How To Get Rid of Field Mice: Safe Ways to Remove Garden Mice, Voles, Pests

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Pest Control | January 8, 2024

Woman watching mice in a net wonders how to get rid of field mice and asks herself if there are natural methods for mice removal, vole removal and garden mice safely for pets and when she should call an exterminator for mice.

Discovering how to get rid of field mice can be important if they are threatening the health of your vegetable garden or other landscape plants.

Although typically, field mice aren’t partial to living in homes, preferring woodlands and outdoors, they have been known to nest in garages and other places where they can burrow.

So, if you’re wondering how to get rid of field mice without killing them, this guide will explore humane, family-safe options for removing the little critters, and explore when you should contact a professional exterminator for getting rid of mice.

How To Get Rid of Field Mice Quickly: Pest Control for Mice

Have you identified field mice in garage, backyard garden, or elsewhere in your home?1

The following natural removal strategies on how to get rid of field mice will help you deal with them.

How To Get Rid of Field Mice Permanently: Block Their Access

If field mice can’t reach your home, they can’t get in. It’s a simple premise but determining where the mice gain access is challenging.

Start by checking your home’s façade. Do you see gaps, cracks, and openings?

Even a slight opening is sufficient for a mouse to slither its way in, so don’t underestimate the abilities of these pests. They can wriggle their way through a dime-sized opening.

Try caulk compound, hard plastic, steel wool, glass, or metal to block off entry points. Use thick metal, as field mice can (and will) easily chew through the thin stuff.

Natural Mouse Repellent: Peppermint Oil for Mice and More!

Mice might seemingly sink their teeth into any surface, but they’re picky about the smells they expose their olfactory receptors to.

Graphic of the natural mouse repellent showing various repellent items, including mothballs, bleach, vinegar, peppermint oil, ammonia, cinnamon, and citronella,

Peppermint oil is a great natural method for preventing animals from gnawing on the various parts of your vehicle as well.

The scent is unpleasant for them, but energizing for people.

The following natural repellents on how to get rid of rats should also help prevent field mice from nesting places you don’t want them:

  • Mothballs
  • Bleach
  • Ammonia
  • Citronella
  • Vinegar
  • Cinnamon
  • Peppermint oil

You can use these scents indoors or outdoors. However, when working with fume-heavy solutions like ammonia or bleach indoors, you must have ventilation through open windows or fans.

Most of the other scents on this list have the benefit of improving the aroma of your home, especially citronella, cinnamon, and peppermint.2

Traps for Mice Control

Everyone’s familiar with the wooden mouse trap with a metal snap that breaks the mouse’s neck when it enters. However, many people think that sort of trap is gruesome and inhumane.

Catch-and-release traps will contain the mouse without killing it. You can simply take the trap to a woodsy area and release the mouse.

If you wish to kill mice, many traps on the market do that and mousetraps are also handy for vole removal.3

Voles love Hostas (Plantain lilies) and other plant bulbs, so getting rid of these burrowing cousins of mice can be important for the health of your plants as well.

How To Kill a Mouse: Invite Natural Predators

Another method for killing field mice is to bring their enemies to the party. Animals like dogs, cats, birds of prey, and snakes will happily chase and munch on field mice for lunch or dinner.

You can unleash your cat or dog to help with an indoor mice infestation.

Of course, attracting snakes presents its own set of issues, so sticking with a outdoorsy cat can be the best option here.

How To Get Rid of Field Mice in the Yard: Isolate Their Food Sources

Stop giving garden mice food sources, and you should see their numbers dwindle in your garden.

Close your trash bins tightly and securely. Field mice aren’t strong enough to knock the bins over, but they can scurry into a small opening if the lid is askew.

If you’re into home gardening, make sure to harvest your fruits and vegetables when you can, as they’re tantalizing food sources to a hungry brown mouse.

Keep your compost piles self-contained, as field mice will eat the compost. Barring that, wet the pile, as mice won’t want to make their nests in a wet environment.

