Candle Scents That Will Keep Mice Away (And Why They Work)

Lighting a citronella candle to repel mice

Candles have become essential home décor and aromatherapy items for many people. Heck, you probably have a favorite candle that you light at least weekly (I for one, LOVE my peppermint candles.) But did you know that some of your favorite candle scents can also help repel mice?

Mice have a strong sense of smell, which they use to navigate their environment and communicate with each other. Some scents, however, can overwhelm their olfactory system and create discomfort, deterring them from entering your home. By understanding the relationship between mice and their sense of smell, you can strategically use candles with specific scents to keep the uninvited guests away!

In addition to their decorative purposes, candles with scents that repel mice can be a valuable tool in your pest control arsenal!

In this guide, we’ll dive deep into how to effectively utilize these candles, and offer up a few tips on how to increase their effectiveness while practicing long-term mouse prevention methods.

Let’s get to it!

Key Takeaways:

  • Candles with specific scents can help deter mice from entering your home.
  • Mice have a strong sense of smell that can be disrupted by overpowering scents.
  • Along with candles, it’s essential to keep your home clean and seal any gaps 1/4in or bigger leading into your home to prevent mice from entering.
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Understanding Mice and Their Sense of Smell

Mice have an exceptionally strong sense of smell, which plays a critical role in their everyday lives. With an estimated 1,300 olfactory receptor types, they can detect numerous scents, including those they find repulsive or appealing.

This characteristic can be utilized to our advantage when it comes to selecting a candle to repel unwanted mice!

Why Do Mice Hate Candles?

Peppermint candle to keep mice away

Mice may dislike certain scents released by candles due to their natural aversion to some particular smells. These scents can trigger an innate fear response, causing the mice to avoid the area where the smell lingers. In addition, some odors can interfere with their communication and social behavior causing them to be unable to detect the pheromone trails of other mice or other signals that indicate nearby food and shelter sources.

To keep mice away, you should select candles with scents that mice find repelling (as the opposite can actually attract them.)

Here are a few examples:

  • Peppermint: This fragrant herb has a strong aroma that can deter mice from entering your home. Many people find it delightful and refreshing, which makes it one of the most popular natural remedies against these little intruders. Simply light a peppermint-scented candle and place it where mice activity has been observed! If you like this scent, try out this Jo & Back Peppermint and Eucalyptus Candle.
  • Cinnamon: This warm, spicy scent is another ideal pick for homeowners looking to repel mice. Its pungent aroma can be overwhelming to rodents, making it difficult for them to tolerate. Light a cinnamon-scented candle and let the aroma do the work. You can try this Ardent Flame Cinnamon Apple Crisp Candle.
  • Lavender: While it’s known to have a soothing effect on humans, lavender seems to act as a rodent repellent due to its potent, floral scent. Lighting a lavender-scented candle in areas where mice have been spotted can be an effective aroma-based barrier. This Mrs. Meyer’s Lavender Scent Candle is a great choice if you want to go the lavender route.

It’s essential to note that using candles might not entirely solve the mice problem, but they can certainly be a helpful tool in conjunction with other preventative measures, such as sealing cracks in walls and doorways and keeping food in air-tight containers – which we’ll get into that a bit later!

Candle Scents That Repel Mice

While we discussed a few of the scents above, here’s a full list of candle scents that can potentially be used to repel mice (in case you have a favorite smell.)


Here’s one we mentioned above – these will leave you in mint condition after using them to ward off those pesky mice! Peppermint has a strong odor that mice find unbearable and its scent is used in a wide variety of natural repellents.

To utilize this scent, light a peppermint-scented candle in rooms where mice are most often spotted.

If you want to take it a step further, try placing peppermint oil-soaked cotton balls in strategic locations can work wonders (and will probably be more effective.) You can also try natural mouse repellents with peppermint as their active ingredient!


Eucalyptus is another mighty scent that can be used effectively against mice. Try incorporating eucalyptus-scented candles in areas that are frequently visited by these rodents. The candle we mentioned above is a peppermint and eucalyptus combination, so it packs a double punch!

The strong smell of this essential oil overwhelms the mice, making them prefer no to enter your home. Fun fact: Eucalyptus is often used in insect and rodent-repellent products!


When life gives you lemons, it also provides a useful tool against mice infestations! Citronella scents contain lemon scents, and have acidic properties that create an uncomfortable environment for these furry invaders.

Citronella candles are a great option that not only repels mice but also leaves your house smelling clean and fresh.


Another one we mentioned earlier – Lavender is not only great for relaxation, but it’s also a scent that mice detest. A lavender-scented candle can create a tranquil atmosphere for you while sending mice packing. This is because the smell of lavender interferes with the olfactory receptors of mice, making them likely to avoid your area.

