How To Use Cloves To Keep Mice Away (And Why They Work)

cloves repel mice

If you’ve come across mice in your home, it’s time to act fast, mice infestations can become a huge problem, and it’s time to tackle the problem before it gets out of hand!

When you see mice, many people go straight to the traditional methods, such as traps and/ or poison. However, if you’re like us, and if you’re looking for a more natural approach, we’ve got you covered, because today we are talking about using cloves to keep those pesky mice away!

Cloves contain a substance called eugenol, which has quite a unique and strong odor. This scent is believed to be unappealing to mice, turning their adorable little noses up at the smell.

But wait – there’s more! The eugenol in cloves might just be potent enough to mask the scent of the food they’re after, making it difficult for the mice to find their way to your pantry.

So, where should you place these delightful little cloves in your home to keep mice at bay, and how many cloves are needed? Let’s continue our research and uncover the aromatic clove secret.

Key Takeaways:

  • Cloves contain eugenol, a strong scent that repels mice.
  • The eugenol in cloves may mask the scent of food, making it difficult for mice to navigate to it.
  • Proper placement and quantity of cloves are necessary to effectively keep mice away.

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Cloves Vs. Mice


Whole Cloves

Did you know that the powerful scent of whole cloves can help keep mice away from your home? Mice despise clove aroma, making these tiny dark brown buds quite effective in repelling them.

Why do mice hate clove scent, you ask? Well, science shows that the strong aroma of cloves interferes with their olfactory receptors. Mice heavily rely on their sense of smell for communication and navigation purposes, so exposing them to cloves creates a disorienting effect!

The idea of using herbal scents to repel mice was studied by the University of California. In this study that found that the PSM (Plant Secondary Metabolites) are successful as a repellent, and in the case of cloves the PSM is the eugenol, which is what keeps mice away!

Strategically placing whole cloves in problem areas around your home can deter mice from entering. Some popular spots to place cloves include:

  • Cabinet corners
  • Pantries
  • Behind appliances
  • Near baseboards

Keep in mind, however, that freshness is key! Make sure to replace your cloves periodically to maintain their potency.

If you’re in the search for whole cloves, check out this True Organic Whole Clove 16 Oz Bag! Conveniently packaged so that you can easily sprinkle the cloves in the mouse-prone areas!

Clove Oil

For a more potent repellant, consider using clove essential oil! It not only shares the same deterring properties as whole cloves, but its concentrated form is even more unpleasant for those pesky rodents. In fact, the scent of clove oil is so strong that it can even mask the tempting aroma of food sources in your home!

To put clove oil to work for mice repellent, follow these simple steps:

  1. Dilute the clove oil with a carrier oil or water. (Grab a potent Organic Clove Oil like this one from Nexon Botanics)
  2. Soak cotton balls or cloth strips in the solution.
  3. Place the soaked items strategically where you’ve spotted mice activity.

And voilà! The pungent aroma of clove oil will have those mice keeping their distance! Don’t forget to reapply the solution or replace the soaked items regularly to guarantee continued effectiveness.

Why Mice Hate The Smell Of Cloves

Mice can’t stand the smell of cloves! This is because cloves contain eugenol, a potent aromatic compound that overwhelms the tiny rodents’ sensitive olfactory system. Mice rely on their strong sense of smell to navigate, communicate, and find food, so a powerful scent like cloves can cause them distress.

Cloves have natural repellent properties, creating an unpleasant smell perimeter for mice. Not only do mice detest clove scent, but it masks other odors that might otherwise attract them to your living spaces.

This confusion drives them away, making it an effective barrier against their intrusion.

But remember, using cloves to deter mice isn’t fool-proof. It works best when used in conjunction with other methods and preventive measures, like sealing entry points and maintaining a clean environment. Such an approach maximizes your chances of keeping mice away for good.

How To Use The Scent of Cloves To Repel Mice

If you’re sold on using cloves, here’s a quick table on how to use the to keep mice away!

MethodHow to UseWhy it Works
1.Place whole cloves in areas where mice are present, such as drawers, cabinets, and pantry shelves.The strong odor of cloves is unpleasant to mice, and they will avoid areas where cloves are present.
2.Mix clove oil with water and spray it around the house, especially in areas where mice may enter, such as doors and windows.The strong scent of clove oil will repel mice and prevent them from entering the house.
3.Tie a handful of cloves in a cheesecloth and hang it in areas where mice are present, such as the pantry or garage.The strong odor of cloves will deter mice from entering the area and keep them away.
4.Soak cotton balls in clove oil and place them in areas where mice are present, such as under the sink or in the basement.The strong scent of clove oil will repel mice and prevent them from entering the area.

