Why Peppermint Oil Can Repel Mice (And How To Use It)

peppermint with essential oil bottle to repel mice

Although they’re definitely cute little critters, finding mice in your home or around your property can be one daunting experience. When you have found mice, you may have also found a few additional problems like chewed at wires, or droppings around your property. Whatever the case may be, it’s good you found us – because, we have a solution to help eradicate your mice problem.

If you’re finding mice in your home, try adding peppermint oil into your home to repel them.

Peppermint oil contains menthol which can overwhelm a mouse’s sense of smell. By adding peppermint oils, indoor peppermint plants, scent sacks, and peppermint scented garbage bags you can repel mice.

Today, we’re going to dive into how to effectively use peppermint oil in addition to other repellent methods, to repel mice. We are also going to discuss some tell-tail (see what we did there) signs that may point to having mice in your home, and what may be attracting them to your friendly abode in the first place!

Keep on reading for all the details!

* This post contains affiliate links.

Why Is Peppermint Oil A Good Mouse Repellent?

So, let’s cut right to the chase – why is peppermint oil a good mouse repellent?

Peppermint oil works really well in repelling mice because of the menthol properties that it contains. The menthol is so strong that it is said to irritate a mouse’s sense of scent – keeping them away!

In fact, a study conducted by Cornell University, suggests that the use of peppermint oil is an effective vertebrae animal repellent, thus, a great way to help your mice situation! Plus, it smells great, so that’s a win-win if you ask us!

Peppermint oil is such a strong scent in and of itself, that when strategically placing it in mouse-prone spots, the scent will not only overwhelm the senses of the mice, but, will make the area feel unsafe to them – keeping them away.

How Long Does Peppermint Oil Keep Mice Away?

The thing is, peppermint oil is an effective way to deter mice, however, it’s not going to work just on its own.

But don’t knock it until you try it, because even though it works better when paired with other preventative measures, its still the base for many pungent rodent repellent formulas.

fresh peppermint up close view to repel mice

The answer to the question, how long does peppermint oil keep mice away, is simply that it depends on how often you are using it and will work as long as the peppermint oil is fragrant!

Peppermint oil is effective as long as the smell is strong enough. So a good rule of thumb would be to reapply the peppermint oil every few days to ensure a fresh, fully-fragrant scent, and enough of it – so that the mice will get a whiff of it from any which way and scurry away!

Just to add, we have an entire article dedicated to the Scents That Mice Hate if you’d like more options other than peppermint oil.

How To Use Peppermint Oil To Keep Mice Away?

There are so many ways you can use peppermint oil around your home and property to keep mice away. And it all takes a bit of strategic placement, a little bit of creativity, and a whole lot of peppermint oil!

We’re going to discuss a few different ways to use peppermint oil today: in essential oil form on its own, as a scent in general, in plant form, and as a spray.

Plus, we’re going to talk about some great ways to pair peppermint oil with other methods of repellent.

So, without further ado – here’s our ways to use peppermint oil to keep mice away!

house mouse in dirt field

Cotton Balls Soaked In Peppermint Oil

One great way to use peppermint oil to deter mice is to have cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil strategically placed around mice-prone areas in your home and outdoors. 

Simply grabbing a standard cotton ball and dropping some peppermint oil directly onto them is a great place to start.

After you do that, take those cotton balls and place them behind pieces of furniture, in the attic or basement, near any doors or windows or other openings to the outside can keep mice away.

Another way to soak your cotton balls would be to pour peppermint oil and a little bit of water in a bowl. Make sure there’s enough peppermint oil to be fragrant.

Once the solution is in the bowl, place your cotton balls in and let them sit for about an hour or two. Once soaked, place them around your home!

Using The Cotton Balls Outside

If you happen to be noticing your mice problem is more outside than in, it’s good to get ahead and prevent them from outside, which will inherently keep them from coming inside!

Grabbing the same peppermint-soaked cotton balls, start placing them in areas outside that seem to attract mice, think food, think tall grasses, think of little spaces that only a mouse can fit!

Placing the cotton balls under sheds, decks, in garbage cans, and even sporadically throughout gardens, can help control the mice situation outdoors.

Peppermint Oil-Soaked Rags And Towels

Similar to the idea of cotton balls, but just simply on a larger scale, you can soak rags and towels in peppermint oil and stuff them into the problem areas!

For instance, if you happen to have mice coming in through a hole or crack that you’ve found in your home – make sure to stuff the area with a peppermint oil-soaked rag to not only prevent the critters from getting in, but, to make the area undesirable because of the smell.

