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How To Keep Mice Out of Closets

How To Keep Mice Out Of Closets

In their search for food and warmth, mice often end up in people’s homes. One of the common places where they run to is the closet because it is extra dark and secluded. Nobody wants to share their private space with these rodents.

If you fall into this category and are looking for a way to frighten mice away, look no further. We researched and compiled some foolproof strategies in this guide. Let’s get started!


Mice hide in closets mainly for shelter and easy access to food in homes. However cute these rodents appear, they can spread diseases in your household. So, keeping them out of your house is more than a routine procedure. It is a health necessity.

Below are a few strategies that can help to keep these tiny rodents at bay:

  • Set mice trap close to your closet
  • Leave bright lights on in your closet. Mice are nocturnal animals and would naturally stay away when everywhere is well-lit.
  • Don’t just toss clothes around in the closet. Store them properly.
  • Use natural mice repellents like peppermint oil, mint, and rosemary.
  • Seal all cracks, holes, and gaps wide enough for mice to pass through.

In the following headings, we will walk you through practical and DIY-friendly strategies you can deploy to keep mice out of closets permanently.

Also, we will answer some frequently asked questions about handling mouse infestations in closets and other secluded areas in homes.

8 Ways To Keep Mice Out of Closets

Ways To Keep Mice Out Of Closets

Mice enjoy hiding around secluded areas in homes like closets, bedrooms, and storage areas. Although tiny, these rodents can chew items, including clothes and shoes, and spread diseases to humans.

Rather than leave your health and favorite wears to fate in the hands of these destructive animals, follow the strategies below to keep them away from your closet permanently.

1. Seal All Holes and Cracks

Seal All Holes And Cracks

The first step to keeping mice out of your closet is to prevent them from entering your house. You will have to inspect your house’s exterior for potential entry spots.

These include cracks, holes, and gaps wide enough for mice to pass through. If you notice any of these, you need to seal them up. You need strong sealing materials like concrete, sheet metal, and steel wool.

Mice have strong teeth that can chew through softer materials like drywall and traditional insulation materials like cardboard. So, these are not viable options if you want to keep mice away for a long time. Instead, stuff up the holes and cracks with strong sealing materials.

Then, look at your windows and doors, checking for holes and gaps underneath them. Board these up to prevent mice from sneaking in. If mice can’t get past the front door, they can’t reach your closet.

2. Clean Out Your Closet

Clean Out Your Closet

Cleaning out your closet can help you identify what attracts mice to it. It could be forgotten food wraps, crumbs, bits of paper, etc.

Take out all clutter from your closet, as they provide a safe space for mice to hide. Then, sweep or vacuum, if possible, to remove traces of debris.

Relocate all laundry from your closet because they attract mice who chew through the fabric. So, it is advisable not to allow dirty clothes to pile and stink the place up.

You can even donate the stuff you no longer need to charity to reduce clutter.

3. Set Mice Traps Close to Your Closet

Set Mice Traps Close To Your Closet

There are many ways to keep mice out of your closet, and a trap is one of them. Now, there are varieties of options, depending on your preference.

We have live traps which keep mice confined until you decide what to do with them. On the flip side, snap traps kill any rodent that climbs on them.

For these traps, you need baits like bread, peanut butter, or other things mice love to eat. The bait draws the mice into the trap, and you can easily dispose of the carcass at your convenience.

4. Leave Bright Lights in Your Closets

Leave Bright Lights In Your Closets

Ever entered a room inhabited by mice and turned on the lights? You will notice them dash for shade if you are observant.

The reason is that, like most rodents, mice are not very big fans of lights. They are nocturnal animals and prefer to conduct their activities at night or under darkness.

You can take advantage of their aversion to lights against them. Fix some strobe lights or a regular lightbulb in your closet to deter them from building a home.

5. Use Natural Mice Repellents

Use Natural Mice Repellents

There are many natural options if you are looking for a safer alternative to regular chemical mice repellants.

Cloves are an example, as their scent can overwhelm these tiny rodents. So, you can set out some cloves in and around your closet to deter them.

