Many people are afraid of using poisons and don’t want to deal with traps. Instead, they prefer to handle the problem without the shedding of blood or harming the environment. We understand these priorities, and for this reason we have focused on an alternative solution — the use of mouse repellents. The main advantage of using rodent repellents is that they are clean, environment-friendly and they don’t leave behind the corpses of dead mice. Also, they won’t do any harm to people and pets. But what worries people is whether they are really effective. Here you’ll find the best and effective homemade natural mouse repellent recipes and ready-to-use sprays and ultrasonic repellers you can buy online.
Effectiveness scale: 1 being the least 10 being the most effective.
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Pest Venator Repeller (4-pack)
100% Peppermint oil
Cost-efficient and safe for using indoors. Repels mice by means of ultrasound.
Non-toxic & ready-to-use spray to keep mice away both indoors and outdoors. Short-term effect.
100% Natural. Old homemade way to repel mice. Short-term effect. Pleasant-smelling.
Mice are very clever and tenacious, they breed rapidly, and therefore it’s no wonder that they become subject to lab experiments, during which these rodents demonstrate their wit and persistence. Due to these features, rodents cannot simply be kept away from the house by deterrents. They are not cowardly rabbits afraid of a human hair and dry blood. Rats, for instance, are difficult to keep captive as they can gnaw through centimeter-thick wooden cages within less than an hour. Give them more time, and they will destroy cement too.
However, rodents have weak points which are exploited by natural mouse repellents. In particular, mice don’t like the smells of fir, cinnamon, and cedar, lemongrass and peppermint oils, while rats can’t stand pepper or peppermint.
A large number of commercially available products contain the active ingredient thiram which is a type of sulfur fungicide and is effective in protecting fruit trees and ornamental plants from mice. To obtain desirable results, repellents should be applied at least twice a year: In late fall and in winter.
However, scientists from UC IPM warn us of the short-term effect these products cause: “Rodents have an initial aversion to some odors and tastes, but no repellents have been found to solve a rat problem for more than a very short time”. Applying chemical repellents to plants in the garden may stop mice but under conditions of insufficient food resources, mice can eat the bark treated with repellents, no matter what. This can be easily explained by the fact that when deprived of a shelter or source of food mice have no choice but to return to the house or garden. So when these animals face a matter of life and death, you really need a strong argument to stop them.
As for ultrasonic devices, although safe and environmentally friendly, they haven’t been scientifically proven to repel rodents permanently. Moreover, according to Matt Frye, an IPM Extension Educator, sometimes the frequency and intensity indicated by manufacturers don’t correspond to actual output. Also, scientists from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln claim that as the distance increases, the effect of such repellents is losing intensity. Another drawback is that mice get accustomed to annoying sounds quite soon, although at an early stage ultrasonic devices really repel mice.
At the same time, a research conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln aimed at evaluating the impact of ultrasonic devices on mice and rats says that “Rodents under test could either leave the buildings or move to alternate non-ultrasonically treated areas.”
In view of the above, we can safely state that the better approach for an effective mouse control is a combined one: Repel mice and then block all access inside as soon as possible. Remember that the tiniest hole can become a gate for mice. They can enter your house even through a sewer or sink pipe, so check your house for gaps and openings and seal them with a spray foam insulation or hardware cloth. However, exclusion is not an easy task as mice can be of such a small size that they can fit through a hole not exceeding a quarter inch.
And yet, scientists claim that poisons remain the most effective way of dealing with mice. Unfortunately, nothing more of use has been invented yet. Read our manual Killing Rats and Mice with Rat Poison to learn how to use poisons properly.
Effectiveness Scale: 1 being the least, 10 being the most effective.
|Product / Ingredient||Advantage||Disadvantage|
|Ultrasonic device |
|Environmentally friendly; safe for humans and pets; time-saving and when installed does not require human participation; no need to remove dead mice.||Scientifically proven to repel rodents permanently; indicated frequency may not match up with actual output; lose intensity with distance; mice get accustomed to noises.|
|Easy to use, inexpensive and available in many stores; can be placed in hard-to-reach areas.||Toxic; can be hazardous to pets and small children; are not effective outdoors due to the effect of rains and winds; not scientifically proven to be effective.|
|Thiram (sulfur fungicide) |
|Distasteful for rodents; according to EPA tests, this pesticide is not dangerous to human health when properly handled; scientifically proven mice repellent; recommended for the protection of crops and ornamental plants from rodents.||Can be toxic when inhaled; for outdoors use only; should not be applied to buildings or paintwork as it can stain them.|
|Fresh Cab |
|EPA-registered plant-based rodent repellent; its efficiency is proven in many laboratory tests; works through emitting the odor; green product; safe for humans, pets and environment; clean scent;||Short-term effect, it is rather a preventive measure;|
|Based on a substance contained in predators’ urine which frightens mice; has a strong scent.||Short-term effect; mice urine contains ammonia as well, therefore the solution may not work; poisonous when ingested; not safe for kids and pets|
|Castor oil |
|Natural, non-toxic, safe for children and pests; recommended for using in gardens; can be used in the rainy season.||Short-term effect; moves animals from one location to another, not expel them.|
|Cayenne pepper |
|The smell of the pepper is supposed to drive mice away; safe for children and pests; does not include poisons.||Short-term effect; moves animals from one location to another, not expel them.|
|Peppermint oil |
|It is said to repel mice, especially as a preventive measure; safe for children and pests; does not include poisons; smells fresh unlike many other natural repellents; masks the pheromone trails of mice; menthol is irritating to mice.||The solution should have a high concentration to be effective; should be reapplied every few days; short-term effect; moves animals from one location to another, not expel them.|
|Natural, safe, aromatic to humans; the scent and flavour of tarragon is hated by a number of pests; good for the use in a garden; enhance the flavor of eggplants.||It is not scientifically proven to repel mice; short-term effect.|
|Diatomaceous earth |
|Environmentally friendly; does not contain poisons.||It is not effective when the product gets wet; can cause skin irritation.|
If you have decided to try using repellents, have a look at a review of the typical ones which we have prepared. There are few types of them available: ultrasonic devices, sprays, granules and pouches. Below you’ll find natural ready-to-use repellents consisting of a variety of ingredients, including pepper, mint, tarragon, various essential oils, castor oil and diatomaceous earth.