Of course, if you happen to be finding holes or cracks that allow small animals to get inside, it’s important to get those looked at by a professional, but until then, stuffing the area with something like a towel or rag can help in the meantime.

For outside purposes, keeping the rags and towels underneath decks, in sheds, and even around garbage cans, can help control the mice situation outdoors.

Using Peppermint Scented Garbage Bags Instead Of Your Regular Ones

One of our favorite ways to deter mice, and even other garbage-eating pests, is to get peppermint scented garbage bags, and use them daily in place of your other garbage bags.

We love peppermint scented garbage bags because it’s not something that takes a lot of effort, and it can be a simple switch in your daily routine that actually makes a huge difference!

Remember, rodents and other animals love food scraps, and as gross as it is to us, garbage is the best place for mice to get a bite to eat!

So, making sure your garbage cans are tidy, and bagging all of the garbage in peppermint garbage bags – can really help keep the mice and other unwanted pests away.

We love these MintX Mint Scented Trash Bags, they are easy to use, smell great, and will do the job!

Add Peppermint Scent Sacks Around Your Home

If you’re not into using direct peppermint oil, another great way to incorporate peppermint around your home is to use peppermint scent sacks and place them in the mice-prone areas!

What I would recommend to save on cost here is to start growing wild peppermint in your garden. Once it’s grown, simply dry the peppermint and place it into some small mesh sacks around your home.

For instance, you can put these sacks right behind furniture, behind a couch, underneath large pieces that you can’t even fit your hand in, but mice can somehow get into, and simply – wherever you need them to be!

They will smell like fresh peppermint and will work to keep the mice at bay – win, win!

If do in-fact want something premade, take a look at BugMD’s Vamoose, which contains a mixture of essential oils and diatamecous earth (it doesn’t contain peppermint oil, but is a similar style essential oil sack.)

Diffuse Peppermint Oil Throughout Your House

Now back to peppermint oil, another great way to use it to keep your house mice-free, is to diffuse peppermint oil throughout your house!

By using an aromatherapy diffuser and diffusing peppermint oil into your home, you can keep your house fresh and free from any mice and other unwanted pests.

Now of course, this isn’t fool proof, but if you keep a diffuser in areas where you’ve seen mice, or in your home in general, when paired with other preventative measures, this can be an effective way to deter mice. 

Plant Peppermint Plants Around Your Property

Going back outside, if you’re finding mice in your gardens, or around your property it’s a great idea to start planting some mint plants around your property.

By either planting mint plants in planters that are off the ground, or adding them directly to any vegetable gardens, you can keep mice away because the strong peppermint smell will suddenly take over their source of food (hence, your gardens) and will make the area unsafe to them.

A great rule of thumb, if you plant mint plants or any other oil-producing plants, by giving the leaves of the plant a slight crinkle and by rubbing them, the oils will be more “activated” if you will, and the scent will be more fragrant and stronger.

This is a great method to use if you need to keep mice out of your swimming pool.

Using Peppermint Plants Indoors

But get this, peppermint plants don’t only have to be outside!

Adding peppermint plants, especially in your kitchen to window syls and near other areas that lead outside, can be the perfect addition to your space.

Not only will it be great and useful as a garnish to some home-made dishes, but the peppermint will keep your house smelling nice, and may help deter unwanted pests from coming inside.

Purchase Peppermint Oil Based Repellents

If all these creative ways aren’t working for you, and you need something stronger, than we suggest going in with an actual rodent repellent that contains peppermint oil as an active ingredient!

One of our favorite blends is Rodent Sherriff’s Ultra-Pure Peppermint Oil Spray, whic has a main active ingredient of peppermint oil.

Using these types of sprays around mice-prone areas is key to keeping them at bay (along with practicing good exclusion methods.) Specifically formulated using peppermint oil as a main source of repellent, these sprays are effective without the harsh smells that come with some commercial repellents.

A good rule of thumb would be to spray these repellents every week or so in corners of your home, around your deck outside, in your attic, near your garbage cans, and truly – anywhere you see fit to get rid of your mice problem, can really help.

Of course, before going in with repellents we always recommend contacting a professional for assistance first and getting their advice and approval before moving forward. 

Slather Vicks Vapor Rub Strategically

Another creative way to get deter mice would be to actually use one of the most peppermint-smelling things that you may have in your medicine cabinet right now – Vicks!

Yup, this strong-smelling vapor rub works so well to getting rid of mice because the smell is so strong and overpowering that it will instantly irritate a mouse’s sense of smell, which will keep them away.

