10 Plants That Repel Mice: Effective Natural Solutions

harvest mouse on yellow tulip flower

Gardening enthusiasts are constantly on the lookout for natural and effective methods to keep pesky rodents like mice at bay. The last thing anyone wants is to find a tiny, uninvited guest scurrying around their home. Luckily, nature has provided us with a variety of plants that can naturally deter mice and help maintain a rodent-free environment.

In this article, we will explore the fascinating science behind plants that repel mice and provide helpful tips for cultivating these repellent plants in your own garden.

By incorporating these plants into your garden or home, you will not only add beautiful foliage and delightful aromas but also create a natural barrier to keep mice at bay. To ensure you can cultivate these plants with ease, we will provide growing tips and information on their geographic distribution to help you choose the perfect plants for your specific location.

Key Takeaways:

  • Explore the science behind plants that repel mice
  • Learn how to cultivate repellent plants in your garden
  • Discover natural methods for preventing mice infestations

* This post contains affiliate links.

10 Types of Plants That Repel Mice

Citronella plant to repel mice naturally

Let’s get right into it! We’ll go over the specifics below, but for now, here’s a table that summarizes the 10 types of plants that repel mice, where they grow best, how to take care of them, and where you should plant them in your yard:

PlantGrowing ZoneGrowing ConditionsBest Place to Plant
Peppermint3-11Well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, regular wateringNear a water source, in a container to prevent spreading
Lavender5-9Well-drained soil, full sun, minimal wateringIn a sunny, dry area, along walkways or borders
Garlic3-8Well-drained soil, full sun, regular wateringIn a vegetable garden or mixed border
Citrus9-11Well-drained soil, full sun, regular watering, protection from frostIn a sunny, sheltered spot, in containers in colder climates
Citronella9-11Well-drained soil, full sun, regular wateringIn a sunny area to repel mosquitoes, in containers for colder climates
Onion3-9Well-drained soil, full sun, regular wateringIn a vegetable garden or mixed border
Clover3-10Well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, regular wateringIn a lawn or as a ground cover
Eucalyptus8-11Well-drained soil, full sun, regular wateringIn a large yard or open space, away from buildings and power lines
Catnip3-9Well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, regular wateringIn a sunny area, in a container to prevent spreading
Daffodils3-9Well-drained soil, full sun to partial shade, minimal wateringIn a flower bed, along borders or pathways

1. Peppermint

Peppermint is a fantastic option for repelling mice in your home and garden! This fragrant plant will not only keep rodents away but also add a touch of freshness to your surroundings.

For more guidance on using this plant, check out our article on how to use peppermint plants to naturally keep mice away.

It naturally grows in Europe and Asia, but it adapts well to various conditions. Peppermint is very easy to grow, making it a top pick to repel mice. Start your peppermint plants with Back to the Roots Mint ‘Peppermint’ Seed Packet.

2. Lavender

Lavender, another aromatic plant, is known for its lovely purple flowers and calming scent. It has the added advantage of keeping mice at bay, as they dislike this sweet fragrance.

Lavender thrives in sunny spots and well-draining soil. So, plant some lavender in your garden or place a bunch indoors to relieve stress while keeping mice away. Try out Seed Needs, Lavender Herb Seed Packet, which comes with four varieties of lavender.

3. Garlic

Garlic is not only great for seasoning your dishes but also deters mice from entering your home. Its pungent smell is off-putting to rodents. Cornell University tells us that some of the main constituents in garlic include allicin, terpenes, citral, geraniol, and linalool, all of which have a repelling effect on vertebrate pests such as mice.

To grow garlic, plant individual cloves in well-draining soil with plenty of sunlight. Growing garlic in your garden or pots around your home can help keep mice away effectively.

4. Citrus

Citrus plants, such as oranges and lemons, can keep mice away due to their strong scent. These plants need a warm climate, so only grow them in regions with mild winters. To read more about using citrus, head over to our article on using citrus plants to keep mice away.

You can also place some citrus fruits or peels around your home for extra protection against mice invasions.

5. Citronella

Citronella is well-known for repelling mosquitoes, but it can also deter mice. To grow this low-maintenance plant, choose a sunny location with moist, well-draining soil. Test out VGENKD 1000+ Citronella Plant Seeds to start growing your own citronella plants!

Citronella is often used as a natural repellent in candles, so consider lighting a few in your backyard or on your patio. We have a fantastic guide on how to use citronella to naturally repel mice here.

6. Onions

Remember, too, that onions can be helpful in warding off unwanted rodents, like mice. These pungent bulbs can be easily planted from seeds or sets in your garden, requiring minimal maintenance.

Check out Gardeners Basics Onion Seeds for Planting. It includes eight different varieties of onions to keep mice on their toes (or paws!).

