How to Get Rid of Rodents Humanely?

Do you keep encountering shredded papers and black rice-like things? You likely have a mouse or rodent in the house who may build a nest with soft shredded pieces, and those little black things are his droppings, most likely.

Rats, mice, or rodents live along with us like any living being. They can gain entry into our house and pose a real problem by contaminating food, building nests, causing damage, and the possible spread of disease. They flourish and keep growing and surviving even after possible extermination measures. As on their own, they don’t mean any harm to the people around them; however, their mere presence can undeniably cause problems. It’s like those friends who would not leave your house, no matter how much you try. 

So, to get better control over this situation, you need to understand what they like to do to decide about a wide range of products is available in the market in the form of a spray, poison, ultrasonic devices, and various types of traps meant to be either lethal or live release. On one end, poisoning rodents pose a risk for children and pet at home, whereas on the other hand, failing to prevent this situation (in the name of a humane way) can lead to significant growth in their numbers inside the house. This article will look at how this rodent problem can be best tackled without unnecessary suffering to the animal.

What is the Sign of Rats and Mice being in your House?

Rodents are always looking for new food sources and warm places and therefore primarily found in cupboards, cellars, roof spaces, air vents, gaps around gas pipes, water or drainage pipes, and even in wall spaces. The most apparent sign of rodents in the house is to see one with your own eyes; however, it is very challenging to spot them during the daytime as they are nocturnal. Many other signs can tell about their presence:

  • Gnawing sound: Rodents make this audible sound to keep their incisors short need to chew incessantly, resulting in a scrabbling sound.
  • Tooth Marks: These marks appear while trying to gnaw through soft metals like lead and aluminium.
  • Holes in food boxes: These are caused while looking for sustenance. Look for chewing marks and spots as a sign.
  • Droppings: These look tapered at one end and, usually found in a trail, are the surest way to confirm their presence in the house.
  • Urine marks: you can spot sticky yellow urine stains in the areas where rodents may have sat still.
  • Ammonia Smell: They leave behind a particular smell of their toilets as they roam in the house.
  • A nest: It could be in the garage or garden; you should check all suspected areas. They like to make closed, undisturbed places as the nest.

So, what kind of problems can Rats and Mice cause?

Rodents can cause minor to major problems in the house, primarily to the furnishings and inside structures, food, wirings, insulations. Home-kitchen, loft, basement, and shed are the most susceptible areas of rodent problems. Wire chewing can be particularly problematic as it can result in a fire and turn out expensive to repair.

Now, let’s find out what attracts them to your house?

By any means, you are more likely to see a rodent in your garden, especially during winters, but only so long as they stay outside and do not cause any problem. However, when the situation gets reversed, it calls for timely action. Essentially, food and shelter are the two most common things that attract rodents to your house. Rodents look for protection to survive the cold weather, and they love messy, untidy places to hide. An unkept place with many places to hide away seems perfect for the need. The same is true when they look for a nice warm corner to raise their offspring. Rodents have become well experienced in living with humans, and if they find basic food, shelter, water inside a house, others may follow. They also breed and multiply quickly.

And, now it’s time to find out how to get rid of them

It’s important to consider such means and methods that would cause the least damage to both the animal and your house and be effective at the same time. There’s a humane way to do almost everything. Humane Society International (HSI) advocates that humane removal methods should be implemented rather than killing them. Killing them causes pain and suffering as it may take hours, days, or even weeks as per the method chosen. Simply killing them does not offer a feasible long-term solution to the problem. As per Dr. David E. Davis of John Hopkins University, the use of poisons or glue traps results in more space for more rats. Therefore, to prevent an infestation, you must address what attracts rats and mice to your home.

See Also: Getting Rid of Mice in Walls

Let’s look at some humane yet effective ways of prevention:

Remove access to food

Like any living being, rodents require food and shelter and look for easily accessible sources. Start by ensuring that there is no food left out or anywhere in the house where rats can get easy access. Ensure to store all grains, pet food, and other dry goods in either glass or metal containers, keeping them secure as rats cannot chew through them. Though it is labor-intensive and needs continuous attention, to avoid attracting them to your house, seal all potential sources of foods and don’t leave any spills and messes unattended; clean them thoroughly. Clean all food or food parts and crumbs that may have dropped, like around the toaster, cooker, and fridge.

Keeping bins closed

It would be best to keep a lid on bins outside of the house at all times and clean pipes and drains regularly. Keep the containers away from the direct sunlight to avoid the trash’s smell and decomposition, which causes temptation for the rodents.

Put away even pet food

Interestingly most infestations are because of bird-feeding. Rodents are not picky eaters, so when feeding, birds or pests use feeder baskets and don’t put out much food at once. Make it a practice and always keep food sealed and out of reach.

Keep your garden tidy

A tidy garden means cleaning debris and any woodpiles to prevent potential nesting space. Limit bird-feeding in the open and use a feeder close to a tree. Do not leave any food item unattended overnight. It would be best to keep the grass short and the area clutter-free. You may also grow mint or spearmint plants.