By slathering Vicks on baseboards, or furniture, or outside on your patio, or on your shed – or wherever they are is, rubbing some Vicks on the area and leaving it a little bit thick, will help keep mice away!

Just note that this may effect pets and anything else near ground level (similar with sprays)

Soak Tennis Balls In Peppermint Oil And Roll Them In Hard To Reach Places

If you’re noticing mice in harder to reach places, like in crawl spaces, or under decks, backs of gardens – anywhere that is inconvenient, if you will, soaking tennis balls in peppermint oil and rolling them into those places may be a great alternative!

By taking the peppermint oil and dropping it onto the tennis balls, much like the cotton ball situation we talked about earlier, or by actually soaking the tennis balls in a water and peppermint oil solution, you can make these amazing peppermint ball drops that will get those mice to stay away!

And why we love to use tennis balls too is because it’s a harmless way to create some movement in these hard-to-reach areas.

If a mouse is brave enough to check the ball out, even with the smell, there’s a good chance it will move if it touches it, and that will also work to keep the mice away. The movement is scary enough!

Grab Peppermint Altoids And Spread Them Around

Another creative way to add peppermint into the mix, is to get some mints like Altoids, and spread them throughout the areas you are finding mice.

Altoids especially are so fragrant, that the smell will linger for a bit if you use them in areas that you want mice to stay away from.

Even so, if a mouse does think that the mints are food, the peppermint taste and smell will scare them away for sure, and although it may seem a little bit like a “trap”, it’s harmless and will really show the mice whose boss!

Use Peppermint Toothpaste To Keep Mice Away

Much like Vicks, if you’re really in a pickle and want to start acting fast to keep the mice away, grab your mint-flavored toothpaste and slather it around spaces that are mice-prone.

Think of using the toothpaste as a caulk almost. If mice are around your moldings, put the toothpaste as a caulk around the area. Using the toothpaste with the same idea in mind, to close up little gaps, will surely keep mice away!

And if you want to use it more freely – that works too! You can easily add some toothpaste just around areas that you know mice are visiting, and it will definitely help keep them away – especially if they go in for a bite!

Make Your Own Diluted Peppermint Oil Spray

peppermint on white background

Lastly, one of the simplest things you can do to keep mice away and even to keep your home nice and fresh is to make your own diluted peppermint spray!

Grabbing a spray bottle of any kind and add 10-15 drops of peppermint oil per cup of water. Then, go ahead and mixing it up to make the perfect peppermint oil spray to deter mice! 

Using this spray as you would any repellent spray and adding it around those areas that are mice-prone, especially in corners, in your garage, sheds, decks, patios, garbage cans, and even using it in a way to create peppermint-scented perimeters around your home, gutters and gardens – you will effectively keep mice away!

Using the spray as an invisible perimeter around larger areas like your home and property will help keep mice away as well. Making the perimeter a few feet away from your house will keep the mice from getting too close, and inside! You’re basically tell those pesky mice – no trespassing allowed!

Other Scents That Mice Hate

If you are still having mice troubles, there’s other scents you can try using to keep mice away!

In similar ways mentioned above you can use a slew of different scents to keep mice away, such as: 

For more in-depth details, make sure to head on over to our article to learn exactly how!

What Attracts Mice In The First Place?

When it’s all said and done, if you’re having mice in your home or on your property, there’s a good chance that you’re attracting the mice without realizing.

The reasons why mice are attracted to your house in the first place almost always comes down to two main reasons: shelter and food.

In colder months especially you may find mice because they are looking for heat and may have entered your home in their search!

If you have pets, the pet food and treats may be attractive to mice, and they’ll sniff around until they finally get what they’ve been looking for – ending up in your house.

Clutter also really attracts mice because of their small stature, they are able to easily hide in clutter, and keep away from predators outdoors!

Either way, it’s not always your fault that mice get into your home, it most likely just because your home is attractive, and your space has met their specific need.

That being said, we have an entire article written to help you find out what’s attracting mice to your home and you can go about fixing it! For more info, definitely head over and take a look!

That’s A Wrap!

All in all, if you’re having a mice problem, peppermint oil can really help as an additional source of repellent, to keep mice away!

Peppermint oil may not be fool-proof and may not work as well on its own especially if you have a current mice situation, but it’s an amazing added defense if you’re also practicing great mice exclusion methods.

Additionally, if you do have a current mice-situation we recommend contacting a professional to help come up with a plan to effectively get rid of the mice. Mice can take over way too quickly, and it’s important to act fast and effectively.

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

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