Here’s How To Use Citronella Plants To Naturally Repel Mice

mouse feeding on wild flower

Citronella plants have long been used as natural insect repellents, especially for mosquitoes. But the question you may be asking is, can citronella plants repel mice? With the increasing trend of using natural and eco-friendly pest control methods, it’s definitely worth exploring how these fragrant plants can help protect your home from uninvited rodents.

First, let’s talk about why mice may be attracted to your home in the first place. These little creatures are notorious for seeking warmth, shelter, and food, all of which can be found in abundance in your living space. Luckily, citronella plants may offer a natural solution to this problem. These plants are known for their strong scent, which is believed to deter rodents like mice due to its overpowering aroma.

However, it’s crucial to target not only the mice themselves but also the areas where they enter and congregate. Strategically placing citronella plants around your home can serve as a natural and pleasant-smelling barrier that discourages mice from getting too close. This means placing the plants near entry points, such as windows and doors, as well as in common areas where mice may find food or shelter.

Key Takeaways:

  • Citronella plants can serve as a natural repellent for mice due to their strong scent
  • Preventing mice infestation involves targeting entry points and common problem areas
  • Use citronella plants strategically around your home for a pleasant and eco-friendly solution

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Citronella Plants and Their Properties

Scent And Essential Oil

Have you ever walked by a citronella plant and loved that refreshing fragrance? That’s because citronella plants are rich in essential oils, which give it its distinct scent! Citronella oil has long been recognized for its ability to repel various insects, such as mosquitoes.

The Environmental Protection Agency notes that citronella oil has been utilized as a repellent against insects and animals for more than 50 years.

Mice have a strong sense of smell, and the potent scent of citronella may just keep them away! Consider adding some citronella plants around your house to discourage mice from visiting.

Plant Characteristics

Citronella is a perennial plant that loves full sun. It’s from the Cymbopogon plant genus, which contains about 45 species! Make note that some plants referred to as “citronella plants” may not produce the essential oil we associate with citronella candles.

Fun fact, some citronella plants are technically edible! However, it’s probably best to stick to using them for their natural pest-repelling abilities.

Citronella Oil Extraction

To harness the power of citronella plants in repelling mice, you may want to consider extracting their essential oil. First, you need to collect leaves and stems. You then use a process called steam distillation to extract the oils.

If extracting your own citronella essential oil doesn’t sound appealing, we recommend purchasing this SVA Organics Citronella Essential Oil. It’s high quality essential oil and has a built in dropper which makes it easy to apply without making a mess.

The primary component responsible for its repelling abilities is called citronellal. Once you have citronella oil, you can create your own citronella candles and place them strategically in parts of your home that might seem attractive to mice.

Remember, the mere presence of the citronella plant might not be enough to keep mice at bay, but using its essential oil in various forms can help. Combined with other preventative measures, such as keeping your home clean and sealing off potential entry points, citronella plants can be a helpful addition to your natural pest control routine!

How To Use Citronella Plants To Repel Mice

Fresh citronella leaves with a bottle of citronella oil

Now that you know a little more about citronella plants and their essential oils, let’s discuss how you can use them to keep mice away from your home.

Here’s how to prevent mice using citronella plants:

MethodHow to Do It
Grow Citronella Plants Around Your HomePlant citronella in your garden, near doorways, or anywhere mice might try to sneak in to create a strong barrier that they’ll be reluctant to cross
Use Essential OilSoak cotton balls in citronella oil and place them near entry points, such as vents, gaps, or cracks
Be DiligentReplace the soaked cotton balls regularly and check your citronella plants for their health, as mice are ever-evolving in finding ways to get into our homes

Now, you might be wondering, are there other plants with similar rodent-repellent properties? Good news! We’ve got a few options up our sleeves:

  • Eucalyptus: like citronella, eucalyptus oil can also repel mice.
  • Mint: peppermint has a strong aroma that rodents detest.
  • Lavender: aside from smelling lovely to humans, lavender is also actively disliked by mice.

While citronella plants may be our best natural defense, keep in mind that these sneaky critters are attracted to our homes for multiple reasons, such as food and shelter. So, it’s essential to maintain cleanliness and store food in airtight containers to deter them even further.

