Black Pepper and Mice – Poison or Spice?

Could one of the most common kitchen ingredients really be the cure to a mouse or rat infestation?

Black pepper is often touted as a useful and all-natural home remedy to help get rid of mice and rats, but this home remedy is not so black and white.

To learn more about how exactly black pepper effects rats and mice, keep reading below.

Does black pepper attract or repel mice?

Black pepper may or may not repel mice, and it most certainly does not attract them. If that doesn’t sound very clear, it’s because black pepper is not a consistent, reliable home remedy.

For one thing, if you are considering how black pepper effects mice, you can be sure that it will not attract them. Therefore, if you choose to try using is as way to repel mice, you can be confident that at the very worst, the method won’t work, and at the very best, you could see a decrease in mouse activity in the areas where you put the pepper.

It’s difficult to assess how effective black pepper actually is at repelling mice for a number of reasons. Typically, residents dealing with a mouse or rat infestation will take on a number of repellent and trapping strategies, often at the same time, which can make it hard to determine how effective each method is on its own.

And, if you were to only use the black pepper method without the help of other strategies, the method on its own would rarely be enough to keep mice away. Remember, if you don’t take care of the underlying conditions of why you have mice in the first place (such as a filthy kitchen), mice will endure through irritating smells, noises, and other repellents for consistent meals and shelter in your home.

Is black pepper poisonous to mice?

Some people believe that black pepper is poisonous to mice due to a high concentrations of a chemical called piperine in the pepper. And these people are right…somewhat. Basically, black pepper is poisonous to mice when consumed in large enough amounts because of the high concentrations of a chemical called piperine, but it is unlikely for mice to eat a lethal amount.

Rats and mice can actually be pretty smart when it comes to their food. If they eat something that makes them feel sick, they will know to avoid that food in the future. And because the piperine amount in black pepper is so low, it will take more than a few nibbles to kill mice and rats.

However, it’s also important to note that if rats or mice eat black pepper and feel sick from it, the black pepper likely still won’t get rid of them or keep them away—instead, they will probably just avoid the pepper while still roam your kitchen for crumbs and scraps.

How to get rid of rats with black pepper?

While I am not a huge proponent of using black pepper as a method for repelling or getting rid of rats (I believe that there are much more effective methods to use), there are some people who have claimed that they’ve had success with it.

Therefore, if you have a rat infestation and if you want to try you luck using black pepper as a deterrent or poison to repel rats, follow the steps below for the best chance of seeing good results.

1. Clean up and prep

As with any other pest control method, prep is essential. You must make sure that your home is CLEAN before you implement any pest control strategy or else mice will keep being lured back to your food sources.

It is recommended that you do a deep clean of your entire home (not just kitchen) before you do anything else. This includes getting rid of all food scraps and crumbs and storing all your foods in the tightly sealed containers.

2. Assess entry points and high activity areas

After cleaning, scout out where your areas of high rat activity are: these will be your best shots at placing repellents to repel rats.

Do a thorough walkthrough of your entire home and look for cracks in the walls and floors, holes in pipes, or really any small openings that you suspect rats are using.

Also take note of places that you’ve seen rats before and places where you’ve seen rat droppings. This would be good places to lay out your pepper.

3. Place black pepper

Once you’ve located your areas to target, it’s time to lay out the black pepper.

It’s always better to use crushed pepper than whole kernels because it’ll be easier for rats to nibble at, and thus more appealing to them.

Place some crushed pepper around all of the areas that you marked earlier as being high in rat activity. Furthermore, if you really want this method to be as effective as it possible can, you will need to locate the rat nest and completely drench the nest and its surrounding areas in the crushed pepper. This should greatly irritate the rats and drive them out for good.

4. Repeat until rats are gone

It’s always a good idea to keep doubling down on a pest control method to be sure that the rats get the message.

Keep repeating all of these steps if you still see rats and new rat activity in your home. Eventually, they should get the message and keep away. BUT REMEMBER, the rats will always come back if you haven’t removed their food sources!

What spices keep mice away? Cayenne, horseradish?

Black pepper is not the only spice to keep mice and rats away. Cayenne powder, horseradish, and chili powder have all been known to have had mild success at helping get rid of rats and mice, while other natural home remedies have had greater success.

Other effective home remedies include using peppermint oil, steel wool, and baking soda. Peppermint oil in particular has gained a lot of support as pest control method for its wonderful smell and effectiveness at getting rid of rats and mice, while steel wool has gained a reputation of being the go-to method of plugging up holes and entry points inside (and outside) your home.

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