7. Clover

Clover is another plant that can help repel mice due to its dense growth and ground cover. Clover is easy to grow and requires little care, making it an ideal addition to your backyard.

8. Eucalyptus

Consider eucalyptus as mice don’t appreciate its strong aroma. This large tree-like plant enjoys a warm climate with well-draining soil and full sunlight.

Not everyone lives in a warm enough environment to grow eucalyptus, so consider using eucalyptus leaves or oil around your home to help deter mice. Soak cotton balls in eucalyptus essential oil like MAJESTIC PURE Eucalyptus Essential Oil and place them strategically around your home and yard.

9. Catnip

Did you know that catnip, known for its ability to attract felines, also doubles as a rodent repellent? This plant is relatively easy to grow in average, well-drained soil with partial to full sunlight.

Sow Right Seeds – Catnip and Cat Grass Seed Collection for Planting is an excellent way to ward off mice. Not only does the smell keep mice away, but it attracts cats, which are natural mousers!

For more details, take a look at our article on how to use catnip indoors to repel mice. Want to grow it outdoors? We have a guide for that too! Head over to our piece on using catnip outdoors to keep mice away.

10. Daffodils

Daffodils not only add color to your garden but can help keep pesky mice away. These easy-to-grow bulbs prefer well-draining soil and a sunny location. Plant them around the perimeter of your home for a beautiful, mouse-free garden.

In summary, there are numerous plant options available to deter mice naturally. Selecting favorites such as peppermint, lavender, garlic, citrus, citronella, onions, clover, eucalyptus, catnip, and daffodils not only makes your home and garden pleasant but can help keep mice away without any harsh chemicals.

The Science Behind Repelling Mice with Plants

onion and garlic on table to repel mice

Scent-Based Repellents

Peppermint, lavender, citrus, and citronella are proven scent-based repellents that can help you in your rodent control quest! These plants give off strong, natural fragrances that are unpleasant for mice. Growing them around your home will create a scent barrier that mice dislike.

For example, peppermint can be grown in sunny areas around the entrance of your home, providing fresh aromatic air and deterring mice at the same time! Lavender, a beautiful and versatile plant, prefers well-drained soil and full sun exposure. Planting it in your garden will not only provide aesthetics but also keep those pesky rodents at bay.

Citrus plants, like lemons and oranges, can spread their tangy aroma when grown in sunny spots within your yard. Similarly, citronella is famous for repelling pests like mosquitoes; but guess what? It can also help drive away mice! Ensure it receives ample sunlight and has well-draining soil to thrive.

Toxicity-Based Repellents

Garlic, onions, clover, eucalyptus, catnip, and daffodils all offer an added layer of pest control – their toxicity! Mice find these plants distasteful or even harmful, discouraging them from coming anywhere near.

  • Garlic and onions: These pungent bulbs are familiar ingredients in the kitchen – and handy deterrents. Plant them in a sunny location with well-draining soil; your rodent issue may just become a matter of ancient history.
  • Clover: Your yard can benefit from this charming ground cover. Preferring sunlight and a variety of soil types, it creates a lush, green environment while repelling mice.
  • Eucalyptus: Its natural oil is toxic to mice, so incorporating this fast-growing tree as a windbreak or privacy screen in your garden is an excellent choice.
  • Catnip: Your feline friends will thank you, but rodents won’t! This hardy plant thrives in various conditions, making it an ideal addition to your garden.
  • Daffodils: Rodents steer clear of these beautiful yet toxic flowers. Be sure to plant them in sunny areas with good drainage for the best results. You can read more about why daffodils work to repel mice here.

To increase your chances of deterring mice, combine both scent and toxicity-based plants throughout your garden. With an integrated pest control strategy in place, those unwanted critters will think twice before entering your sanctuary!

Cultivating Repellent Plants in Your Garden To Repel Mice

Check Your Hardiness Zone

To ensure your mouse-repelling plants thrive, it’s essential to determine which USDA hardiness zone you reside in. This helps identify the ideal plants for your garden and contributes to successful growth.

For example, citrus, citronella, and eucalyptus require warm climates and will not grow well in most areas of the United States. However, plants like daffodils, catnip, clover, onion, garlic, lavender, and peppermint can be planted in most areas of the United States.

Choose The Right Soil Type

Most plants thrive the best in well-drained soil. in fact, all 10 plants on our list prefer well-drained soil. However, the soil you plant them in isn’t the only factor. Make sure the space around the plant is optimal as well.

For example, peppermint prefers to be planted near a water source and would thrive near a pond or creek. Lavender, on the other hand, prefers dry areas such as near a walkway.

Give Your Plants Appropriate Sunlight

Sunlight is incredibly important for the healthy growth of mouse-repelling plants. Without the sun, plants can’t survive! All 10 plants on our list do best in full sun, so avoid planting them beneath trees or in shady locations.