Cedar is another natural substance with a strong odor that repels most pests. Get some cedar chips or blocks and hang them from your cloth hangers to fill your wardrobe with their scent.

Alternatively, you can hang up an herb sachet, combining several mice-repellant plants like mint and rosemary. In most cases, this often turns out more effective.

Peppermint oil is another natural fragrant substance you can use against these rodents. You can easily make a DIY spray or buy one from a local store.

Spritz peppermint oil on your clothes and other potential entry points in your closet. Doing this keeps mice at bay. Beyond that, it will also make your closet smell fresh.

However, peppermint oil is very potent, so you may want to use it cautiously. It can cause breathing issues in pets like cats and dogs. So, keep your pets out of your closet while using this repellant.

If they must stay in the closet during the process, dilute the mix before spraying it.

6. Spray Pepper Around Your Closet

Spray Pepper Around Your Closet

Besides being food flavors, pepper can serve as a powder mice repellant. Sprinkle some ground chili peppers on your closet floor, especially around the corners.

The hot flavor will upset them out of their hiding place and prevent them from re-entering your closet.

However, be careful not to let the pepper touch your clothes. It can make those clothes uncomfortable and require you to wash them before wearing them.

7. Store Clothes Properly

Store Clothes Properly

We understand that not everyone puts away their laundry immediately. After a long and busy day, you may be too tired to arrange your clothes. As such, toss them around in your closet.

However, piles of clothes lying on the floor or hamper can create a perfect hiding spot for mice. Even storing clothes in dresser drawers or hangers in the closet is not good enough to deter mice. These animals can climb almost anything and anywhere.

Instead, store your clothes in plastic containers. While dressers are typically made from wood that mice can chew through, plastic containers are airtight. This means that however sharp mice’s teeth may be, they cannot cut through plastics.

Plastic storage containers can help preserve your clothes while you deal with the possible infestation problem. Cardboard and other storage options made from softer materials are not advisable alternatives for closet storage.

8. Avoid Fabric Softener

Avoid Fabric Softener

Oil residue, fabric softeners, and other compounds left on clothes tend to attract mice and other pests. This is not to say that you should not wash your clothes before storing them.

Instead, what you use while washing can impact your clothes’ appearance to pests. For example, let’s say you have to stow away some seasonal clothes like winter outfits that you don’t need immediately.

It is best to wash these clothes first while setting the washing machine to its warmest capacity. That is, provided the clothes can withstand it.

Avoid using fabric softeners or starch while washing or ironing these clothes in readiness for storage. Instead, allow them to dry completely and store them as normal.

Ways To Keep Mice Out of Your Bedroom

Ways To Keep Mice Out Of Your Bedroom

In most houses, the closet is in the bedroom(s). So, it is not enough to chase mice out of the closet if they can relocate to the bedroom.

Mice in your bedroom can climb on your bed and bite anyone. Other than that, their droppings and urine can spread diseases.

Thus, the entire process of repelling mice should extend quickly to the rooms. Here are a few tips to help:

1. Keep Your Bedroom Clean

Keep Your Bedroom Clean

Mice travel in untidy places, and if your bedroom is dirty, mice will most likely relocate there from your closet. They can make a mess of your room by releasing their waste in unpredictable corners of your room.

Sometimes, in places where you can’t see at first glance – and if it stays undetected, your room may stink. Since they are nocturnal animals, the noise they make hurrying from one place to another can make sleeping difficult.

Imagine coming home after a long day at work and can’t rest because the squeak of mice keeps you awake. This may force you to move to another room or sleep in the living room, disrupting your sleep patterns.

Nobody wants this level of discomfort. So, keep your bedroom clean.

2. Place Camphor or Mothballs Around Your Bedroom

Place Camphor Or Mothballs Around Your Bedroom

Mice hate the chemical smell of camphor and mothballs. Mothballs contain a potent chemical – naphthalene which has an overwhelming effect on mice.

Humans are not exempt from the overwhelming effect of mothballs either. Their scent can linger in your house, even long after use. This is unhealthy for younger kids and pets.

