A single mouse in your home can wreak havoc, but most people don’t even notice when they’re outside. In some front and back yards, though, mice start to dig holes and wreck your yard, leaving ugly marks and dangerous ground for children and pets.
While removing holes in your yard caused by mice might be foreign to you, many options exist for keeping the mice at bay. Use this guide to learn more about why mice dig holes and how you can control them from doing it on your property.
Do Mice Dig Holes?
Most people have only seen mice above ground, scurrying from place to place. While mice tend to travel along the edges of walls and fenced-in areas, the fact is that they do sometimes burrow. Field mice do this regularly for shelter, which could be why you’re finding holes in your yard.
If you do not fix the problem, it will get worse. Quickly. You will have a lot of holes to fix. Many spots will also connect, forming a complex tunnel system that looks terrible in your backyard and isn’t safe for pets or children.
The good news is that you do have options when it comes to how to catch a mouse in your yard or prevent them from digging in the first place.
What to Do When They Dig Holes in the Ground
Mice dig holes in your yard because they’re looking for shelter or food sources. The most common type of mice that do this are field mice, though other varieties, as well as rats, can dig holes. When you notice mice digging holes in your yard, there are a few essential things to do.
Mouse holes can be dangerous for playing children.
- Watch the holes to try and determine the type of animal that is digging the holes. Sometimes treating your yard for field mice is different than standard mice or rates.
- Fill the holes in your yard. This action often only works as a short-term solution. If you catch the problem when you have only one or two holes, the mice may move on to another property.
- Place a barrier around your garden area if this is what is attracting mice in the first place. Ultrasonic products and sheet metal barriers that make it hard for mice to access your garden area are often effective. A natural mouse repellent like lemon essential oil can work too, further details can be found here.
- Check your yard for mice regularly. You may find that your first attempts at getting mice out of your yard are unsuccessful. There are other options for getting rid of them once and for all.
I Have Mice Holes in My Yard: What Should I Do?
Having mice in your yard for an extended period can be a significant problem. The cost of re-sodding your lawn can also be high, especially if you have a large front or back yard. That’s why it’s essential to take care of mice as quickly as possible when you notice that they’re digging holes in your space. There are a handful of solutions for effectively getting rid of mice in your backyard.
Snap traps are the standard type of mouse traps you regularly see at drug and hardware stores. In many cases, they are the best mouse traps option for mice that are slowly destroying your yard. Designed to quickly kill mice by luring them to a trap with bait that is nearly irresistible, these can be used inside and out.
Traditional Wooden Mouse Snap Trap
This easy-to-use trap is sensitive enough to catch mice, but also easy to set so you don't accidentally trigger it yourself. Plus, it's made in the USA and can be used both indoors and outdoors.
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Follow these tips when using snap traps:
- Buy enough snap traps to have a few in your yard in areas where you’ve seen mice. Placing them around the holes in your yard is also an ideal solution. Use snap traps along fences and access points to your yard as well.
- Bait snap traps with something that mice like. You might see people using cheese on TV and in the movies, but sticky items like peanut butter are better. They’re high in protein and are much more difficult for a mouse to access without actually standing on the trap that will catch them.
- Practice using the snap traps. You don’t want an improperly set trap keeping you from catching a mouse. Just be careful that you don’t get your fingers stuck in a trap. It won’t leave a long-term injury, but it will hurt for a few days!
- Check your traps regularly. To make the most of your traps, you must ensure that they’re properly baited and ready to spring into action at all times. Ideally, you should check your traps once to twice daily when possible.
Natural Repellent Sprays
Many people want to know how to scare mice away from their property without killing them. Natural repellent products are ideal if you’ve got something in your yard that mice are attracted to, like a garden area. They work in most cases because they are formulated with something like fox urine, which makes mice think there is a natural predator nearby.
