What attracts mice to your house

What attracts mice to your house: 10 solutions

Avatar of author Ismael Girard
Ismael Girard
min read

Your home is a castle, but to an uninvited mouse, it’s a bountiful kingdom ripe for the taking.

And they’re not just seeking shelter; they’re on a quest for sustenance and comfort that your home unwittingly provides.

Stay tuned as we explore the top ten solutions that will not only help you understand their motives but also equip you with the strategies to reclaim your space and prevent future incursions.

What attracts mice?

photo of a trash full of food leading to mice infestation

You might be wondering how can mice get in a house. Well, it’s not just food like cereal, butter, or meat that they’re after; they also have a penchant for materials such as paper and cloth. Even your pantry staples, like seeds and tissues, can become a mouse’s treasure trove.

1. Cereal and wheat

Mice are often enticed by the scent of cereal and wheat, making proper storage in your kitchen essential to deter these unwelcome visitors.

These grains are among their favorite foods, and if your cereal bags and boxes aren’t secured, they become an accessible food source for rodents.

The solution: To prevent a mouse infestation, it’s crucial to keep food sources out of their reach. Store your cereal and wheat in airtight, tamper-proof containers—preferably made of glass or metal, as plastic containers might not always withstand their gnawing.

2. Butter, meat & sweets

While securing grains is a vital step, don’t overlook rich foods like butter, meat, and sweets which are also irresistible to mice and require careful storage to prevent an infestation.

These items are often left out or improperly stored, making them accessible food sources for rodents. Even an ounce of food can attract mice or rats looking for a meal.

The solution:

  1. Store butter, meats, and sweets in airtight containers or the refrigerator.
  2. Clean dirty dishes promptly to avoid leaving dishes with food crumbs overnight.
  3. Never leave bits of food like a chocolate bar or chocolate spread unsealed.
  4. Secure pet food in containers and clean the area to prevent it from becoming a breeding ground.

3. Paper, cloth, & burlap

Beyond food, materials like paper, cloth, and burlap can also lure a mouse into your home when they’re seeking nesting supplies.

These items, if left around, offer perfect resources for a cozy nest, particularly in cluttered spaces where mice feel safe.

The solution: Store such materials in sealed containers or mice-proof bins. Don’t leave them in piles or easily accessible areas. Ensure pet water bowls aren’t left out, as a reliable water source can be just as enticing. Check for crevices in walls where mice might enter, and keep compost piles well managed to deter hungry mice.

4. Feeds & seeds

Just as nesting materials can draw mice or rats to your home, improperly stored feeds and seeds offer a veritable feast for these pests. What attracts mice to your house often comes down to easy meals.

During colder months or after previous infestations, they’re scavenging for sustenance.

The solution:

  1. Seal bird food in metal or glass containers with tight lids.
  2. Keep fruit-bearing trees well-maintained; collect fallen produce promptly.
  3. Regularly check for and seal any openings in walls where pests can enter.
  4. Maintain a clean kitchen; store pantry items securely and never leave scraps on the kitchen counter.

Effective pest control starts with eliminating food sources. Take these precautions to keep your home rodent-free.

5. Tissues & toilet paper

Mice are often drawn to soft materials like tissues and toilet paper, which they use for creating cozy nests. You might not think of these everyday items as attractions for rodents, but to mice, they’re like a warm invitation.

These critters can easily sneak into your home, building through wall openings no bigger than a dime. Once inside, they’re looking not just for cold food but also for materials to support their nesting habits.

The solution: Start by properly disposing of used tissues and toilet paper. Seal them in trash bags and place them in a secure bin.

6. Insulation

Proper home insulation is crucial, not only for energy efficiency but also to deter mice seeking refuge from the cold. Little do you know, those tiny crevices in your home’s exterior are like a welcome sign for these critters.

The solution:

  1. Inspect your home’s exterior for any holes or gaps, especially where utility lines enter.
  2. Use materials such as steel wool, which mice can’t chew through, to fill these openings.
  3. Apply caulk around windows, doors, and any other potential entry points to seal them off.
  4. Consider professional insulation services to ensure all areas, including attics and basements, are properly sealed against these unwelcome guests.

7. Water

Mice need water to survive, and your home could be providing it without your knowledge. Check for leaks, condensation, faucet drips, or any overflowing outdoor containers.

