Peppermint Oil For Mice: Does It Really Work?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: July 27, 2022
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Mice are some of the most aggravating pests you can have in your home. These creatures will eat your food, leave droppings everywhere, nibble on wires, and tear up just about anything they can to make a nest. They can be hard to spot and even harder to clean up after you find them. So, keeping them away from your home should be a priority for your health and peace of mind. Using peppermint oil for mice is supposed to be one of the most basic, cheap, and easy barrier methods for keeping mice away.

Does it work, though? We’ll show you the theory behind using peppermint oil and why you may need to use other methods in combination with it.

What Does Peppermint Oil Do to Mice?

Before you buy peppermint oil for mice and start dousing your home in it, you need to know what it does to these small rodents. The basic concept for using peppermint oil is the same as using pepper spray on a human. Have you ever had tea so minty that it almost burns? Well, peppermint oil is a lot more concentrated than your tea.

Mice will avoid going in areas with a high concentration of peppermint oil because it irritates their nasal cavities. If you place the oil in an area of your home where you know they’ve entered in the past, they’ll probably shy away from that place.

That being said, peppermint oil is not going to kill mice. That may be a good thing if you’re trying to find a humane way to prevent mice from entering your home. However, it also poses some serious limitations. If you already have mice in your home, this product will probably not solve your problem.

Does Peppermint Oil for Mice Work?

pet mouse

Mice hate the smell of peppermint oil.


Yes, peppermint oil for mice works to keep them away by irritating the nasal cavities of the rodents, overwhelming their sense of smell.

Peppermint oil acts as a deterrent for rodents that are trying to get into your home. It’s a barrier method and a somewhat effective one at that. The only problem is that you must identify where they’re getting inside. You may have to do some hunting to identify such areas. Yet, putting peppermint oil where the creatures enter your home will usually make them turn tail.

How to Use Peppermint Oil for Mice

Using peppermint oil to repel mice is simple enough. Simply take your peppermint oil product of choice, put it on cotton balls, and rub it around areas where you need protection. This can be a little messy and time-consuming, though.  

A big mistake that people make when using peppermint oil is not using the right kind. They’ll use the same minty essential oils that they implement for treating coughs and muscle aches. However, a lot of them aren’t powerful enough to repel mice. Try using concentrated peppermint oils, so it is strong enough to make mice turn away.

Many of the premixed peppermint sprays that are designed to be used as a natural repellent for mice are perfectly calibrated to be strong enough to keep mice away while saving you time and energy on dabbing.

You can find an assortment of items that make use of mint, too. Some of them are plug-ins, others are sprays, and some of them are similar to mothballs but smell much better.

Do Peppermint Plants Work?

People that want to double up on their protection or don’t feel like dabbing their doorways try using peppermint plants to keep mice away from their home. Unfortunately, the scent given off by these plants is not always strong enough to work as a barrier method.

Also, the placement of the plants will leave serious gaps in your home’s protection. In short, it’s best to use peppermint plants in conjunction with oil to keep mice away.

Yet, peppermint oil does not do much for the mice that are already inside your home and nesting. Unless you find their nests and douse them, you can count on mice continuing to gnaw on your stuff and leave their droppings all over.  

What Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Mice in Your Home?

Mouse Poop vs Rat Poop - Mouse Poop

When it’s clear you have a large infestation, it’s time for severe measures.


If you already have a mouse infestation, you need to get them out of your home. Then you can close off their entryways and use the mint oil to keep them from coming back.

The fight against mice comes down to two broad options: the humane option and the more severe option. After all, not everyone wants to kill mice, but some people are so inundated by the animals that they have no choice.

A Humane Approach to Getting Rid of Mice

The most humane approach to getting rid of mice in your home is by trapping and releasing them. The basic concept is that you load specialized humane mouse traps, capture the critters, and then release them far away from your home.

This works by displacing them and cutting them off from your home by sheer distance. Plenty of humane traps exist. The method is more time-consuming and requires some patience since you must check the trap often.

Also, the trap-and-release approach to ridding yourself of the tiny mammals is best-used against a small mouse incursion. If you have a few mice and want them gone, this could work. It will probably not work against a large infestation.

A Severe Approach to Getting Rid of Mice

Trapping or poisoning mice are two highly effective ways to kill mice. When you have a moderate or large infestation, this can be the only way to remove the problem. Traps are usually baited with something tasty like peanut butter and left in high-traffic areas of one’s home. The mouse springs to trap, and the metal bar snaps down on them.

Poisons are useful, but they come with drawbacks. It’s a harsh way for the mice to die. They are often made in pellets to entice mice to eat them, and then they often disrupt the animal’s blood clotting ability. Grisly though it may be, poisons are effective when safely used. They’re not good for homes with pets or young children.

Using peppermint oil for mice can be a simple barrier method that protects your home. Yet, it won’t end an ongoing infestation. It’s best to evaluate your pest control options and needs before you choose your approach. At any rate, peppermint oil is a cheap, effective way to steer mice away from certain parts of your home.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Alexander Baluev/

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About the Author

Kyle Glatz is a writer at A-Z-Animals where his primary focus is on geography and mammals. Kyle has been writing for researching and writing about animals and numerous other topics for 10 years, and he holds a Bachelor's Degree in English and Education from Rowan University. A resident of New Jersey, Kyle enjoys reading, writing, and playing video games.

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