Who would have thought to use peppermint oil for mice control?
If you have a mice and rats problem, there are lots of reasons why you may not want to use poison or mouse traps to deal with them. Both can be hazardous to pets and children, and you may simply not want to kill off living creatures.
Luckily, you can discourage a house mouse from living in your home with the use of a simple, safe, natural essential oil: Peppermint! It’s a smart choice when it comes to dealing with mice.
Peppermint essential oil is a very useful oil with a scent most people enjoy. But peppermint oil and mice don’t seem to get along as mice, however, do not like the smell of peppermint. That’s why it is so effective in keeping them at bay. It is fresh smelling, non-toxic, inexpensive and a great product to have around the house for many healthy uses.
In this article, we will discuss the use of peppermint essential oils as a mouse repellent. We will also provide some easy, straightforward tips to help you make use of this aromatic natural oil to keep pesky rats and mice out of your house. Read on to learn more.
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How Peppermint Oil Works As A Natural Mouse Repellent
When mice move from place to place, they leave a pheromone trail. This trail acts as a guide for other mice. They essentially map out their territory and can find their way around based upon the scent trails they leave. The strong scent of peppermint disrupts these scent trails and makes it hard for them to navigate.
Additionally, peppermint oil’s sharp scent is irritating to mice. Because they use their sense of smell to find their way around, that sense is remarkably acute. The bracing smell of peppermint may cause a burning sensation in their nasal passages and respiratory systems. This motivates them to stay away from peppermint scented areas.
How To Use Peppermint Oil For Natural Pest Control Against Rodents
The key to repelling mice with peppermint oil is to use a strong solution, apply it in a variety of ways and refresh it frequently. You want to be sure the oil is concentrated and has a pungent scent. Here are some of the best ways to make good use of peppermint oil as a rodent repellent.
Find & Clean
Locate the areas mice frequent in your home. Especially look for areas of travel, marked by droppings and by dirty streaks on walls and baseboards where they pass by. Begin by cleaning up these areas. Sweep up and remove mouse droppings, spray the passages and any area you believe may be frequented by mice with a peppermint scented cleaning solution.
Make Your Own Natural Peppermint & Vinegar Surface Spray For Rodent Control
Combine white vinegar and warm water in a 50/50 solution. Add peppermint oil at a rate of 10 drops per ounce – no carrier oil needed. Decant your solution into a spray bottle and use the peppermint oil spray mixture as a surface cleaner for areas where mice travel and congregate.
Distribute Cotton Balls Soaked With Peppermint
Once the area is clean, distribute cotton balls soaked with pure peppermint oil. About ten drops of oil per cotton ball should be sufficient. Distribute the cotton balls at regular intervals about three feet apart. Pay particular attention to areas where mice enter your home. Closing up openings, spraying them with a strong peppermint solution. Leaving a peppermint scented cotton ball in place will work as a mouse deterrent discouraging those seeking to enter your home.
You can also use your peppermint soaked cotton balls to prevent mice from setting up new territory. Place them strategically in areas where you do not want mice to go.
Wipe down the area with your vinegar and peppermint spray periodically and recharge your cotton balls about once a month.
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) Repellent Stations
For longer lasting, thriftier and more earth friendly results, you can use diatomaceous earth instead of cotton balls to make mice repellent stations. To do this, simply mix food grade DE powder with warm water to form a stiff paste. Add peppermint oil at a rate of 10 drops per ounce of paste.
Use a butter knife, putty knife or similar implement to scoop the paste into jar lids and set them about just as you would cotton balls. Once a month, recharge your repellent stations with a few drops of water and a drop or two of peppermint oil. In the long run, using diatomaceous earth is a bit cheaper because it uses less peppermint oil.
Spread Peppermint Oil Far & Wide
Include peppermint oil in your natural household cleaning products. You can discourage mice and repel spiders from entering areas of your home by adding peppermint oil to all your cleaning products. Some websites offer the advice of adding peppermint oil for mice control to commercial products, but this probably is not a good idea.
The chemicals in commercial cleaning products tend to negate and overpower the effectiveness of peppermint oil. Making your own, natural household cleaning products is easy and very thrifty. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
My Non-Toxic Cleaning Guide
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You can add peppermint oil at a rate of 10 drops per ounce to any product you make (although, it is not recommended for glass cleaner). More ways to go natural here. Incorporating peppermint in your cleaners is an easy way to distribute it over many surfaces in your home on a regular basis. This practice will go far toward discouraging mouse incursions.
Make A Concentrated Homemade Mouse Repellent Spray
You can make a strong-scented repellent spray by just combining peppermint oil and warm water in a 50/50 solution. Decant this solution into a spray bottle and use it to spray around areas where mice may enter or in areas where you see signs of mice. Clean up mouse droppings first and then use your spray to provide a powerful deterrent.
Store this solution at fairly warm room temperature and remember to shake well before spraying if it has been stored for a while. If it is very cold, you may want to set your bottle of repellent spray in a cup of warm water for a few minutes before shaking. This will help the oil mix more smoothly with the water. It will also make the smell more pungent.
Grow A Crop Of Peppermint Plants
Planting peppermint around the foundation of your home may help keep mice from entering. Mint also has qualities that help deter insect pests and repel mosquitos, so mixing it into your flower beds can be a great idea.