My Top Pick
Mighty Mint Spray
Natural Rodent Repellent
Mighty Mint spray is a sensible, safe, and environmentally friendly way to keep rodents at bay. It is made with 4% peppermint oil, a powerful odor that effectively repels rodents. This repellent is naturally safe for people and pets and even smells good! Plus, it's extra-concentrated for long-lasting protection.
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Use these tips to scare mice away from your yard with natural spray repellents:
- Locate the areas where you’ve seen mice or where they’re getting into your yard. You’ll need to treat these areas first, even if they’re not where the actual holes are.
- Fill the holes in your yard that the mice are creating. Spray the area with the natural repellent that you’re planning to use.
- Use natural spray repellents near your garden area. You may need to use several coats until the smell is noticeable.
- Reapply your natural repellent spray regularly. You’ll also need to go back to the same spots and apply the spray again after it rains or you’ve watered your grass and flowers.
Always ensure the spray repellent you choose is safe for children and pets if they spend time in your backyard. Many products are all-natural and not harmful while still working to drive mice, rats, and other pests away from your yard.
I have written an article on the best natural mouse repellent, which you can read at the link.
Traps and sprays are often effective, but if you have very stubborn mice on your property, they may not be enough. Poison pellets can kill mice in your yard, and they’ll die quickly once eaten. The problem is that these pellets can be harmful to other animals and your pets.
If you do use poison pellets, make sure you monitor the area where you put them regularly. You don’t want your pets or other animals like birds to get into them.
NEOGEN Ramik Green
Weather-Resistant Rodenticide Nuggets
Thanks to its water-resistant formula, you don't need to worry about rain washing away the bait before rodents have a chance to eat it. And since it contains 0.005% Diphacinone as an active ingredient, it's proven to be effective against rodents of all sizes.
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Please see detailed descriptions here.
Keep a Clean Yard
Mice can get into any yard and cause a problem, even if in tip-top shape. However, yards that need a little work are often more susceptible to these pests.
Follow these tips for keeping your yard clean so you’re less likely to have mice digging holes:
- Don’t leave lawn and yard equipment out. This equipment can shield mice from view, making them feel like they can dig holes without being spotted. Make sure you keep a clean yard at all times.
- Remove weeds from your yard in their early stages. Weeds are often starting points for mice to dig since there’s an opening, making the job a little easier.
- Avoid leaving yard clippings, leaves, and other debris out in your yard. Dispose of these immediately to keep your yard clean and free of mice. If there are no mice, they won’t be able to dig a hole in your yard!
Best Solutions to Remedy the Problem
Natural repellents are ideal for keeping mice out of your yard and preventing more holes from popping up. If you catch the problem early enough, this is likely all it will take to drive them away for good.
4 Fragrant Plants to Repel Mice
If you’re dealing with a severe infestation, snap traps are often the second resort. Poison pellets can be used if you don’t have pets or children in your yard. Just make sure other animals don’t have access to them, like cats and dogs.
In addition to traps, repellents, and poison pellets, keeping your yard clean is essential. Make sure you tackle yard cleanup before you begin treating the holes in your front or back yard.
Keeping mice out of your yard can seem like a difficult task, and while they are part of nature, they don’t have to call your front or back yard home. Snap traps and spray repellents can work well, but if they don’t have the desired effect on your property, you may need to turn to professional pest control treatment. Unfortunately, the longer you wait, the more likely you will have a serious problem requiring professional help. That’s why acting quickly is important when trying to get mice to stop digging holes and leave your property.
The good news is that mice can be banished one way or another. Try these simple remedies, and if they don’t work in a few weeks, consider calling in the pros. From there, you can easily handle prevention, so mice don’t come back to your yard and create more problems in the future.
Table of Contents
- Do Mice Dig Holes?
- What to Do When They Dig Holes in the Ground
- I Have Mice Holes in My Yard: What Should I Do?
- Snap Traps
- Natural Repellent Sprays
- Poison Pellets
- Keep a Clean Yard
- Best Solutions to Remedy the Problem
You can find further details of Mice Control here.
