We Have Mice! How To Get Rid Of Them Without An Exterminator

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I swear I don’t live in a run down housing project. My building is actually fairly nice, just really, really old. Prewar old. And we live in an area with all sorts of critters like foxes, deer, chipmunks and our dreaded field mice.

Now after our whole mold situation, I’ve been on vigilant alert for any issues. We love our apartment and it’s well below market price so we’re not willing to move unless it’s something absolutely dire or a fantastic deal.

Anyway, it was 3am and my daughter just woke up for her middle of the night feeding. She was being fussy, so I took her to the living room to calm down and get sleepy. I put her down in her baby swing and decided to start working on my blog from the couch. So I’m sitting there, hunched over my computer, and in the corner of my eye, I saw it plain as day, a big ass mouse scurrying across the room right underneath my daughter where she was swinging. It scurried out through a hole underneath our radiator in the living room.

I couldn’t help myself, I let out a bloodcurdling scream. “Oh My God, Oh My God, Oh My God!” I repeat over and over in shock.

Of course my husband jumps out of bed, after hearing me scream like I was being murdered, and rushes to the living room, thinking that our daughter died or something.

Thankfully, just a mouse in the apartment.

I couldn’t be in the living room at night after that, at least until we resolved it and kind of figured something out.

So now it’s been two weeks since THE SIGHTING and I feel confident that what we’ve done will prevent mice from entering the apartment. Our issue wasn’t that we were leaving garbage out, although we could’ve been better about that, or that they were living in our walls, they weren’t because the walls are concrete. The issue was that they were entering from the basement. And the basement is controlled by property management.

Here’s What We Did:

1. Contacted Our Super

Our Super is pretty decent. He does tend to whatever issues come up in the apartment, although, he usually just does a quick fix. But this time I made sure to direct him and make sure he was taking care of all our requests. By contacting our super we’re also making a record of the issue so that if it continues we can take it to our property management and let them know that they were aware and they failed to correct. (You have to think like a ninja when you’re a tenant because usually ownership wants to spend as little money as possible to correct problems like this. Sometimes you have to lay down the big hammer and put some pressure on them).

2. Filled All The Holes

There was a hole in the wall right behind our oven, that was the mouse’s entry point. It crossed through the kitchen into the living room and exited from the left radiator. There was a large enough hole in the hardwood floor for the mouse to exit.

FYI-A mouse is able to enter any hole that is the size of a quarter or bigger.

It was a huge task to look through the whole house and find these holes, but we had to in order to keep the mice from coming in. So the Super came the next day, brought one of those metal Brillo pads and some spackle, then filled the hole. He used the metal Brillo to reinforce to spackle so the mice couldn’t just break through it. That took him a total of five minutes to do.

3. Set Some Traps

So this is not the first time I’ve had a mouse in my apartment, unfortunately. The first time was when I was living in Queens and we had these horrible upstairs neighbors that never took their garbage out and next door neighbors who fed birds and left bread out. So of course we had mice.

First we tried the sticky traps. They’re like these rectangular squares that you can put down and they have a really sticky film on them as well as crumbs, so that the mice will HOPEFULLY try to get the food then get stuck in the trap. Just know that sticky traps are not good if you have pets because obviously the pets could get stuck in them and they are incredibly painful to get out. Also they aren’t good if you have small children because they can accidentally touch the trap and it’s like touching sticky super glue.

We actually caught a mouse on the sticky traps in Queens and I really didn’t like it. I thought it was so inhumane, the mouse was stuck in the trap for hours squealing and trying to get out. Then we had it pick it up like that, kill it and then throw it out.

This sounds horrible, but I just don’t want to see the mouse. I want it to get caught in the trap, hidden from view, and killed right away. I’m not someone who enjoys seeing animals suffer.

This is, in my opinion, the best trap to get and it’s really efficient. You just put some cheese inside or peanut butter and leave the trap wherever you think the mice will go. When we got this we caught the other mouse right away, literally the next day, and it was easy to get rid of.

4. Mouse Repellent

This is the best repellent for mice. I was concerned about putting poison out or something like that since, you know, chemicals are bad for children and pets. This mouse repellent spray is all natural.

Apparently mice really hate the smell of peppermint or any other strong scent. The ingredients are peppermint oil, spearmint oil, cinnamon oil and vinegar so pretty much all natural. There’s also sodium lauryl sulfate (2%) which is an organic compound meant to thicken the spray.

All you need to do is just spray around the house and that alone will keep mice away. So I would recommend putting it near your doorway, behind appliances and anywhere that you saw the mice before and that will repel them.


I hate mice, there’s something about them that’s just so nasty and dirty. Having them in your house is just the worst.

Mice tend to be very sneaky and hard to get rid of on your own so be patient. Hiring an exterminator if you don’t have an infestation and only one or two mice will be super costly. You really don’t need to do that if you only have a small mouse problem. These tricks will help you keep mice out and get rid of the ones you have, fast and cheaply!

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