Home / Blog / Things Mice Don’t Like – What Scares & Repels Them

Things Mice Don’t Like – What Scares & Repels Them

A surefire way to get rid of mice is to make sure your home is not filled with their favorite things. Doing so can be tricky since mice like a lot of the same things as people. Having a few things in common with these tiny home invaders doesn’t mean you have to live with them, though.

Find out what kinds of things mice don’t like (and some of what they do) and how you can use that information to keep mice outside where they belong.

First, a few facts about mice:

Mice are motivated by survival instincts, meaning they will do whatever they can to find food, water and shelter. However, like people, mice have preferences; there are some things mice love and some things mice hate.

The common house mouse is small, furry, has a pointed nose, big ears, and a tail. Mice can live up to two years in captivity, but typically lead shorter lives in the wild. They can reproduce when they are just two months old. A female mouse can give birth to a litter of mice every 6-8 weeks, and each litter can consist of 2-12 mice.

Now that you know more about mice, you’ll be able to understand what kinds of things they like and what they would prefer to avoid.

Things that repel mice

Although mice aren’t exclusively nocturnal, they tend to be more active at night for a few reasons. Survival instincts cause mice to avoid larger animals, and being active at night helps mice avoid being seen by predators, as well as avoid contact with people. Because mice avoid danger, they may scared off by loud noises or bright, flashing lights as well.

cheese mouse trap

Another way mice avoid danger is by relying on their senses. House mice have poor eyesight, but a keen sense of smell.  Rodents rely on their sense of smell to find food, detect danger and to follow scent trails as a way of navigation.

Contrary to what cartoons may have led you to believe, mice don’t actually like cheese. If you think about it, you’ll realize that cheese is quite stinky. Some smells repel mice. The scent of another animal, such as a cat may repel mice. Even the scent of another mouse may alert a rodent to avoid an unfriendly neighbor. Plants and trees have understood this for a long time, using fragrances to attract helpful insects like bees and repel pests.


Things that attract mice:

In favorable conditions, such as spring and summer when the weather is warm, and food is abundant, mice will live outdoors because nature can satisfy all their needs. When the temperature drops during fall and winter, mice look for shelter in homes, garages, farm buildings, stored vehicles and other places that offer protection from the elements.

Mice are omnivores and can eat almost anything. Fruit, seeds and grains are a mouse’s favorite foods. Outdoors, gardens, farm fields, and places where people leave food scraps behind are the best places to find mice. Indoors, mice will be attracted to food pantries, uncovered garbage cans, stored seeds and pet or animal food.

Mice like to eat 15-20 times each day. Because mice eat so frequently, they like to make their homes and nest near a reliable food source. Rodents also find pleasure in chewing wiring, and research has found that 8% of all household fires are caused this way.  Some materials mice might gnaw on include books, magazines, wood, cardboard, or plastic. When moving around, mice enjoy following ‘runways.’ You might see them running alongside the back of a couch, a row of boxes, or next to the mop boards and walls.

How to get rid of mice:

If you are worried about a mouse in the house, you can do a quick inventory around your house to make sure you aren’t attracting rodents. Cleaning up the materials mice use for nesting and gnawing, as well as any cluttered areas where they may find shelter will reduce the chances of an infestation. Storing food in air-tight containers and using garbage cans with a fitted lid will prevent mice too.

For more information about how to prevent mice, and how you can use a scent-based repellent to protect your home, click below.  

70 responses to “Things Mice Don’t Like – What Scares & Repels Them”

  1. We have a mice infestation in our basement. I’ve been using live traps and have caught over 20 mice in the past 3 weeks. We’ve just received your rodent repellent and fresh cab, and have some questions:
    1. Our basement is ~800 sq. ft. If we repel them in the basement, will they come upstairs? So far we have no evidence they’ve been in or near the upstairs.
    2. If we place the pouches around the basement perimeter, where will they go? We believe they came in thru the crawl space, but have sealed that off now, so they can’t get out where they came in.
    3. The outside walls in the unfinished basement have insulation. We see that they’ve been chewing insulation, so are likely nesting there. What’s the best way to position the pouches?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Mike,
      It sounds like you have made an excellent assessment of the situation, nice job!
      1. Mice can climb stairs so you will want to be on high alert that they don’t leave your basement and end up in another area — using Fresh Cab throughout the home will prevent this and give you peace of mind.
      2. Mice are pretty resilient and may still find a way out even if you blocked the original entrance, but you can also use the live traps in unison with Fresh Cab, relocating and releasing the caught mice a safe distance from your home.
      3. If possible, you can place Fresh Cab inside the wall voids, but try tying a string of some sort to the pouches so you can retrieve and replace them when the scent has worn off.
      For more support, give us a call (800) 583-2921 Monday–Friday, 8:00–4:30 EST.
      Thanks for reading!

  2. Deep clean my home and cover the area where there coming clean cupboards got new foods and still finding ways still coming in bleached the floors an cupboards . Need to clean under home really stink of rat or mices urines still help plz . I got food for me not them.

    • Hi Bernice,
      What a frustrating situation! It sounds like you have taken all the right steps, but we’d love to talk to you if you’re able to call us(800) 583-2921 Monday–Friday, 8:00–4:30 EST Make sure you’ve stored your food in airtight, chew-proof containers and are using our rodent repellent pouches in areas where you’ve seen signs of mice.
      Thanks for reading!

  3. They don’t climb just 13in I’ve seen them climbing the walls in my backyard 10 foot high like lizards and my walls are smooth doesn’t even have a texture..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.