The Best Essential Oils To Repel Mice Naturally

peppermint essential oil to repel mice

Have you ever found yourself dealing with an unwanted mouse guest in your home? It’s a common problem, but essential oils are to the rescue! These natural, aromatic oils provide a natural and effective way to keep mice away without resorting to harsh chemicals.

The most common essential oils that repel mice include:

These essential oils (which you may already have in your home) repel mice by masking scents that attract them causing nearby mice (and other rodents) to stay out of an otherwise desired space!

Key Takeaways:


  • Essential oils are a natural, great alternative to chemicals and pesticides
  • They leave a wonderful scent and are extremely versatile around the house (I add essential oils to my homemade lotion, for instance!)
  • They’re a great addition to preventative pest control measures.


  • Scent-repellent effectiveness can vary widely.
  • Essential oils need frequent reapplication and widespread coverage to be most effective.
  • It won’t solve your mouse problem if your house is dirty, cluttered, and has other mouse attractants and entry points.

* This post contains affiliate links.

Why Mice Are In Your Home

Signs of Mouse Activity

Scratching noises. Did you hear that? It’s no ghost, unfortunately, it’s probably mice scurrying around your walls and attic! These unwanted guests seek warmth, and your home is the perfect spot.

Gnaw marks and holes. Mice, the little architects they are, can create entry points in walls, boxes and packages with their sharp teeth. So, if you see tiny holes in your home, it’s a sign mouse activity is afoot.

Rodent droppings. One unpleasant sign of mice activity is finding their droppings, also known as “tiny tokens of their presence.” Be sure to clean up these droppings safely, as they can carry salmonellosis.

Damage Caused by Mice

Mice love chewing on wires! This can cause power outages and fire hazards. But don’t worry, with the right blend of essential oils, you can keep these furry electricians at bay.

They also LOVE to chew your baseboard and can wreak havoc in your insulation. In my basement, I had a lovely cluster of mouse droppings and seeds littered throughout our old insulation when we moved into our new home.

Why Essential Oils Keep Mice Away

Essential oils and other strong scents work in a few ways to repel mice. First off, if you actively clean with a product containing essential oils, you’ll eliminate the pheromone trails that mice leave behind, causing them to be unable to detect other mice in the area.

Secondly, and probably the more impactful point, is that certain scents (looking at you, peppermint oil) are pungent enough to mask other things that mice find attractive, such as food, water, and shelter indicators.

This can basically give mice a quick signal to stay away, or prevent that signal in the first place.

13 Best Essential Oils To Repel Mice

Now, let’s get to the good stuff. Here are the best essential oils to repel mice from your home!

Essential OilScentMain Active CompoundCan Repel Mice?
Peppermint OilMintyMentholYes
Tea Tree OilMedicinalTerpinen-4-olYes
Lemon OilCitrusyLimoneneYes
Lavender OilFloralLinaloolYes
Eucalyptus OilCamphorousEucalyptolYes
Clove OilSpicyEugenolYes
Cinnamon OilSpicyCinnamaldehydeYes
Cedarwood OilWoodyCedrolYes
Bergamot OilCitrusyBergaptenYes
Balsam Fir OilWoodyBornyl acetateYes
Citronella OilCitrusyCitronellalYes
Rosemary OilHerbalRosmarinic acidYes

1. Peppermint Oil

peppermint essential oil bottle with peppermint to repel mice
Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint oil is an excellent natural mouse repellent containing Menthol as the main active compound responsible for its strong and refreshing scent. Mice simply cannot stand it! Apply a few drops of this essential oil on cotton balls and place them around your home or even run a diffuser filled with peppermint oil.

If you go the physical application route, remember to reapply every few weeks to maintain its effectiveness.

Now, I’ll discuss this a bit later, but I absolutely love Mighty Mint’s Peppermint Oil Spray as it works on much more than just mice and smells fantastic. It’s easier than making your own formula and great for both indoor and outdoor use (I use it in my basement personally!)

