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Using peppermint oil to get rid of mice – the organic way to keep the rodent away

This expert-approved trick is a humane, natural way to keep mice out of your home – and the process is easy

Peppermint oil on a table
(Image credit: GettyImages)

You may have heard of using peppermint oil to get rid of mice, but is this natural deterrent really effective? This antispasmodic may have its benefits for the body, but while we may crave its scent, it is much less favored amongst pests – most particularly mice. So, if you're looking for how to get rid of mice humanely, peppermint is one of the most effective solutions you can use. 

This chemical-free method is a harmless way to regain order in your home, and you will notice results fast. However, if you're wondering how to get rid of rats, it's worth calling in professional pest control immediately. Because while this method is usually successful against the smaller rodent, you may need stronger action against rats. 

How do I use peppermint oil to get rid of mice? 3 ways to deter the pest for good

Peppermint oil on a table

(Image credit: GettyImages)

'If you have a mice infestation and are looking for DIY solutions to get rid of this pest, look to peppermint oil,' says Cheri Ring, the owner of A-Action Pest Control (opens in new tab). 'The main chemicals in peppermint oil, menthol, and methadone, can be used as deterrents from rodents as they can not handle the strong scents.' 

There are three main ways to work with peppermint oil in your home. Here's what they involve. 

1. Soak the oil in cotton wool 

Katarina Smith from Deans Services (opens in new tab) recommends soaking cotton wool balls in peppermint oil and placing them around your home (but especially in areas of opportunity). 

This method is effective against infestations as it creates overpowering pockets of scent that mice detest. Therefore, the more cotton wool you use, the lower the risk that they will re-enter your home. 

2. Create a peppermint based spray

Alternatively, the experts suggest making a spray – using two teaspoons of concentrated oil with one cup of water. Place the liquid in a spray bottle and shake it well before spraying in problematic areas. Katarina adds that you should reapply the spray every two weeks to ensure the rodent stays away for good. 

3. Use a diffuser 

Filling a diffuser with peppermint oil is a long-lasting way to deter mice from your home. So, even if you have cured the problem, it may be worth keeping one in your home to lower the risk of them returning. 

And as Katarina says, the best part is that the peppermint doesn't just keep away mice but also other household pests. So, if you're looking for how to get rid of ants, fruit flies, or cockroaches, this diffuser will help. 'Plus, it makes your kitchen and living area smell clean and refreshing.'

Peppermint oil on a table

(Image credit: GettyImages)

What essential oil will get rid of mice?

Peppermint oil is effective in getting rid of mice because the smell is so unpleasant for them. Mice have a weak vision but are highly sensitive to smells, meaning they are overwhelmed by 'strong' essential oils such as this. 'The scent will also help to mask any other smells that might attract mice, such as food odors,' Katarina says.

How long does it take to get rid of mice with peppermint oil?

The length of time it takes to deter mice with peppermint oil varies, depending on the severity of the infestation and how many entry points there are into your home. However, Katarina suggests that, generally, you should start to see a reduction in mouse activity within a few days to a week.

Megan Slack
Megan Slack

Megan is the News and Trends Editor at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes. As the News Editor, she often focuses on emerging microtrends, sleep and wellbeing stories, and celebrity-focused pieces. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.