Does Peppermint Oil Repel Mice?
Of all the varied uses for peppermint oil – and there are many, ranging from sunburn relief to appetite suppressant – one that is hotly debated is whether it should be included on lists of how to get rid of mice naturally. As home remedies for mice go, it seems like a simple one, and yet homespun recipes that are either too weak or not long-lasting enough leave people crying foul on this time-honored solution.
Homemade or Store-Bought?
Fortunately, products are available that take the guesswork out of how to make peppermint oil effective enough to do its job. These products come in several forms – and have distinct advantages over those made in the kitchen sink. For starters, there is no mess. Rather than applying oil to woodwork or furniture, or leaving doused cotton balls lying about, repellents made by a reliable company like Victor® are self-contained and easy to replace. Similar to little disposable air fresheners, Scent-Away™ Natural Rodent Repeller Drops™ last up to 60 days, while Scent-Away™ Natural Rodent Repeller Packs™ are good for up to 30 days. Successful homemade solutions usually have to be reapplied every two weeks.
Whether you prefer the drops or packs, both have a permeable barrier that allows them to last as long as they do. This delivery system allows the oil to avoid dissipating so quickly and thus last much longer than homemade solutions – even when they are made potent enough. The drops even have an End-of-Life Indicator™ window that lets you monitor how much longer they can be used before needing to be replaced.
What Does Peppermint Oil Do?
So how does it work? Simple. Peppermint is strong-smelling. For a species that relies on a strong sense of smell over its weak vision, mice find the potent aroma of its menthol to be offensive and irritating to their nasal cavities. The best repellents take advantage of this by using 100% peppermint oil that can be slowly released without spilling, dissipating or quickly losing potency. Frequent failure to accomplish this with DIY attempts has led to the notion that the peppermint's repelling ability is a myth, but this is not so.
Improve Its Effectiveness
For added success, use peppermint oil in conjunction with an ultrasonic repellent, which can last for years. This will provide a backup deterrent even when the oil's effects weaken and are in need of replacing. Between the stench and the noise, mice will avoid the area where these are positioned for sure, but all you will detect is a sweet minty smell. Repellents should be placed at every spot through which you suspect a mouse could enter your home.