What Essential Oils Keep Mice Away?

Have there ever been two more opposite things than mice and essential oils? We’ve all heard the saying “Opposites attract.”, in this situation, however, that is thankfully not true. When used appropriately, many essential oils can actually help to repel mice.

Mice have an acute sense of smell which is how they are able to sniff out even the tiniest crumbs so easily. Fortunately for us, that same sense of smell can be used against them. Essential oils usually have a very strong scent and some of these scents are particularly annoying to the sensitive nasal passages of rodents.

In this article, we will discuss which essential oils repel mice and how best to use them. We will also answer some frequently asked questions about essential oils, such as where to purchase them and what to expect when using scented oil as mouse repellant. The goal today is to tell you everything you need to know about using essential oils to repel mice.

How to Use Essential Oils To Repel Mice

There are a few different ways that essential oils can be used to get rid of mice. The three most effective methods when using essential oils for repelling mice are:

  • Soaked Cotton Balls – Cotton balls can be soaked in essential oils and placed in any and all locations where you suspect mouse activity. It is important to place cotton balls on saucers or other dishes if you are using them indoors as the undiluted oil can stain some surfaces in your home. If you are using cotton balls outdoors, make sure to place them where they will not get wet or blow away. Another important tip when using cotton balls is to always make sure you dispose of any old cotton once it has dried and lost its scent. The same cotton that repels mice when soaked in oil, will be an attractive nesting material for these rodents when dry.
  • Dripping Undiluted Oil – You can drip essential oils around your house to help with pest control as well. Undiluted oil can be used along the bottom of doorways or windows that you believe to be mouse entry points, as well as in corners, cabinets, closets, or other places that mice frequent. Oils can also be spread with a rag or sponge, however, as with cotton balls, when using undiluted oils, you will want to carefully consider where you are placing them since the oil can stain certain surfaces. While all essential oils are made with the same basic plant ingredients, the additives in some may be different than others. This means that while one brand of oil may be well known as being safe to use undiluted, the same type of oil in another brand could leave stains on surfaces or burn sensitive skin. This is why it is always recommended to test undiluted oil in a small, discreet area of your home before using it extensively, and wear gloves when handling pure oil.
  • Diluted Sprays – Making a diluted spray from essential oils and water is an extremely effective method of scented oil pest control. A diluted spray allows you to cover much larger areas with scents while also providing a quick and easy application process since you can simply spray generously without the worry of staining. Essential oil sprays can be made by mixing 2 teaspoons of essential oil with one cup of water. This ratio will work with any essential oil and for whatever amount of spray you need to make. Also mix a few drops of dish soap in with your spray to help the oil and water incorporate with each other more easily.

Once applied, scented oil will start to fade and will need to be refreshed every 4 to 14 days in order for the scent to last. When using undiluted oil or spray mixtures you will simply need to reapply the liquid when necessary. However, when using cotton balls, you have the option of replacing old balls with new ones, or simply applying more oil to the same cotton you have already used.

What Essential Oil Repels Mice?

There are numerous essential oil options that are repulsive to mice, and thankfully most of them smell pretty darn good to us humans. Many of these oils repel spiders and other insects as well as rodents (which is a lovely bonus if we do say so ourselves). A natural pest control option that doubles as an air freshener? It does not get much better than that.

Essential oils are made from plants, so naturally many of these same plants can be grown in your garden at home, and will make great repellants in their plant form as well. These plants and oils also serve multiple purposes aside from repelling mice. Here we will discuss 4 of the best essential oils for repelling mice. We will also be talking about which plants can be grown to help get rid of mice and insects, as well as the alternative uses for these essential oils and plants.

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil has a strong scent that burns the sensitive nasal passages of mice and other rodents, making it a top choice for at home pest control. Peppermint oil is also a natural repellent to spiders and wasps.

Mint plants can also be grown and used to help with repelling mice by clipping leaves and placing them strategically around the house. Using mint in flower arrangements when dining outdoors will also keep flies, wasps, and other insects away from food and guests. Mint leaves can be used for teas and other foods and drinks as well, making this truly a multi-use pest control option.

Tea Tree

Tea tree oil is another natural pest control option that has multiple uses and benefits. Like peppermint oil, tea tree oil has a strong scent that is pervasive and unpleasant for both rodents and spiders. Tea tree oil is typically very gentle on surfaces, meaning it can be safely used with little to no dilution.

Undiluted tea tree oil can be used on cotton balls or wiped along floorboards and doorways. Because it is so strongly scented, diluting essential oil will not make it any more or less effective.

Along with being great for pest control, tea tree oil can also be used as a natural hand sanitizer, deodorant, antiseptic, or all purpose cleaner.


Rosemary oil has a strong scent that can repel mice as well. Rosemary can also be grown as an herb in your garden and the plant will repel mice as well.

Rosemary oil can also be used to treat hair loss, inflammation, memory problems, stress, and pain. Rosemary sprigs can be dried and crumbled for use in cooking or placed in sachet bags and used around the house as mouse deterrent/potpourri.


Lavender oil is one of the most versatile and most popular essential oils on the market today. Lavender’s scent can help to repel mice, rats, spiders, and other insects, and it can also be planted in your garden.

Lavender oil can also be used to treat anxiety, depression, fungal infections, and insomnia.

What to Expect?

Essential oil pest control is most effective when used along with other measures already in place. This could include using steel wool to block entry points and keeping mouse traps or poison around as well. While scented oils alone will repel mice significantly, they will not 100% get rid of mice without implementing other measures such as mouse proofing your home or investing in traps of some kind.

Why Location/Placement Matters

Strategic placement is a method that can be used for pure undiluted essential oil and diluted oil sprays as well as cotton balls, and is a simple way of using essential oils to not only repel mice, but also manipulate them into going where you want. Strategic placement of essential oils can be used to lead mice into traps or just to lead them out of your house.

Other Natural Deterrents

If you are looking for other natural mouse deterrents, you may need to look no further than your kitchen cabinets. There are a number of everyday household items that repel mice. Some other natural mouse deterrents include:

How to Purchase Essential Oils?

Essential oils can be purchased through a number of websites as well as in just about any store that sells incense. The important thing to remember is that not all oils are created equal. As with any product there are good and bad essential oils and you will want to make sure you are getting good ones if you want them to be effective.

Look for bottles that are specifically labeled “100% natural oil”. These oils have no synthetic ingredients or carrier oils and have not been diluted in any way. High quality oils will normally be packaged in dark blue or brown bottles to prevent as much sunlight from getting to the liquid as possible. They will also typically be glass bottles since pure essential oils can damage plastic.


If you are looking for a natural pest control option, essential oils might just be it. With multiple uses besides pest control and so many wonderful smells, it is truly no wonder that scented oils are such popular natural rodent and insect repellents.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.