Repel Mice

Peppermint Oil: Benefits and Methods of Use

Written by Robert Davis


Mice are crafty little creatures that will take an opportunity to enter your house uninvited, always on the hunt for food and shelter.

Once they are in your home, it can be difficult to get rid of them, unless you know this fabulous method of using peppermint oil. Where once you had to rely on a cat, mouse traps, or bait, you can now use a natural remedy to get those mice out!

Peppermint Oil: How Does It Work?

As mice travel through your home they leave a trail of pheromones, which act as a guide to other mice to follow them. By using peppermint oil, that pheromone trail is masked by the scent, and the mice have nothing to follow.

Mice don’t like not knowing where they are going, so they tend to stay in areas they know.

The strong smell of peppermint also deters mice because it irritates their nasal cavities and respiratory passages. Because they have such a strong sense of smell, the peppermint is extremely unpleasant for them, so they will stay away from any area where the oil is placed.

Natural Benefits of Peppermint Oil


Using peppermint oil is the safest option for your home, as it has no detrimental effect on the environment, and it won’t harm your children or pets.

Mouse baits are extremely toxic to other animals and small children, so they aren’t very safe. Likewise with mouse traps; if you’ve ever accidentally caught your finger in a trap, you’ll know how painful they can be!

Plus you are left with a mouse corpse to get rid of, and nobody enjoys doing that.

Five Methods of Using Peppermint Oil

Cotton Ball Method

This is super easy to do. Simply place about five drops of pure peppermint oil onto a cotton ball and place it wherever you think the mice might be coming into your home.

However, if the mice are already inside, the cotton balls will just keep them out of those areas. This can be useful though, as you can place them near your food storage areas to keep them out.

Mixing Household Cleaners with Peppermint Oil

Add some drops of peppermint oil to your bottle of household cleaner and spray away.

By just cleaning as you normally do, you will be distributing the peppermint oil in multiple areas without even having to think about it.

Peppermint Spray Mixture

You can create your own peppermint spray by mixing the oil with water in a ratio of one part to one part.

For example, if you have a 2-ounce spray bottle, use 2 ounces of peppermint and 2 ounces of water. Make sure you shake the mixture well before using it because the oil and water can separate. Then just spray anywhere you think is necessary.

Peppermint in Your Garden

If you have garden areas around your home, you can plant peppermint to work as a barrier to the mice.

It is an easy plant to take care of, and it spreads really well so before too long you will have enough growth to make the mice leave and move to a home that isn’t so well prepared.

Store-Bought Mouse Deterrents

With the focus shifting away from chemicals and towards natural remedies for the environment, there are several companies now producing peppermint sprays and solutions to help you take care of your mouse problem.

Finding Peppermint Oil

Many health and food stores now carry essential oils, so it is not difficult to find peppermint oil.

Make sure though, that it is 100% pure peppermint oil for the best results. Alternatively, you can also buy peppermint essential oil from a number of online stores.

Keep Them Out

Once you have gotten the mice out of your house, the next most important thing is keeping them out.

There are a number of things that mice find very attractive, so taking these practical steps will help you stop the mice from invading your home.

storage food
Food Storage

Mice have sharp little teeth and are notorious for chewing through things to get what they want.

This includes any packaging that is made out of light plastic or cardboard. Therefore, keep your foods stored in glass jars, metal tins, or containers that are made out of heavy plastic.

Food Waste

Always make sure that any food waste is disposed of straight away into bins that have lids.

If you leave it lying around, it attracts the mice.


It’s amazing how much food drops onto the floor in the kitchen, and often it ends up in places you can’t see straight away, such as under appliances.

Make sure you sweep and wipe underneath cupboards, refrigerators, and ovens, to remove any crumbs of food that may have fallen under there. It doesn’t take much to attract a mouse, and a few tiny crumbs can be enough to bring mice into your home.

Pet Food

If you have pet birds, their seed is a big attractant for mice! Keep the cage clean and remove any discarded seeds the bird may have tossed around. Also, keep the birdseed in a sealed container that mice can’t access.

Cat and dog food that hasn’t been eaten can also attract hungry mice. Dispose of any uneaten pet food as soon as possible.

Mess and Cluttered Homes

Things that are left lying about can help mice create cozy nests to live in.

If rooms are cluttered, it also helps the little pests to hide easily, which makes it much harder to get rid of them.