Cinnamon and Cloves

The warm, inviting scents of cinnamon and cloves are perfect for creating a cozy environment, but don’t let that fool you!

These spices pack a punch against mice because of their strong odors that make rodents feel uncomfortable. You can utilize cinnamon and clove-scented candles to discourage mice from residing in your home. Just be sure not to bake any cinnamon rolls, or else you’ll confuse the mice!

Here’s a quick summary of some candle scents that repel mice:

ScentReason Mice Dislike It
PeppermintStrong, overpowering odor
LavenderDisrupts olfactory receptors
EucalyptusOverwhelming smell
CitronellaAcidic properties
CinnamonStrong odor, discomfort
ClovesStrong, unappealing scent

Remember: Use these scented candles strategically, place them in rooms where mice are often spotted, and be consistent with their usage. Don’t rely solely on candles – make sure to seal up any entry points, maintain cleanliness, and use other natural repellents if needed. Your home will smell lovely, and the mice will be history!

Speaking of some alternative natural mouse-repelling methods…

Other Natural Repellents To Repel Mice

dryer sheet going into dryer to then repel mice

Dryer sheets, another item in the arsenal against mice invasions, seem quirky but effective. These sheets repel mice due to the scent additives found inside. To incorporate them, simply tuck them into potential hideouts or entry points.

Vinegar, which might be sitting in your kitchen cabinet, can also deter mice. This is actually one of the BEST natural solutions for keeping mice away. Its acetic acid component leaves an overpowering smell that mice loathe. In fact, even just placing a bowl of diluted vinegar in your home can help keep mice away. Plus, it adds to the freshness and also repels mice when used in your car. Instead of leaving a bowl out, you can also just clean with diluted white vinegar regularly as well – this is what I do from time to time!

You also might have heard of people using cayenne pepper to banish mice from their homes. This spice can irritate the rodents’ nasal passages, making it an excellent deterrent. To utilize this technique, sprinkle some cayenne pepper powder near the mice’s entry points or in their hideouts. Other pepper types like black pepper can be used similarly, offering you a spicier solution!

using citronella oil to keep mice away

Increasing The Effectiveness Of Candles To Repel Mice

While candles can help block scents that mice would otherwise find attractive, if your space is TOO attractive for mice, you’ll still have plenty of mouse issues.

You often need just a tad more of a push to make your house mouse-proof.

Seal Mouse Entry Points

First things first: you’ll need to identify all potential entry points. These tiny critters are drawn to dark corners and gaps in basements and walls. To effectively block their path, you should focus on sealing any openings you find. You can do this by simply getting some spray foam and filling any gaps 1/4in or bigger (yes, mice can get into spaces that small!)

Make sure to inspect your insulation as well, as mice may burrow through it to gain access to your home.

Eliminate Any Nearby Mouse Shelter

In addition to blocking entry points, the next step is to eliminate any potential shelter for these pests. Keeping clutter to a minimum, especially in basements and garages, creates fewer places for mice to hide.

Additionally, proper storage of food and garbage can prevent mice from being attracted to your home in search of a meal. Try to use air-tight containers for any food to prevent smells from leaching out.

While utilizing these tactics, keep in mind that your aim is not only to prevent mice from entering your home but also to maintain a pleasant environment using all-natural methods. In the end, you’ll have a home that not only smells and looks fantastic but also remains free of unwanted rodent guests!

Wrapping Things Up!

Now for a quick summary…

Candles with specific scents can help you repel mice using natural methods. Scents like mint, peppermint, and eucalyptus are known to be effective in keeping mice away. This is due to the fact that mice have a highly developed sense of smell, and these scents are overpowering and unpleasant to them causing them to not detect otherwise attracting smells.

To use these candles effectively, place them in areas where mice are likely to enter, such as near doorways or corners.

Moreover, some candles infused with other scents like cinnamon and citronella may also be effective in repelling mice due to their strong smell. Therefore, having an assortment of different scented candles may increase the chance of keeping your home mouse-free!

Remember that, even though scented candles can be helpful, they are not a foolproof solution and should be used in conjunction with other physical preventive measures like sealing any gaps in your home. This will maximize the effectiveness of your natural mice-repelling strategy

Make sure you explore various options and find the one that works best for you! Good luck, and may your home stay mouse-free!

How to pest proof your home in under a day e-book by Zack DeAngelis

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    1. Hey Sharon – yes, I would first and foremost recommend contacting a professional pest control service near you if you’re finding bed bugs. They can get out of hand quickly and are tough to get rid of.

  1. Thanks for the information. My neighbor who just moved never cut their grass it was high as the fence. A company came to chop it grass so it could be mowed when that happen the entire neighboorhood has mice and snakes in their yard as well as other pest. Things are better but every now and then you may see a mouse running across the back yard. Your info will truly help to prevent them from nesting and coming around.

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