Where Do Mice Hide in Your Home?

image of house with overlay of different images

Does searching for a mouse infestation leave you feeling like you’re chasing smoke? You’re not alone. When mice infest homes, they set up shop in the worst of places, such as the voids between your walls. Thankfully, there are ways to spot and remove them. This article will help you figure out where mice hide in your home so that you can get rid of them.

Mice Hiding Spots

Mice can be a pain to deal with, but they’re thankfully predictable. They like dark, out-of-the-way places with plenty of materials to build their nests and easy access to food sources.

Keep in mind that mice will travel throughout your home in search of food, nesting materials, and new homes. If you’ve found mice hiding in one area, it’s likely you have them in other places, too, even ones not on this list. They can even be under your bed. A thorough search of your home is required to locate all the nests.

With this in mind, look for mice in the following areas:


Photo Credit: vasiliki / Canva Pro / License

Attics are a great spot for mice to nest since they’re dark, seldom used, and have plenty of insulation and stored boxes for making nests.


Photo Credit: NicolasMcComber / Canva Pro / License

Basements are another common mouse hiding spot since they’re easily accessible via cracks in the foundation and typically have plenty of boxes for nest material.

Crawl Spaces

Photo Credit: Jason Finn / Canva Pro / License

Crawl spaces are a common mouse nesting spot since they’re even darker and more isolated than basements. Having mice in crawl spaces can be dangerous since they can gnaw on the wood beams that support your house and weaken them.

Wall Voids

The gaps between your walls are ideal conditions for mice. If you have mice in your walls, you need to remove them ASAP before they chew your support beams and wires or make tunnels in your insulation. Wall voids are a common mouse nesting space in apartments, too.


Photo Credit: imaginima / Canva Pro / License

While they’re not as ideal as some others, mice will still infest garages. Keep a close eye out for any storage boxes or bins that look like they’ve been gnawed on.

Large Appliances

For some reason, mice will even infest your appliances, particularly the stove. They’re particularly fond of the insulation on the bottom. If you suspect mice in your kitchen, it’s likely they’re in the underside or back of your fridge or stove.


If it goes undisturbed for long enough, mice can use boxes or bins as nests. If you suspect they’re in your bedroom, check your closet and drawers. You may just find mice nesting in an old shoebox.


Photo Credit: TriggerPhoto / Canva Pro / License

Kitchen cabinets or cupboards are good nesting spots for mice, especially if they’re seldom used. They’re close to food and have plenty of nesting materials, so even if they’re not living there, they may be visiting regularly.


Mice are particularly dangerous in your ductwork. They leave droppings that compromise air quality and carry diseases that you certainly don’t want in your indoor air. Mice will also chew through soft ducts, which compromises your HVAC system.


As bizarre as it sounds, mice will even infest your car. Typical mouse nesting spots in cars include the engine, the trunk, and even the headlight enclosures. If you’ve been having auto troubles or hearing strange noises, mice may be the cause.

How to Spot a Mouse Nest

Mouse nests can be easy to spot as long as you know what to look for. They look like rough, round structures with one entrance hole, about 4 to 6 inches in diameter, and are made of paper, cloth, fibers, or anything else the mouse can get a hold of.

If you can find a mouse trail, it should lead you back to a nest. Mice never stray far from their food sources or trails, so keeping a close eye out and finding where they’re getting their food from should lead you back to the nest.

Signs of Mice

mouse droppings and a ruler
Rat droppings
Photo Credit: PictureLake / Canva Pro / License

When you’re trying to find where your mouse infestation is hiding, there are a few signs that should help point you in the right direction. There are different types of mice, but identifying them and their infestations is largely the same. Here are some signs of mice in your home that you should look out for:

  • Droppings: Mice leave droppings in areas they frequent and along their trails. Mouse droppings look like hard black grains of rice and will typically be in small clusters.
  • Trails: Mice use the same trails over and over, so you may notice tracks in dust or dirt they’ve trailed in. Mouse tracks look like small prints about half an inch long, occasionally with a drag mark from their tail. If you have a UV light, a trail will show up clearly since they leave urine along trails to mark them.
  • Nests: A clear sign of an infestation is a mouse nest, where mice sleep and keep their babies during the day. Mouse babies look very different from adults and are small, pink, and hairless for the first 18 days of their lives. Look in dark corners and out-of-the-way spots in places they’re known to hide in to find and identify mouse nests.
  • Odor: If you have a mouse infestation, you may notice a strong ammonia-like odor. It’s strongest in their nests and along their trails.
  • Noises: Mice may make noise in your walls or other areas. Listen for scratching or squeaking. Identifying mouse sounds in your home isn’t fun, but it’s necessary to find an infestation.
  • Pet Behavior: Cats or dogs may act unusually if you have a mouse infestation. If they’re interested in one specific area, that may be where the mice are hiding.
  • Holes: Mice will make holes in your walls to access your home and move between areas. If the hole is the size of at least the diameter of a pencil, they can likely squeeze through it.
  • Damage: Mice can severely damage your home by tunneling through your insulation, gnawing on wood, and chewing through wires. Look out for damage without a clear explanation. You may also notice holes in cardboard boxes.
  • Sightings: Mouse sightings during the day are rare but not unheard of. You may also find dead mice, whether they’re in a trap or not.
  • Food Stashes: Mice will stash food in out-of-the-way spots like drawers or even shoes, so keep a careful eye out for them.

