You knew that toothpaste was good for preventing cavities and eliminating bad breath, but did you know that it can also keep your home pest free? Yes, mint toothpaste can repel mice from your home!
The scent of menthol, which is responsible for mint’s strong flavor and aroma, will overwhelm a mouse’s sense of smell. Toothpaste doesn’t necessarily need to contain menthol to repel mice, so long as it has the oh so good, minty scent.
You’re probably thinking “really?” on this method but it can work – provided you focus on long-term preventative mouse repelling measures.
So without further ado – read on to discover how the peppermint-flavored toothpaste stored in your bathroom can prevent mice in all parts of your house!
Can Mint Toothpaste Actually Be A Good Mouse Repellent?
Perhaps it sounds too good to be true. For many people, mint is a pleasant aroma that they like to have around.
Perhaps it conjures up memories of Christmas and hot cocoa. Maybe it just smells cool, clean, and refreshing.
Could something this enjoyable truly be effective at keeping mice away? Yes, it can!
Menthol, the chemical compound that gives peppermint its distinctive mintiness, is irritating to a mouse’s olfactory system. The smell is unbearable to rodents!
Have you ever smelled something so terrible and irritating that it caused you physical distress? In a situation like this, your only instinct is to flee and search for clean air!
This is the same thing that happens to mice! If there is peppermint around, mice will generally avoid it to stay away from the overwhelming effects!
Peppermint essential oil can sometimes be hard to find. However, you probably already have mint toothpaste in your home!
Now, if you want to go the peppermint oil route vs. the toothpaste route, take a look at our guide on why peppermint oil can repel mice. It goes into just a bit more detail on why peppermint oil can be an effective mouse repellent.
Is This An Effective First Line of Defense?
Rather than jumping straight to extermination, it is often equally or more effective to prevent the pests from settling into your home in the first place.
Mice are an important part of the ecosystem – we just want them to live somewhere else besides our homes! Mint is effective at delivering the eviction notice to mice when you’ve only seen one and don’t have an infestation.
Note: Peppermint is not what you would use to treat your home of an active rodent infestation. This is recommended as a preventative measure. If multiple mice have already established residence in your home, you’re going to need the help of a pest control professional!
Why Do I Need to Repel Mice?
We’ve all seen cartoons that show friendly little mice helping Disney princesses and peacefully living in the hole in the baseboard. Why wouldn’t you want cute mice in your house?
Well, mice can cause immense damage in a short amount of time.
They can cause damage to walls, insulation, electrical wiring, and personal belongings in storage. Mice can even destroy the food in your pantry by chewing through containers – not to mention the mess their droppings leave behind which can actually attract other mice!
How To Use Mint Toothpaste To Repel Mice
You don’t have to go out and buy a bunch of specialized products in order to keep mice away. Check your bathroom to see if you have any mint flavored toothpaste!
It sounds messy, but if done correctly, using toothpaste can actually be less noticeable than other methods of pest control.
Before you have nightmares about globs of toothpaste left all over your house, remember that mice have a powerful sense of smell and can detect odors that are imperceptible to humans.
You don’t need to use so much mint toothpaste that you can smell it. You just need enough for a mouse’s powerful smeller to catch a whiff!
Please note that in order to be effective, you need to use a flavor such as mint. Bubble fruit (the blue, sparkly children’s flavor) would probably attract mice. The repellent is the mint scent, not the fact that it’s toothpaste!
Also, please be mindful – this is toothpaste we’re talking about here. It’s not a one stop fix it shop but it can be effective when you practice long term preventative measure which we’ll review after discussing HOW to use toothpaste to repel mice.
If you aren’t digging the toothpaste solution, we have a full guide on the most common scents that repel mice – many of which have research behind them. Bookmark it for later!
Place Toothpaste Around Their Nests
Mice only travel within a rough 15 foot radius from their nests. This means that the mice in your house aren’t traveling very far from their nests.
To be honest, “nest” is a generous title to call these rodent creations. Unlike the organized woven basket that a bird might create, a mouse nest might consist of ripped up newspaper or shredded fabric.
It’s a humble abode, but that’s where the mouse calls home.
If you find a mouse nest (perhaps in a lesser-used dresser or behind a shelf in a quiet room), remove it with gloves and sanitize the area.
Then, apply a thin layer of toothpaste around where you found the nest. This serves as an obvious eviction notice!
Keep in mind that while brushing your teeth, lathering the paste to form bubbles is ideal. When spreading it indoors, you’ll want to either have a smooth bead (like caulk) or flat surface (like frosting).
Try putting it under the edges of counters and drawers in places where you and other household members are unlikely to touch.
Apply Toothpaste At Mouse Entry Points
Sometimes the mice don’t live in your home – they simply enter from the outside, find food, and then exit after wreaking havoc.
Mice can enter openings that are only ¼ inch wide! This means that mice can enter holes about the size of a pencil eraser!
You might be thinking, “Who has holes like that in their house?” Most of us like to think of our homes as closed, safe havens. But you might be surprised at how airtight your house is not!
Identify Potential Openings
Carefully examine your home for potential entry points. There are many ways that mice can get inside of your home.
Are there spots where cables (like phone, Internet, or TV) enter the home through the wall? Sometimes utility companies do not put the proper caulking or gaskets around these cords.
What about open windows with loose screens? Is there space under the door jamb?
