14 Of The Best Scents To Use To Keep Mice Out Of Your Garden

A wild wood mouse in the garden

Creating a nice garden can be quite an exciting, fulfilling task, and there’s nearly nothing worse than finding that something has come and destroyed your hard work. So, how can you keep mice from entering your garden and wreaking havoc, you may ask?

Mice have a keen sense of smell, which they rely on for finding food and avoiding predators. They are particularly sensitive to strong, sharp odors, which can be used to our advantage in the quest to keep our gardens mouse-free. Some scents that have been proven to repel mice include the aroma of certain plants and essential oils, which we’ll discuss in detail later in the article.

Of course, using scents is only one part of a comprehensive approach to keeping mice away. In addition to employing these fragrant deterrents, it’s important to maintain a tidy garden, seal any potential entry points into your home, and eliminate sources of food and water that may entice mice to pay a visit.

Let’s dig in…not into your garden, but into how to keep pests out of it!

Key Takeaways:

  • Utilize strong scents to repel mice from your garden, such as certain plants and essential oils
  • Combine scent-based deterrents with proper garden maintenance and preventive measures to keep mice at bay
  • Focus on understanding mice behavior and preferences to develop a comprehensive and effective strategy for a rodent-free garden
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Why Your Garden Attracts Mice

Mice, just like other rodents, have an excellent sense of smell. They rely on their noses to find food, shelter, and even to avoid predators! It’s this strong sense of smell that we can exploit to keep our gardens free of these pesky rodents.

The University of Arizona Cooperative Extension notes that many home remedies can repel pests like mice, especially when it comes to outdoor gardening spaces.

After all, mice are attracted to your garden for various reasons. First and foremost: access to food. Your garden might be providing an ample supply of fruits, vegetables, or even birdseed.

Shelter is another factor that plays a big role. Dense vegetation, piles of wood, or other clutter can make for an ideal hiding place from their natural predators.

One important aspect to note about mice is their tendency to chew on just about anything they come across. This might be inconvenient for you if they decide to munch on your prized plants or garden infrastructure.

On the bright side, we can use their chewing habits to our advantage when using scented repellents.

Types of Scents that Deter Mice That You Can Use In The Garden

If you are seeking a natural way to keep mice out of your garden, look no further! Scents are an amazing solution to make sure these furry creatures are staying away from your plants. Here are some powerful scents that can help you in your endeavor.

6 types of Essential Oils

Essential OilDescriptionHow to UseEffectiveness
LavenderA sweet-smelling oil that is often used for relaxation and stress relief.Place a few drops of lavender oil on cotton balls and place them around the garden, focusing on areas where mice are commonly seen.Very effective
ClovesA warm and spicy oil that is commonly used in cooking.Mix a few drops of clove oil with water and spray the solution around the garden, paying special attention to areas where mice are commonly seen.Very effective
Eucalyptus OilA fresh and invigorating oil that is often used for respiratory issues.Place a few drops of eucalyptus oil on cotton balls and place them around the garden, focusing on areas where mice are commonly seen.Very effective
SpearmintA refreshing and minty oil that is often used for digestion and oral health.Mix a few drops of spearmint oil with water and spray the solution around the garden, focusing on areas where mice are commonly seen.Effective
LemongrassA citrusy and uplifting oil that is often used for insect repellent.Place a few drops of lemongrass oil on cotton balls and place them around the garden, paying special attention to areas where mice are commonly seen.Effective
PeppermintA cooling and refreshing oil that is often used for headaches and nausea.Place a few drops of peppermint oil on cotton balls and place them around the garden, focusing on areas where mice are commonly seen.Very effective

4 types of Spices

Closeup of black pepper used to repel mice
SpicesDescriptionHow to Use in the GardenEffectiveness
Black PepperA common spice that adds a spicy kick to dishes. Mice find the scent of black pepper to be unpleasant and will stay away from areas where it is present.Sprinkle McCormick black pepper around the garden, focusing on areas where mice are commonly seen.Effective
Cayenne PepperA hot and spicy spice that is often used in cooking. Mice find the scent of cayenne pepper to be overwhelming and will avoid places where it is used.Mix cayenne pepper with water and spray the solution around the garden, paying special attention to areas where mice are commonly seen.Very effective
VinegarA pungent liquid that is often used for cleaning. Mice find the scent of vinegar to be unpleasant and will steer clear of areas where it is present.Mix vinegar with water and spray the solution around the garden, focusing on areas where mice are commonly seen.Effective
GarlicA pungent bulb that is often used in cooking. Mice find the scent of garlic to be unpleasant and will keep away from areas where it is present.Plant garlic bulbs around the perimeter of the garden to create a barrier that mice will avoid.Effective

4 Other Scents

Predator Urine

These are a few scents that you can effortlessly incorporate into your garden care routine.