Speaking of mouse houses, keep your lawn mowed and your wood piles manageable so mice can’t hide in your yard.

Are Field Mice Dangerous? Do Field Mice Carry Diseases?

Field mice are known carriers of hantavirus,4 or ortho hantavirus.

Hantaviruses can cause hemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome, which includes initial symptoms like rash, eye inflammation, blurry vision, nausea, chills, fever, and stomach and back pain.

People contract this virus from close contact or inhalation of rat and mice feces, urine or the animal.

Later symptoms are acute kidney failure, vascular leakage, shock, and low blood pressure. Many people wonder does rat poison kill mice, and while it will, it’s not always the best option.

Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome can also result from hantavirus exposure. This deadly disease includes initial symptoms like achy muscles, fever, fatigue, chest tightness, shortness of breath, and coughing due to the lungs filling with fluid.

What Types of Pests Can Invade the Home?

Got pests? Let’s identify which ones could potentially invade your sanctuary.

A field mouse foraging among the ground vegetation, closely inspecting its surroundings.

(Image: sab_k7)

1. Field or Garden Mouse

(Apodemus sylvactius)

  • Description: Known as the wood mouse, a field mouse weighs about 23 grams and measures 90 millimeters long. It has small ears and no yellow fur, differentiating it from the yellow-necked mouse.
  • Natural Habitat: Cultivated fields, grasslands, and forests
  • Locations: Native to northwest Africa and Europe; common across much of Europe and North America

2. Meadow Vole


  • Description: A vole genus, meadow voles have short tails, legs, and ears. They’re dark in color and far larger than mice, measuring about 4.5 to 4.6 inches, depending on the species.
A meadow vole on a grassy ground, grooming its fur.

(Image: MrsBrown8)

  • Natural Habitat: Grass, cultivated fields, windbreaks, and orchards
  • Locations: Northern Asia, Europe, and North America
A cockroach perched on a green leaf with a dark background.

(Image: Brett_Hondow9)

3. Cockroach


  • Description: With 30 cockroach species, their appearances differ, but most are dark brown to reddish-brown with a flat, long body and a tiny head. They have antennae, ocelli (simple eyes), and compound eyes.
  • Natural Habitat: Leaf litter, debris, below log piles, underneath bark, and arid environments
  • Locations: Worldwide tropical and subtropical climates, including some temperate climates

4. Ant


  • Description: Over 22,000 species exist, so ants can look very different regarding size and color. Ants have a definable head with mouthpieces and antennae, ocelli, a compound eye, an alitrunk or mesoma (upper abdomen), a petiole or middle abdomen, and a gaster or rear.
A close-up of an ant exploring the surface of an object.

(Image: fotos199210)

  • Natural Habitat: Ant nests made of gravel or twigs, timbers, old logs, weeds, hollow stems, and underground
  • Locations: Almost globally
A close-up of a bed bug crawling on a soft white surface.

(Image: Jiří Humpolíček11)

5. Bed Bug

(Cimex hemipterus)

  • Description: These tiny, blood-sucking insects are one to seven millimeters in size. They’re shaped like an oval and flat, with light to dark brown coloration.
  • Natural Habitat: Bedrooms
  • Locations: Global, with notable spread in Europe and the United States

More Pests, More Problems: Insect Removal Strategies

Perhaps you have a compound issue, as you’re dealing with an insect infestation and a mouse in the house. How do you get rid of ants, cockroaches, bed bugs, and other problematic pests on several legs?

Try these handy strategies:

Bust Bugs With Neem Oil

A catch-all for your insect problem, neem oil is a natural bug killer sourced from the neem tree.5 It’s a pesticide without the chemicals. It smells like sulfur or garlic, so while not the most appealing, it does its job well.

Neem oil contains azadirachtin, a compound that can disrupt insect hormones and prevent them from laying eggs. Other components in the oil prevent insects from feeding or will kill them outright.

