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Mouse Proof Storage – 15+ Solutions to Keep Rodents at Bay

Mice can be every homesteader’s worst nightmare, destroying the rewards of your hard work in no time at all. And while we would never wish any harm on something as cute as a mouse, it can make you want to reach for the mouse bait and traps when you find they have raided your food supplies!

The best way to deter mice is to keep everything in mouse-proof storage containers – if they cannot get an easy meal, they will soon move elsewhere. You also need to prevent them from entering storage areas and use clever tricks to deter any that break through your defenses.

So which methods work the best to dispel mice, rats, and vermin?

Let us find out the best ways to keep the fruits of our labors safe from hungry rodents!

15+ Mouse Proof Storage Solutions

To protect your food supplies and possessions from mouse damage, store them inside metal, glass, and heavy-duty plastic containers. Lids should be tight-fitting and secured with clips or straps. Keep your storage area tidy and free from clutter to remove potential mouse nesting sites.

How Can I Protect My Storage From Mice?

The best way to protect your storage from mice is to use containers that are impossible for mice to access. Once mice get even a sniff of something tasty, they will stop at nothing until they find it! If you have ever been unlucky enough to suffer from a mouse infestation, you will be familiar with the gnawing sound of mice trying to access all of your tastiest goodies. And victuals! 

You can take steps to prevent mice from accessing your storage space in the first place. Mouse prevention includes sealing off any entry holes by covering them firstly in wire mesh and then blocking out the light with cement or plasterboard.

Keep your storage area tidy and free from clutter. Mice prefer small dark places to hide. They will not seek residence in a clean, airy location with nowhere to hide.

portly brown rat stealing peanuts food storage
Not only do rodents cause billions of dollars in food supply damage each year, but they always show up uninvited! Behold exhibit A – a portly rat sneaking into a rural country cupboard seeking a free lunch. Luckily – the most aromatic food is tucked securely in glass jars. But, the peanut lid got left open. An easy score for the rat!

Can Mice Get Into Storage Containers?

Whether mice can get into storage containers depends on the strength of the materials in use.

Mice can chew through and climb up many different materials, and some containers are virtually guaranteed to let mice in. Other storage containers are entirely mice-proof, keeping your belongings safe from our furry friends.

The biggest problem is storage containers made from softer materials that mice can chew through. The main culprits are cardboard boxes and wicker baskets, which mice can nibble their way through in no time at all.

Mice can also chew through wood, so wooden storage crates are not mouse-proof.

Read More – 13 Cheapest Housing Options for Homesteaders!

Can Mice Get In Plastic Tubs?

If you keep your belongings in tall plastic tubs, mice can get into them. Although mice cannot (easily) climb up vertical smooth plastic, do not underestimate the ingenious tactics of these little critters!

It is not unheard of for mice to drop down into an open plastic tub from a shelf or wall above. Yes, I know that sounds like a Disney movie, but mice are pretty clever!

I will never forget finding a mouse in our chicken feed bin when I was a child. That mouse must have dropped down from above. Never again would I neglect to place the lid securely on the feed bin after feeding the chooks!

Mice can also squeeze through tiny gaps. So, even if your tub has a lid? You might find a little visitor inside. Opt for containers with tightly-fitting lids – they will keep your belongings free from dampness and dust and keep mice at bay.

Can Mice Chew Through Plastic Storage Containers?

Yes! If they have enough time. Mice can chew through plastic storage containers, but it takes time for them to work. And they might give up before they break through to the other side. Thick, robust plastic boxes with smooth sides are the hardest for mice to chew through. But if you have a significant rodent infestation? Even durable plastic storage is not reliable.

two gray mice inside golden wheat grain barrel
These two mice snuck into a rural farm basement and raided the wheat storage. They climbed the barrel without trouble. Mice are stellar climbers. Beware! Keeping rodents out of your food storage is trickier than homesteaders think. That’s because mice have tiny craniums with flexible cartilage. They can fit in a hole as small as one-quarter of an inch! Rats only need one-half of an inch.

Can Mice Eat Through Mylar Bags?

Mice are clever animals. They will stop at nothing to access a tasty food supply! So if you are storing excess food in Mylar bags, they will have a good attempt at chewing through them.

Mylar bags are food-grade plastic with an aluminum outer coating. While mice may struggle to eat through aluminum foil, Mylar bags pose no problem to them at all.

We are not saying you need to ditch the Mylar bags. But we advise storing them inside a mouse-proof container.

Read More – Frugal Homesteading Tips – Here’s the Cheapest Way to Live!

What Containers Keep Mice Out?

The most secure storage containers to keep mice at bay are those made from metal, with a tight-fitting and secure lid. Unless mice learn to use tiny crowbars, your precious food supplies and belongings will be safe inside a metal box!

Also – mice cannot chew through glass, so glass canisters are a good option for food storage. We also love mason jars. They are the best.

