Healthy Homes: Eliminate Mice and Rats Make an Appointment Ask a Question Find a Doctor Step 1: Learn about mice and rats Children can be allergic to substances found in mouse and rat urine and droppings. Mouse and rat infestations can make asthma symptoms worse for allergic children. Mice can enter a home through an opening as small as the diameter of a pencil. Common food sources for mice and rats include unwashed dishes, pet dishes, uncovered pet food containers, litter boxes, waste containers, splattered grease on stoves and crumbs under refrigerators. Common outdoor mouse and rat attractants are open garbage, compost piles, wood piles, food debris and pet waste. Step 2: Take action Clean up all mouse or rat debris including feces and nests using a vacuum cleaner followed by wet wiping with a solution of soap and hot water. Store all food in sealed containers. Keep garbage in closed containers. Clean up dishes immediately after use or place them in soapy water. Clean up food crumbs or spills in all areas of the house. Store pet food in closed containers. Clean grease splatters from stove, vent hood and surrounding walls. Remove mouse or rat hiding places such as empty boxes, cans, bottles, bags and newspapers. Seal cracks and holes in the walls larger than one-quarter inch in diameter. Remove outdoor mouse and rat hiding and nesting places by cutting back bushes and removing yard debris. Eliminate outdoor mouse and rat attractants such as open garbage or compost storage, food debris and pet waste.