Camphor is dangerous to these tiny rodents both when inhaled and ingested. When ingested, it can cause camphor poisoning with symptoms like skin irritation and nausea.

You can get either camphor or mothballs from any store or online marketplace. Place sufficient amounts around your room and closet to drive unpleasant pests like mice away.

3. Use Bleach While Cleaning

Use Bleach While Cleaning

Bleach is an effective cleaning agent that restores shine to surfaces. But it also doubles as a mouse repellant – all thanks to its strong smell.

While cleaning your house, especially your bedroom, use bleach to clean floors and wipe down surfaces. This helps to disinfect areas where mice may have died or left their droppings and urine.

The strong fumes and smell of bleach are overwhelming for humans and animals alike. So, it is advisable not to use this chemical in excess. Instead, dilute your bleach in water before cleaning to reduce the effect and protect your pets and other humans.

4. Clear Pet Food Away

Clear Pet Food Away

Mice love anything that looks like food and will probably see your pet’s food as free lunch. So, don’t leave pet food uncovered and lying around overnight.

These can attract mice and other pests, as they have a stronger sense of smell and will trace food anywhere.

So, to keep these unwanted visitors away from your bedroom and closet, clean up after feeding your pet and put their dishes away to discourage pests.

5. Inspect Your Bedroom Ceiling

Inspect Your Bedroom Ceiling

Ceilings are a favorite playground and breeding for many pests, including mice. Often, the first sign of an infestation is hearing thuds or scratching in the ceiling.

Sometimes, the ceiling can be a pathway for them to enter your bedroom and other parts of your house. After wreaking havoc, they can climb back and hide in the ceiling.

So, inspect your ceiling if you suspect something or want to take precautions. Check for holes, chew marks, and gaps these rodents may climb through.

If you notice any, close them up before the critters get any ideas. You can even set traps and apply other extermination measures to handle the problem.

But, if you can’t reach high enough to do this on your own, seek help or get professionals to handle it.

6. Hire Pest Control Specialists

Hire Pest Control Specialists

Cleaning your house and adequately putting clothes away can only do so much to stave off rats. For a thorough remedy and complete extermination, you may need the help of pest control specialists.

These experts understand how these whiskered pests operate and do not need trial and error measures to exterminate permanently. After contacting them, they will typically come around to assess the situation.

Based on their observation, they can recommend specialist mice control strategies that fit your situation. Even after dealing with the solution, they can go further to prevent mice from ever returning.

This involves entirely mouse-proofing your closet, bedroom, and house, depending on your preference. Although it may cost a tidy sum, hiring professionals is often worthwhile. If you are not a fan of DIY tricks, this will make a great way to repel mice.


Mice hide in closets mainly for shelter and easy access to food in homes. However cute these rodents appear, they can spread diseases in your household. So, keeping them out of your house is more than a routine procedure. It is a health necessity.

Above, we detailed some steps to get you started on your extermination journey. These include storing clothes properly, spraying pepper around your closet, and using natural mice repellents.

Other strategies include setting mice traps, leaving bright lights in your closet, sealing holes and cracks, etc.

Try them out and see which combination works best for you. You may also need to work in your bedroom(s) for better results. Even if you successfully evict mice from your closet, these rodents can easily relocate to the bedroom.

Follow the six supplementary strategies and watch these tiny rodents permanently stay away from your home.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Are the Signs of Rats in My Closets?

The first noticeable sign of rats is their tell-tale squeaking and scratching sounds. You will typically hear them make these sounds before seeing them.

You may even notice tiny tears and chew marks on your clothes. Other signs include minor, dark stains on the wall.

Does Ammonia Deter Mice?

Ammonia, whether in its natural or diluted form, is an excellent remedy against mice because they can’t stand the smell.

Mix some ammonia with water and detergent in a container and place them in a mice-infested area.

Are Rats Afraid of Predator Smells?

Rats are terrified of their predator’s smell, even if not in the vicinity.

The scent of feral cats and other predators increases rats’ stress levels causing them to express defensive behaviors.

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