How Can I Deter Mice From My Storage?

As well as keeping your precious food supplies in mouse-proof containers, it is also a good idea to think about how to deter these inquisitive creatures from your storage areas. They might not be able to access your food, but just one mouse can do some significant damage if it starts chewing on your belongings!

Keep reading for tips on deterring mice!

What Will Keep Mice Away Naturally?

The best way to keep mice away naturally is to remove any incentives that may lure them into the house. A mouse only wants the same as the rest of us – somewhere warm and dry to sleep. And a constant supply of food.

(And before you start feeling sorry for them, there are plenty of places for mice to live that are not your food storage area!)

Keep your storage areas tidy, as piles of rubbish and clutter make excellent nesting sites for mice. Any food should lock safely away, and anything in cupboards and draws should be in mouse-proof storage containers.

Do not underestimate what mice will use to nest in and what they will eat. I have seen mice set up home in a nest of old plastic carrier bags! And they will eat candle wax, soap, and even the striking part of matches!

Once you have mouse-proofed your storage areas, we suggest investing in an ultrasonic mouse repeller. They plug into an electric socket and emit ultrasonic sound waves that repel mice but are inaudible to humans.

adult mice in cabinet rodent home invasion
Here you see an adult mus musculus – or house mouse. Mice love to snack on stems, leaves, seeds, and insects in nature – when outdoors. But, during the cold autumn and winter weather? They want to come inside! When indoors – they begin looking for easy meals. They’ll happily eat cereal, rice, pasta, or anything they can grab. Store your food in metal, glass, or sturdy plastic containers.

Does Irish Spring Soap Keep Mice Away?

We believe this claim may have merit – but is unproven. We have heard rumors that the unique combination of perfumes in Irish Spring soap is very off-putting to mice, although no one can explain why this is the case.

Whether Irish Spring soap indeed repels mice is a matter of debate. Some homesteaders swear by it and have used it for many years to deter mice from entering storage areas. However, there are many reports of mice eating this fragrant soap, so you may attract them rather than keep them away!

To test whether Irish Spring soap works to repel mice on your homestead, sprinkle some chunks of soap near a known mouse hotspot. Observe how the mice behave. If they are still there and untouched in a few days, it is worth giving it a go as a mouse repellent.

But if your chunks of soap disappear or look to have gotten chewed, you will only make your mouse problem worse by feeding them with more soap!

Do Dryer Sheets Repel Mice?

Another DIY solution often seen online is to use dryer sheets to repel mice, as they cannot tolerate the strong smell. Dryer sheets as mouse repellant are unlikely to work in the face of a mouse infestation, as they will soon overcome their dislike of the odor and venture back into your storeroom. You would also need to change the dryer sheets regularly, as the smell will quickly fade.

Does Aluminum Foil Deter Mice?

Somewhat. We do not believe that mice can easily chew through aluminum foil. They do not like chewing metal. But – it is not failproof, by any means. I have seen rodents chew through thick wooden doors of solid oak! If they can chew through a heavy wooden door – they can likely get through a tiny layer of foil.

So – we do not believe tinfoil or aluminum foil is a permanent solution to deter mice. However, a thick stack of aluminum foil may temporarily prevent mice from accessing your food. Foil can also clog entry points if no other materials are handy.

Does Wire Mesh Deter Mice?

While many DIY mouse repellents are somewhat dubious, wire mesh can be excellent for deterring mice!

This versatile and flexible material is perfect for blocking mouse holes and entrance cracks. Mice cannot chew through wire mesh easily, so you can rest easy at night, knowing that the little critters cannot easily access your storage areas.

Another top hack for blocking mice entry holes is steel wool. It is soft enough to wedge into little gaps, and mice cannot chew through it. Steel wool is ideal for blocking up any little nooks and crannies.

Wider gaps can be blocked with wire mesh and rolled into a tight ball. The wire mesh can get plastered over to give a smooth and – and it is now 100% mouse proof! (For now. Almost!)

More Mouse Proof Storage Options

The best way to keep mice at bay – is to eliminate their food source! These containers help keep your food safe – and they lock mice out.

These containers also save you a ton of frustration.

One of the worst feelings is devoting time and effort to building a food supply – and then watching it go to waste.

Maybe you store whole grains, sugar, and plenty of snacks in your cellar. But then you discover an invasion of mice, rats, or rodents!

So – we assembled a list of our favorite mouse-proof storage options for sugar, oats, pasta, wheat, cereal, and coffee. And more!

We hope these mouse-proofing options keep your snacks and kitchen goodies safe.

And unfettered!