Sometimes you may find that the peppermint oil isn’t being as effective as it should be at keeping the mice away. This could be for a number of reasons, including:

  • Not using enough of the oil: It takes more than just a few drops of the oil or a small amount of peppermint leaves to deter the mice. Even though the smell can be strong, it does need to be potent enough to put the mice off from entering your home. Also, the scent of the oil is much stronger than the leaves.
  • Oil isn’t 100% pure peppermint essential oil: Different brands of peppermint essential oil will have variable levels of purity. The lower the purity of the oil, the less effective it will be, and you either will need to keep replacing it more often or, it just won’t work well enough to keep the mice out. It’s important to always look for an oil that is 100% pure.
  • Oil has been diluted too much: If the smell of the peppermint isn’t strong enough to irritate the mouse’s nose, it’s also not going to be strong enough to overpower the pheromone trail. This is why it is important not to dilute the oil too much. Some people try to use the peppermint oil sparingly in an effort to save money, but really it’s just a waste of time.
  • Not refreshing the cotton balls or other areas where the peppermint has been used: The cotton balls with the peppermint oil on them need to be replaced regularly and frequently. The strength of the scent starts to dissipate within two days, so you need to add more oil or replace the balls every few days. The same goes for spraying the peppermint oil – it needs to be done often to be effective. This may seem like a lot of work or effort, but, once those mice are out of the house, and they have realized that your home is a ‘no mouse entry’ zone, you can ease up a little on how often you need to refresh the oil.
  • Not putting the oil in the right places: Once you have identified how the mice are getting inside, you need to put the peppermint oil in those areas. But remember that they are sneaky creatures, so they may be finding ways in that you aren’t even aware of. A mouse can get in through tiny holes, so you need to be a bit of a rodent investigator to identify any possible entrances. If the mice are seen in certain areas frequently, particularly around your kitchen appliances, just spraying the oil on the countertop is not going to be enough. You need to get in behind the appliance, especially ovens, and place the peppermint oil in the back, focusing on the area where the gas line comes through the wall.

Make Your Own Peppermint Oil

If you are having trouble finding pure peppermint essential oil, do not despair – you can make your own very easily with just a few ingredients.

It’s also a great way to ensure you always have enough oil on hand when you need it.

Peppermint Oil

Ingredients and tools:

  • Peppermint leaves
  • Light Oil such as Almond or Grape Seed
  • Cheesecloth
  • Mortar and pestle
  • Jar with a lid
  • Small bottle, dark colored


  1. Pick the peppermint leaves early in the morning when they are at their freshest and strongest.
  2. Rinse the leaves in water and pat them dry with a paper towel.
  3. Put the leaves into the mortar and pestle and bruise them lightly. This will release the oils.
  4. Using a saucepan, lightly heat the almond or grape seed oil.
  5. Pour the oil over the peppermint leaves, enough to cover them.
  6. Mix the oil through the leaves thoroughly with a spoon.
  7. Add the mixture to the jar and seal the lid.
  8. Leave the jar to sit for one month.
  9. Place the cheesecloth over the small bottle and pour the mixture through, making sure to squeeze all of the oil out of the cloth so just the leaves are left behind.
  10. Your peppermint oil is ready to use.

Can Peppermint Keep Mice Out of My Vehicle?

The short answer to this question is yes. Just like with your home, mice will take any opportunity to be warm and dry that presents itself, and this includes your vehicle. It’s even better for the mice if there are some food crumbs on the floor!

To keep the mice out of your vehicle, simply spray the peppermint spray around any potential entrances, such as the wheel wells. You can also spray it inside the vehicle, which will not only keep the mice out but will also make it smell wonderful inside.

Prevention is Better – Don’t Wait Till They’re In

Peppermint oil is much more effective as a preventative measure rather than a solution to evict unwanted mice from your home. The ideal situation is to stop them before they get into your home.

Once they’re in there, it can be much harder to get them out, and you may find you need to use other methods as well as peppermint oil to rid your home of the rodents.

However, once you have successfully removed the mice from your home, the peppermint essential oil will definitely help you keep them out. A little bit of effort is nothing compared to the diseases mice can spread, especially when they are running around through your cupboards leaving their pheromone trails and body wastes.

Mice are dirty little beasts and by the time you notice one mouse in your house, there are another four you haven’t seen yet. Once there is one mouse, others will quickly follow. Unless you have a cat that is a spectacular mouse hunter, you will definitely need some help getting rid of them.

Peppermint oil is effective, easy, and completely safe for you to use throughout your home. No more having to worry about your children touching or eating rodent bait, and no more having to dispose of dead mouse bodies. Plus, your home will smell fabulous, and peppermint oil is great for anyone who suffers from stomach ailments.

You have absolutely nothing to lose by using peppermint essential oil and everything to gain. Your house will be clean, safe, scented, and most of all, mouse-free!

About the author

Robert Davis

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