Implementing these scents can be as simple as spraying your garden with a mixture of water and a few drops of essential oil, or placing soaked cotton balls strategically around the garden’s perimeter. Persistence is key; reapply the scents regularly to maintain their effectiveness. This will keep your garden smelling lovely to you while repelling those unwanted furry visitors.


Mint is a powerful deterrent for mice, making it an excellent addition to your garden. With its strong aroma, mice tend to avoid mint like the plague. Planting mint alongside your flowers, bushes, and trees can keep both the rodents and their interests away.

However, don’t limit yourself to just mint. There are other plants that can be used as natural mouse repellents:


These stunning spring flowers may be a delight for us, but their bulbs contain alkaloids that rodents find distasteful.

Try the Garden State Bulb King Alfred Daffodil Flower Bulbs for planting this year.


Mice can’t stand the strong scent of onions, making them particularly effective in repelling these unwanted guests.

Beyond the plants themselves, consider their accessories. For instance, some trees and bushes produce seeds or berries that can attract mice. To keep mice away from your garden, make sure to select plants that have fewer mouse-enticing features.

Preventive Measures to Take in Your Garden

Ensure you seal entry points. Mice are notorious for sneaking through tiny holes and gaps. By closing access to these areas, you’ll make your garden less attractive to these unwelcome guests. Regularly check and repair fences, walls, and other barriers.

For effective results, install snap traps strategically around your garden’s perimeter. Bait them with peanut butter, a treat that many mice find irresistible. Dispose of trapped mice as per local guidelines and remember to wear gloves.

Keep your garden neat and tidy to deter mice. This not only includes regularly mowing your lawn but also picking up fruit and vegetables fallen on the ground, as these can attract mice. Be sure to store garden tools, bags, and containers off the ground since mice may use them to hide or nest.

Here are a few more tips to keep your garden mouse-proof:

  • Remove potential shelter: Trim overgrown bushes, trees, and tall grasses where mice may build nests.
  • Provide natural predators a home: Set up birdhouses and bat boxes to attract owls, birds, and bats, all of which prey on mice.

Natural Remedies vs. local Professionals

When dealing with a rodent problem, there are two main routes to consider: natural repellents or professional help. While many homeowners opt for natural solutions to keep mice out of gardens, it’s essential to weigh the benefits and disadvantages of each approach!

So, when considering natural remedies versus professional extermination, it’s essential to weigh the pros and cons:

Natural Remedies:

  • Eco-friendly
  • Lower cost
  • Might not be as effective
  • Requires consistent application

Professional Pest Control Experts:

  • Highly effective
  • Targeted solutions
  • Can involve chemicals
  • Generally more expensive

A combination of these options might yield the best results: relying on natural repellents for general maintenance and employing local pest control experts for more severe infestations. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different solutions to find what works best for your mouse problems!

Additional Tips for a Rodent-Free Garden

Mice just love those garden parties you throw, especially when there are some additional factors involved! However certain factors will deter them.


To maintain a rodent-free zone, make sure to remove any available food sources. This includes tidying up fallen nuts, fruits, and seeds. Did you know that mulch and straw can house rodents too? Consider using a tighter ground cover, like gravel or stone.


Don’t let them smell water! Mice have a keen sense of smell, and they’re drawn to water sources. Keep birdbaths, fountains, and pet dishes clean and fresh. Properly sealed water containers will also help deter these little critters!

Feline Friends

Why not get a cat? Many homeowners have discovered the joys of adopting a feline friend. Not only are they great companions, but they’re natural predators of mice, insects, and other pests. Your garden will thank you!


The sun is your ally! Mice love to hide and nest in dark, cozy corners. By trimming dense foliage, removing clutter, and keeping your garden tidy, you can encourage more sunlight exposure. This discourages mice from moving in.


Additionally, consider the location of your garden. It’s best to avoid dense woodland areas where rabbits and other rodents might frequent, or seek alternative pest prevention measures. While we all want our gardens to be beautiful and inviting, mindfully plant things that mice aren’t as attracted to, as well as using nutritionally balanced soil.

By incorporating these tips, you can enjoy a rodent-free garden with scents mice can’t stand.

Enjoy your Garden

Now that we’ve planted the seeds of what to do about mice in your space, it’s time to enjoy your garden. Pest-free, of course.

While experimenting with different scents, you might want to adopt these preventive measures to reduce mice infestations:

  • Make sure to eliminate any food sources in and near your garden.
  • Promptly clean up any spills or messes that may attract rodents.

When working to keep mice away, remember that consistency is key. It’s essential to reapply any scents you choose to use, as they can fade over time.

By choosing the right scents and combining them with a proactive approach to garden maintenance, you can enjoy a garden free of those uninvited mice!

Good luck, friends.

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

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