Mouse Prevention

If you want to prevent mice from hiding in your home in the first place, the most important thing is to take care of it. Stray food and cracks in exterior walls are two of the biggest contributing factors to a mouse infestation. Therefore, as long as you keep up with proper household cleaning and maintenance, preventing a mouse infestation shouldn’t be too hard.

How to Get Rid of Mice 

When you’ve found where your mice are hiding, you need to work on getting rid of them. Thankfully, you have multiple options you can try before calling for professional help. The two main methods of mouse removal are traps and poison. Here are some more details on both:

Mouse Traps

Photo Credit: alexlmx / Canva Pro / License

Mouse traps are a tried and true mouse extermination method. You can use live traps if you want to catch and release the mice, but they’re not recommended by the CDC due to possible hantavirus exposure. If you do choose to use live traps, release the mice at least two miles away from your home so they don’t come right back.

You also shouldn’t use glue traps. They’re highly cruel and not as effective as other traps, and also aren’t recommended by the CDC. 

The best lethal option is the classic snap trap. Bait them with food (peanut butter works best) and place them wherever you have confirmed or suspect the mice to be nesting, as well as along their trails. On their trails, place the traps perpendicular so that they snap towards the wall, and use multiple traps along the same trail for best results.

No matter what trap you use, check them once a day and dispose of dead mice properly. Afterwards, restock the traps with bait and replace them. If your traps aren’t working, it’s time to switch tactics.

Mouse Poison

Your other option is poison. Keep in mind that rodenticides are a last resort due to their potential for harm beyond their intended target. The safest method when it comes to poison is a bait station. It’s essentially an enclosed trap containing poisoned bait that the mice will eat or take back to their nests for the other mice to eat. Place them wherever you would a typical mouse trap.

No matter what form it takes, keep pets and small children away from sites where you’ve used poison to prevent exposure. Avoid using mouse poison outside since it can kill local wildlife, including animals that eat other animals exposed to the poison.

How to Dispose of Dead Mice

When you find a dead mouse, regardless of what killed it, you need to dispose of it properly. Once you’ve confirmed that it’s dead, spray it with disinfectant and dispose of it in a plastic bag. Always wear gloves when handling dead animals, and if you use something to pick it up,  disinfect the item right away.

If your mouse died to poison, take steps to ensure other animals don’t get into the trash and eat them. Otherwise, they can also suffer the effects of the toxin. One method is to lock your garbage cans. Another is to keep them in a sealed container and throw them away on garbage day, though it may be unpleasant and you will need to disinfect the container.

Dead mice may also leave behind a foul odor. To get rid of dead mouse smell, you can use baking soda, pet odor sprays, or household products like vinegar. You may not be able to get rid of it completely, but it will fade with time.

How Much Does Mouse Extermination Cost?

If all else fails, you’re likely to need a professional mouse exterminator. A pro costs between $246.50 and $432.50 on average, but it’s well worth it. Mice can do serious damage to your home if left unchecked, which will be much more costly to repair than the exterminator would have been.

FAQ About Mice

Do mice sleep during the day?

Yes. Mice are nocturnal and do not like light, which is why they don’t typically come out during the daytime. During the day, they usually stay in their nests. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible to see a mouse during the day, however, especially if they’re low on food.

Do mice like the cold?

No. Mice thrive best at temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, so they don’t like cold rooms very much. If the temperatures outside drop, mice may be driven into your home, even deer mice, which are different from house mice in that they don’t typically infest homes.

Will mice get into my clothes?

Mice aren’t likely to go into your closet in search of your clothes. However, they may go after dirty ones in your hamper or on the floor. Mice can use clothing for nesting materials and will be attracted to food stains.

How can I tell if I have mice or voles?

Telling mice and voles apart is tough at first glance. Mice look very similar to voles, but voles are rounder and have shorter tails than mice, as well as smaller ears. If it’s in your house, it’s in all likelihood mice. Voles don’t typically invade houses. If you notice long tunnels in your yard, on the other hand, that’s most likely voles.

Hire a Pro to Find Your Mice

Mice hide in many different places in your home. Look closely to find them so that you can get them out of your house.
If you have a rodent problem, contact pest control professionals near you. They can find and eliminate your rodent infestation for you to keep your home safe.

Main Image Credit:
Background: PC Photography / Canva Pro / License
Attic: northlightimages / Canva Pro / License
Crawl Space: SLRadcliffe / Canva Pro / License
Wall: leolintang / Canva Pro / License
Cabinet: Bogdan Kurylo / Canva Pro / License

Austin Geiger

Austin Geiger is a writer who's passionate about pest prevention. He enjoys writing about rodent control and teaching readers about how to keep their homes free of rats and mice.