Like most herbs, mint is a rapidly growing plant. It self-propagates and spreads like a weed, so you may soon find that you have more peppermint than you need in your yard. If you do find yourself with a big crop of mint, you can harvest it and use it to make tea for yourself and mouse repellent sachets for your rodent war.
Peppermint can be harvested two or three times during its long spring and summer growing season. Just before it flowers, you should cut it back to about one inch high.
Hang the plants upside down in bunches to dry in a warm, dry, airy place. Once dry, crumble the peppermint leaves and stems and package them in cloth bags to set in areas frequented by mice.
If you want to make peppermint tea, just use the dried peppermint leaf. You can also make peppermint tea with a few fresh leaves. Peppermint makes a lovely indoor plant on your windowsill during the winter, and you can harvest fresh leaves from it for tea and other uses all year round.
Where To Buy Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is readily available in both brick and mortar and online health food stores. You may also find good deals at online retailers such as Amazon and big-box stores such as Costco. Old-fashioned pharmacies sometimes carry large bottles of peppermint oil at good prices.
Peppermint Oil Alone Will Not Solve Your Mouse Problem
If your home is already heavily infested with mice, you may need to take more drastic measures to get started. Peppermint oil is a good repellent, but it doesn’t kill mice, and it may not work fast enough to deal with a serious mouse problem. In this case, you may want to enlist the assistance of a cat or a pest control company.
Keeping mice and all kinds of pests out of your home requires developing healthy lifestyle habits. If you just put cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around and don’t do anything else, you cannot expect to see success. It’s important to develop a set of best practices to discourage mice and other pests.
Good Housekeeping Discourages Mice
Minimize temptation. Mice want to live in your house because it’s a good place to find nesting materials like dryer sheets and food along with raising a family. That’s why keeping your home clean, uncluttered and in good repair is so important in deterring rodents.
1. Store Food Properly
Be sure to keep all food (pet food and people food) properly stored so mice cannot get to it. Mice can gnaw through cardboard and lightweight plastic, use food storage containers made of glass, metal or heavy duty plastic.
Be aware if mice are left undisturbed for lengthy periods of time, they can gnaw through heavy duty plastic. Don’t use plastic containers of any kind to store livestock feed or pet food kept in a feed room or garage where people (or cats) are not present. Given enough time, mice will gnaw through these containers. It’s always safer to use metal containers for livestock feed and pet food.
2. Keep Your Kitchen Clean
Be sure to wipe down your counters at least once a day and clean up crumbs and spills immediately. Keep dishes washed and trash secured to prevent mice from grabbing a free meal. Be sure your trash cans are mouse proof. They should be made of metal and have securely fitting lids.
3. Manage Pet Feeding Areas
If you have a serious mouse problem and/or if your cat or dog is not much of a mouser, don’t allow your pet to free feed. Leaving a bowl of food out will enable mice to nibble. If you can’t count on your pet to defend its food, feed only measured amounts your pet will eat in one sitting.
4. Practice Minimalism
Don’t keep things around just because you may use them someday. Mice like clutter and junk because it tends to sit around untouched and undisturbed. When you do get around to moving it or doing something with it, you may find mice have invaded your storage boxes or stored furnishings and ransacked them for nesting materials.
To get rid of mice, start with getting rid of things you aren’t using. Clutter provides mice with hiding places and nest building materials.
5. Block Off Entrances
Mice can get into your house through tiny cracks and holes. Inspect the foundation of your home and areas under sinks and other hidden places periodically to be sure there are no new cracks and openings where mice and other pests can get in.
- Seal off openings with caulk or steel wool. Spray around the opening with your peppermint and water spray, and leave peppermint soaked cotton balls or diatomaceous earth repellent in place to deter mice.
- Make sure all of your doors fit squarely in the jamb. Cracks under and around doors can allow mice entry.
- Be sure the ports of entry for wiring and plumbing are sealed. There may be gaps around wires and pipes where mice could enter. If you have a new appliance installed, new holes may be drilled and the old ones abandoned. Be sure to seal these up with caulk or steel wool.
6. Keep Your Yard Well-Groomed
Keep outdoor shrubbery pruned away from the house, roof, and windows to prevent mice and other pests from climbing them to get into your house. Keep the yard mowed and landscape well-cared-for to reduce cover for mice and other pests.
Discover The Many Uses Of Peppermint Oil – Mentha Piperita
Peppermint oil is a good thing to keep around the house. In addition to repelling mice, it makes a very good ingredient in homemade personal care products, such as toothpaste. It is a good addition to scalp treatments. A dozen drops in a cup of warm water can help soothe your stomach.
In aromatherapy, peppermint oil is both soothing and stimulating, so it’s easy to see how incorporating it in cleaning products and scenting your home with it will produce a positive effect on the overall ambiance in your household. These are a few practical uses of this aromatic, antifungal, antibacterial essential oil.
When you combine the smart use of peppermint oil with good care of your home and yard, you are unlikely to have much of a problem with mice. By reducing their habitat and setting up an unfriendly, peppermint scented environment, you are taking powerful steps to deter mice.
Peppermint oil is a safe for you, your kids, your pets and the environment. It is affordable and effective against mice and a number of insect pests. Its antifungal and antibacterial properties help make your home cleaner, and its aromatic properties make it more pleasant. In every way, using peppermint oil to repel mice is a win-win.
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