What Essential Oils Repel Mice?

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Essential oils can be surprisingly effective at repelling mice and other rodents. Eucalyptus, tea tree, and peppermint essential oils will all repel mice, but peppermint is the most effective. The intense menthol smell covers up the pheromone trails mice use to navigate, and irritates their noses. In this article, we’ll take a look at what essential oils repel mice, the best ones to use, as well as where you can get them.

Essential oils that repel mice

Rodents have a very sensitive sense of smell, and the powerful, concentrated smells of essential oils can be very off putting to them. Spraying essential oils around baseboards and entryways is a safe and effective way to prevent mice from getting into your home. As long as you reapply the oil regularly, it can be a great long-term solution to a mouse problem.

Here are the 3 best essential oils to use for repelling mice.

1. Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus leaves

You’re probably familiar with the scent of eucalyptus oil from medicinal products like cough drops, although it’s also a popular fragrance in soaps and candles. The refreshing smells and medicinal properties make it a very popular essential oil to keep around.

Mixed with a bit of vinegar, it makes a powerful, yet perfectly safe and natural, insecticide. You can spray it all over your garden plants without worrying about damaging them, and it’ll be bug-free. But what about mice?

Like bugs, mice don’t like the smell of eucalyptus oil. Spreading the oil around doors, windows, baseboards, outlets, and in the pantry can help keep rodents away. Just be sure to reapply regularly.

When shopping for a eucalyptus oil, you’ll find there are hundreds of brands, all marketing their product as the best. We recommend this eucalyptus oil found on Amazon. It’s a trusted brand with a huge following, and the oil is fantastic.

2. Tea Tree Oil

image: cultivar413 | Tea Tree | Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Tea tree oil is renowned for its uses in beauty products. It has anti fungal properties that can help with dandruff, and it’s list of medicinal uses is longer than most people realize. It also smells great, to you and me at least.

It’s widely believed that mice don’t like the smell of tea tree oil, and there may be some truth to that. Tea tree oil is highly toxic in large concentrations, so it would make sense if mice avoided it. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence supporting the use of tea tree oil to repel mice, even if the experts still aren’t complete sold on it yet.

As a bonus, tea tree oil is great for the skin and can be used in household cleaners, so buying an oil like this one is a great investment.

3. Peppermint Oil

Peppermint leaves

Of all the oils you could use to repel mice, peppermint oil is the best. Peppermint oil has an intense smell, far more potent than most essential oils. This works to repel mice and other rodents in two ways.

First, the smell of the menthol in the oil completely masks the smell of the pheromone trails that rodents use to navigate their world. Basically, it destroys their navigation system, they get lost, and they leave.

Second, the smell is simply offensive to them. Their noses are quite sensitive, and the powerful menthol fumes irritate their nasal tissues. Spritzing your home with peppermint oil regularly is a great way to keep the rodent population in check.

Peppermint oil is full of other benefits, as well. It’s soothing, clears the sinuses, and helps with digestion. A good bottle of peppermint oil is one of the best and safest ways to keep mice out of your house.


4 other methods to keep mice away

While essential oils can work, they may not be 100% effective, or you may find that you, too, are very sensitive to the smells. Either way, there are plenty of other safe, humane ways to get rid of mice.

1. Mouse traps

While the familiar, wooden snap traps are certainly effective, you may be looking for a more humane way to remove mice. Fortunately, there are mouse traps that don’t kill the mice. These traps keep them alive, and may even be able to trap more than one mouse at a time.

The trick is to release the mice far from your home- go find a park a few neighborhoods away, or if possible drive out of town and into a rural area before releasing them. Otherwise, they’ll just go right back into your house and this time they’ll know to avoid the traps.

2. Keep your property clean

Mow the lawn, get rid of weeds, remove any debris or clutter. Essentially, get rid of the kinds of places that mice like to hide. Doing this in your yard will keep them from getting to your house in the first place.

3. Get a cat

Seriously, get a cat. Cats are great hunters, and they’ll hunt the mice whether they’re hungry or not. There’s a decent chance that just bringing a cat into your home will be enough to scare the mice away.

4. Caulk and steel wool

A mouse can fit through an opening the size of a dime, and they can chew through a lot of different materials. They can’t chew through caulk or steel wool, though, so using these materials to seal up the outside of your house will keep them out. Focus on gaps around pipes, vents, and where the walls meet the foundation.

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a safe, humane, natural way to deal with a mouse problem, peppermint is the best essential oil for repelling mice. Eucalyptus and tea tree oil will also work, just not quite as well. Spray peppermint oil along the baseboards, around every entryway, and all vents, outlets, and pipes. For this to work, you have to be very thorough.

For maximum effectiveness, you may want to combine essential oils with human traps, removing clutter, and sealing up the exterior of your home with caulk and steel wool. Doing all these things together is a surefire way to repel mice and prevent another infestation.

Some people try other tactics on mice, such as using mothballs to repel mice, however it’s generally ineffective and not recommended for various safety reasons.