Homemade Mouse Poison: 7 Tried And Tested Recipes (Including One That Doesn’t Work)

We’ve been sharing our house with a multitude of rodents for years; our old house seems to double up as a mouse condominium.

While I’m not keen on using poison, fearing it might kill something other than a pesky rodent, I’m reaching the end of my tether now. I’m still determined to use natural repellants and humane traps as far as possible, but decided I’d look into the possibility of poison as a backup plan.

The following recipes all use common household products as the bait to entice the mouse and the poison that will eventually kill it.

Note: Many of these substances are as appealing to pets and small children as they are to rodents, so make sure you distribute your poison carefully and keep it out of reach.

7 Tried And Tested Recipes For Homemade Mouse Poison (Including One That Doesn’t Work)

#1 Baking Soda

how to store baking soda long term

Due to its versatility, most homes have some baking soda stored in the kitchen. As well as being used as a cleaning, anti-acid, and leavening agent, baking soda is a surprisingly effective mouse poison. 

Rodents can’t expel carbon dioxide as humans can, so when the bicarbonate in the baking soda reacts with the acids in the rodent’s stomach and produces carbon dioxide, the gas builds up inside the digestive system. Eventually, it will cause a blockage or rupture and kill the mouse. 

Mice don’t naturally sit down to a meal of baking soda, so you’ll need to combine it with something appetizing to spark their interest. You can use any of the following as bait for your baking soda poison:

  • Peanut butter – mix with baking soda and then roll into balls and place around your home
  • Flour and sugar – mix equal parts of sugar, flour, and baking soda. Leave in a shallow dish.
  • Cocoa powder – chocolate is difficult for anyone to resist, including mice. Combine equal amounts of cocoa powder and baking soda, and then add a little sugar to sweeten the deal. 

While baking soda is safe for children and pets, it’s not particularly humane. Few poisons are, I suppose.

Larger mice and rats also need to consume a considerable amount of baking soda before it kills them, which means you could witness ailing mice stumbling around your house. 

#2 Aspartame

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener that’s readily available and very affordable. Although considered safe for human consumption, research has shown that aspartame, along with a similar substance known as neotame, is “toxic to the digestive gut microbes of mice.”

Mix one sachet of aspartame sweetener, like this one, into one teaspoon of peanut butter. Roll the mixture into two balls of equal size and place them in strategic positions around your home. Attracted by the irresistible scent of peanut butter, mice will gobble this mixture up and die soon afterward. 

It takes a while for aspartame to take effect, so if you’re impatient like me, you might want to combine it with something faster-acting, like instant mashed potato.

#3 Instant Mashed Potato Flakes 

I’ve always maintained that instant mashed potato is closer to lethal poison than food, and it seems that, for mice, at least, this is true. 

This non-toxic approach to poisoning mice is one the safest, especially if you have pets. Few cats or dogs will tuck into a dish of instant mashed potato flakes, but mice seem more than happy to gorge themselves on it.

Once they’ve eaten their fill, they become extremely thirsty. As they drink, the water causes the mashed potato flakes to expand in the mouse’s stomach, killing them instantly.

Sprinkling a sachet of artificial sweetener over the mashed potato flakes makes them even more appealing to mice and will help ensure they eat enough of the substance to seal their fate.

#4 Cement Mix 

While this isn’t something everyone has in their kitchen, it is easily available and very effective, assuming you can persuade a mouse to eat it. If a mouse does ingest this, it will quickly harden as it comes into contact with the animal’s digestive juices.

Mix the powder with something tempting, like peanut butter or cocoa powder, for the cement mix to work effectively. Peanut butter works well as it makes the mixture malleable, so you can roll it into balls and place it strategically around the house. 

As cats and dogs are just as keen on peanut butter as the rest of us, this homemade mouse poison is not recommended if you have pets. 

#5 Plaster of Paris 

plaster of paris (gypsum)

If you can’t get your hands on cement mix, plaster of Paris will work just as well. An alternative approach is to combine plaster of Paris or cement mix with cornflour and then add milk or water to form a dough. Knead for a minute or two before rolling into balls and placing them around the house. 

Both the cement mix and plaster of Paris will harden after a few days of exposure to the atmosphere and must be replaced regularly. 

#6 Boric Acid – Doesn’t work!