Although neem oil is non-toxic to people and pets, exposure can cause irritation, so use it carefully.

Bye, Bye Bed Bugs: The Power of Baking Soda

Do you have a bed bug problem? These microscopic, biting insects can cause mental health maladies as they spread, leading to physical side effects like lymphangitis, ecthyma, impetigo, and anaphylaxis in the most severe cases.

Fortunately, baking soda can take care of bed bugs. Lay out the powder in your most infested areas and refresh every few days.

It’s that easy and inexpensive to eradicate these life-ruining bugs.

Syrup and Cooking Oil Kill Cockroaches

Cockroaches have existed for millions of years, but you still don’t want them in your home. Control these prehistoric bugs with cooking oil and Maple syrup.

Place a little sticky syrup on the bottom of the bottle and cooking oil on the top, then wait for the bugs to enter. They’ll be trapped and die in the bottle.

Ants No More: Dealing With Dish Soap

Unwanted ants can ruin any summer, especially when they leave the picnic table and enter the home. Contain the swarm by combining equal parts dish soap and water in a spray bottle and misting wherever you see them.

When Should You Remove Field Mice vs Call the Pros?

You’ve got the bugs under control, but the field mice in your home haven’t budged.

You’ve seen field mice holes outside your property and spotted a few rodents scurrying across the home.

A brown mouse nibbling on food near a slice of fruit on a bed of mixed grains.

(Image: monikabaechler12)

How to get rid of field mice in the house?

If you’ve exhausted your natural methods and the mice problem persists, contact an exterminator. It’s also wise to seek professional mouse removal help when dealing with a large infestation.

Before you call, you’re likely curious about exterminator prices. Mouse extermination costs $200 to $600.6

A large infestation might be more expensive. Field mice are more than minor inconveniences.

They’re disease spreaders that can cause harm to your family if left to propagate.

Understanding how to get rid of field mice just involves creating a habitat that they are not interested in, and there are many ways to accomplish that while maintaining your home and health.

Frequently Asked Questions About How To Get Rid of Field Mice

Why Do Mice Come in the House?

Field mice are attracted to homes primarily for food and shelter, and providing both makes it even more appealing for them to stay. To deter them, especially during the winter, eliminate both indoor and outdoor food sources and seal any entry points.

Does Terminix Get Rid of Mice?

You likely call on Terminix whenever you have a problem with termites, but they can also combat the field mice on your property. The technicians can find mice hiding places and entry points you might have missed and trap and kill any mice on the premises.

Does Rat Poison Kill Mice?

Pesticides and rodenticides like rat poison will work on rats and mice alike. However, these products are dangerous for pets and children, so they should be considered a last resort if natural removal methods fail.


1University of Connecticut. (2016). Field Rodents: Mice, Voles, Chipmunks, and Moles. Home and Garden Education Center. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from <>

2Knutson, A. (2023, August 18). I Used Peppermint Oil to Get Rid of Mice — Here’s How It Went. The Kitchn. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from <>

3Wikipedia. (2023, June 8). Mousetrap. Wikipedia. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from <>

4U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. (2021, November 16). Hantavirus. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from <>

5National Pesticide Information Center. (2023). Neem Oil Fact Sheet. National Pesticide Information Center. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from <>

6Koncewicz, S. (2023, June 21). How Much Does a Mice Exterminator Cost? This Old House. Retrieved October 19, 2023, from <>

7Field Mouse photo by sab_k. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

8Meadow Vole photo by MrsBrown. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

9Cockroach in garden photo by Brett_Hondow. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

10Formicidae Ant photo by fotos1992. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>

11Bed Bug Wikimedia Commons photo by Jiří Humpolíček. CC BY-SA 2.5 Deed. Resized and Changed Format. Wikimedia Commons. Retrieved from <>

12Photo by monikabaechler. Pixabay. Retrieved from <>