mice in walls

Contributed by: Pat Hottel

Updated on: August 10, 2022

Mice in the walls are one of the last things a homeowner wants to hear. Mice often seek shelter in homes to withstand the winter cold or hot summer sun, trying to escape the harsh elements. Once indoors, mice can hide inside the walls of your home. While there are many reasons to keep mice out of your house, their ability to wreak havoc on your home is one of the most important. Mice and other small pests can cause structural damage, chew electrical wires, and spread disease-causing pathogens to humans.

Have you discovered mice in the walls of your home? Do you hear mice squeaking in your walls? How do mice sneak in? How can you get rid of mice in your walls? Here's what you need to know.


How do mice get in walls?

Because of their small size, mice can squeeze their way through openings the size of a dime. That means even the smallest cracks in your home's walls, ceilings, floors, or foundation can allow these little critters to sneak inside.

Mice are also adept climbers. They can climb trees and, depending on the texture, even scale walls. Their ability to climb and jump allows them to gain access to cracks and holes well above ground level. Once they've entered a building or your home, mice will use similar techniques to get inside walls.

How do mice get inside walls? Common entry points for mice include:

  • Utility pipe and wire entries
  • Deteriorating siding
  • Cracks in home foundations
  • Crawl spaces
  • Weep vents (structural holes in brick walls designed to allow built-up water to escape)
  • Gaps in building materials
  • Poorly sealed door and window frames
  • Air ducts
  • Roof vents and chimney pipes

Signs of a mice infestation

Besides actually seeing a mouse scurry around inside your house, there are many other signs of an infestation to look for. Spotting evidence of rodents sooner can help lessen the severity of an infestation and damage to your home. Knowing what to look for can help you to keep a small infestation from becoming a raging mouse party.

Common signs include:

  • Droppings (1/4" in length and pointed on at least one side) or urine
  • Nests made of paper, cardboard or fabric
  • Disturbed insulation (if pests have nested in or destroyed your insulation, you may need to replace it)
  • Chewed or gnawed wood or drywall
  • Mice squeaking inside walls
  • The smell of rodent droppings or decay

Learn more about the signs of mouse infestation.

What do mice sound like in walls?

If mice are in your walls, you may be able to hear them. In fact, many homeowners hear mice scurrying and squeaking in their walls before they even see one.

You may hear mice scurrying around inside your walls and ceiling. Mice are especially active at night, so if you hear squeaking, skittering, or gnawing noises coming from inside the walls at bedtime, this could be a sure sign that mice have taken up residence.

Learn more about the types of sounds rodents make.

Dead mice in walls

Unfortunately, having a mouse infestation sometimes means that mice may die inside your walls. This is probably due to rodenticides, however mice may become stuck in a tight spot and starve, or they may simply die of old age and your walls become their final resting place. Whatever the cause, if you can smell a pungent, rotten scent coming from your walls, it could be a sign of a mouse decaying.

It's important to get dead mice out of your home as soon as possible. In many cases, removing a dead mouse from inside a wall will include cutting into the drywall, so it is important to enlist the aid of a professional to avoid drilling more holes than necessary.

What can I do to get rid of rodents in walls?

Getting rid of rodents in your walls can be tricky. That's why enlisting the aid of a knowledgeable pest control specialist is critical to helping get these critters out of your walls — and out of your home.

However, you can certainly make your home less hospitable to existing rodents and prevent future infestations. Here are some ways to prevent mice from getting in and making a home in your walls:

  • Seal cracks in your foundation and walls. Avoid using plastic, rubber, or wood as sealant, as mice can gnaw through these materials. Instead, use wire/stainless steel mesh or quick-drying cement. It's important to seal walls either pre-infestation or after the current infestation is eliminated.
  • Trim trees and greenery. Be sure tree branches and shrubs are trimmed back at least a foot-and-a-half from your home. Mice can climb and jump. By maintaining space between your home and shrubbery, you can make it more difficult for mice to use them to gain access to upper levels of your home.
  • Use mouse traps to help stop an ongoing infestation. Place traps perpendicular to walls, with the trigger facing toward the baseboard to ensure mice run directly into the trap as they run.
  • Cut off food and water sources. Sweep up crumbs, do not leave out food (unless it's used as bait on traps), and eliminate any moisture.

If mice have already invaded your home and breached your walls, calling a pest control professional can help you safely lure them out and help you to more effectively manage a rodent problem.

What is the best way to get rid of a mouse in the wall?

When it comes to removing mice from your walls, hiring a rodent control professional is your best course of action. Taking the DIY route to removing mice from your walls can yield less-than-effective results and potentially cause more damage to your home. A pest control specialist can help save you time and money in the long run, leveraging their expertise to devise an expert plan to help get rid of mice from your walls and home.

While there are several DIY rodent control and removal options, the most thorough removal option is to contact Terminix rodent control professionals. Our team of rodent control experts will work with you to develop a plan uniquely tailored to your home and specifics of your infestation.

With Terminix, your local rodent control expert will:

  1. Conduct an initial inspection to determine where mice are getting in. A Terminix pest control specialist will inspect all accessible areas of your home, including your roof and any crawl spaces.
  2. Develop a customized treatment plan to help get rid of mice.
  3. Seal and secure vulnerable entry points to help keep rodent intruders out.

Contact our rodent control professionals today for a free inspection.