According to some, boric acid is one of the best and most effective poison recipes out there. Others disagree, saying it causes only “developmental toxicity.” In other words, while it can harm a rodent’s unborn fetuses, it won’t eliminate your current mouse problem. 

You can still use it to dispose of cockroaches and ants, but it’s not worth getting if the mouse is your only enemy. 

#7 Vitamin D-3

While Vitamin D may be essential for human health, it can be fatal to other animals, including rodents. The active ingredient, cholecalciferol, is found in many vitamin D-3 supplements and a multitude of rodent poisons. 

Vitamin D-3 is a fast-acting poison that causes such high calcium and phosphorus levels in the mouse’s body that it results in kidney failure, heart problems, and bleeding. It’s so effective that it’s been turned into a spray to tackle New Zealand’s “super rats.”  

I found a random fact that claimed you would need around 100,000 IU of vitamin D3 to have a 50% chance of killing an 80 oz rat. As most rodents we get in our homes weigh between 0.6 to 17 oz, a single 5000 IU tablet should be enough to make a decent dent in the population. 

Crush up the tablet, empty the capsule’s contents, and mix it with peanut butter. Place small balls around the house and wait for a couple of days. 

It’s tempting to think of vitamins as relatively benign substances, but vitamin D-3 is toxic to dogs, cats, and children, so be sure you keep it out of reach.

Read more about homemade rat poison.

Mouse Poisons Recap

Most of these recipes for homemade mouse poison will make a dent in any problematic infestation. Some, like instant mashed potato flakes, are even safe to use around pets and children. They won’t even present a threat to wild birds and animals. 

None are particularly pleasant for the vermin, and if you want to find a more humane way of dealing with a mouse invasion, try some of the tips I explored when figuring out how to rodent-proof my food storage.   Also read:

  • How to make a DIY bait station Can you eat mice? How to make a bucket mousetrap
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    1. Years ago, an exterminator who treated an old lake cottage house for us, told us to try honey with dry yeast sprinkled on top to kill ants. Same gastric over expansion as potato flakes.

    2. Mice will go to a secluded place to die. You are not likely to find one dead out in the open. The best thing about most of these natural poisons is that all the “blowing up” action is internal and you won’t be able to tell that anything has happened to them mice. It is best to make sure that the ONLY water source the mice can find is far away from your house. Less chance for them to die in your walls or attic.

      • So I tried the mashed potato flakes ( with butter flavor) in my chicken coop ( inside a horse stall ), took away the chx waterer, and had 2 “water in a 5 gallon bucket” type traps just outside the stall. Worked like a charm! My $.99 potatoes caught & killed 10 mice in one night! Great way to kill AND catch for disposal, without worrying about my chickens getting sick. You were SO right about them wanting water.
        Have had the water traps for a month and catch maybe one a day or two previously. Thanks for adding in that tip! I SO appreciate both you & the author!

      • That would be a repellant, not a poison. They will just try to avoid that area. No rodent is going to willingly eat it. I would not use it.

      • Hey Gloria, I use cayenne ON TOP of my chickens feed and mint essential oil on the bottom of my chickens feeders ( they hang in the coop). This seems to really help, plus it helps chickens keep warm . ( Chx don’t have the taste buds for “hot”, so they don’t notice).

    3. I think No. The mashed potato flakes rehydrated and expanded causing mouse death. unless those potato flakes are capacitated to continue expanding seems logical for animals eating these mice who consumed potato flakes would be getting a mashed potato (in) side with their meat!

      • The only thing about this would be them hiding then dying in your walls! Other than tearing out the wall, then locating the body and getting rid of it. All that’s left is the wall repair! I’ll use the Peppermint Oil. It’s good for repelling numerous pests.

    4. Living near a wooded area, mice just come with the territory. Every spring they look for somewhere to nest after mating, every fall they look for a warm place to spend the winter. And they always find a way in. I dont want their rotting corpses in my home so I’d don’t like using poison. The first time I used a sticky trap I woke up to find I trapped baby mouse – screaming – either in terror or agony or most likely both. Nope. No more sticky traps. So I searched to find a way to keep them away altogether. And I came across peppermint oil. And it is AMAZING!!!!! Pure essential oil, it’s pricey, about $8-10 for 1/2 oz but it’s worth every penny. The mice hate it because it burns their airway so it keeps them from coming in. Soak cotton balls in the oil and place anywhere you’ve seen them travel or anywhere they can get in. But make sure you leave one area clear – since they won’t pass anywhere the scent is, you need to allow them a route to get out. You don’t want to trap them inside your home!! Then after a few days to a week, place the oil soaked cotton ball in the space you left for their exit. You can also start with one room first, and each day do the next room to force them where you want them to exit. Then every month after, replace the cotton balls with new ones or just add more oil to the ones you’ve already put out. If you have small animals it may also irritate their noses, but I had a small dog that was fine. And you’ll pretty much be putting them where they can’t get that close- behind fridge and stove, under sink, etc. You can find this information online if you’re unclear about any details. I promise you once you try this method, you’ll never have mice problems again and you’ll never go back to poison or traps!!!!