- Peppermint Oil: Mice are known to not be big fans of peppermint. ...
- Apple Cider Vinegar & Water: Spray this mixture around the perimeter of your house as well as in any access points inside. ...
- Fabric Softener Sheets: Mice can't stand the smell of fabric softener.
Peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper and cloves.
Mice are said to hate the smell of these. Lightly soak some cotton balls in oils from one or more of these foods and leave the cotton balls in places where you've had problems with mice.
For a severe infestation
Humane trapping is the best way to go. In general, traps are preferred over poison bait as they are less hazardous to children and pets. But if you're dealing with a severe infestation that can put your family at risk, consider using spring traps or calling a professional pest control company.
However, since the typical bedding depth is only 1 cm, the digging behavior elicited in such circumstances is not very vigorous. When more bedding is applied, reaching a depth of 5 cm, mice will naturally exhibit robust digging behaviors.Can mice destroy your lawn? ›
Field mice can really mess up your lawn. First, no one wants to see mice skittering around under their bare feet as they enjoy your luscious green turf. Second, these rodents can ruin your lawn with their holes. Third, if you have a nearby garden, these field mice can eat your veggies and contaminate your food.What gets rid of mice the fastest? ›
Trapping is the fastest way to get rid of mice. While live traps catch mice and allow you to release them, other traps kill the mice on contact, making quick work of mouse populations.
Does Pine Sol deter rodents? As will most cleaners, Pine-Sol contains properties that may deter rodents and other types of pests; however, this is not a viable solution as a pest control measure.What poison gets rid of mice? ›
The most popular type of rodenticide is called an anticoagulant. This prevents the mouse's blood from clotting, causing internal bleeding that eventually kills the rodent. Other types of mouse poison include vacor, yellow phosphorus, strychnine and arsenic.Can you spray outside for mice? ›
A: Tomcat Mouse & Rat Repellent can be used indoors and outdoors.Are mice outside a problem? ›
When it comes to rodent control around your house, homeowners must work to prevent these problems not only indoors, but outdoors as well. Rats and mice in your yard are a nuisance and a health threat.
Mouse nests are messy and look like a pile of junk with one entrance hole. If you notice ripped paper or materials scattered around your house, that is a clear sign of a mouse infestation.How do I keep mice out of my yard naturally? ›
There are several plants that are believed to repel mice. Mint, pennyroyal, garlic, and onion are just a few. Try planting them in your garden. Mice are also repelled by camphor, lavender, and wormwood.What smell keeps mice away? ›
You can use certain scents (ammonia, eucalyptus, chili oil or powder, lavender, mint) to keep mice at bay but this definitely won't work if mice are already inside your property. We strongly recommend getting the help of a professional pest exterminator to save yourself time, money and unnecessary stress.How long do mice stay in one area? ›
How Long Do Mice Stay in a House? The lifespan of a typical mouse ranges from about six months to two years. Generally, the more access to food and shelter a mouse has, the longer it will live. This means that a mouse in your home has the potential to stick around for several months at a minimum.How do I stop rats from digging holes in my yard? ›
- Remove access to water and food sources, including pet food and large animal feed.
- Seal garbage cans and compost bins.
- Fix leaking pipes and faucets.
- Keep all vegetation on your property mowed and maintained as low as possible.
- Maintain garden by picking fruits and vegetables regularly.
Tunnels and Runways – Field mice create branching paths in grass that lead to underground tunnels. It's common to find multiple burrow entrances throughout your yard.What do mouse holes look like outside? ›
Holes outside are usually small and lead to a tunnel. If you examine these holes closely, you will likely find signs of mouse hair and mouse droppings. But digging in the dirt is not the only way mice make holes.Do mice live in lawns? ›
They can leave two-inch holes in the lawn and will also tunnel near the surface, resulting in the lawn getting soft and unsteady in some areas. It is also not unheard of for them to take over existing mole tunnels and cause all sorts of damage to the lawn.Do mice make nests in grass? ›
Outdoors, mice nest beneath dense underbrush, tall grass, or thick shrubbery. Inside a home, mice usually build their dens in undisturbed, enclosed spaces, including: Drawers - An unused sliding drawer filled with paper provides the perfect spot for a mouse nest.What is the fastest way to get rid of voles? ›
If you're wondering how to kill voles instantly, mouse traps such as the Snap Traps by Victor® will do the trick. For maximum effectiveness, bait the traps with peanut butter or oatmeal. Then, place them in front of any holes you can spot around your garden.
