How to Get Rid of Rodents in your Shed

stuart little wearing a green sweater

Stuart Little was famous in Hollywood. However, in real life, mice never wear decorative sweaters and they certainly do not have respect for others property.

Eliminate Mice, Rats, and other Pests from Your Backyard Shed

It’s one of those unfortunate facts of life, sheds = pests. There are many types of pests, but with the proper precautions, you will never have to worry about rodents taking over your shed.

In our last installment, Bugs In Storage Shed —  Learn How to Keep Them Out, my buddy Mr. Storage Shed regales us with his tale of woe — a fight with the wife, who recoiled in horror at ants in their shed, while he laughed — until he ended up sleeping with the bugs. Guess who’s laughing now?

Well, it’s both of us! As we move on from from ants in your pants, err, sheds, now we’ve got it worse! It’s mice, and rats!

So, how do we get rid of these nasty and annoying furry pests?

Ridding Your Storage Shed of Rats and Mice With Poison or Traps

mice eating hamburger in a to-go box

This is how rats survive in the wild. One man’s leftovers becomes a delicious meal for all. Source:

Well, you can pay an arm and a leg for an exterminator. While that may be necessary in the end, it’s always best to arm yourself with plenty of knowledge (and artillery) in these cases. Sheds can be magnets for rodents if improperly maintained. An exterminator will get them once and leave, but you’ve got to live there. So, the best bet is to come up with a long-term plan and on-going solution.

Rats and mice are hard to get rid of once you’ve got them. Poison and traps are your best bet. Sure, there are some other natural ways to keep them at bay, but for long-term solution, it’s best to just get in there and kill them quickly.

d-Con mice traps

Mouse traps like this one by D-Con can work very well at getting rid of mice.

Depending on where you’ve got them living, traps may be your better solution. Disposal is the only problem in this case, because who wants to pick up a dead rat? Gross! But it’s easy and usually a one-stop shot, so to speak.

Keep in mind that if you use traps, you’ve got to be creative about moving them into different spots. Also, make sure you switch up the bait regularly. Rats and mice are smarter than you might think. They will remember. So keep moving those traps and setting out new ways to bait them.

If you use poison, depending on where the rodent dies, you may have a smell issue on your hands. It’s also possible that the rodent will eat the poison and then move into a different spot, making it hard to find the body. A dead rat or mouse can stink up your storage shed for weeks on end. So keep this in mind when setting out poison. But if you use poison, you may not have to deal with the dead rat, unless it dies right smack in the middle of the floor.

Humane Rat/Mouse Disposal

humane live catch mouse trap

If you want to get rid of rodents humanely, try this method.
The Smart Mouse Trap – Humane Rat Trap.

Some people prefer not to kill the rodents, rather relocate them. In this case, sticky traps will trap the animal, but keep it alive.

Electronic rodent repellents are also becoming popular. But a quick Google search and perusal of reviews reveals that these often only work in the short-term. If you’ve never had rodents or have only a few, these might work. But if you’ve got an infestation, don’t count on these working for the long-term. They get used to the sound and then just come back.

Animal Watch Guards

It seems the most logical, if you’ve got rodents in your storage shed, to just get a cat or small dog. Cats will likely keep mice at bay.

grumpy cat

Cats like this one are born to hunt down rodents. Just look at this cat’s expression. I’m intimidated just looking at him. Meow with attitude…

But if you’ve got rats, it’s better to get a rat terrier, which are known to be vicious at rat killing. Plus, they’re cuter than rats.

Some suggest getting a snake. But I’m not so sure that this is a great solution, especially if you’ve got other small animals around the yard, or small children.

Natural Rodent Solutions

Aside from bombing them with poisons and traps or having vicious animal attack guards, there are other natural solutions.

Rodents don’t like certain smells and once you’ve eliminated the main problem, putting out these smells nearby can help keep them at bay.

  • – Mothballs
  • – Fox urine (can be purchased)
  • – Peppermint and spearmint oil
  • – Cayenne pepper
  • – Cloves
  • – Ammonia
  • – Dryer sheets
  • – Citronella

Make Sure They Don’t Come Back

Once you’ve gotten rid of your rodent problem in your shed, make sure they don’t come back by following these tips.

  • – Keep your shed well sealed
  • – Plug any holes
  • – Don’t leave food sources available
  • – Don’t leave anything for them to nest in
tan gambrel shed

Follow all these tips and keep a good rotation in place and you’re sure to keep your storage shed rodent free!

Consider a future Shed Liquidators’ Gambrel Shed to keep mice at bay. Our sheds are professionally installed and securely assembled to avoid cracks and openings for rodents. Contact us with any of your shed questions!

I'm a single, work at home mom, blogger, and writer.
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35 Responses to How to Get Rid of Rodents in your Shed

  1. Kathy Beam says:

    I store clothing and Christmas decorations in large plastic totes. The damn mice still get in! They have destroyed sweaters, bathing suits, tshirts, you name it!! And they had a field day with the decorations and my cat bed!! Tried moth balls and decon. Nothing! Any other suggestions?

  2. andat says:


    I just cleaned up the shed with lot of dead mice. I had placed the baits and they ate and some died inside :(. I am planing to plug in the solar rodent repellers around. I have put in the mothballs in. I have heard that cayenne pepper is effective. I have sprinkled the rat snake reppelers around the shed for now (They smell like moth balls).

    Did you find any solution yet?