      • Hi, I have a family of mice in my house, I’ve tried sticky traps, caught 5, then someone suggested the peppermint, so, as you say I put it on a lot of cotton balls, and especially around my bed, also sprayed mouse and rat spray.
        Last night I watched a mouse climb up my robe hanging on the closet door.
        It seems the mice I have are immune to the remedies I have tried. It’s rat poison next, I’m so over the mice I’m not sleeping at night for fear of them being on my bed.
        It’s been months, and I even have those sonic things in every room….. Nothing is working

        • Have you tried an electronic mouse trap? I’ve had very good luck with them. The only bad thing, perhaps for some people, is that you have to open the housing to dump the mouse, but you don’t have to touch it. Just dump it, refill the bait, and set it back up again. I caught 5 in the first two days, and now don’t hear them anymore, and only see them every so often when the trap gets another.

        • I could hear rodents chewing in my walls. I got cornmeal, peanut butter, and a little pancake syrup and mixed it thoroughly. I put it in metal coffee cans with a hole cut in the lid and used large soda bottles that I cut the hole bigger. I put this mixture in those containers and laid them on the sides to keep the rain out. I put them all the way around the outside of my house.

          Since this is not poisonous to pets or children it was safe. The first week it all was eaten so I kept making more. I no longer hear chewing and the poison is lasting. This will work if you want to give it a try.

        • Mice were getting in via the downspouts outside, climbing up inside and accessing through to the metal roof gaps (I assume). I bought the mesh expanding downspout covers at big box home improvement stores. Push one in all the way at the downspout near the ground so it expands and fills the opening. You can also install them at the opening at the roof gutter. This has helped tremendously. Keep them in place year-round. I still get an occasional one coming in, but a bit of homemade poison gets it. I just don’t want rodent families moving in.

    5. I just tried peanut butter, cocoa, 4 Vitamin D3 capsule juice, instant mashed potato flakes, with a little baking soda. Made little balls they could carry with them or eat on the spot. The mixture made a lot of little balls. I put 8 out. 4 were on the path they seem to take. They were gone in 1 day. The second 4 were not touched. Moved them to where they travel. They took those today. I hope they don’t go off and die in the walls, buy do hope they die quickly from all the ingredients together. I didn’t have aspartame. Would have used that too. This is so very upsetting. They won’t touch the sticky traps with peanut butter and nuts. Weird, or very smart..

      • Dad kept putting green poison pellets on top of the washer and dryer in the basement. Most mornings the pellets were gone. I emptied an old paper shredder bucket in my second floor bedroom and found most of them!

    6. I’m concerned about Owls and other wildlife that eats mice-
      I’ve tried everything except cats-
      What is less harmful of these choices for owl safety?
      I “think” the article stated may be related to actual poisons?
      Can that be clarified as well?
      Great ideas here! Thank you in advance-

    7. Hi if we use mash potatoes will they go off some place and die, under a stove ect….Or no will they end up anywhere looking nasty

      • I found that the mashed potato flakes feeds them well. You will need to add something to the flakes like baking soda to actually kill the rodent. The lack of something added to the flakes, won’t help.

    8. Not sure you’ll get this but I’m thinking of making a concoction of baking soda peanut butter aspartame and vitamin D3 mixing and making little balls of that formula and placing it in strategic places. Would that work? Or would whoever ingests it rats or mice explode like little mini bombs and I’d have blood and guts all over my house?

    9. Just curious, if the eagles get to the rats after they have eaten the instant mashed potatoes and died, will it have the same effect on them? I live by the ocean and I’m not sure how they are getting in and out of my garage. Thanks!

