How to Naturally Get Rid of Mice with Peppermint Oil
No one likes uninvited guests in their home or home away from home, especially when those uninvited guests are mice. Unfortunately, we’ve encountered these furry pests on more than one occasion, but thankfully we’ve found a solution to keeping them out in the first place. That solution is Peppermint Oil!
How to Naturally Get Rid of Mice with Peppermint Oil
Sound asleep on our 3rd night in Wisconsin, and less than 2 weeks into our full-time RV adventure, I’m quickly awakened by a nudge from my wife. Trying to get my senses fully together she asks, “Do you hear that?”.
Rubbing my eyes while still half asleep my ears perk up. I hear it. From the wall past the foot of our bed, the gnawing sound is clear. I get up, making my way over to the wall and give it a tap, the noise stops. Thinking I have scared whatever it was away I lay back down. The problem is I didn’t scare it away, as the gnawing sound started back up within a few minutes.
That’s when I realized we had a problem. We had a mouse inside our RV.
Having mice in your home, RV or stored items can be a major headache. Not only can they carry diseases, but they leave droppings everywhere and like to chew up everything in sight, including important cables and wires.
Keeping Mice out of our RV
Once the first mouse was in our RV we knew something had to be done. That’s when we asked my Uncle Scott, who runs the family farm, if he had any extra peppermint oil lying around, and he did. The hope was it would work like everyone said it did, and our mouse problem would be history.
With hope flying high and peppermint oil in hand, we started soaking cotton balls and placing them all around the RV in areas we thought the mice may be entering or taking shelter. Then boom, no more mice, it was honestly surprising in its effectiveness. Little did I know at the time, my Grandpa had been using it for years to keep mice out of his snowmobiles, four-wheelers, and old vehicles he had in storage. Not to mention it was being used on the farm in many of the tractors.
Next to our RV was the farm workshop, which had mice hanging around even though there was no food. Yet, literally 3 feet away our RV was stocked with food and we didn’t have any mice.
If we had been taking preventative measures, we probably would have been fine with just a few drops of peppermint oil on the cotton balls, but because we knew mice were already beginning to get cozy in our RV we went ahead and soaked the cotton balls. I think using the extra peppermint oil may have really helped repel the mice and persuade them to seek shelter elsewhere.
You can visit the post we wrote on Mountain Modern Life, The Secret to Keeping Mice Out of Your RV or Home for a step by step rundown on how we kept these little critters from getting in our home on wheels.
How to use the Peppermint Essential Oil to Repel Mice
What we’ve learned since our first mouse encounter is that cotton balls generally only need a few drops of peppermint oil to do the trick, especially if you haven’t seen mice but are taking preventative measures. This is because essential oils are potent and highly volatile, meaning they evaporate relatively quickly. If you’re placing them in areas with a lot of air circulation, they will evaporate even quicker. Because of this, you’ll need to replace the cotton balls or refresh them with more drops every couple of weeks.
For us, it wasn’t a big deal since the mice were staying away, but if you want to extend the potency of the oil, you could always make your own repellant pouches by filling a coffee filter or sachet with crushed corn cobbs and a few drops of the peppermint essential oil. Or add a few drops to peppermint tea bags to sprinkle around the problem areas. You can then refresh the pouches by adding a few more drops every month, or when the smell seems to dissipate.
Another cotton ball alternative is to mix up a solution of Diatomaceous Earth, water, and peppermint essential oil into a container that you then place near the problem areas. DE has a tutorial on how to do that here.
We’ll be sharing DIY tutorials for options like these soon, and are also in the midst of creating ready-to-go products you can purchase from our shop, but I hope the options above will at least help point you in the right direction.
One thing to note about using peppermint oil to naturally deter mice is that it doesn’t always remove mice who have already set up a home in the area you wish to protect. If the smell is introduced after they’ve gotten cozy, they may work through the confusion the peppermint oil creates by moving to a new location where the scent isn’t as strong.
While the peppermint oil worked in our case to convince the mice to move elsewhere, if your infestation is overwhelming you may need to use extra oil, place it in more locations, or take the traditional approach of trapping and releasing them. Then once you believe they’re all out you can build up your peppermint oil defense to keep them from coming back.
The Advantages of Using Peppermint Oil
The best way to avoid a mouse infestation is to take preventative measures in the first place.
One of the main reasons people use peppermint essential oil to naturally get rid of mice is because it’s humane, non-toxic, and you never have to deal with a dead mouse. Peppermint Oil doesn’t harm or kill mice, it prevents them from entering your home in the first place.
There are, of course, several other methods to get rid of mice, though some of them can get kind of messy. I’m talking about the variety of poisons and traps that exist. Some of these options kill the mice and some trap them in either humane or inhumane ways. Regardless of the kind, you’ll generally have to get your hands dirty one way or another. Whether you’re removing the dead mouse or taking the trap into the woods to let it go.
You can think of the Peppermint Essential Oil as a shield that creates an environment they don’t want to enter, and if you don’t have mice you’ll still be able to enjoy the pleasant aroma. It also seems to have an effect on repelling other insects such as ants and spiders.
Why Peppermint Oil Repels Mice
Mice use their noses the way we use our eyes. They rely heavily on their sense of smell to find food and shelter. They also communicate with one another through pheromones.
The goal is to confuse their sense of smell, enter peppermint oil.
Peppermint Oil has an overpowering aroma that they are extremely sensitive to, and therefore find unpleasant. As a result, it can mask the smell of food nearby.
This, in turn, leads to an even bigger problem, they can’t smell predators.
Without the ability to smell predators, the mice are at risk, and what they are seeking in addition to food, is a safe shelter. If they don’t feel safe and can’t smell food, they’ll go elsewhere.
So, no food and no secure shelter equals no mice!
Grandpa’s Good Earth Peppermint Oil
If you’re looking for a natural way to deter mice, we recommend using 100% Pure Peppermint Essential Oil.
(Always follow safety precautions and dilution ratios when using peppermint essential oils, especially near kids or pets!!!)