2. Tea Tree Oil

tea tree essential oil to keep mice away
Tea Tree Essential Oil

Tea tree oil is another option to keep mice away. It has a strong, slightly medicinal scent that rodents seem to dislike. Its active compound is terpinen-4-ol, which is not only responsible for its potent smell but is also derived from Australia’s tea tree.

3. Lemon Oil

lemons on tree to make lemon oil
Fresh lemons on Tree

Lemon oil is known for its fresh citrus scent that helps in creating a pleasant atmosphere, but not for our little rodent friends.

Its main compound, limonene, deters mice effectively. Just like with peppermint oil, place a few drops on cotton balls and distribute them in mice-prone areas.

4. Lavender Oil

lavender plants repel mice
Group of Lavender Plants

Do you fancy a lovely fragrance that keeps mice away? Linalool is the primary compound in lavender oil responsible for its calming scent. However, mice don’t seem to enjoy it as much as we do. So, sharing your love for lavender with them might make your home a lot less inviting!

5. Eucalyptus Oil

eucalyptus oil to deter mice
Eucalyptus Essential Oil

This essential oil has a distinct fresh, minty, and slightly woody aroma that mice can’t stand. With eucalyptol as its main active compound, eucalyptus oil sends mice running! Give it a shot and say goodbye to your furry visitors.

6. Clove Oil

bottle of clove oil with cloves to repel mice
Clove Essential Oil

Clove oil is known for its warm, spicy, and sweet aroma. The active compound, eugenol, is derived from clove buds, which provides its intense fragrance. Mice find the scent extremely unpleasant as it masks other attractants, making it an excellent choice for repelling them.

7. Cinnamon Oil

Cinnamon bark with essential oil on wooden background
Cinnamon Bark Essentia Oil

Another warm, spicy scent that mice dislike is cinnamon oil. Its active compound, cinnamaldehyde, gives it that characteristic smell you love but mice despise. Try using it in combination with other essential oils for a one-two punch against rodents.

8. Cedarwood Oil

Bottles of essential oil with cedar wood chips setting on gray table
Cedarwood Essential Oil

Surprise – mice also hate the scent of cedarwood oil! Its active compound, cedrol, gives it that attractive woody smell that we find soothing but rodents find intolerable. You can use it just like other oils in cotton balls, and enjoy the pleasant aroma while keeping mice at bay.

9. Bergamot Oil

Bergamot essential oil to repel mice
Bergamot Essential Oil

For something unique, try using bergamot oil to repel mice. Its active compound, linalyl acetate, distinguishes it from other citrus oils.

The combination of sweet, fruity, and slightly spicy aroma that you’ll find refreshing might be the very thing that discourages mice from calling your home their own.

In fact, Irish Spring is infused with notes of bergamot, and citrus – making it another effective repellent against mice!

10. Balsam Fir Oil

Balsam Fir branches up close to repel mice
Baslsam Fir Essential Oil

This essential oil has a light pine-like aroma that is pleasant to humans, but not so much for mice. Balsam fir oil with its active compound, α-pinene, deters rodents from entering your home. Place a few drops on cotton balls and scatter them in areas where mice frequent.

11. Citronella Oil

Fresh citronella leaves with a bottle of citronella oil
Citronella Essential Oil

You might know citronella oil as a mosquito repellent, but it turns out it’s also effective in repelling mice! Its main active compound citronellal gives it a slightly sweet, lemony aroma.

Use it the same way as other essential oils – a little goes a long way to keep mice out of your home.

12. Rosemary Oil

Close up view of a small potted rosemary herb plant setting on an outdoor table with defocused nature background
Rosemary Plant

You might love the herbal, slightly minty aroma of rosemary oil in your food, but mice aren’t fans of it.

The main compound, 1,8-cineole, gives rosemary oil its unique fragrance. Place cotton balls soaked with this oil to create an unwelcoming environment for mice.