A mice exterminator will examine the interiors and exteriors of your home, identify the entry points and seal them up with sheet metal, wire mesh or hardware cloth. The exterminator will ensure they properly secure the seal to prevent the entry or exit of mice. These entry points can include pipes and vents.Does Irish Spring soap keep mice away? ›
The bottom line is the perfumes in this soap tell mice, rats, chipmunks, and other critters to stay clear. Irish Spring comes in different scents and varieties, and I have found that as long as it is Irish Spring in general it will work just fine.What keeps mice away at night? ›
Aromas like peppermint, spearmint, and eucalyptus repel rodents. Set up a diffuser or use cotton balls to spread their smell throughout your room. Not only will they keep mice away—they'll also make your room smell great. Ammonia, found in many cleaning products, is another smell that rodents hate.Do mice like coffee grounds? ›
Do Used Coffee Grounds Keep Rodents Away? The answer to this question is yes, use coffee grounds as a natural rodent repellent. The coffee's bitter compounds are unpleasant to rats and mice. They will avoid areas where there is a coffee scent or use.Does Dawn dish soap repel mice? ›
Although a common belief, soap does not keep mice away. Not even Irish Springs soap keeps mice away. This myth comes from the idea that mice eat animal fat (a core ingredient in many soaps), so by eating soap the mice will die from chemical exposure.What is the number one killer to mice? ›
#1 Choice – Tomcat All Weather Bait Chunx
Tomcat All Weather Chunx kills mice and rats fast. It contains a poison that doesn't let them last long enough to go back into your walls and floorboards to die. However, you have to use the right version of this product in the right way.
Baking soda is one of the most effective ways to kill mice and rats. It works by producing gas in their bellies. They cannot pass through burping or farting. It finishes off these pests painfully!How do you find where mice are getting in? ›
Look closely at your foundation for cracks or gaps where a mouse could squeeze through. Wherever possible, climb underneath porches and look behind stairs, bushes, or other objects. There may be holes that have been made larger over the years by water damage and chewing pests.How long does it take to get rid of mice? ›
It will depend on the degree of infestation, but typically it takes 1-3 months for exterminators to get rid of mice.Where do mice hide during the day outside? ›
Where Do Mice Hide Outside in the Yard? Outside, rodents use dense underbrush and debris to take shelter from danger. Mice outdoors don't pose as much of a threat as those indoors. However, the pests always have the potential to find their way inside homes to look for a meal or a place to nest.
Do Dryer Sheets Keep Mice Out? Don't expect your box of Bounce to work any pest-control miracles. Dryer sheets don't deter mice. Baited traps won't solve a mouse problem, either.Should I be concerned about mice in my yard? ›
Damage & Health Risks
Mice in the yard are problematic for various reasons. Not only do the rodents dig up landscaping and contribute to other cosmetic and structural damage, but the small animals also transmit disease and produce generally unclean living conditions.