  1. Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers | WeeSprout
  2. Stainless Steel Food Storage Containers | WeeSprout
    $23.09 $20.99

    We love these food storage containers! They're leak-proof, have silicone lids, and are stainless steel. Let's see a mouse chew threw this - it's unlikely. The silicone lids also pop off without fuss. And - they're durable. Perfect for storing cereal, lunch, fresh tomato sauce, soups, and coffee. And more. The containers come in three sizes. 150 milliliters, 200 milliliters, and 400 milliliters.

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    09/30/2022 08:33 am GMT
  3. Regular Mouth Mason Jars 16 oz | Ball
  4. Regular Mouth Mason Jars 16 oz | Ball
    $24.99 $20.99

    Nothing beats mason jars for safe, reliable food storage! There's no way a mice or rat can chew through these. They're perfect for storing everything. They safely store soup, oatmeal, cereal, grains, tomato sauce, liquids, fruits, milk, dairy, and vegetables.

    I use them for everything. I also love using them as cups for ice-cold water. They also work for fermenting, juicing, pickling, and freezing. And more! These mason jars are 16 ounces. 

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    09/30/2022 04:33 pm GMT
  5. Airtight Canister Stainless Steel Food Storage | Deppon
  6. Airtight Canister Stainless Steel Food Storage | Deppon
    $49.99 ($12.50 / Count)

    These airtight canisters keep your sweet and savory goodies safe from mice, rats, and pests. They're perfect for storing tea, coffee, legumes, dried fruit, sweets, sugar, wheat, flour, or dry oats. The canisters are stainless steel.

    The lids are heat-resistant and shatter-resistant - and they also have sealing rings. The rings help keep oxygen out - and your food fresh. The canisters come in four ascending sizes, one-quart, two-quart, three-quart, and four-quart.

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    09/30/2022 12:38 pm GMT
  7. Coffee Canister, Airtight Stainless Steel Food Storage | Veken
  8. Coffee Canister, Airtight Stainless Steel Food Storage | Veken
    $29.99 $27.99 ($1.27 / Ounce)

    This airtight food storage container is perfect for coffee beans. Maybe you can't start the day without a fresh cup? The canister rocks a CO2 valve (one-way) that keeps your beans fresh. It also has a BPA-free silicone rubber seal that keeps your coffee bean flavor locked in, tightly and snugly.

    The lid has a date tracker so you can keep track of your sweet or savory goodies. It also has a scoop - you can quickly access your coffee without struggling.

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    09/30/2022 12:13 pm GMT
  9. Glass Food Storage Containers with Lid | Bayco
  10. Glass Food Storage Containers with Lid | Bayco
    $39.99 ($3.33 / Count)

    Here's the perfect food storage solution if you want to retrofit your entire kitchen or pantry with chic glass containers. You get twelve food containers and twelve lids. The containers are leak-proof and airtight, and they look good on your counter or tucked within a country cupboard

    The containers are borosilicate glass and BPA-free. However - we recommend against stacking or nesting these glass containers - they are not as strong as other options on this list!

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    09/30/2022 06:18 pm GMT
  11. Stainless Steel Food Containers and Airtight Lids | Deppon
  12. Stainless Steel Food Containers and Airtight Lids | Deppon
    $42.99

    These stainless steel canisters keep your food safe over the long haul. Mice can't get in! The threaded cover has a silicone gasket to ensure a proper seal. The seal helps to keep your dried beans, oats, coffee, dog kibble, flour, or sugar fresh.

    We also love the windows so you can quickly see what's inside at a glance. No more opening and breaking the seal to double-check! This pack also comes in four sizes. You get one-quart, two-quart, three-quart, and four-quart.

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    10/01/2022 04:58 am GMT

Conclusion

Homesteading is hard work. And it takes a ton of preparation!

The idea of mice sneaking off with your hard-earned wheat, sugar, cereal, and grains is unacceptable. Doubly so since the price of food keeps increasing.

We hope these mice-proofing ideas help keep your homestead safer and more secure.

If you have tips on how to keep mice, rats, and pests out of food storage? Please share with us!

We thank you again for reading.

Have a great day!

Author

  • Kate moved to Portugal last year and lives with her husband, two cats, six hens, and a glorious Brahma rooster called Mary. Earlier this year they purchased a half-hectare ‘quinta’ – traditional terraced land with olive trees, grapevines, and a house to renovate. They are currently living in a small campervan which is a challenging but fun experience! Kate has over 15 years of experience in the UK veterinary industry and is also a passionate gardener – turning a grassy field into a productive vegetable patch in just three months. Future plans include more animals, particularly sheep and goats for milk production to make cheese, butter, and yogurt! Kate and her husband are aiming to create a self-sufficient off-grid life on their quinta, fulfilling a life-long dream.

Suzanne

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

I loved this article, great practical information. Its mouse in the house time here, they are feeling the cold outside. I will be checking all my stored food supplies today. Thanks heaps Elle.

Elle

Tuesday 24th of May 2022

Thanks Suzanne, glad it's helpful!