last updated 2 Feb 2024

In the fall of 2024 I had rat problems (Killed 7) in Davis and mice at our cabin at Tahoe.
We were getting about 1 a week in traps even after putting bait cubes (poison out).
We didn't want to continue to use traps because the cabin was vacant weeks at a time and 1 trap I forgot got a mouse that started to smell.
There was a myth that the bait would smell-taste better than food an they would eat it and go outside or back to their nest and die. Not true.

Steps: A successful and effective rodent control strategy typically involves

See How do you get rid of mice when the mouse traps aren't working? | Quora
See Rodent Control Products | Twin Home Experts
The 7 Best Mouse Traps of 2024 | the spruce>
Terminix mouse control resources

Old Fashioned VICTOR Easy Set Mouse Trap
Same as original but with, Expanded trigger for easy setting Trigger pedal has a "cheese scent" that will attract foraging mice. However, you can add a small smear of peanut butter if you want to make certain you catch the rodent.

The plastic bait peddle in new model is a little harder to set than the old metal catch.

Childproof tunneled traps
Tunneled traps work by forcing the Rats to only go in for the bait head first, this will prevent the Rats from stealing the bait from the top, sides, and back. They also allow you to release the body in the garbage without touching the mouse. Kat Sense Covered Rat & Chipmunk Traps, Prevents Accidental Triggering with Tunneled Design

UCatch Rat Trap - tunneled
A friend has these and likes them.

Electric traps get good reviews. Victor gets the best reviews:
Victor M250S Indoor Electronic Humane (kills mouse instantly) Mouse Trap $20
Victor M1 Smart-Kill Wi-Fi Electronic Mouse Trap $49
Will send a notice to your phone when a mouse is killed.
Fresh Cab Rodent Repellent
Active Ingredient: Balsam Fir oil , - Child, pet safe
Mouse repellant packets to be used in enclosed spaces indoors, pantries, closets, ...
Smells good to people.

Grandpa Gus's mouse repellant pouches
Essential oils: peppermint oil and cinnamon oil.

TomCat rodent repellant spray
Inside and outside, Peppermint oil 0.5%, Cinnamon oil 0.25%, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate (SLS) 1.5%

SLS is what’s known as a "surfactant." It lowers the surface tension between ingredients.
Some are outdoor only, so read the label.

Purcor Pest Solutions
Essential oils that may be helpful in repelling rats and mice include peppermint oil, lemon oil, citronella oil, and eucalyptus oil. You can make an essential oil spray by mixing 2 teaspoons of oil with 1 cup of water or rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle. Repellants should be replaced every 30 days. TomCat Rodent Preventer granules - Outdoor
Peppermint oil 2%, Cinnamon oil 1%, Sodium Lauryl Sulphate .95%

TomCat Rodent Repeller plugin diffuser

Victor Catch & Hold Small Multiple Catch Animal Trap (up to 4 mice) - Catch and release in your enemies yard.

Ultrasonic sound repellants. They are of questionable effectiveness. See ultrasonic Pest Repellers

Poisons don't address the underlying issue: They only kill the mice you see, not the ones hiding or the ones that will come in later. Sealing entry points and addressing attractants like food and water are more effective long-term solutions.

There are several types of poisons, anticoagulants, and several other types that work in diffent ways.

Some common rodenti TARGET="_blank">
Brand Rodenticide type Chemical
Days † Dehyd-
ration ‡
Mouse Out Warfarin * Anticoagulant Hydroxycoumarin Multiple
TomCat: Bromethalin Non-ancicoagulant Neurotoxin Single day 4.6 (8)
d-CON: Cholecalciferol Non-ancicoagulant Vitamin D3 - Liver failure multiple days Y 4.3 (13K)
* AS I Recall Dad took Warfarin for his heart issues.
† Days of feeding needed.
There are 6 Anticoagulants, and 4 Non-anticoagulant on the market. Then Non-anticoagulant work in different ways.

‡ Dehydration - d-Con DOES NOT advertise that dehydration will make mice go outside in search of water. The features they advertise are:
1. Typically, rodents begin to die about three days after feeding on the bait. Nice to know: Because mice don’t die on the spot after eating the bait, you won’t have to deal with disposing of the dead pests.
2. They don't have anti-coagulants or neurotoxins, so they are less dangerous if your pet of child eats them.

Poison does NOT cause the rodent to go out to drink, and thus die outside. See Does Poison Make Rats Thirsty And Die Outside? | Salt Lake City Wildlife

Several places recommend against poisons indoors because mice may die in a wall or other unreachable place in the house causing smell.
Source: National Pesticide information center

How d-Con Mouse Baits Work
The active ingredient in d-Con bait blocks is Cholecalciferol which uses NO anti-coagulants or neurotoxins.
After mice eat the bait, they don’t die on the spot; they return to their nest.
Tip: Check d-Con bait station’s clear window. If the bait hasn’t been gnawed, move the device to a new location.
Typically, rodents begin to die about three days after feeding on the bait. Signs of infestation should disappear then, too.
Nice to know: Because mice don’t die on the spot after eating the bait, you won’t have to deal with disposing of the dead pests.

How to Kill Mice and Rats Using Tomcat® Disposable Bait Stations

General Guidelines
Rodent Control Products | Twin Home Experts

FASTEST Way To Get Rid Of A Lot Of Rats! | Twin
Most People And Even Pest Controllers Make These Huge Mistakes When Trying To Get Rid Of A Lot Of Rats:

Just because your local pest control companies have great reviews, don’t expect to get rid of your rat problem fast, don’t pay anyone in full. Make sure you find and seal up your entry points, then set up effective rat traps like the Twin Traps.

The decomposition of the carcass depends on the weather. A dead mouse will start letting off a powerful smell in one or two days in the summer. In the winter, the scent can take up to a week to become evident. But it lingers for longer because the body decomposes much slower in cold weather.
How To Identify & Get Rid Of A Dead Mouse Smell

Pest control Companies - Exterminators:
I called several.
I asked them if they had any way of setting off a smoke bomb under the house and looking for holes without having to crawl under the deck and they said no.

Smoke Testing:
Smoking THEM OUT!! Best way to find and remove rats...Best rodent REMOVAL | Twin Home Experts| YouTube


John McNerney Wildelife Resource Specalist - City of Davis Attachments Mon, Jan 8, 3:22 PM (6 days ago) Hi Don-

Thanks for reaching out about your rat challenges. Sounds like you are on the right path to resolving the issue. Rodenticides can be helpful to control large numbers of rats outside, but you should avoid using them indoors. Rats that eat poisons indoors will end up dying in the walls, attic or crawl space…causing a terrible smell.

I suggest that you keep trapping in the kitchen as that seems to be where they are coming. You could try to place a trap up in the attic (on a board above the insulation) to see if you get any there.

Most importantly, I would spend some time looking for points on entry into the house and sealing those up. This involves searching the outside perimeter of the house from top to bottom looking for any gaps or holes that are larger than a nickel. Fill those gaps with steel wool or spray insulation foam. Check under exterior doors also and install or replace sweeps under the doors with gaps.

Finally, consider cutting back dense vegetation around the exterior of the home. This could aid in entrance hole detection and reduce cover for rats around the home. Keeping tree limbs and vines off the roof is also important in preventing rats from accessing the roof/ attic.

If you would like more information, take a look a the UC Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension IPM program webpage. Rats - National Pesticide Information Center - Integrated Pest Management Program - University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources

Rodenticides | National Pesticide Information Center - Oregon State

I hope this is helpful,