Remember! Refresh the cloves or reapply the spray regularly, as the scent will fade over time and may become less effective in deterring mice. Staying proactive in your clove-based defense will help ensure those unwanted furry visitors keep their distance!

Benefits and Drawbacks of Using Cloves

repelling mice


Cloves, packed with eugenol, are a natural mouse repellent that can be used within your home! The strong scent from clove oil has been found to repel mice, thus keeping your living spaces rodent-free. As a bonus, those pesky little ants may also be deterred by cloves!

By using cloves, you’re choosing a non-toxic and humane solution in keeping mice at bay. No need to resort to harmful chemicals or risky traps! Plus, cloves have a pleasant aroma for humans, which may even freshen up your environment. Now isn’t that a win-win?

To keep mice from trespassing, strategically place whole cloves, dried cloves or dishes filled with clove oil:

  • Around the perimeter of your home
  • Near entry points
  • In kitchen cabinets
  • Behind appliances
  • Inside drawers

Keep in mind that the potency of the cloves will eventually fade, so be sure to regularly replace them for the best results!


Although cloves have many benefits, there are some drawbacks to consider. One issue people face is that cloves may not be as effective for heavy infestations. In such cases, your best bet would be to combine cloves with other mouse repellents.

Furthermore, remember that it’s strong scent might not be everyone’s favorite. Some people may find the aroma of clove oil to be overwhelming or even irritating, so make sure to test out a small quantity first to ensure it suits your preferences.

And finally, despite being a natural repellent, cloves may not be effective against all species of mice. So, if you still have mice roaming around your property, it’s best to look for other solutions or contact a professional pest control service.

To sum it all up, cloves can be a simple and effective method to keep mice away from your premises. However, evaluating your specific situation and severity of the infestation is crucial to decide whether cloves are the ultimate remedy for all your pesky problems!

Additional Considerations

Dealing with Infestations

When dealing with a mouse infestation, cloves can be a helpful tool in your arsenal. However, cloves should not be used as the only means to eradicating the infestation.

Cloves act as an amazing deterrent and can help prevent an infestation from coming, however if you have a large issue we suggest contacting professional help immediately.

Seeking Professional Help

If the mice infestation has become too much for you to handle using natural remedies, don’t hesitate to seek professional help! Bringing in a pest control expert can save you time and effort in the long run.

Keep in mind to carefully research and compare pest control professionals based on their experience, reviews, and the methods they use.

Simultaneously, address the root cause of the problem: Seal up any entry points and eliminate sources of food and water. This will prevent any future rodent issues and help maintain a mice-free environment.

Other Scents That Mice Hate

Besides cloves, there are also a ton more scents that mice hate that you can use to repel them! Take a look at this quick table to determine if one of these scents can work for you.

PeppermintMice find the scent of peppermint to be overwhelming and unpleasant.
EucalyptusThe strong scent of eucalyptus can be irritating to mice and may help to keep them away.
LavenderMice find the scent of lavender to be unpleasant and may avoid areas where it is present.
CitronellaThe strong scent of citronella can be irritating to mice and may help to keep them away.
ClovesThe scent of cloves can be overwhelming for mice and may help to keep them away.
ThymeThe scent of thyme can be irritating to mice and may help to keep them away.
RosemaryThe strong scent of rosemary can be overwhelming for mice and may help to keep them away.

Sealing Entry Points and Mouse Prevention

You’ve likely heard the saying “where there’s a gap, there’s a mouse.” This couldn’t be more true! Mice can enter your space through the tiniest of gaps. So, when it comes to keeping these unwanted guests away, it’s essential to seal any potential entry points. Did you know that a mouse can squeeze through a hole as small as a pencil’s diameter? The fact that they have collapsible skeletons works in their favor.

A few common gaps where mice may gain entry include:

  • Cracks in walls
  • Gaps around pipes
  • Spaces under doors
  • Vents and chimneys

Remember to check these areas thoroughly around your home and garden. Patching up these entry points will also improve energy efficiency and minimize drafts.


When considering where to strategically place cloves, remember that mice will go out of their way to avoid that pungent aroma. Areas such as kitchen cupboards, under sinks, and around baseboards are great spots to deter mice from entering.

To effectively use cloves as a mouse repellent, consider the following:

  • Use whole cloves rather than ground cloves, as the aroma is stronger and more effective.
  • Place cloves in small sachets or containers with holes to allow the scent to spread without creating a mess.
  • Regularly replace them, as the potency of the scent will diminish over time.

