What Smells Do Mice Hate | Odor that Repel Mice

Are you looking for things that can repel mice? Did you know mice are afraid of strongly scented items?

Mice can cause so much havoc, and you must chase them away from your homes! But are you clueless about how you can do it? 

Don’t worry! We are here to help you! This article will give you details on smells that mice hate. You will also know how to use these to your advantage and repel mice. 

So keep reading to learn more about what smells mice hate and how you can repel them with these smells! 

How To Tell If You Have Mice?

There are some telltale signs to indicate mice in your home. Here are some of the common ones :

  • Mouse droppings 
  • Chewed and gnawed on items including wood, furniture, food packaging, and books
  • Nibbled food and leftovers 
  • Squeaking and rustling sounds.
  • Foul odor (usually caused by droppings)

Why Should You Repel Mice?

Mice Can Make You Sick

Mice are dangerous to your health. They carry many diseases and can cause serious health issues by spreading infections.

They cause diseases like hantavirus, salmonellosis, and listeria through their droppings and urine. 

Mice Multiply Fast

It’s nearly impossible to have just one mouse living in your house. So don’t be fooled by thinking it’s just one mouse. 

Mice can breed year-round, with one female able to produce at least 5 to 10 liters per year. With an average of six to eight babies per litter, a family of six mice can multiply into 60 over three months. Now that’s a huge number! 

So if you spot even one mouse, there are chances that there might be more.

They Can Destroy Your Home 

Mice can cause so much destruction to your house. They can even burn down your house.

Yes, we aren’t exaggerating! Mice can chew through wiring and insulation, resulting in short circuits and fire! 

Mice can also damage furniture, books, and other structures. They can chew through wood, plastic, rubber, aluminum, and gas lines. 

They Can Contaminate Food And Water 

Mice can eat anything and everything. They also eat between 15 and 20 times a day and will make their nest near a food source.

This is why they tend to nest near your kitchen or countertops. 

This can cause contamination of food and water that the mice come in contact with. This, in turn, can cause several diseases.

Smells That Mice Hate

Mice hate the smells of certain things, and you can use them to repel them. Here is a list of them and a note on how to use them to repel mice. 

Peppermint Oil 

Studies show that mice cannot tolerate peppermint oil’s minty smell and tend to avoid places with it.

Peppermint oil can give an excellent scent to your house as well. By diffusing this scent into your homes, you can also repel mice.

  • Soak some cotton balls in peppermint oil and place them in potential places of mice activity like the back of cupboards or behind furniture. 
  • This helps prevent mice from nesting in those places, thus removing the possibility of an infestation. 
rats hate peppermint oil


Another one in the list of smells that mice hate is cinnamon.

Cinnamon is a simple yet powerful natural mice repellent. The aroma of this spice deters mice. 

  • Snap a few cinnamon sticks and place them in the corners of the house to diffuse the smell. 
  • You can also use cinnamon powder mixed in high concentration with essential oils or cinnamon oil itself. 


When left undiluted, vinegar has the most pungent smell, and we know that mice hate strong smells. The strong sour smell of vinegar can repel many creatures, let alone mice. 

  • Mix some vinegar and water in a spray bottle. 
  • Spray in areas where there is mice activity and expected places where they might go. 

Though it’s effective, having your house smell of vinegar is not so pleasant. 

Dryer Sheets

Mice do not like the smell of dryer sheets for some reason. They find it pungent. And what’s better is that you are spared all the sprinkling and spraying processes. 

  • Just stick a dryer sheet in your small spaces that mice may be drawn to and leave them for up to a week at a time. 
  • You will have to replace the sheet weekly as the smell might wear out afterward. 

Tea Bags

The scent of tea is also said to repel mice. What is more compelling is peppermint tea. If you’re a regular tea drinker, this is the easiest method. 

  • Boil some water, make the tea, let it sit, and place the teabag in different corners of your home. The aroma of the tea will repel mice. 
tea repel mice


This herb is so appealing to humans but not so appealing to mice. Mice hate the pungent aroma of mint so much. 

  • Plant some mint plants in small pots around the house to help deter mice.
  • You can crush mint leaves and put them behind furniture and appliances, near old entry holes, cracks in the foundation, and more.
  • Sprinkling a few drops of strong mint extract oil will work as well.

Cloves and Clove Oil

Clove has an unpleasant and spicy flavor(at least to mice) that can repel mice.

  • You could use whole cloves by wrapping them in cloth pieces.
  • You could also soak cotton balls in clove essential oil and place them around your home.


