You begin to hear small scratching noises at night, and there are little holes ripped in various food packages. Eventually, you find a pile of tiny brown mouse poop, and your worst fears are confirmed- you have mice. Mice are the adorable characters in Disney movies and are undeniably one of the cutest rodents, but they are decidedly not cute when they've taken up residence in your home. Mice infestations are often found in the kitchen, where scraps of food can be feasted upon. One of the most common places that mice are attracted to is the stove.
An infestation of any critter is bad, but mice seem to be especially difficult to get rid of. The thought of little rodents sifting through your food at night is bad enough, but now you have to figure out how to get rid of them? This is a common problem for homeowners, and it can feel overwhelming to address. Mice are often found in the stove, since they are attracted to the warmth of the pilot light and the food crumbs that often build up.
How to Get Mice Out of the Stove
Fortunately, there are many tried-and-true methods of dealing with a mouse problem, from various types of traps to getting professional help. The first step after discovering a mouse infestation is to clean your kitchen. The mice were originally attracted to your stove because of food, so it's important to remove this incentive.
1. Clean Up
Ensure that any potential food sources are sealed, including garbage bags. Clean the floor to get rid of any crumbs. Scrub the inside of your stove and pull it away from the wall to clean behind it. Keep inspecting your stove every day to ensure that no food build-up is happening.
2. Find Entry Points
After cleaning, inspect your home for potential entry points that the mice could have used to come in. Look for mouse droppings or marks on the wall near the floor where mice may have gnawed their way in. Check behind sinks and near pipes for small holes. Since the mice are in your stove, be especially attentive to that area. Even too much of a gap around a gas intake hose can be used as an entry point for mice.
3. Seal Entry Points
Once you've found any potential entry points, these need to be sealed off so that the mice can't get in. Soak some cotton balls in pure peppermint oil. Once fully soaked, insert the cotton balls into any holes you found that could be an entry point. Then insert steel wool into the holes, adding it to the cotton balls. Cover the steel wool with spackling paste, and smooth it with a spoon or spatula. Tape cardboard over the spackling as it dries to ensure that mice don't disturb it.
4. Turn Off Gas
If you have a gas stove, you'll need to turn off the gas line by turning the valve on the gas intake hose. Then use two wrenches or pliers to unscrew the hose's screw coupling, and pull the stove out fully.
5. Set Traps
Now it's time to get the mice out! Place mouse traps around the stove. Glue traps, also called sticky traps, are an excellent choice, but snap traps are effective as well. If you have snap traps, fill them with attractants like peanut butter or cheese.
6. Turn On Oven
Now, turn on the oven, including the broiler if there is one. Don't bother with turning on the stovetop, since this won't affect the mice. Any mice in the stove will need to escape the heat, so the goal is for them to get caught by the traps surrounding the stove. Follow any mice that make it past the traps to any other mouse holes you may have missed. Fill those holes with peppermint oil, steel wool, and spackling to make sure the mice can't use them again.
Hopefully, the mice in your stove are gone and have learned their lesson! However, just to be on the safe side, it's a good idea to set traps and leave them around the kitchen, along the walls, just in case there were any mouse holes you missed or stragglers who escaped. Check traps every day, get rid of any mice you catch, and reset the traps while the problem continues. Be careful if you have pets or small children, since traps can be dangerous.
If the mice don't go away or you don't have it in you to mouse-proof your home, it might be best to call pest control. DIY mouse-catching can be exhausting and difficult, especially if you have a big house or a large mouse infestation. However, hopefully this DIY method will rid your home of any unwanted inhabitants!