How to Keep Mice Out of Garage (In 8 Easy Steps)

Ryan Womeldorf
by Ryan Womeldorf

Mice, though cute in appearance, are a nightmare to deal with as a homeowner. Their droppings are toxic and wind up getting everywhere. They can also do major damage by chewing through things and can even live in the innards of your car.

There are several ways to keep mice out of your garage. Begin by sealing off entry points of your garage, removing any possible food lying around, placing trash cans outside, and reducing your garage’s clutter. If the problem persists, set up mice traps around the corners of your garage or call in a professional.

What Attracts the Mice?

The primary reason is for housing. Like any other critter in life, they are ultimately looking for shelter from the elements. In areas where there is quite a bit of rain or freezing conditions, they are going to look for ways to shield themselves (and their nests).

Garages where grass seed or bird seed make for especially attract options for mice as they will target those items as a food source. When looking for shelter, mice look for spaces that have the least sign of human activity. This is why they will choose spaces like garages and attics to live and create their nests.

How to Know You Have a Mouse Problem

Droppings are the most obvious sign of a mouse problem. They are black or brown in color and they will be everywhere. They will be about the size of a grain of rice, but they can also prevent a real hazard as they are poisonous.

If you are storing bird seed, dog food, lawn seed or containers that have been left open, this is likely to be a food source for mice. There is also the off chance that you may see the mice, but they tend to hang out on the perimeter of the garage and move quickly. You will see generally see the warning signs before you ever go eye-to-eye with the mouse himself.

Mouse Prevention

While keeping mice out of your garage is not a 100% guaranteed proposition, there are things that can be done to make your garage a less attractive destination for them. Taking these steps should work to keep mice out or, at the very least, deter from them from staying for long.

If you already have a mouse problem, the best solution is to call in a professional. They have years of experience getting rid of mice and will have all the tricks of the trade to get the job done quickly and before nests begin to pop up.

1. Seal Off Entry Points

The single most important thing that you can do to prevent most critters, mice in specific, from entering the garage is to seal off all the possible entry points. This can be quite difficult as mice can squeeze into some pretty tight areas.

Do a walk around the interior and exterior perimeter of the garage. Look for any spaces that could potentially allow access for mice and seal them off accordingly. Taking away those entry points will force the mice to find another place to set up shop.

2. Take Away Their Food Source

As mentioned above, mice will often feast on open containers or bags of dog food, cat food, bird seed, and grass seed. When there is an attractive food source, mice are far more likely to make that space their home.

Make sure to story any of those items in a sealed container. Even if the mice get into the garage area, they won’t be able to get to their desired food source. This should eventually deter them and force them to move on to another space.

3. Proper Yard Maintenance

Living near wooded areas is a primary reason why mice pop up. They go from these cluttered, grass areas, and look for food and shelter in garages and homes in the area. The biggest issue is in trees that hang over the house.

Take steps to cut back tree branches that may hang over the house. This will prevent them from dropping onto the roof of the garage or house. The goal to mouse prevention is to provide less avenues to your garage and make it less attractive if they find their way in. Those branches are a major access point.

4. Reduce the Clutter

Mouse are looking for shelter. While the garage as a whole provides protection from the elements, they are looking for additional protection from any human intervention. This is why they tend to hide on the perimeter of the garage. The perimeter is where boxes and containers are generally stored.

By reducing the clutter in the garage, keeping things neat and organized, there will be less opportunities to hide for the mouse. When they don’t feel safe, they will look for a new home. Keep things off the ground and stored securely in containers on a shelf.

5. Store Any Firewood Outside

Part of reducing the clutter means taking any stored firewood and keeping it outdoors. The firewood creates another space for the mice to hide and they can eventually eat away at some of the wood.

Storing firewood outside gives them fewer options to hide themselves. That is a major theme in keeping mice away: reducing their ability to hide and giving them fewer options for where they can set up shop and build a nest.

6. Move Trash Cans Outside

While mice love various forms of seed as a main food source, they won’t turn down scraps of human food, either. Garbage cans that are improperly sealed and stored in the garage can offer another attractive food source for mice.

The worst part about keeping garbage cans inside is that mice aren’t going to be the only things that are attracted to the garbage. There is a chance of finding maggots as well. Properly seal your garbage cans and store them outdoors, preferably on the side of the house or garage. Building a little fence around the garbage cans is also advised as it can keep other critters away.

7. Stay Away from Scents and Essential Oils

There are some that will recommend essential oils and scents as a great way to deter mice or get rid of them after they have made their presence known. This may work temporarily to deter the mice, but it won’t work for long. While many recommend peppermint as a natural mouse deterrent, it actually does little for the mice currently living in your home.

Mice are incredibly adaptable and will find ways to work around those scents and oils. This is especially true if there are the aforementioned seed or food containers that provide them with a line to consistent food access.

8. Don’t Rely on Your Cat

Yes, cats are natural predators to mice. But mice can fit in the smallest of spaces and navigate through clutter like nothing else. Cats may be fine to get rid of a single mouse, but if there is a nest or infestation, they will be just as helpless as you are.

Preventative measures are the most effective at dealing with mice. The last thing anyone wants to deal with is a full-blown infestation and the costs that come with getting rid of them. Take some of the aforementioned preventative steps and you should be able to keep those mice looking for new real estate opportunities.

Using Traps

After the first sign of mice in your home, you must act fast. While the above methods will help you keep mice away, you may need to use traps to get remove the infestation as quickly as possible.

Bait live traps in tactical areas inside your garage with either a lump of peanut butter or a piece of cheese. This will attract the mice to the trap. Position the traps near walls and keep the end with the bait near the areas where you suspect the mice are entering. Check the traps daily and if you’ve caught a live one, set it free in a field miles away from your property

For double the coverage, you can set traditional mousetraps in the rafters, along window casings, in corners, and under shelving. Locate possible access points and place traps strategically near these openings. Check these traps on a daily basis and remove dead mice before they start to give off a foul odor.

When to Call a Professional

While there are a number of effective ways to remove mice from your garage, and keep them away, some signs may indicate that it’s time to call the pros. For instance, if you have no success with trapping them, continue to see droppings even after implementing your prevention methods, or hear scratching in the walls of your garage or other unseen areas, it’s best to contact a professional.

Mice control experts will help you identify where the rodents are entering your garage and can resolve the problem much quicker than a do-it-yourself tactic. As an added bonus, they will offer you solutions that are safe for both your family and pets.

Ryan Womeldorf
Ryan Womeldorf

Ryan Womeldorf has more than a decade of experience writing. He loves to blog about construction, plumbing, and other home topics. Ryan also loves hockey and a lifelong Buffalo sports fan.

More by Ryan Womeldorf