Eucalyptus also has been proven to have a strong deterrent effect on rodents. This is good news because eucalyptus can help repel rats and mice. It can significantly reduce the possibility of an infestation on your house. 

You can prepare a simple DIY eucalyptus oil spray to repel mice by following these steps:

  • Combine two teaspoons of pure eucalyptus oil with one cup of water and a few drops of liquid detergent in a spray bottle.
  • Mix well and use this concoction to spray on areas of your house where mice are most likely to be found.
  • Repeat this process weekly to keep the scent fresh and the mice at bay.

Cedar Wood

Cedarwood oil is toxic to mice. It has a fragrant, woodsy scent that is very unpleasant to them.

This essential oil can smell bad to mice, and you can use it to repel them. The smell can even make them avoid coming indoors. 

  • Grab some cedar chips
  • Scatter them outside your house to keep mice away, especially near garbage bags, cans, and waste piles. 

Cedar has a naturally sweet smell to humans; adding them near your garbage cans can reduce its odor. 

Black Pepper

Mice are afraid of the strong smell of black pepper. Black pepper contains piperine which irritates the nasal passages of mice. This terrorizes mice, and they tend to avoid places with odor. 

Black pepper can also reduce the appetite of female mice, reducing their mating activity. This, in turn, can repel them. 

  • Crush some black pepper and put it inside small bags or coffee filters and place it where there is mice activity like cabinets, countertops, and near garbage bags. 
  • You can also scatter some piles of black pepper directly. 
  • Replace the black pepper piles or bags every 24 hours to ensure the highest effectiveness.
black pepper for rats

Chili Peppers 

Chili peppers contain capsaicin, a spicy compound. This compound is also an excellent mice repellent.

  • Scatter cayenne pepper around the outside of your house, particularly to places where mice may gain entry, like holes and cracks.
  • You can also apply it inside your house where mice may like to hang out, like behind furniture or in crawl spaces.

How to Use Essential Oils To Repel Mice 

  • Look for candles impregnated with essential oils. Such candles can diffuse the aroma of essential oils, and this smell can keep mice away. 
  • Use an oil burner. This can heat the essential oils until they form vapors. These vapors impregnate the air giving a fragrance that can de-stress you and repel mice. 
  • Try a reed diffuser. A reed diffuser is an easy way to fill the air in your home with the scent of mouse-repelling essential oils. Set a few up around your house to keep rodents outside.

How to Keep Mice Away Long Term?

Though repelling mice using the methods mentioned above proves effective, you must take steps to keep mice away long-term. You might have to keep doing some things to prevent sequential infestation. Here are some tips. 

Eliminate Mice’s Food, Water, and Shelter: 

Mice nest in your houses for food, water, and shelter they get. 

  • Avoid leaving food leftovers on countertops and dispose of them in sealed bins. 
  • Fix any leaking pipes and faucets. Avoid storing water in bowls or tubs. 
  • Keep your lawn mowed and trim branches regularly. 
  • Keep rooms well-lit and avoid clutter in your attics or lofts. 

Seal Any Holes Or Gaps 

Mice can make their way into your walls even through the smallest holes or cracks. Seal gaps can be used as potential entry points for mice and rats.

Get Professional Help 

Contact an experienced professional mice exterminator or pest control for proper analysis and control of mice. They might be able to guide you effectively and help you get rid of mice in a better way. 

When Should You Call A Pro? 

You might tend to avoid calling a professional for mice control. It’s okay to try home remedies and various traps, but you must also know when to call a pro. 

Mice can mislead you into thinking that they are only a few when you might even have an infestation hanging out in your homes. These are some signs that tell you that you must call a professional

  1. Fresh droppings formed in a cluster. 
  2. Gnaw marks that have damaged wiring and other objects like furniture. 
  3. A strong, musky smell that can spoil the environment of your home.
  4. Scratching sounds in the ceilings and walls, especially at night.
  5. Damaged food packaging, especially in your pantry.

Also, remember that even a few mice are capable of causing damage to your house and also spreading infections. 

Final Words

Mice are so sensitive to strong smell that they rely so much on their sense of smell.

Knowing which smells mice can help you repel them by using those to your advantage. 

So try the various methods and see which works best for you.

Make sure to be aware of the areas where mice live in your house and take action accordingly.

Have a safe and healthy environment! 

Photo of author


Daniel White
I'm Daniel White, and I live in Jacksonville, Florida. The warm and humid climate of Florida gives an ideal habitat for many different kinds of pests. So, if I had to live in Florida, I had to learn how to deal with these pests. Now, I have 7 years of experience in Pest Control.

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