Five Ways to Naturally Repel Mice from your Home

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Wood Mouse (Apodemus sylvaticus) (Anne Burgess) / CC BY-SA 2.0

The whole “Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse” line isn’t really working out for me right now. As I sit here writing this I am in the midst of a cat-and-mouse game with, a mouse. Boy is he clever. I figured out one of his entry points into the pantry, a hole for an old electrical outlet that I have yet to fill, and blocked it up and then plastered over it. I then placed a sticky trap below just in case. Well, Professor Mouse-iarty chewed through the plaster, and knocked enough dust and wet plaster on the sticky trap that when he fell on it, it wasn’t sticky enough to capture him and he got away. Well played, my mouse friend, well played. And now the game is afoot! I know I said this would be an article about natural mouse repellent, but I want to get the present mice out and keep any others away, so just bear with me.

Fox Urine

Yep you read that right; fox pee pee. Foxes are natural predators of mice and the scent of their urine is known to make mice high tail it out of an area. You can get fox urine from a number of different places either online or in stores like Lowes or Wal-Mart (or via the Amazon link above). Some of you hunters out there might try the fox urine that’s used to kill odor, but I would shy away from that for household use, mainly because that stuff stinks! However, the fox urine used for pest control comes in small granules and can be sprinkled around the home to create an invisible mouse repellent wall to deter mice (and other pests). Reviews are mixed with it though, so don’t count on this one being a slam dunk.

Hot Pepper

Hot peppers can deter many things. They keep dogs from chewing shoes and hot girls, or boys, from kissing you (although, if you’re like me, that’s probably not the only deterrent). However, they can also be used to deter mice as well. Take a tablespoon of hot pepper powder and mix it with water and a little dish soap and spray it in and around holes that you think the mice are using. The pepper does what it does best and irritates the senses and the soap helps keep the pepper in place.

Strong Scented Plants

A number of flowers and shrubs give off strong scents and can be planted around the structure’s foundations to ward off mice and other pests. Some flowers that can be used include daffodils and grape hyacinth. Other plants include alliums (garlics, chives, and onions), elderberry and even mints. Natural mouse repellents abound, but your mileage may vary.

Mint Oil

This is something that we’ve done that has worked well in the past. First, get some mint oil which you can find it at a health food store (we actually use both spearmint and peppermint). Then dab a couple drops of the oil on cotton balls and place the balls around the house where you think that the mice might be getting in. Beware though, the mint oil is incredibly strong. My wife placed a ball between our headboard and the bed and it became like a smelling salt. Every time I rolled over and got a whiff of the mint, it woke me up. Which makes for a terrible night’s sleep for sure. Apply with foresight!

Dryer Sheet

Ok, so this one isn’t really ‘natural’ and it gets very mixed reviews. I’ve known people who swear by it and others that just call it hooey. However, if you have some around your house, what’s the worst thing that could happen? Take a balled up sheet, I’ve heard that bounce works best, and stuff it in the entrance of a mouse hole. The smell of the sheet is supposed to deter mice. Just remember that the smell doesn’t last forever and you’ll have to refresh the sheets. No word yet on whether Bounce dreamt this whole thing up as a publicity ploy.

Have any natural-ish mouse repellent that you like? If so, please share with us in the comments below. Alternatively, you could always go after the mice themselvs, using our How to Catch Mice Without Killing Them guide.

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About Leroy

LeRoy was born into a long line of contractors/carpenters/missing links which maybe why he fell naturally into tools and fishing with his paws, errr, bare hands. He has since punctured, stabbed or electrocuted every appendage that can be discussed in mixed company. Given his natural fur vest, he has never been cold. In his parallel life he is a mild mannered environmental scientist where he builds, destroys and builds again. Which let’s face it is much cooler than Superman’s parallel life.

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18 thoughts on “Five Ways to Naturally Repel Mice from your Home”

  1. I now have a sonar device in action, traps all around my car and all my Christmas lights under the car, rodents hate lights. I must try to clean out teh car and give my repellent methods a chance. The worst result is chewing the wires, so dangerous for drivers. Imagine no air bags when you need them!

  2. kill a rat and dry it grind it nicely . soak the rat powder in water and spray around your house then rat will free from their smell

  3. I just noticed I have mice in my crawl space and the sticky traps work,, so does sucking them up with the vacuum(if you have time for that lol) I’ve got these poison blocks but they are eating that stuff like a kid in a candy store.I just bought some Borax and apparently mice hate the scent of that stuff. I read Borax works very well. will try right away

  4. I tried dryer sheets in my trucks when loading hay in the field. I threw them in the floor and under seats so the mice crawled up to the cloth on the roof of truck and dug a hole. Then I put pepper in there. It attracted ants. my solution get a cat and very hungry cat.

  5. I am having mouse problems! it makes sense, knowing we are a half block from a farm. After trapping them last year, I decided I’d rather repel than trap, so I’ve done the following –

    Try #1 – I poured peppermint oil on the bottom of the drawer, but it didn’t do the job, but then the wood could have absorbed the oil, leaving it ineffective.

    Try #2 – I used cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil but on the third night after placing the cotton in the drawer, and there were droppings in the drawer which hadn’t been there previously. In other words, that didn’t work either.

    Try #3 – I put fresh mint all over the bottom of the drawer. The next morning there were more mouse droppings and the mint appeared to all be there.

    I read about fabric softener sheets but I can’t tolerate the perfume smell. (It triggers migraine for me and for my daughter). Using hot pepper sounds plausible, but at this point, I’m not sure where to turn or what will and won’t work. Any ideas????

  6. I was going to post a joke comment about how badger urine would work, then I clicked the link and saw that fox urine was the number one result.

  7. The worst thing that could happen with dryer sheets is you inhale their incredibly toxic chemicals. People who aren’t senstivie haven’t yet realized that. However, there’s a good chance that their headaches, skin rashes, etc are worsened, if not caused, by such things. Go for perfume-free products – for your own sake!

  8. “Hot peppers can deter many things. They keep dogs from chewing shoes and hot girls, or boys, from kissing you (although, if you’re like me, that’s probably not the only deterrent). However, they can also be used to deter mice as well.”

    How long have you been kissing mice?

    As for Bounce! I’ve never tried it on mice but my neighbor and I stuck a sheet on our shirts while we were sitting on the porch over the past summer and it does seem to keep mosquitoes at bay. We both noticed a definite change in how many of the aggressive little bastards tried to bite us.


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