Using Peppermint Oil as a Natural Mouse Repellent

Does peppermint oil really work?  Can it be used as an effective natural mouse repellent?   The answer is YES.  It really does work, but it has to be used correctly.

Here some ways to make sure you are doing it right.

5 Tips to use Peppermint Oil to Repel Mice

  1. Buy the right stuff. Make sure to use pure 100% peppermint oil or a product that is specifically formulated to repel mice.  Here are a few options for you available from Amazon.  These will all work to repel mice.  

  2. You can also purchase peppermint oil from your local health food stores. Just be sure to let the sales staff know you want to use it to repel mice.  They can let you know if the peppermint oil they carry is suitable for that purpose.

  3. Make sure you use enough peppermint oil. The scent needs to be strong enough to act as a deterrent. More is better in this case. I personally use at least 5 drops of oil on a cotton ball. Don’t skimp on the mint!

  4. Select the right location. These are in the order of importance.

    • You want to place the peppermint soaked cotton balls in the areas the mice are likely to enter your home. This is a very important step that cannot be overlooked.  You want the mice to smell the peppermint oil BEFORE entering your house, so they do not come in.  This is the trick most people miss.  If the mice are already in your home, they will not leave because you have peppermint in a few corners, they will just find a spot without the scent.

    • Peppermint oil is also an effective way to mask the pheromone trail mice leave within your house. These trails are used to tell the other mice where to go.  You can locate these areas by the tell tale droppings or grease marks they leave.  Place a few cotton balls in these areas to prevent the mice from exploring further in your home.

    • Finally you can also leave the cotton balls in areas where you don’t want them to explore. While you are catching mice with other methods, you can use peppermint oil to deter the mice from hiding in new areas such as your child’s bedroom or coat closet.  

  5. Refresh the cotton balls about once a month. The fragrance will wear off over time and stop working as is gets weaker.  Make sure to keep the peppermint oil fresh to maximize its effectiveness.

  6. Know its limits. Peppermint oil can be an effective mouse deterrent, but it is not an effective way to remove mice that are already living in your home. If the scent is strong enough, it will prevent them from making a new home in the area where you place the cotton balls. But if you place the mint where they are already living, this will probably not make them go running for the hills.

Another way to use the oil is to mix it with water & spray the solution on doorways or other entrance areas to your house. This is more practical in some cases such as if you are using it along hallways. You can spray the entire area much more easily then placing multiple cotton balls along their trail. Just make sure to make the oil spray strong enough.

Do you want to know where to buy peppermint oil?

You can buy peppermint oil at your local grocery or health food store. There are also many online stores which will ship it to you. The important thing to remember is make sure you buy 100% pure peppermint oil. Don’t buy a blend unless it is specifically created to be used as a mouse repellent. Also peppermint extract will not work, it needs to be the oil of the peppermint to be most effective in repelling mice.

Here is a link to buy peppermint oil, to make sure you get the right stuff!  There are several reliable brands available online.  NOW foods & Vitacost both get excellent reviews.

Mouse Away Concentrate – A Ready Made Solution using Peppermint Oil.

Mouse Away Concentrate is an essential oil made by Dreaming Earth Botanicals. This is another all natural mouse repellent made from a combination of peppermint & spearmint oils. You can use it the same way as peppermint oil by placing a small amount on cotton balls & place them strategically around your house.

Dreaming Earth also makes a ready to use pouch filled with their patented blend of essential oils. These are just as effective as the Mouse Away Concentrate product, but they come pre-packaged, so you can simply place the little cloth bags where you want to deter the mouse activity. The pouches last a few months.  You can buy them at this link:  Mouse Away Solids – 4 Pack (The Original).

The really nice thing about this product is you can reuse them too, by pouring a little of the Mouse Away Concentrate on the little cloth bags. This way you don’t need to mess with the cotton balls or buy replacements.

Growing Peppermint to Repel Mice

Another natural way to get rid of mice is to grow peppermint around your home. In the warmer months, mice may live outside, then as it get colder, they slowly migrate indoors looking for some shelter against the weather.

Peppermint Herb PlantThe goal is to make the surrounding area as unattractive as possible for them. If you can keep the mice from building nests close to your house, they are much less likely to come inside.

Mint is a rapidly spreading perennial herb. It prefers a semi-shady location with more than average moisture. If mint is grown in the right environment, it will spread into a dense mat. But watch out, it spreads quickly & may encroach into other garden areas or your lawn. On the positive side, if smells wonderful when you are cutting the grass.

Mice will avoid nesting directly in an area with very pungent & fragrant herbs such as mint. And as a bonus, mint also repels flies, fleas & ants. So you will be keeping other types of pests away from your home as well.

Mint is a Preventative Measure, Not a Cure.

The bottom line with using mint as a natural mouse repellent is it should be used for prevention.  It is not a cure.  It is very effective in preventing mice from coming in, but less useful in getting them out.  So if you already have mice in your home, follow the advice given to catch mice with traps or hire an exterminator. Use the mint to complement these efforts during the removal process and to keep them from coming back.