  3. Diane says:

    I have to comment on the use of “sticky traps” for humane removal of mice. They are one of the most inhumane methods of catching mice. They get stuck on the glue and cannot be removed. They die a slow, panicked, painful death. I never use them ( my in laws have used them and then call me in a panic to take care of them! It’s much more humane to use a trap than these things! Rant over

    • Joan Sullivan says:

      This is 100% true. PLEASE never use sticky traps. They gnaw off their own limbs to try to free themselves. No animal should be tortured this way.

    • Heather says:

      Hiya Diane. The first time I encountered a mouse and a glue trap was when I was about 19 or so and had gone to my mom’s for a visit. I had no idea there was a mouse issue, so when I heard the poor (and nasty and awful)little critter thrashing around I set out to rescue and relocate it. I put it in a small but relatively deep plastic tote and dumped some flower on it. It was able to free itself a little at a time and not continue to wind up back in the glue. Drove it out to the country and said goodbye. 19 years old was a long time ago and I am less sentimental about it these days. What does a 19 year old know about property damage anyways, lol.

    • Scott Chramer says:

      I have relocated many a mouse using the sticky traps. The secret removal ingredient is vegetable oil. It takes a a little time but if you use a cotton swab and a liberal amount of vegetable oil and work at it for about three minutes, you can pry those little critters off the sticky trap. Sometimes the cotton end doesn’t work well enough and you must use the non-cotton end, and you must be careful not to drown the little thing in oil when you squirt it on the sticky board. (I tilt the board away from its face) but eventually this process works and an oily wet critter can crawl away. Do it a long way from the house or he might come back. The oil is messy so bring a rag to wipe off with. They’ll lick themselves clean and the oil is digestible. I’ve done this dozens of times. Watch out as you pry their little feet loose. It’s a slow process but work the swab under them with oil.

  4. Karl Burns says:

    I have something in my shed which is nibbling at our black refuse bags and nearly always pulling out wet wipes. Have no signs of droppings that I can see. Anyone know if this is likely to be rat,mouse or something else

  5. Cheryl ahonen says:

    I have recently used Decon underneath my shed and underneath my front steps is it OK to use this there ? I just read a story about a family who used a pesticide when it was mixed with water it let off a poisonous gas now I am afraid and unable to reach the tablets I put under shed and front step i’m very frightened if it rains we could be poisoned. What do I do?? There is only one small block under the step under the shed I broke into pieces a few small blocks and stuck in little pieces under shed is this OK ???

  6. Joan Sullivan says:

    I have a shed attached to my chicken coop. I now keep all food in large metal trash cans with lids. My bee hive frames and boxes are a magnet for mice to create nests and lay in them. So I bought a chest-style freezer and store my frames in it. (You can even find broken freezer chests free online and store stuff in them like bagged seed, cushions – anything mice use for eating or bedding. I had hundreds of stacked plant pots which they were nesting in, so I moved them outside to a greenhouse.

  7. Linda H says:

    Is there a way to draw them out of the shed? I was going to bomb it but really don’t want them to die IN the boxes they already got into

  8. Bev says:

    Hi there…we just found out w have muce waving at us when we opened the door.we are goung to put decon in the shed to kill them.Wondering if they eat it and crawl outside and the cat gets the mice will it kill her too?shes quite the hunterbut never goes in the shed .

    • Patricia Howitt says:

      Yes, if it kills mice, it can kill your cat and you could run up huge (unnecessary) vet bills trying to save her. Or the poisoned mouse could be caught by an owl, which then feeds it to her chicks, and voila, you have wiped out an entire family. Please consider more humane and environmentally friendly methods of pest control.

  9. Tom says:

    I second the complaint about recommending sticky years. NO, they are NOT a way to relocate animals. They are cruel, and should be banned.
    Poison is also a problem – it can lead to dead rodents in your wall (pee-ooo!) and can poison cats, dogs, or Hawks or eagles which eat the poisoned rodents.

  10. Corrine says:

    What about plugging holes with steel wool? I have corrugated walls and was thinking of hiving steel wool into it where they get in.

  11. Derek says:

    When I catch the mice what is best way to humanely to get them a new place to live where should I put them

  12. Cath says:

    Hi my son keeps his fishing bag in the shed he has bait in his bag but in sealed containers .his bag ha a few holes chewed in it Could it be rats or squirrels . We have a lot of squirrels come in our garden . One of the holes is mor square the material has been tore of and is on the floor

  13. Larry says:

    Yeah I have a shed out back that’s pretty much infested with them rats don’t care how I get rid of them I just want them gone the best thing I read was the fox urine

  14. Karen O says:

    If you have an indoor cat, you can scoop the litter box into an old coffee can, sprinkle some of the urine clumps around the outside of the shed, then poke holes in the lid of the can & set it inside the shed. Repeat weekly. Seems to work as well as fox urine & seems to also keep the squirrels at bay. Sometimes, I’ll collect the cat fur after a brushing and put that in the shed for a few days just to shake things up a bit.

  15. Shannon says:

    Hi so I’ve recently discovered rats in my shed I’ve only seen one but the neighbours had them in her garden before this and now they have moved into mine because I have a shed I’ve used poison about 4 times but it doesn’t seem to be working and I’m petrified of opening my shed to see what I will find can anyone help please and what can I use to get rid of them out of the shed

  16. Sherry says:

    Hey, Martha, no one should ever get a cat or dog for the express intention of using them for rodent control. They’re PETS. And the snake comment is just ridiculous. Plus, if you’re going to advise setting out poison, you should always remind people to keep kids and pets safe from it.

    Martha isn’t any kind of expert, folks.

  17. debbie Flaherty says:

    Please help lm disabled and got black bags food in shed l am perifeind to open shed door in cause rats or mince come out l am getting help but feel bad upset please help

  18. Pingback: How To Keep Your Shed Pest-Free | Arrow Exterminating

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