13. Lemongrass Oil

Lemongrass leaf with drop of meadow in morning
Lemongrass in Garden

Last but not least, lemongrass oil is another effective option to repel mice. Its main compound, citral, is responsible for the strong, lemony scent. A few drops on cotton balls scattered around the house creates a fragrance that we enjoy, but keeps mice away.

How To Use Essential Oils As A Mouse Repellent

Luckily, there are a few good ways to use essential oils as natural rodent repellents – let’s take a deeper dive below.

Soaking Cotton Balls

Soaking cotton balls in essential oils can be a fantastic way to keep mice away. Here’s how:

  1. Choose an essential oil from the list mentioned earlier, such as lavender, peppermint or eucalyptus.
  2. Mix a few drops of the essential oil with water in a 1:5 ratio (one part oil to five parts water).
  3. Soak cotton balls in the mixture and place them strategically in areas where you suspect the mice are frequenting, like corners, your basement, or under appliances.

Remember, the strong scent of these oils will deter the mice from entering your domain!

Creating A Mouse Repelling Essential Oil Spray

Another way to use essential oils to effectively repel mice is by creating a mouse-repelling spray. Trust me, it works like a charm! Here’s what to do:

  • Combine roughly 15ml of your chosen essential oil with 1-2 cups of water.
  • Add 15ml of generic dish soap (this will help the spray stay on the surface)
  • Give the bottle a good ol’ shake!
  • Apply in areas where mice are frequenting.
  • You can add a bit more essential oil to this mixture if you’d like the smell to be stronger.

You can now spritz this concoction wherever you think mice might be lurking. Oh, and the best part? Your home will smell amazing too!

Adding Essential Oils to Entry Points and Corners

As someone who has battled mice before, I can attest to the effectiveness of adding essential oils to entry points and corners of my home. Thisconscioushelps build a strong scent barrier that mice find unbearable. Follow these steps:

  1. Identify potential entry points, like gaps in the walls or spaces around pipes.
  2. Use your homemade essential oil spray from the section above, or purchase an effective product like Mighty Mint which contains peppermint oil as the main active ingredient.
  3. Apply the mixture to the desired areas!

Remember to reapply the mixture every few days to maintain its effectiveness. Mice don’t stand a chance! If your using Mighty Mint, follow the instructions carefully for best results.

Preventing Future Mice Infestations

Sealing Entry Points

You’ll catch more mice with essential oils than with a mousetrap! To keep those pesky rodents at bay, start by sealing their entry points. Mice hate lemon and lavender oils—use them as a natural barrier!

Apply a mixture of these oils around the house using cotton balls or by spraying directly on the surface. Don’t forget, mice are crafty creatures and can squeeze through small cracks and crevices! Get your hands on some caulk, steel wool, or copper mesh and close off any potential entryways.

Did you know? Mice can enter your home through gaps as small as 1/4 inch (about the size of a pencil eraser)!

Proper Food Storage

Next, we can prevent mice and rodents from feasting on your food by storing it in airtight containers made of glass or metal.

You should also practice good habits like cleaning crumbs and wiping off food residue from surfaces. A mix of eucalyptus and citronella oil will act as an excellent deterrent or using any of the other essential oil bases above. Spritz some in your pantry and watch the mice scurry away!

This is especially useful for your basement if you store bulk food, as it’s much better to find mouse droppings ON a container full of food rather than IN a container full of food.

Regular Home Maintenance

Maintaining your home is key to preventing mice infestations. Make a pawsitive impact by following these steps:

  • Regularly trim bushes and tree branches
  • Keep your yard clutter-free
  • Seal gaps in windows and doors

For added protection, incorporate essential oils like cinnamon, peppermint, balsam fir, and bergamot into your cleaning routine. These scents will deter mice and keep your house smelling great too! Many products will have our listed essential oils as a base active ingredient.

By diligently sealing entry points, storing food properly, and maintaining your home, you will naturally repel mice and enjoy a pest-free environment. Your cat will thank you too! Speaking of cats (and dogs while we’re at it,) just be concious of strong essential oils near your pets, as they’re generally much more sensative to smells than humans.

