Does Peppermint Oil Repel Mice? | EarthKind Does Peppermint Oil Repel Mice? | EarthKind

Questions? Call (800) 583-2921 Monday–Friday, 8:00–4:30 EST

Home / Blog / Does Peppermint Oil Really Get Rid of Mice?

Does Peppermint Oil Really Get Rid of Mice?

By : Rita Stadler

Using peppermint oil extract is a popular DIY method to help get rid of mice and other pest problems. Even though this is an environmentally friendly way to help deter mice from entering your home, garage, or barn, it is not shown in independent comparisons to be the most effective way to get rid of mice infestations. These pests have a strong sense of smell, and peppermint oil has a very strong scent, but the scent doesn’t always last long enough to keep them away. This means the effectiveness of the solution is unpredictable. 

Using peppermint oil to get rid of mice

EarthKind founder, Kari Warberg Block, tested peppermint oil extensively in her farm equipment over a 3 year period.  Kari says, “It would work for a couple of weeks, and then just lose its scent. Sometimes it didn’t work at all, costing us super expensive repairs from wiring damage and torn up seat cushions. So frustrating, because I liked the smell of mint and we could grow it right there on our farm!” Additional testing has revealed that peppermint oil loses its scent in freezing temperatures too, making it ineffective for repelling mice in seldom-used vehicles or storage units.

Problems with Using Peppermint Oil for Mice

As mentioned above, the scent may not last long and the effectiveness is somewhat inconclusive. Also, like other home remedies, the instructions for using peppermint oil are vague. There’s no formula for figuring out how much peppermint to use for a particular area and you don’t know how often it needs to be changed. The oil can also be messy if spilled! 

Typically, when homeowners try peppermint extract as a DIY solution, they follow steps similar to these.  

  1. Pour the pure peppermint extract onto cotton balls and place them around your home. Another option is to add the essential oil to a spray bottle mixed with water and spray it in the corners of your rooms. 
  2. Generally, they will need to be replaced 1-2 times per week as the peppermint smell quickly wears off from the cotton balls.

Aside from requiring a lot of time checking and replacing the cotton balls, there is a risk that rodents will use the cotton as nesting material once the scent has worn off.

You’ll also want to keep children and pets away from it to avoid any harmful effects. 

Other DIY Solutions

The idea behind natural repellents, dryer sheets, mothballs, and peppermint oil is the same — rodents rely almost exclusively on their sense of smell, so putting something smelly out will offend their complex olfactory sense and make them go away.

These alternatives are appealing — you don’t want to bring harmful chemicals or traps into your home. However, many home remedies and DIY solutions don’t come with instructions so you don’t know how much is needed or how long they will last. The results end up being unreliable and are not guaranteed.

Dryer Sheets and Mice 

Dryer sheets are a common tactic used to repel mice, but the results are inconsistent. These sheets also contain questionable chemicals and have a short-lived fragrance.

Buying a Cat

Having a cat is not for everyone, and there is no guarantee your cat would be motivated to interrupt his nap to catch a mouse. Even if your cat is a good mouser, it could lead to other issues if you leave pet food and water set out all the time. You might as well invite pests in for an all you can eat buffet.


Mothballs are not a proven method for prevention. They are also made from harmful chemicals that are known to cause health problems — especially for children and pets.

Discover a Guaranteed Solution for Getting Rid of Rodents

The debate over which control methods will actually get rid of these critters has been going on for decades. Beyond what we covered above, other common methods include traps, poison, glue boards, and exterminators.

Fresh Cab sitting on shelf to keep mice away

There is another option, though, that’s made with all plant-based ingredients. Fresh Cab® (for farms and industrial settings) and Stay Away® Rodent (for homes and personal use) are botanical mouse repellents that are 100% effective, guaranteed

These rodent repellent pouches from EarthKind are made with herbal extracts, including lavender oil, and other plant fibers. They produce a smell that’s offensive to rodents, yet not to humans. They are packaged in a convenient pouch that is easy to place in mouse-prone or already infested areas. The pouches are fast-acting and provide 30 days of continuous protection to keep these pests from coming back.  

No one wants to get rid of mice just ‘some of the time’; you need something that’s effective that you can rely on.