If you must plant them in a little shade, consider using peppermint, clover, catnip, or daffodils. These four plants can still thrive in partial shade.

Water Plants According To Their Needs

Just like how plants require sunlight to survive, they also need water! Check your chosen mouse-repelling plant(s) for their specific watering requirements. For example, daffodils and lavender require minimal watering, while the rest require regular watering.

To mouse-proof your yard and home, it’s essential to take proper care of your plants. I have never had a green thumb, but with enough practice, even I can keep plants alive, and you can too!

Essential Oils and DIY Solutions in Mouse Control

Peppermint Oil - A natural mouse repellent

Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil has been a popular natural repellent for mice, with its strong scent that mice find unpleasant. To use this oil, simply soak cotton balls and place them around your home, focusing on areas where mice might enter, like near doors and windows.

Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is another essential oil with a strong aroma that can deter mice. You can use it similarly to peppermint oil. You can also make a DIY spray by combining 10-15 drops of essential oil with water in a spray bottle. Shake it up and spray around to deter mice.

If you’d like more information on how to use this wonderful essential oil, check out our article on how to use eucalyptus oil to keep mice away.

Cayenne Pepper

Have you considered using cayenne pepper to repel mice? This spicy option can be quite effective! Sprinkle it in areas where mice frequently visit, like pantries and cupboards. Make sure to reapply as needed.

There are so many more ways to use cayenne pepper to repel mice! You can read it about it in our guide on how to use cayenne pepper to naturally keep mice away.

Cinnamon, Lemongrass, And Citronella Oils

Other essential oils, like cinnamon, lemongrass, and citronella, can be employed as natural repellents too. These oils can be applied to cotton balls or combined in a spray bottle with water for ease of use.

Use them to treat open areas or specific spots in your home where you’ve noticed mouse activity.

Non-Plant Alternatives for Repelling Mice

Mouse Traps

If you’re looking for non-plant alternatives to repel mice, there are several options available. One popular method to keep these unwanted rodents away is using mouse traps. You can read about the best mouse traps for mice in your living room here.

Snap traps effectively eliminate mice when baited with enticing treats, such as peanut butter. Remember to place these traps strategically in areas that mice frequently travel, like corners, pathways, and near food sources.

Alternatively, use our preferred method of humane traps like Utopia Home Humane Mouse Traps. These catch mice without harming them, allowing you to release them back into the wild.

Professional Pest Control

Additionally, consider rodent control services when dealing with more severe infestations. Professional pest control technicians can assess your situation and use appropriate methods, such as setting traps, applying repellents, or even introducing predators like dogs to deter the mice from your property.

They’ll provide you with both short-term and long-term solutions! To connect with a local professional, use our nationwide pest control finder.

Maintaining A Clean Home

Finally, maintaining cleanliness in your home can discourage mice from settling in. Mice are attracted to odors and food debris, so be sure to clean up any spills and store food in sealed containers.

Seal Up All Mouse Entry Points

Seal holes or cracks in walls, floors, and foundations to prevent mice from entering your home. Steel wool, caulk, and hardware cloth can make this task a breeze. Mice have a hard time chewing through steel wool and hardware cloth, while caulk can be used to keep steel wool in place.

That’s All For Now!

Mouse-repelling plants are a fantastic option to keep mice away while avoiding harsh chemicals or inhumane traps. It takes a little bit of work and patience, but the results are well worth it!

Let’s recap the 10 types of plants that repel mice:

  1. Peppermint
  2. Lavender
  3. Citronella
  4. Garlic
  5. Onions
  6. Clover
  7. Eucalyptus
  8. Catnip
  9. Daffodils
  10. Citrus

By incorporating these plants into your home and garden, you have an added layer of protection against mice—the natural way. Remember that some of these plants, such as lavender, require more care to flourish, while others, like garlic, can be grown easily. Happy gardening!


Hansen, S. C., Stolter, C., Imholt, C., & Jacob, J. (2016). Plant secondary metabolites as rodent repellents: a systematic review. Journal of Chemical Ecology42, 970-983.

Kaur, H., Bhardwaj, U., Kaur, R., & Kaur, H. (2021). Chemical composition and antifungal potential of citronella (Cymbopogon nardus) leaves essential oil and its major compounds. Journal of Essential Oil Bearing Plants24(3), 571-581.

Nolte, D. L., & Barnett, J. P. (2000). A repellent to reduce mouse damage to longleaf pine seed. International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation45(3-4), 169-174.

Yun, E. J., Lee, S. B., Lee, H. K., Lee, H. S., & Ahn, Y. J. (1998). Antignawing activity of plant extracts against mice. Applied Biological Chemistry41(1), 95-98.

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