Also See: Types of Grass for Your Lawn

Make use of unpleasant scents

Rodents dislike strong scents and high noise, so you can try leaving soaked cotton wool balls at the suspected area or a corner of your choice. Also, you can make use of a plug-in device that emits high-frequency noise.

The rodents do not like peppermint, spearmint, and eucalyptus oil smell as they have a sensitive nose, which emits a powerful scent. Cloves are another smell that puts the rodents away.

Find and seal the entry point

Any small hole to the outside or damaged drains or heating vents can serve as a rodent’s entry point directly into your home. However, be mindful here as this would surely mean that no rat can come inside, and the ones already inside can’t get out. To stop them from entering your house, it is essential to seal holes at the bottom of the walls.

Home remedies

Many DIY mouse repellent ideas are available, such as peppermint sprays, dryer sheet stuffing, Oil & Cayenne pepper-soaked cotton balls, etc. These are undoubtedly less harmful but may be less effective also.

Invest in a live-trap

As mostly seen, even with the best intentions, it is pretty challenging to address the rodent situation in a risk-free manner. Therefore, to remove rats already inside the house, you will need to set up a trap. Glue traps flat boxes laced with adhesive to trap the rodents should not be used and avoided by all means. The glue causes irritation and scarring, and some even bite off their legs to get free. In case their faces get stuck to the glue, which leads to slow suffocation, starvation, and dehydration.

Nonlethal, light on the budget, and easy to use are widely available. Such as a box kind of trap in either plastic or metal with a spring release door that closes once the rats enter the trap. Check the trap regularly, like first thing in the morning, last thing at night, and at least once during the day, and simply release them outside as soon as caught, at least 3 miles away from your house.

Indoor devices that use electromagnetic interference or ultrasound can work superbly to drive the rodents out of the house.


This is another easy way to get rid of the rodents, spray the repellent at any suspected area, and hopefully, they will be gone. 

How to prevent them from returning 

Prevention is the best and long-term method of keeping rodents away from your house. Keep the home, open spaces, cupboards, etc., tidy, neat, and clean, and eliminate any nesting materials. Repair broken walls, air bricks, holes in the outside, floorboards, or even skirting boards.

In case of severe infestation

It is worth contacting local pest control for advice on safely and swiftly removing them alongside damages; rodents can also carry diseases and bacterial infections. Always check for their license and ask for a pest control cost before you decide. Be careful and discuss the use of any harsh chemicals, especially in the case of children and pets at home.

Also See: How to Get Rid of Raccoons | How to Get Rid of Chipmunks?


Mice, rats, rodents are pests and can get out of control in no time if not dealt with a suitable measure. After rodents are removed from the house, it is crucial to prevent re-entering. So, if you are unsure of the best way to prevent rodents from entering your house, it’s best to check with the experts.


How do you humanely control rodents?

Rodents are attracted to food and warmth, and by taking care of the same rodent problem can be controlled better. Remove all access to the food items, keep the open areas neat and clean, clear crumbs and any food particles, and not leave them out in the open are surely the way to control this problem.

Could a pest return if humanely released?

The answer here is yes. Animals can always find ways to return to a place of comfort unless a better option presents itself. Therefore, take them as far off as possible while disposing them from the trap.

What is the best bait for a Mousetrap?

As against the popular belief of cheese, Peanut butter is very tempting bait for rodents. More bait options include bacon, nuts, dried food, and candies.

Where can I buy these traps?

A range of traps is readily available from home and garden stores or some grocery stores with the option of one-time use to multiple uses.

Is there a way of getting rid of rodents without killing them?

There are several methods, including baits, traps, repellents, or professional pest control services. With the appropriate choice, you can trap and relocate them.

How to deal with a captured rodent?

Once a rodent has been captured in a live trap, deal with it as quickly as possible and release them at least 3 miles away from the house, possibly in safe surroundings.

How to humanely get rid of the rodent in the garden area?

  • Keep the yard clean of woodpiles, long grass, dried fallen leaves as they provide hiding places for rodents.
  • Clear the leftover, exposed food or food particles, pet food, bird food, and any trash so as not to tempt the rodents.
  • Provide appropriate covering to the burrow openings.
  • Set baited traps for live capture and release.
  • Carry out pest control if needed.

See Also: Best Home Deep Cleaning Services | Monthly Home Maintenance Checklist | How to Get Rid of Pigeons Humanely

Written by

Rostislav Shetman is the founder of 9Kilo Moving. He has been in the moving and relocation industry for more than 25 years, making him an expert in his field. Rostislav started as a helper, dispatcher and driver and has worked his way up to owning his own company. He takes great pride in his work and enjoys helping people relocate across the United States of America. When he's not working, Rostislav enjoys spending time with his family and friends. They are the light of his life and bring him happiness every day.