Do Mice Like Peppermint?

Whether or not mice like peppermint is a debate that has been going on for years. Some people swear by peppermint plants and essential oils as an incredibly effective mouse repellant, yet some are non believers. There are constantly new sites and articles popping up that claim to debunk using peppermint for rodent control and swear that it is a myth.

Today, we will be discussing how to effectively use peppermint to repel mice and other rodents. We will also be talking about why peppermint is a great natural option for pest control and why it works. In a sense, we will be debunking the debunkers today. We will also be answering some frequently asked questions about mice and peppermint. So read-on, fellow pest control enthusiasts, and enjoy our crash course on using peppermint to get rid of mice.

Is Peppermint Good for Getting Rid of Mice?

YES, peppermint is absolutely good for getting rid of mice. Most rodents have notoriously bad eyesight, and mice are no exception. Mice navigate the world by using their extraordinary sense of smell to sniff out food and follow pheromone trails left behind by other mice. This dependence on sense of smell is why peppermint is effective for repelling mice.

Strong scents such as peppermint, will aggravate the sensitive nasal passages of mice and other rodents, in a way essentially blinding them. Mice will get as far away from the offending scent as possible, meaning if you disperse in heavily enough inside your home, they will leave in order to escape the overwhelming smell.

The simple reasoning behind this theory would make the efficacy of peppermint to get rid of mice seem super obvious. So why all the doubters? There are numerous reasons that peppermint might be less effective, causing people to doubt whether it works or not. A few different reasons why peppermint may not be effective could include:

Incorrect Placement/Dispersion Throughout the Home

When using any mouse repellant, placement matters. Incorrect placement of peppermint will greatly limit it effectiveness. Proper dispersion is also essential. Using peppermint only in some sections or areas of your home will simply keep mice out of those specific areas. In order for peppermint to be as effective as possible it must be evenly dispersed throughout your home.

Not Strongly Scented

There are a couple different options when using peppermint to get rid of mice. These include planting mint to repel rodents outdoors, or using peppermint essential oil to repel mice indoors. Peppermint oil can be diluted with water and used as a spray around your home, however, a common mistake is using a weak ratio of oil to water. If your peppermint spray does not have a strong enough scent it will not be effective.

Unrealistic Expectations

Peppermint is absolutely a viable rodent control option. It is important, however, to manage your expectations. If you have a widespread mouse infestation, peppermint will not be enough to control the situation on its own. Also keep in mind that mice will explore all their options before leaving your home, so once the peppermint is placed, mice in your home will not disappear overnight.

Improper Application

Peppermint oil can be applied throughout your house in 3 ways. Diluted sprays mixed with water, cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil, or undiluted oil dripped or wiped on surfaces. Each of these application methods, however, will need to be done properly to be effective. Peppermint oil will also need to be reapplied at least every 2 weeks to keep the scent strong enough to bother mice.

How Do You Use Peppermint to Get Rid of Mice?

There are 2 basic ways that peppermint can be used to keep mice away from your home. Peppermint essential oil and mint plants.

Mint Plants

Different types of mint plants such as peppermint or spearmint can be easily grown in your yard or garden and will deter mice from nesting in your yard which will greatly reduce the chances of them moving into your home. Mint is also known to repel mosquitos and spiders and can relieve stomach aches and digestive issues when brewed as tea.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil can be used throughout your home both indoors and out. Undiluted peppermint oil can be sprinkled along doorways, windows, and any other entry points for mice. Always be sure to leave one entry untreated for the mice to escape. Peppermint oil can also be applied to cotton balls, which can then be spread around your house to repel mice. However, always remember to dispose of used cotton balls once you replace them with fresh ones. The same cotton balls that repel mice when covered with peppermint oil, will make attractive nesting material for rodents once dry.

Diluted Peppermint Oil Sprays

When covering larger areas such as hallways and baseboards, an effective peppermint oil spray can be made using 2 teaspoons of peppermint oil to 1 cup of water. This ratio can be used for any amount of spray you need to make. Remember that using less peppermint oil in your spray will decrease it’s effectiveness. Peppermint oil sometimes has a tendency to separate from water, if you encounter this problem 2 or 3 drops of dish soap added to your mixture will prevent separation.

Other Methods

Always keep in mind that peppermint works best when other pest control measures are already in place. Other methods that may help with rodent control could include:

  • Sealing entry points with steel wool
  • Using other preventative measures such as traps or poisons
  • Keeping food in sealed containers
  • Keeping sinks and bathtubs dry
  • Good housekeeping

Frequently Asked Questions

While we wish we could, we know we can not possibly answer every question you might have in just one article. However, in this section we will be providing the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding mice and peppermint.

Which Peppermint Oil Should I Buy / Are They All the Same?

This is one of the most important questions you can ask because the answer is essential. It absolutely matters which peppermint oil you buy. All peppermint oils are not the same and not all peppermint oil is ideal for pest control.

Some peppermint oils may be labeled specifically for repelling rodents and these will usually be great options. However, if you are unsure simply look for 100% peppermint oil. It will be labeled as 100% pure and will typically be sold in a dark brown or blue glass bottle.

Will Diffusing Peppermint Keep Mice Away?

Diffusing peppermint oil will not produce a strong enough scent to repel mice. Peppermint oil must be used on cotton balls or as liquid, and applied directly in high traffic areas. While diffusing peppermint may create a smell strong enough to repel some insects, it is not likely to effect mice or other rodents when not applied directly.

Do Mice Like Peppermint Candy / Can I Use This As Bait?

There is some argument as to whether peppermint candy will deter mice in the same way as peppermint oil or plants. However, one thing that does seem clear is that mice do not like peppermint candies and, therefore, you cannot use peppermint candy as bait. The sweet treat may not entirely repel these little vermin, but they certainly will avoid eating it.


Mice and other rodents are an issue that no one wants to deal with. Unfortunately, almost all of us have had the great displeasure of doing so at least once. The silver lining is that you may not always have to spend hundreds of dollars on mouse traps and poisons. When used appropriately, peppermint oil and even peppermint plants, can help considerably in controlling the rodent population in your home.

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