        • Rat poison is not made from cornmeal or mashed potatoes. Most times it’s a blood thinner and makes rodents bleed internally. The reason cornmeal and mashed potatoes kill rodents is they can’t expel gas. I have heard my own chickens pass gas so I think eagles can too. You can see if eagles can by looking it up.

        • I got two barn cats, no good… Tried the pellets, store bought and about 8 different types homemade….crock of shit. I just want something that’s made of a couple ingredients that the mice eat and they suffer horrible deaths right then and there. It has gotten so bad that every three days I have to take every item out of every cupboard re wash and sterilize. They are literally ruining my life. I almost want haunte virus just so I don’t have to deal with it anymore.

            • I feel exactly the same! Don’t care. As long as no innocent things don’t die from eating them, I’m all for FAST.

          • Still dealing with girls from Hurricane Ian in Ft. Myers, FL. Never had this issue before, had no idea what the noises were (NOBODY else did either). Apparently they had a good start by the time I hired someone to control them. Just fired THAT company because they didn’t believe I had rats and mice in my house even with my having seen them. Just hired a professional company who believes me. Immediately treated inside! I’m more than a little upset with the local rodent companies that said “there was no poop, so you don’t have rodents indoors.” OMG, they have taken over my entire home.
            The thing is, once you have a infestation, it’s going to be an ongoing process.

      • eagles live off of carrion (dead animals), they do not like to work for their food. Sometimes they do catch a fish so humans can make commercials. So that said a eagle can eat just about anything , it will not harm them. They have a iron gut like a vulture or a condor. They love roof shingles and I have seen one eat a half a box of 8 penny nails. Dont believe the propaganda.

        • What? Nails? I seen on a nature programme I guess raptors or buzzards of some sort picking up dead animal bones and dropping them from way high on jagged, rocky terrain, to eat the fragments. They said the stomachs have stronger acids to help them digest it so maybe they would digest nails, bit would they live to tell?

      • The potato flakes that the eagles would get would only be what the mouse ate. Now if the eagles ate that, like dry rice thrown at a wedding, then they could get more. The potato flakes are already rehydrating in the mouse stomach. Shouldn’t harm other animals unless they ate a lot of them.

    10. This was a very interesting and informative article..I have got rodent repellers plugged into every available socket..but..not working after a few years, evidently./ I have pets..so dont want to use anything that might hurt them if ingested..so the mashed potato flakes sound very good.

      The only problem is that i hate to think of the poor little mice dying in agony..they are so cute..but not sanitary..
      Is there one of these which will kill them quickly without blowing them up, but wont be harmful to my dogs? Even if they eat a dead one..?


      Wendy A

      • Bb gun, pellet rifle, or a 22 depending where you are lead free projectiles night vision and a plate of any sort of bait to sit and wait ,or use a bucket of water and a dowel that spins above it with bait on it Shawn woods YouTube channel has alot of good homemade rodent trap videos

      • Thank you very much Wendy I’ve been having a real hard time figuring out what I can do for my son and his family where they have a baby and pets and this is what I’m going to do the mashed potatoes Yup

      • I have a question for you if I were to use the home remedies of getting rid of mice for example using baking soda and peanut butter I would gladly use it but I’m just afraid that I see a dead mouse lying on my floor and I don’t want to have to pick it up ,what do I do ? But I need to get rid of them cause
        there over running my house and I don’t always have the money to buy traps.

        • Mentally prepare yourself for having to pick up a dead mouse (obviously with gloves on). You can do this by looking at pictures of dead mice, imaginging picking it up, and going over the steps in detail in your head. Then, when you have to actually do it, it won’t be as terrible. It’s called “Emergency Conditioning” and is a great thing to do for all of life’s challenges: https://www.primalsurvivor.net/mental-preparedness/

          • I use an old broom and dustpan to pick up dead mice, etc. I also wear gloves. I just sweep them up and throw them out in the woods in back of my house.

            I’m going to try some of these. I have mice in my garage and think I’ve finally killed an elusive rat in my house.

        • We use a dust pan that has a long handle about 3 ft long an and sweep the mouse in with a broom. Then my son takes that dust pan and put the dead mouse outside to to end of the yard. Since there aren’t any poison, we don’t worry about harming cats or dogs, never have to touch the mouse.

        • I use cheep rubber gloves and throw the mice/rats in the wood stove/trash. Or you can take a wad of paper towels/napkins/toilet paper/etc, and package the dead mice and even tape the flaps and dispose in the trash


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