Using Alternative Scents Mice Hate To Repel Them

Luckily, there are also scents that AREN’T essential oil based! Let’s explore some of the best options: vinegar, cayenne pepper, and dryer sheets. If you would like some more options, I highly recommend taking a look at our full list of scents that mice hate!


One of the top household items that act as a natural repellent is vinegar. Its strong smell masks pheromone trails that mice use to navigate, leaving them disoriented and looking for another place to inhabit. It’s also eco-friendly and safe for your home!

  • To use vinegar as a mouse repellent, simply mix equal parts water and grocery store dilluted white vinegar (usually 3-5% concentration) in a spray bottle, then spray along baseboards, around entry points, and in any other areas, you suspect mice might be hiding.
  • You can also soak cotton balls in this vinegar solution and place them strategically around your home.

Cayenne Pepper

Another natural way to send mice packing is with cayenne pepper. The strong smell of this spice can be repulsive for mice to the point where they will want to stay far away from it.

Here’s how I like to make a repellent using cayenne pepper:

  1. Mix two tablespoons of cayenne pepper powder with a gallon of water.
  2. Add a few drops of liquid dish soap (optional.)
  3. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  4. Spray the solution around your home, focusing on possible entry points and any areas where you suspect mice are present.

Be careful when handling or spraying cayenne, as it can be irritating and spicy! It is, however, an effective solution.

Dryer Sheets

Who would have guessed that the same sheets you use to freshen up your laundry can also be a natural remedy for repelling mice? Indeed, dryer sheets contain compounds like menthol that may be unpleasant to mice.

To use dryer sheets as a mouse repellent, simply place them near possible entry points or in areas where you have seen mice activity. You can also stuff them in small holes or cracks to prevent mice from entering your home.

While these alternative scents are helpful, let’s not forget the potential of essential oils like peppermint, lemon, lavender, eucalyptus, clove, cinnamon, cedarwood, bergamot, balsam fir, citronella, thyme, pine, rosemary, and lemongrass oils.

Each has been known to repel mice in various degrees, and when combined with the aforementioned methods, you’re well on your way to a mouse-free home! So go ahead, give these natural repellents a try and reclaim your living space from those pesky rodents.

Alternative: Using Full Plants To Repel Mice

Growing plants to repel mice can also be a much more fulfilling way to keep them away. For example, growing peppermint plants in your backyard can not only add beauty but also help in repelling mice with their strong peppermint scent! Now, you’ll need to break open the plants once and a while to release their scent to increase the effectiveness and release the essential oils, but there’s a variety of ways to increase the scent.

The more pungent the plant is, the more potentially effective it is.

Here’s a quick list of plants that repel mice:

  • Peppermint
  • Lavender
  • Garlic
  • Citrus
  • Citronella
  • Onion
  • Eucalyptus
  • Catnip (attracts cats!)
  • Daffodils

Speaking scientifically, full plants have the advantage as their natural scents are constantly released into the air, whereas essential oils tend to lose their effectiveness over time and need to be reapplied. This means you need to invest less time and effort in reapplication if you’re using full plants.

If you’re sold, take a peek at our guide on using plants to repel mice for some more detailed info!

However, certain plants aren’t naturally as pungent, so they can be less effective.

When you grow some of these plants around your home, you create a perimeter that mice find hard to cross. So let’s embrace our green thumbs, and take advantage of these natural rodent repellents! Additionally, here are a few specific tips to maximize the effectiveness of your full plants:

  1. Plant them strategically near any potential entry points to your home (near gaps, cracks, or openings.)
  2. Combine a variety of these plants to create a stronger, diverse barrier against mice.
  3. Regularly trim and maintain your plants to keep them healthy and potent.

To wrap it up, while essential oils are a great method for repelling mice, don’t forget to consider using full plants as another effective alternative. I’m pretty sure those pesky rodents don’t appreciate our creative gardening skills – Happy planting!

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

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