Citronella Plant Care and Maintenance

If you’re planning on growing plants to repel mice, you’ll need to know how to care for them. Let’s go over the basics of what you’ll need to do if you want to grow citronella plants around your home.

Light and Temperature Requirements

Citronella plants thrive in full sun and can tolerate partial shade. To keep mice away and your citronella happy, place it in a location where it can get at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. The optimal temperature range for this plant is between 15°C to 32°C (59°F to 90°F).

Water and Soil Needs

Citronella plants prefer well-draining soil and even watering. Make sure that the soil is consistently moist, but not overly saturated. You can achieve this by watering your citronella plant once a week or when the soil starts to dry out.

I usually use a soil mix with:

  • Two parts peat moss
  • One part perlite
  • One part compost

This mix provides good drainage and helps retain moisture.

Disease and Pest Management

Citronella plants are known for their insect-repelling properties, so pest problems are rare. However, they can still be affected by diseases like powdery mildew and leaf spot. To prevent this, provide good air circulation around your citronella plant. Regularly inspect it for any signs of disease and treat it accordingly.

By following these tips and taking care of your citronella plant, you can ensure that mice stay away from your home and enjoy a pest-free environment.

Keeping Mice Away from Your Home

Closeup of a young mouse using its excellent sense of smell to find food and pheromone trails

Entry Point Sealing and Prevention

Citronella plants can be a natural and effective way to repel mice. The first step to utilizing them is to make sure you’re taking care of any potential entry points in your home. Mice are attracted to small cracks, gaps, or holes that they can use as a doorway into your cozy abode. Make sure to seal these entry points with caulking or steel wool, then place potted citronella plants near these areas.

Plants That Repel Mice: Child and Pet Safe Options

When opting for a non-toxic solution to deter mice from your home, citronella plants are a top choice! They are safe for both children and pets, making them an excellent preventive measure for any household. Here are a few other plants that are safe and effective in repelling mice:

  • Peppermint plants
  • Lavender
  • Eucalyptus
  • Marigolds

By strategically placing these plants around your home, you can create a natural barrier that keeps mice at bay!

Essential Oils for Pest Control

I’ve found that peppermint oil is my go-to solution for repelling mice. Dab some cotton balls with peppermint oil and placed them near possible points of entry in your home to repel mice. There are a variety of other essential oils that work well too:

  • Lavender
  • Citronella
  • Eucalyptus
  • Lemon

These essential oils, when used properly, can help you maintain a pest-free environment without the need for harsh chemicals.

Non-Toxic and Natural Methods

Growing citronella plants is just one example of a non-toxic and natural method to keep mice at bay. Other methods include:

  1. Sealing entry points: Mice can squeeze through small cracks and gaps, so make sure to seal any potential entry points with steel wool or caulking.
  2. Proper food storage: Mice are attracted to food sources; store your food in airtight containers and clean up any crumbs or spills promptly.
  3. Good organization and cleanliness: Cluttered spaces provide hiding spots for mice – keep your home clean and well-organized to deter them from settling in.
  4. Natural predators: Having a cat in your home can be a useful deterrent because they are natural predators of mice.

By following these tips and incorporating some of the mentioned natural remedies, you can successfully keep mice away from your home without exposing yourself or your environment to toxic substances.


Citronella plants and their power to repel mice is a fascinating topic. It’s a wonderful, natural options you can use to keep mice away from your house.

The primary reason citronella plants can be effective at repelling mice is due to their strong-scented leaves. This fragrance not only masks other scents that may attract mice, but it has also been observed to have a repellent effect on some pests.

However, it’s essential to remember that the effectiveness of citronella plants in keeping mice away might vary. Your experience may be different from others’, but if you’re looking for ways to combat these little intruders naturally, citronella plants are worth a try.

To fortify your home against mice naturally, consider incorporating other aromatic plants in your garden or placing them near the entrances to your home. Examples of such plants include peppermint, lavender, or marigolds, which can contribute to creating a less inviting environment for mice.

Keeping your home free of easily accessible food sources, such as open containers or crumbs, can help make your space less attractive to these opportunistic pests. Prevention is key, and a clean living area can greatly contribute to discouraging mice from settling in.

Citronella plants, when combined with other strategies like cleanliness and utilizing additional scent-producing plants, can serve as a more natural way to deter mice from invading your living space. Remember, the key is to be proactive and diligent in your efforts!

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