also the mice. You may have to reapply every two weeks.

Answered 5 years ago by nicmicman


The winter of 2014, with deep snow and mouse in their robes stool chilling around a fire on my front porch. I watch from the window fell asleep That when I look at the front door and there laid three mice coats. I had used the trap at Kmart but the mice would just give the finger and walk righ on. So I made a better trap I put a snap kat trap with peanunt better. They were constanctly sneeky and clean the peanut butter off the trap with out setting the trap.

I bought the stick pad and the put the original mice--I balance it on the edge of stick pads...12o'clock i heard the trap go off.

So we started cleaning the shelves and watching more mice. I as was unlucky because we found two more. I went Rural King on the southside of Jasper. I bought the cheapest mouse trap. That night i heard them booth go off.

Now the job was cleaning the shelf, counters, and floors.

Answered 5 years ago by Guest_91616231


The top-rated answer is GREAT! I would only add to that advice, to use Steel Wool around where pipes come in house from below, if there is room cut around the pipes. Steel Wool can be used to pack nearly any area to seal up, that it will fit into. Mice will not eat through steel wool, and large packs of it, are very Inexpensive at your local home repair store. Like Lowe's, Home Depot, even walmart carries steel wool.

Answered 4 years ago by KarenW


Ill tell you from my personal exsperiance get a cat

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9521666


Yes, I agree, CATS ...You may laugh at how simple this mice problem is to solve. A HOUSE CAT it's all you need. Low maintenance and give lots of love. AND They even come FURLESS FOR ALLERGY SUFFERS. No more excuses here for mice and rats living in your walls or anywhere else. Cats even like to eat spiders.They solved all my rodent & creepy crawling problems. Lol

Answered 4 years ago by Guest_9716931


DO NOT use Decon or any other mouse/ rat poison for 2 reasons. 1) They don't die immediatly, and will die in places where you can't get to them, such as inside your walls or heater vents. Then you smell rotting mouse corpse for several months until it decomposes. 2). This poison is systemic. It will travel up the food chain and kill everything that eats it. This is why it's so effective: mice and rats will cannibalize the dead ones and then die, but you will also be killing everything else that eats them, including household pets, birds of prey (owls, hawks, eagles, etc), foxes, get the picture. Use snap traps....they work great!

Answered 3 years ago by Chrisnolte


STEP ONE - Inspect your home for the presence of mice. The first thing you may have noticed was some scratching or scurrying or pitter-patter running sounds in the attic or walls of your house. Acoustics can be tricky, so a visual inspection helps you to know what rodent you are dealing with, be it squirrels, rats, or mice. All three will leave chew marks and nesting material, but mouse trails are very small and skinny. The best bet is if you can identify mouse poop, so click the link to look at photos.

STEP TWO - Once you know what the animal is, in this case a mouse or mice, comes the most important step. Inspect your entire outside house or building, and find all the open holes and gaps that mice are using to get into the structure. This can include vents, eave gaps, roof lines, loose siding, areas where pipes enter home, AC chase, etc. ANYWHERE. Any small hole or gap. Check from the ground up, and definitely the entire roof. You need to look for VERY SMALL areas, like a quarter of an inch, or a hole the size of a dime. It takes great attention to detail. Whenever you find one of these areas, seal it up by tacking in steel mesh. I also use a sealant to hold it in and block air flow. You will never remove all the mice unless you can first stop them from getting inside the building in the first place.

STEP THREE - Once the place is all sealed up, it's time to trap and remove the mice. There are many tpes of mousetrap out there, but after testing dozens of kinds over the years, I have learned that the original Victor brand wooden snap traps are the best. But if there is some other kind of trap you like, go ahead and use it. The most important thing is the placement of the traps. You need to set them on the mouse runways and trails where you can see the mice are running. Look for the mouse xxxx . I set many traps, usually at least 12 in an attic, and more if it looks like a heavy mouse infestation.

STEP FOUR - Monitor the situation. Check the traps for new captures, and listen for more scratching or running noises in the ceiling or walls. Look for new and fresh mouse droppings. If all of these stop, your problem is solved. If it continues after just a few days, you need to go back and seal the home again, looking more carefully. Seriously, it's very hard work, and you probably won't get it right on the first try, if ever. You may want to call in a professional who is very experienced, and knows what to look for, and how to seal it properly.

STEP FIVE - Clean up the crawl space afterward. You want to remove all of the droppings and soiled insulation. This is for health reasons, and to get rid of the scent of mice, which can actually attract new mice to try to chew into your house in the future.


Answered 2 years ago by ultrazone

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