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Does Peppermint Oil Keep Mice Away? (Answered)

If you’ve been noticing the squeaky alerts from one or more mice here and there inside your house, it’s time to scheme a plan. 

You might want to get rid of them and find a way to keep these furry intruders away. 

Physical traps are not always the most useful and hence using natural methods like peppermint oil can keep the mice out for a long time. Bonus, your house would be left smelling refreshing! 

Does peppermint oil keep mice away?

Peppermint oil is considered to be a natural repellent that works to keep mice away from homes. The strong methanol compound can chafe a mouse’s nasal ways. Moreover, mice have powerful smell senses and they dislike the fragrance of peppermint quite strongly.

While peppermint oil works wonders to keep mice away, at times for good, you would need to know and apply the right method for the essential oil to work effectively. 

The following two methods are common and operative ways: 

Diffusing peppermint oil:

Since you cannot spray peppermint oil around without creating a more diluted solution, you may want to use the diffusing method. 

For this, you may add water and peppermint oil to a spray bottle and spray it around. Dabbing some on the cotton ball and placing the cotton balls around in corners where you may expect a mouse to enter also works to keep the furry beings away. 

If you have a diffuser at home and wish to target two birds with one stone, you can add 2 to 3 drops of peppermint oil in the diffuser for a gradual but long term natural mice repellent

Burning peppermint oil:

Burning peppermint oil to spread the scent around can be a slow but effective method that works to drive away any mice that might be hiding in the corners of your house. 

It’s always feasible and safer to use one of the traditional burners to burn peppermint oil by filling the top bowl with water. Depending on how widespread you want the scent to travel, add a few drops of the oil. 

Using a low flame tea light candle, let the peppermint burn over water for about an hour so that the scent reaches the mice well. 

Is it true that peppermint oil keeps mice away? Does peppermint oil keep rodents away? 

If you’ve ever been to a room where peppermint spray has been used or the diffuser is infused with peppermint oil, you would be instantly hit with that fresh menthol smell. While this aroma is refreshing for us, it is way too strong for the mice family and keeps them away

Likewise, you can also use peppermint oil to keep rodents out of your home as they, too, have a stout sense of smell and are repelled by the minty smell. 

How effective is peppermint oil against mice? 

The menthol compound is also strong in peppermint oil and irritates a mouse’s throat and nose. Although like most natural methods, peppermint oil is not 100% effective to keep mice away for long, you can expect it to work temporarily. 

When used in a diffuser or burner, the effects can last for a week or two. When a stronger water and peppermint solution is sprayed in specific spots or a peppermint plant is placed around the house, you can expect to see no visitors for much longer. 

Why does peppermint oil repel mice? 

Peppermint oil is popularly used as a repellent and there’s a good reason why. Here are a few possible explanations on why peppermint oil might work to keep mice away. 

Strong sense of smell:

Unlike most other animals, mice have one of the strongest senses of smell. They can detect scents from quite far away and hence react to the smells much more firmly than other animals would do. 

When there is a mixture of smells, they can also pick out scents with high accuracy. With that mentioned, their nose can pick up the aroma of a peppermint-infused room, which they are not fond of. 

Instead, they are more attracted to the smell of grease, fat, and cheese. In a room where you have sprayed peppermint oil solution, mice might not be so willing to roam around anymore. 

It is also worth mentioning that peppermint has a strong odor that stands out among other scents. 

Causes irritation:

Peppermint oil is often used in aromatherapy as it contains methanol and has been in use to clear coughs and colds for a long time. 

While it clears out congestion and nasal problems for humans due to its methanol content, for mice, the sensation irritates. 

This causes mice to stay away from a room diffuser with peppermint oil. 

How long does peppermint oil keep mice away? 

How long peppermint oil would keep mice away would specifically depend on what method and how much peppermint oil has been used. It would also depend on the location of your home, the quality of peppermint oil, and of course, the hiding place of these little rodents. 

If you are using an electronic diffuser, you may want to diffuse peppermint mixture into the room for no more than 60 minutes. Although the effects should be more immediate, you can expect to see a lower mice population for 1 to 2 weeks

If you dab cotton balls on the oil and place them around, you may expect to keep the mice away for about a week as well. It would be more effective and keep the mice away for up to months if you locate the opening through which the mice enter the home. 

Place the diffuser nearby the opening or have the place sprayed every once in a while. You can keep the mice at bay for much longer if you use peppermint oil with ultrasonic repellent. 

Where do you put peppermint oil to keep mice away? 

Mice sneak into our houses without notice. When attempting to drive away the intruders from your house, it is vital to put or spray peppermint oil in the right place so that the repellent can work more successfully. 

The kitchen is one place where you would need to place your peppermint spray, diffuser, or burner. However, since the oil can be flammable, you’d need to be more careful. Mice are attracted and invited to rooms where there is a greasy smell. 

Hence have the odor tackled with peppermint oil for better results. 

You can also place peppermint dipped cotton balls around every corner of the house, particularly where you can locate a crack or opening from outside. Places like behind the plants or even the oven can be potential entryways. 

You can seal and spray the attic and basement as well. If you’re using a diffuser, place it near or in the room where you have spotted the mouse earlier. 

How do you use peppermint oil to get rid of mice

There are several effective ways to use peppermint oil to get rid of mice, and here are a few steps to follow: 

Assure quality:

If you wish to use peppermint oil, it is important to use one that is high quality and pure. Check the brand and make sure to get the one in a dark bottle. 

Make the mix and spray:

The easiest way to use peppermint oil is to add two teaspoons of the oil mixed with a cup of water. Pour this solution into a spray canister and spray it around spots where mice are most likely to visit. 

Cotton balls:

Next you could dab some peppermint oil on cotton balls and place it around the corners and openings of the house. You can also have peppermint plants planted around the house. 


Adding a few drops of peppermint oil to the diffuser is also another effective way to have mice stay away due to the minty smell. 

Make sure to only use 1 to 2 drops if you plan to keep the diffuser on for longer hours. The methanol compound in peppermint would irritate a mouse’s nasal passage but longer exposure could also irritate people around the house.


A traditional burner filled with water on the bowl works to keep mice away when used with peppermint oil. 

You’d only have to add 8 to 10 drops and use a small tea candle for about 30 to 60 minutes

Finally, keep an eye out and make sure to spray or use peppermint oil around the house once in a while to keep the mice at bay for longer. 

Final Thoughts 

The strong minty smell given off from peppermint oil is what makes this essential oil a good natural mice repellent. With a sensitive sense of smell, mice do not tolerate the odor of peppermint well. You can spray peppermint solution or use the oil in a diffuser to keep mice away.