It might sound obvious to ask, but do you close doors that lead to the outside? What about dog or cat doors?
Don’t write off an opening just because it’s on an inner wall of the house, either!
Remember that the walls in most homes are made of drywall on wooden frames, leaving a network of hollow openings. Even if the walls are filled with insulation, a mouse can still find its way around!
Check behind furniture and appliances such as ovens and refrigerators, too!
What Do I Do When I Find A Mouse Hole?
It’s best practice to permanently close holes with wire mesh, drywall, or expanding foam, but some openings are difficult to close.
If you spot a mouse entry point (easily identified by greasy marks on the walls and mouse dropping left behind), sanitize the area and place toothpaste around the area.
If you’re feeling bold, you can even put toothpaste directly in the entry point! Just make sure to additionally seal that hole once you’ve confirmed the mouse is out.
Dab Toothpaste Along High Traffic Areas
Some areas in your home, such as the back of a pantry shelf, might not be highly utilized by members of your household.
However, it could be a major highway for the mice in your home!
If there are areas you notice droppings or chew marks, this is probably a route that mice routinely take in your home.
Clean the area and then carefully spread toothpaste along the length of the area. Mice will hit the road after that!
Place Toothpaste Near Valuable Personal Belongings
No, you don’t want to get toothpaste on old family photos or on your favorite holiday decorations. But once properly stored, toothpaste can be added around your storage area as an extra deterrent!
Sadly, many people store priceless family heirlooms in attics, basements, and crawl spaces. Extra cardboard boxes and plastic bags often line these dark spaces.
Such areas of the house are commonly used for storing lesser-used items.
However, your basement and attic lack consistent temperature controls, waterproofing, and rodent protection.
What’s The Best Way To Store Things To Protect Against Mice?
Before storing valuables, take the time to protect them!
Fortunately, many of the ways you can protect belongings from water are the same ways you can protect them from mice!
- Ditch the cardboard and use plastic totes. Although mice do have powerful enough jaws to bite through plastic, it’s unlikely that they will exert so much effort without the guaranteed reward of food.
- Check your belongings often. No, you don’t need to visit the artificial Christmas tree every day while it’s in storage. But please glance in your storage area periodically and making sure that boxes and closed, dry, and free from mouse droppings.
- Place toothpaste on the outside of your storage totes. A thin strip of toothpaste can go a long way in keeping mice out of your storage. Try placing it in the lip underneath the edge of a plastic container— this is a spot that you’re unlikely to touch with your hands or clothes!
- Eliminate clutter. Getting rid of unnecessary belongings is always a good idea, but it can prevent mice as well! Mice can’t go through your stuff if it’s not there!
Will Mint Toothpaste Repel Mice Long-Term?
Like all products, toothpaste will wane in efficiency over time. As the toothpaste sits out in the open, it will dry. As the water in the toothpaste evaporates, the odor will slowly fade away.
Dried toothpaste still has a minty aroma, but unfortunately, research has not been conducted as to how long it is effective against mice. It would be wise to replace the toothpaste at least weekly during primary mouse season for your area (they come inside when the weather drops) or monthly (for maintenance purposes).
As a first line mouse repellent, mint toothpaste is NOT a good option. Rather, you need to focus on filling any and every mouse entry point on your property. To solve this, please read out article on the ways that mice get into your house which details fixing specific entry points!
Toothpaste Application Tips
It feels funny to give advice on how to apply toothpaste. After all, most of us (hopefully) use it daily without even thinking about it!
Applying toothpaste to your home is different from applying it to your toothbrush, however.
The biggest tip? Spread thin layers of gel! It can be less of an obvious sight if it’s not sitting in a round pea-sized glob.
The technicalities of the toothpaste formula aren’t important. (After all, whitening power or gingivitis restoration concoctions only matter when you’re using the toothpaste as directed in your mouth, and on your teeth and gums.)
I would recommend Tom’s of Maine Peppermint Toothpaste, specifically because it contains actual peppermint leaves. This basically makes a peppermint caulk that you can easily wipe away. Funny thing is, I use this stuff to brush my teeth as well!
You don’t want to layer your entire house in a thick layer of toothpaste, but you will need to use a little more when first treating your home.
For more of a concentrated peppermint aroma, you can try something like Trader Joe’s Peppermint Toothpaste with Baking Soda and Fluoride. Although it’s a bit pricier than other brands, you might not use as much as less concentrated formulas!
Can Other Household Products Repel Mice?
You can also try attracting animal predators that eat mice. If you’re not allergic to cats, this can be a surefire way to never see a mouse in your home ever again!
Vinegar, cinnamon, black pepper and cayenne pepper are other household products that can be used to repel mice. Heck, you can even use dryer sheets! If peppermint or peppermint toothpaste aren’t your style, give one of these other supplies a try. (You probably have at least one of them in your cabinet.)
Does Mint Toothpaste Deter Mice?
It sounds silly upon first hearing about it, but toothpaste can be a powerful mouse repellent tool if used correctly!
Try using toothpaste around your house as a preventative measure, similar to how you would take a daily multivitamin to prevent health problems.
Mice can spread infectious diseases, even in suburban and otherwise developed areas. Mice can damage your property, ranging from food in the pantry to family heirlooms to even the home itself. Mice can damage electrical wiring and cause devastating fires.
It is worth the effort to prevent mice from entering your home!
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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