Maybe you’re used to using a peppermint patty to freshen up your breath, for fear the lack of peppermint may drive your friends and family members away. But did you know that the presence of peppermint can keep mice away?
Peppermint smells attractive to humans, but it has the opposite effect on rodents. And extracting the oils of the peppermint leaf is the way to get that mouse-hated smell in its purest and most intense form.
Read on to learn more about mice’s hatred of all things mint, of how to most effectively deploy their minty nemesis, of which products you can buy ready-made, and of how you can make your own.
Do Mice Hate the Smell of Peppermint?
If you were a mouse, you would be a very nose-intensive animal. Much of your navigation would be done by smell, and your nose would react powerfully to what you considered both “good smells” and “bad smells.”
Now, it was fun thinking like a mouse for a moment, but if I can now bring you back to thinking like a human again – how do you repel a creature that is led around in life by its nose?
The answer is simple, you put smells it hates in its path. You put peppermint, spearmint, or any other kind of mint at the entry points into your home and anywhere in your home you’ve ever seen a mouse or fear you might someday see one.
Yes, it’s true: mice find the smell of peppermint annoying; and many others have used it to assist in their mouse control efforts, with great success.
Why Using Peppermint Oil Mice Spray Is a Smart Solution
You hear online reviews of people saying “peppermint oil doesn’t work as a natural mouse repellent!” But remember that some of those people are selling competing products, and many others just put out a few peppermint leaves or a drop or two of peppermint oil and gave up as soon as they saw their next mouse.
If you’re going to spray for mice, you have many options, but peppermint is certainly near the top of that list.
Here are 5 good reasons why choosing peppermint oil spray to repel mice makes sense:
- It deters mice from entering your building.
- It overpowers the scent trails mice leave behind.
- It is a 100% all natural solution.
- It’s cheap compared to most other methods.
- Your home will smell as fresh as a breath mint!
How Should I Use Peppermint Oil?
For large scale dissemination, a spray bottle approach is often best in using peppermint oil to repel mice. Although, applying the oil directly or dousing cotton balls with it is another strategy to consider.
When spraying peppermint oil, you want to mix it with water for two very good reasons:
- Peppermint oil is expensive and water helps it to shoot out of the bottle better.
- The oily element, on the other hand, will stick to wood, metal, and other surfaces long after the water has rolled off or evaporated.
Apply the water-oil spray anywhere mice may enter your home, anywhere you’ve seen them, along suspected mouse trails, behind furniture and appliances, and anywhere else your creativity can think up.
How Much Peppermint Oil Should I Use?
There is no hard and fast rule as to how much peppermint oil to use. But if, after mixing it into the water, you can barely smell it, that’s not enough.
Many will recommend a half-water, half-oil solution; which is rather strong. And the stronger, the better, when it comes to convincing mice to go find lodging somewhere else.
As to how widely to disperse the spray, that depends on the size of your building and the number of potential mouse entry points and hide outs. Every building will require a different amount to get the job done.
Pure Peppermint Extract: Is It Effective?
You definitely want to use pure mint extract, whether or not it’s all peppermint (spearmint and other mints can work too.) And mixtures with cloves and other oils included can also be effective.
When using a non-spray bottle approach, here are some tips to keep in mind:
- 100% pure extract is best, meaning no dilution or artificial additives should be included.
- Find out if the peppermint oil is for specifically formulated as a mouse repellent (it helps if it is.)
- Use at least 5 drops per cotton ball for a strong effect.
- Place the cotton balls anywhere mice might be.
- Replace the cotton balls every 2 to 4 weeks.
Don’t expect your an essential oil mouse repellent to make mice flee in droves out of your building. It is best as a deterrent to keep them out. But it can keep them away from certain rooms/areas or be used to nudge them over to the non-peppermint smelling zones, where you’ve left them some goodies with a price tag attached (a baited trap, that is.)
How to Make Your Own Anti-Mouse Peppermint Oil
For those who love the DIY life style, or who just like to save money and have fun mixing up unusual concoctions to annoy poor, furry little rodents just looking for a cozy new home (What, not tears?), making your own anti-mouse peppermint oil spray is well worthwhile.
Yes, in most parts of the US, mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow. In the South, it will grow outside for much of the year. In the north, it still does well in the warm season. And you can grow it all year long anywhere inside in a pot by a window sill.
If you grow your own peppermint, harvest it in early morning for a stronger punch; otherwise, buy the leaves at the supermarket.
Now get started making your own peppermint extract:
- Step one is to wash the leaves in cold water. You don’t want dirt in your extract. Dirt smells find to mice.
- Next, lightly bruise up the mint leaves with a mortar and pestle.
- Now, put the bruised leaves in a pan and cover them in a light base oil (grape seed oil works good). Heat the pan and cook on low for just a few minutes.
- Put the leaf-filled oil in a mason jar and screw the lid on. Leave it there for a month.
- Strain the leaves out of the oil, which is now infused with peppermint, with cheese cloth.
At this point, you can get a small 2-ounce sized spray bottle and make your own peppermint spray. Mix a 50-50 water-mint solution and shake well. If the oil separates later, put in a drop of dish washing detergent. Later, you can reduce to a 2/3 water and 1/3 peppermint oil solution once you’ve not seen any mice for quite some time.
Is There a Good Peppermint Oil Product to Use?
What about ready made commercial mouse repellents? What is the best mouse repellent? Well, click on the link to see other types of mouse repellents, but here are two of the best peppermint-based repellents on the market.
First, there is Mouse Away Concentrate, put out by Dreaming Earth Botanicals. It is a blend of peppermint and spearmint oils, a 100% natural product. And besides the spray, you can also buy Mouse Away pouches, which are filled with the special anti-mouse essential oil mix (these are good for about 3 months).
Second, also consider Rodent Sheriff, which is an all natural, pure mint anti-mouse product that is full of peppermint. It comes in 8-ounce spray bottles that are supposed to last for 1,000 sprays, so we think your hand will be too tired for another spray before the bottle is empty. It is also supposed to repel cockroaches and raccoons.
Despite the claims to the contrary, peppermint oil can be an effective tool in keeping mice from invading your home. You can make your own oil, buy the oil and mix it with water, or buy ready made products. It all operates on the same principle: mice hate the smell of peppermint and prefer to live somewhere they won’t detect it wafting in the air.