Mice can be cute as a character in the movies or books, but it’s a whole different story when they’re crawling around your home. If you’ve had issues with mice in the past and want to prevent another problem, you can repel them with mint. It smells good and is safe to use around children and pets.
If you love the idea of using the power of Mother Nature for pest control, you’ll enjoy it even more when your house starts smelling minty fresh. Also, using peppermint oil as mouse repellent is easy and quick. You can get it done in a half-hour or less, so you can move on to the more exciting things on your to-do list.
Prepare the Mouse Repellant
To make a DIY repellant, soak cotton balls in peppermint oil. Be careful not to come into direct contact with undiluted essential oils because this can cause major skin sensitivities.
You can also make a spray by using 1 cup of water for every 2 tablespoons of peppermint oil. If you prefer to buy something on the shelf, look for sprays that use mint as the main ingredient. There are also plug-ins that can last 45 days, or repellant packs that last 30 days.
Place (or Spray) the Peppermint Oil Repellent in Strategic Places
If you’re using mint as a preventative measure, use the repellant in places where mice are commonly found. Good places to target are kitchen cabinets, under the sink, counters, and behind the fridge. Consider putting some in closets and under furniture.
Additionally, pay attention to the exterior of your house. Use repellant along the edge of the home, along the fence line, and in sheds. You should identify potential food sources for mice in the yard and fix any issues as soon as possible.
If you’ve already dealt with a rat problem, focus on the problem areas and use extra repellant.
Refresh the Repellant
If you’re going the DIY route with cotton balls, you’ll need to refresh the repellant regularly. If you’ve recently beat a mice infestation, refresh the cotton balls twice a week (or more). If you’re using the mint as a preventative measure, you may only need to refresh the cotton balls once every two weeks.
DIY Mouse Repellent With Mint vs. Hiring a Pro
Using DIY mint repellents is most effective as a preventative measure or after professional extermination. A 1-ounce bottle of peppermint oil costs $5 to $10, or a 16-ounce bottle of peppermint-based mouse repellent spray costs $20 to $30. Additionally, mint repeller packs cost $10 to $25 and mint plug-ins cost $20.
Repelling mice with mint oil or mint-based products is a more humane approach to pest control because it harnesses the rodents’ aversion to the peppermint smell. Since the essential oils and most mint products are made with natural products, it’s safer to use around children and pets than chemical alternatives.
If using the mint is not working on the mouse invasion, call a local pest control company near you. They will remove all of the mice on the property, clean up thoroughly, and seal all entry points into the home. Professional rodent control costs $200 to $500.
Can I use fresh mint from the garden, or plant mint in my yard as a mice repellent?
There's conflicting information on whether fresh mint plants repel mice. If possible, it makes sense to choose essential oils. Peppermint oil has a very concentrated amount of the herb, making the smell overwhelming for any mice that dares to step foot into your home.
Of course, it wouldn't hurt to plant mint in your garden if you've had a history of mice invasions (plus mint will be super useful for recipes). Keep in mind that your plants won’t smell as strong during freezing temperatures, so using the plants may not work as well in the colder months.
What other smells do mice hate?
Peppermint isn’t the only smell that mice hate, as they’re known to also have an aversion to clove, cayenne pepper, and chili oil or powder. Mice also seem to hate the smell of ammonia, which is found in some cleaning products.
What are other natural ways to control mice?
If the peppermint oil trick isn't working and you're not quite ready to call in an exterminator, you can check out other DIY options. You could try using mothballs and dryer sheets instead of mint products.
Or, consider getting a cat. Not all cats will be excited to go on the hunt for you, but some breeds are known to be mousers. These include the Domestic Shorthair, Maine Coon, Siamese, Turkish Angora, Manx, and Siberian.