The solution: Fix any leaks promptly, empty and move containers that collect water, and cover pools when they’re not in use. Pay special attention to stagnant puddles and leaking faucets, as these can be particularly inviting to rodents.

8. Gaps, cracks, & crevices

To keep rodents at bay, it’s crucial to identify and seal the various gaps, cracks, and crevices around your home, such as those surrounding pipes, windows, doors, and vents, which can serve as gateways for mice. These small entry points are like open doors for mice seeking shelter and food.

The solution:

  1. Inspect the exterior of your home regularly for any openings.
  2. Use caulk to seal up any small gaps around windows and doors.
  3. Install wire mesh or steel wool to block larger openings, especially around pipes and vents.
  4. Maintain these barriers by checking them periodically and repairing any damage to prevent mice from gaining access.

9. Garbage & litter

An often overlooked magnet for mice, improperly managed garbage and litter around your home can become a feast for these unwelcome guests.

The solution: Make sure all garbage cans, both inside and outside, are tightly sealed. Remember to take out the trash regularly, eliminating potential food sources for these critters. Also keep indoor garbage can lids firmly closed and give those bins a thorough clean now and then to get rid of bacteria, grime, and fly larvae that might attract mice.

10. Trees, bushes & plants

Beyond diligent garbage management, it’s vital to consider the allure of your yard’s vegetation, as certain trees, bushes, and plants can be equally enticing to mice.

These green havens offer more than just aesthetic appeal; they provide mice with food, shelter, and materials for nesting.

The solution:

  1. Trim fruit or berry bushes regularly to limit accessible food sources.
  2. Cut back tall weeds that can hide rodent pathways and nests.
  3. Prune tree branches that reach your roof, preventing easy access to your home.
  4. Remove dense ground covers where mice might nest and travel unseen.

Why identifying mice matters

Recognizing the signs of a mouse infestation in your home, such as gnaw marks, droppings, and nesting materials, is crucial for timely and effective control measures.

Identifying them early on helps you understand their behavior, like nocturnal activity and a preference for warm, secluded areas.

Knowing what mice are after—your food and a cozy spot to nest—allows you to cut off their access and discourage their stay.

Addressing key attractants is your best defense. Seal up entry points, maintain a clean kitchen, and declutter to eliminate cozy nesting spots. It’s not just about setting effective mouse traps; it’s about creating an environment that’s inhospitable to mice.

What to do when you find mice in your home

If you spot signs of mice and know where do mice hide in your house, it’s essential to act swiftly by contacting a professional pest control service like PestConnect for immediate assistance.

We'll tackle the infestation head-on, ensuring that the pesky rodents are trapped and removed efficiently. But that’s not all; our mice exterminators also help you figure out how the mice got in and what you can do to make sure they don’t come back.

The flaws of DYI

While tackling a mouse infestation on your own may seem cost-effective, it often leads to overlooked details and ineffective solutions that only a professional pest control service can properly address.

Here’s why DIY might not be the best route:

  1. Lack of expertise: You might not possess the necessary knowledge to identify all entry points and nesting sites.
  2. Inadequate methods: Over-the-counter traps and repellents may fail against a full-blown infestation.
  3. Costly mistakes: Incorrect use of poisons or traps can lead to further damage, increasing costs in the long run.
  4. Safety hazards: Handling rodents and chemicals without proper training can pose serious health risks to you and your family.


You’ve learned what lures mice in and why spotting them is crucial. When they invade, act fast—seal entry points, clean up, and consider professional pest control.

Don’t let these critters overstay their welcome. Protect your home, health, and peace of mind by tackling the problem head-on. Remember, it’s your space, not theirs. Stay vigilant and mouse-free!

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Frequently asked questions

Can mice in the house have any long-term effects on the structural integrity of my home?

Yes, mice can cause long-term damage to your home’s structure by gnawing on wood and electrical wiring, potentially leading to costly repairs and even increasing the risk of electrical fires.

Are there any health risks associated with using diy pest control methods for mice?

Yes, you risk exposure to harmful chemicals and incorrect use can endanger your health or pets. Always follow instructions carefully or consider professional pest control for safe, effective mouse eradication.

Is there a correlation between the types of houseplants i keep and the attraction of mice?

Yes, certain houseplants can attract mice due to their seeds or the insects they lure, which provide a food source. You’ll want to avoid plants that inadvertently offer sustenance to these rodents.