In summary, cloves and their pungent aroma can be a mice’s worst nightmare. By placing cloves strategically, you can protect your home from these pesky intruders. Remember, it’s not about going nuts with the cloves – just use enough to show those mice that your house is no place for them! Happy mouse repelling!

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

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  1. Hi Zack! A million thanks to you for this wonderful information. Question- if cloves and other herbs/plants are efferctive in repelling mice, will they also work well against rats? Thanks and greetings from Manila, Philippines.

    1. Hey Marivic, you’re super welcome 🙂 Yes, they would work similar across most rodents. Most importantly however is sealing external gaps to remove potential entry points where mice (or rats) could enter your home. This is the most important step into keeping either rodent out.

  2. I’m a huge fan of essential oils and use them for repellents a lot. I’m curious though if cloves would be effective against voles and moles.

    Thx so much!
    PS. I’ve had a 4-month long battle with neighborhood cats and have used multiple deterrents, store-bought as well as homemade containing citrus scents, etc. So far they still come around. Do you have any surefire ways of deterring them forever?

    1. Hi Mary 🙂 Yeah, cats can be tough as they’re quite intelligent in my experience especially when they’ve identified an attractant. If scents are doing their job, try using the Orbit Yard Enforcer. I use this for deer in my yard and it works well against raccoon sized and up. It wouldn’t work against mice as they’re too small for the sensor to identify them. I think a cat would be able to be picked up by the sensor, you may want to search the reviews on it or contact the company to double check.

  3. Hi there… Will the cloves help with shrews in my house? I have mice as I will definitely get some clove’s & possibly oil too.

    1. Hey Lisa! I’m not entirely sure to be honest – there isn’t much research on shrews + eugenol (the active repellent compound in cloves.) Shrews actually aren’t closely related to mice as one might think, but they do have an incredible sense of smell (they can even smell underwater according to this study.) That being said, it’s worth a try. If you’ve had them for a while or more than the occasional shrew/mice siting here or there, I would recommend calling a professional to make sure you don’t have an infestation as the problem will get worse once the weather gets colder outside and they make their way towards warm areas (your home.)

      Good luck!

  4. Thank you for the tip on whole cloves and clove oil. I wanted to know if this works for grey mice. I think that’s the color of them. They’re not white. A pipe broke in my apartment and the wall is open behind the kitchen sink. Oh brother!!!!

    1. Hi Rose, you’re more than welcome! I hope you’ve found it helpful 🙂 Yes this can work for all common mouse species. I will say especially if you have a broken water pipe in your apartment and some exposed wall, there’s likely more things in your home that will attract which would make any scent based repellent less effective. I would say in your case it’s best to call a plumber and then a pest control professional to help you identify any areas of dampness, standing water and entry points where the mice are entering your home from. THEN once you have that all settled, cloves or another scent based natural repellent can help prevent re-entry alongside keeping the area clean & tidy.

  5. I found this article to be very interesting & helpful. The mini storage that I’m renting has a mouse problem. I will definitely try the cloves.

    1. Hey Cheryl, super glad you found this helpful. For your storage area, make sure to check for any gaps 1/4in. or bigger and try using some canned spray foam in those areas to block off any gaps where mice could enter (pending approval from your storage manager of course.)

  6. Thanks for all your information!!
    Do you have suggestions to keep snakes out of home & maybe even yard? There are lots of copperhead, water moccasin & cotton mouth snakes around the lake. We live waterfront at Lake Tawakoni, Texas

    1. Hi Michelle, there’s lots of snake info on Pest Pointers so feel free to do a site search and you may find some pieces that help you 🙂 In general, you’ll really want to practice super good yard maintenance and keep your grass low while eliminating hiding spots for snakes and their food. Think places like woodpiles, bushes that touch the ground, underneath decks and sheds. Being near waterfront I’m imagining you have a lot of brush near you, so really maintaining that along with weeds is key to eliminate hiding spots (this will help with mice too!) You could also try a scent repellent, the only real potentially effective ones for snakes are cinnamon and clove oils. Here’s a link with more info if you’d like:

        1. Hey Lee lee, cloves can help with rats and other rodents. Keep in mind that any rodents in the home are serious so if you do have rats or mice and have been seeing multiple OR been seeing them consistently, you should work to patch any holes in the exterior of your home and contact a professional for an inspection as there is likely more attractants in the area where cloves or clove oil won’t be able to overpower those.

        2. Thank you for the information ℹ will have to try it because it is hectic around here will rat’s and mice hope it will work thanks

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