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How Do Mice Get in an Attic? And How To Prevent It!

mouse up close

Having mice in your attic can be a hassle because they are messy, spread disease, make a great deal of noise, and multiply quickly. Many people are surprised to find mice in this part of the house and aren’t sure how they got there. If this sounds like your situation, keep reading as we explain how mice can get into your attic and what you can do to get rid of them and prevent their return.

house divider How Do Mice Get Into the Attic?

Mice can enter your house from the outside through a hole as small as a dime and will immediately begin to make themselves at home within your walls. The mice will explore the house and usually make their way toward the attic, where there is less commotion from humans and pets. It’s also generally quite dark, which the mice like. Once the mice find this location, they often stick around and build their nest.

Mouse eating walnuts
Image Credit: level17-design, Pixabay

How Can I Tell If Mice Are in the Attic?


If you have mice living in your attic, you will likely hear scratching in the walls and ceilings of many rooms as the mice create passageways from one area to another.

Mice Droppings

A mouse dropping is about the size of a grain of rice, with pointy ends and a black or brown color. Mice can drop up to 75 pellets per day, and you will typically find them wherever a mouse spends any time, like the kitchen counter when it looks for food. You will also find them in the attic if you have an infestation.

mouse inside the cupboard
Image Credit: Landshark1, Shutterstock

Urine Smell

You will likely notice a urine smell if you have mice in your attic. It can be quite strong, especially near the nest, and can help you find it. Unfortunately, the smell will be difficult to remove even after the mice are gone.

Wire Damage

Another sign that you have a mouse infestation is damage to your electrical wiring, as the mice will gnaw at wires that they encounter, leading to electrical problems like lights that don’t work and other issues. You might also notice that the insulation around pipes has evidence of chewing.

TV Wire_shutterstock_Sawangkaew
Image By: Sawangkaew, Shutterstock

Mouse Nest

If the mice live in your attic, you will likely find their nest woven together from fibers that they find. Mice are also messy, so there will be plenty of clutter, mouse droppings, and urine around the nest, along with food items.

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How Do I Get Mice Out of My Attic?

Professional Exterminator

Mice can transmit disease and multiply quickly, so in many cases, the best option is to call a professional exterminator to get rid of them quickly.

Home Inspector
Image Credit: Olivier Le Queinec, Shutterstock

Standard Mouse Traps

If you notice the mice before the population gets out of hand, you can often eliminate the problem yourself by setting mouse traps in the attic and other areas where you notice activity. These traps are time tested and work well, but you need to bait and set them beforehand, and you will need to dispose of the trap and dead mice afterward.

Seal the Attic

After you get rid of the mice in your attic, it is important to inspect the walls, ceiling, and floor and plug or fill any holes that you find so the mice cannot get back in. Inspect every other room in your home inside and out to seek out any other holes that the mice can use, and seal them.

Foaming attic
Image By: ronstik, Shutterstock

Other Tips and Tricks

  • Mice tend to enter the house when the temperature begins to drop in the fall, so inspect your home in late summer for the best results.
  • Each time a mouse lives in your home, it will damage the living environment, so act quickly to eliminate them.
  • Mice reproduce quickly and can have babies within 1 month of moving into your home.
  • Since mice like the attic environment, check it every season for signs that a rodent has been there.

house divider Conclusion

Mice enter your attic through holes in the wall, and passageways that they find or create in your walls can lead them to those holes. Mouse traps can help you get rid of one or two mice, but anything more will likely require professional help. Check over your property annually to look for any holes leading into the house from outside and into the attic or other rooms inside the home.

Featured Image Credit: MainelyPhotos, Shutterstock


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