In the great outdoors, most house mice fall victim to predators. Rats, snakes, and owls are avid mouse hunters. Lack of food or water, illness, and injury also limit colonies in the wild. In this setting, the average lifespan of a mouse is often less than a year.Should I be worried if I see a mouse in my garden? ›
Rodents are not wanted in your garden because of the damage they can cause to fruit, vegetables, seeds, bulbs, plants and containers, and also because they expose people and pets to various diseases and parasites. The rat species you are most likely to find in your garden is the brown or Norway rat (Rattus norvegicus).How can you tell how many mice you have? ›
If you're seeing rodent droppings in multiple places around your house, this is a good indication that you have a number of mice running around. Droppings can be found anywhere, but some of the more common places include along baseboards, under appliances, and in pantries and cabinets.How many mice usually live together? ›
The average mouse nest can be home to between a dozen and two dozen mice, depending on their age and the presence of other mice in the vicinity. Because mice nest in order to raise their pups, they seek out warm, dry areas that are well protected and close to a food source.What do mice hate most? ›
- Besides humans, mice are the most common mammal species in cities. They can use their sense of smell to sniff out our food and make themselves right at home. ...
- Ammonia. Many believe that ammonia is one of the scents that deters mice. ...
- Mothballs. ...
- Chili Oil or Powder. ...
- Peppermint Oil. ...
Ammonia. This is known as a cleaning agent, but it also acts as a poison to mice and rats. All you need to do is mix 2 – 2 and a half cups of ammonia, 100 – 200 mL of water and a 2-3 spoonful of detergent in a bowl. Then, put it to places where rats are usually seen.Will keeping lights on keep mice away? ›
Unfortunately, the light inside your house is not a very effective deterrent to mice. Once inside a house or a building, they can easily look for dark areas to hide until such time as all lights are turned off. Places they can hide include inside the walls, crawl spaces, attics, and ceilings.How do I know if mice are gone? ›
Older droppings are hard and dry. You want to scoop them up. Then, watch for moist, fresh mouse droppings to appear. A lack of new droppings is typically a strong indicator that all the mice are gone.
Yes, mice are nocturnal creatures, so they are most likely to be active and come out of their hiding during the night. They go out searching for food and nesting material when everyone is sound asleep.Does 1 mouse mean an infestation? ›
Question: Does one mouse mean an infestation? Answer: One mouse is not considered an infestation, per se. However, one mouse will almost always lead to an infestation if control methods are not put in place.Can you pour bleach down a rat hole? ›
It is better not to spray bleach at rat exits or entry points. Rats are stubborn enough to find another way in and will do even more damage to your property. Bleach can be considered a viable solution. Yet, it cannot be a permanent one.Do mice burrow under lawns? ›
They can leave two-inch holes in the lawn and will also tunnel near the surface, resulting in the lawn getting soft and unsteady in some areas. It is also not unheard of for them to take over existing mole tunnels and cause all sorts of damage to the lawn.Do mice tunnel in lawns? ›
Mice burrow in your yard to find shelter, and when their numbers increase, your property becomes more unstable with multiple holes and underground tunnels. If rodents are allowed to live freely underground in your yard, your turf can begin collapsing in some areas and cause significant damage.What kills rats instantly outside? ›
Electronic Rat Traps
It is the most humane approach in comparison to snap traps and poisonous traps – the rat's death is nearly instant. Additionally, these traps are powered by batteries, which allows them to be used as outdoor rat traps.
Seal any holes you find to stop rodents from entering. Fill small holes with steel wool. Put caulk around the steel wool to keep it in place or use spray foam. Use lath screen or lath metal, cement, hardware cloth, or metal sheeting to fix larger holes.How do I fill a rat hole in my yard? ›
- Look for signs of activity (i.e. the entrance is cleared of vegetation and you can see tracks, runways, or droppings).
- Stuff the entrance with steel wool or mesh wire if the burrow is active.
- Fill the hole with soil and dirt.
- Stomp it down or tamp down with a shovel.
- Urine Odor. Rodent urine has a strong musky odor. ...
- Gnawed Holes. Gnawed mouse holes are small, clear-cut, and about the size of a dime. ...
- Rub and Gnaw Marks. ...
- Runways. ...
- Nests. ...
- Noises. ...
- Pet Behavior.
Active burrows have smooth walls and hard packed dirt. Beneath the surface, the rat tunnels and rooms are no further than 18” deep. They may include 3 feet of tunnels often leading to additional safety exits.