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Late at night, not a creature is stirring, except for the mice scratching away in the ceiling - as I am a renter, I can not access the ceiling, nor do any damage to the property. The real estate agent is currently unavailable (please don't focus on this).

I have tried hitting the ceiling, hoping to scare them away, and have checked to see if the critters have made a hole either inside or out, there appears to be none.

I can not afford pest control as well.

What is a lifehack that can get rid of these critters from my ceiling?

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I am not sure if it is OK for you to kill or trap the mice with easy hacks.

Method 1: Bait Trap : There are many easy & cheap mouse traps available on markets. Place the food for attracting it and trap the mice.

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Method 2: Bucket mouse trap. Insert a dowel on a cylindrical can, Place this structure on top of a high bucket. Keep the food on the cylinder. Once mice stands on the can, it will slip fall into the bucket. If you want to kill it add any acidic solution on the bucket.

enter image description here

Method 3: Walk the Plank. Keep food on the a think plank on top a bucket like shown below. Mice will fall down into the bucket for the weight.

enter image description here

Method 4: Put hard glue in a sheet around its food. It will stick in the glue. Also there are available sticky sheets

Method 5. Use peppermint oil as a repellent. Pour it out in a cloth and place it on strategic areas.

Method 6: ultrasonic repellents. These small beeps to annoy and scare off mice.

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    "If you want to kill it add any acidic solution on the bucket" Wow... Self cleaning mouse trap? – apaul Dec 29 '14 at 1:10
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    Sorry, it was meant as a joke. As in "you could dissolve the mice in acid". Seems like overkill. – apaul Dec 29 '14 at 1:22
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    @apaul34208 because some people do not want gruesome slow torture on killing. – Joachin Joseph Dec 29 '14 at 1:27
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    I'm not sure I understand your comment. Is using acid "gruesome slow torture on killing" or faster and more merciful? – apaul Dec 29 '14 at 1:31
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    @apaul34208 If decided to kill then it is comparatively faster and also people do not see them getting killed. Faster way would be whacking. However I do not say merciful. – Joachin Joseph Dec 29 '14 at 1:47
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Apparently, rodents hate the smell of peppermint, so some friends of mine who have had this problem have used peppermint oil to keep mice away. While my friends just sprayed it around the house, this website has some more specific tips on using it:

Put peppermint oil on cotton balls and stick them in holes, under cabinets and any other area you fear a mouse might enter. People even took off parts of paneling and put them inside the walls.

In a less serious manner, people have told me that squirrels do not enjoy the smell of cougar urine, so I've been advised to use it in gardens to scare them away.
I'd imagine that it's the same with all rodents, so that might be something you could do to keep them away. ( though for your own good, I'd say you should use as little as possible, and try to keep all that above the ceiling, and out of your room )

You could also get a cat :)

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