The advantage of using sprays is that this option allows to cover all parts of the object or plant, easy to apply and is recommended for household use. Drawbacks include a low concentration of the active ingredient, the fact that sprays are less cost-effective compared to concentrates, and that the substance can be dispensed in areas which do not require application.
The sprays we will review below are based on natural oils and include such active ingredients as the oils of peppermint and cinnamon — Harris Mice Repellent Spray.
Some sprays like Rodent Defense also have garlic & rosemary oil in their formula. Eco Defense has the third active ingredient — castor oil, while Grandpa Gus’s Natural Mouse Rodent Repellent contains Sodium Lauryl Sulfate. The latter is a chemical which can be found in many hygiene products and is intended to enhance the product’s efficiency.
The manufacturers claim that these repellents can be used against all types of rats and mice both indoors and outdoors. One of the key advantages of the products is that you can spray them in any site of your house, vehicle wiring, trash cans without worrying about harming pets or small children.
The buyers stress the necessity first to clean up the site eliminating the sources of food and only then apply the repellent. Another customer advises applying the stuff to cars in order to get rid of mice. He notes that after being sprayed his car smells like the repellent, and describes the odor as “weird” but not unpleasant.
Grandpa Gus’s Natural Mouse Rodent Repellent, another popular natural spray repellent targeting mice, is cheaper than the previous one. Many customers indicate the pleasant scent of the stuff and find it helpful but note that it has to be sprayed at least twice a day to obtain positive results. One of the users laments that the spray settings cannot be changed so it is extremely hard to shoot directly into a hole.
Harris: Check the current price
Having these products at hand you can easily make your own repellents.
Ammonia, peppermint and castor oil are universal repellents targeted at a wide range of pests, including insects and animals. They have been proven effective against 100+ pests which commonly cause a damage or nuisance to households. It is a wise investment to buy these products which are cheap and available to handle several pest problems simultaneously. Apart from that, they may come in handy in the household.
Let’s take a peppermint oil. Mix it with a household cleaner in the bottle and shake it up. Wipe down the area where mice have been detected with a cloth moistened with the liquid. The mixture will help you to eliminate the traces of pheromones left behind by mice.
Peppermint Oil. 100% Pure Peppermint Essential Oil (Large 4 Ounce) is a pleasant-smelling stuff and very effective in repelling lots of species of pests. The product comes with a pipette to help you measure the amount of oil for application. This stuff will make you feel better, ease your nerves and, at the same time, keep mice away.
Ammonia. JAMES AUSTIN CO 50 Multi-Purpose Colorless Cleaner Liquid is designed to clean such trouble spots as a garbage disposal or trash cans. What you need is to apply the solution, wait for several minutes and then wash away. The product’s active ingredient is ammonia which is also contained in the urine of mouse predators, so mice detect this odor and stay away. Keep your kitchen clean and mice away!
Castor oil. Lawn Mole Castor Oil is safe for pets, plants and the environment. It repels rodents with its taste and smell. Just buy a gallon of this solution and that’s will be enough for a long period of time.
Like the previous solutions based on natural oils, this device is environmentally friendly, safe clean and non-toxic, and provides a good alternative to dangerous poisons and deadly traps. Another advantage of using ultrasonic devices is that they are relatively inexpensive and do not consume much electricity. The main drawbacks are that their effectiveness has not been proven yet and opinions vary as to whether such devices really work and, if they do, what kind of pests they surely affect. Also, its short range does not seem to support the approach.
Nevertheless, ultrasonic repellents have been widely used both by household and commercial consumers in their pest control strategies.
What do buyers say? “Plugging the product in the socket, I did not hear any noise. The number of mouse activity has decreased significantly after using it for 3 weeks. The most important thing is that it appears to be no adverse reaction to the dog,” one of the buyers writes. However, as in the case with sprays, the consumers stress that the house first should be cleaned up and mouse droppings removed.
Rodent repellent pellets (granules) are another alternative and non-toxic way to get rid of rats and mice. All such granular products are quite similar and contain almost the same ingredients: diatomaceous earth granules, impregnated with the mix of essential oils: Rosemary, cinnamon, cedar, lemongrass, mint, etc. Some of them are intended only for repelling mice and rats, while others are supposed to get rid of parasites, rodents and other creatures.
Taste repellents have an impact on mice. For instance, Ro-pel repellent spray was popular for a long time. According to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln experts, it has long been registered “for use in repelling house mice and other rodents from gnawing on trees, poles, fences, shrubs, garbage, and other objects.”
It contains Denatonium benzoate which set the Guinness record for being the bitterest substance ever. Ro-pel is now available in the form of repellent granules (Check the current price), but its effectiveness against house mice has not been scientifically proven as there is too little information available.
Safer Brand 51703 Diatomaceous Earth is a good absorbing material. Therefore, when combined with essential oils, such as peppermint, you get a highly powerful mouse repellent. This solution is much more efficient than soaking cotton balls in oils as in the case of DE the effect lasts much longer. Just mix a cup of DE with one-eighth of a cup of water and add there few drops of a peppermint oil. And you get a ready-to-use solution.
The granular particles are normally made from clay or some other materials and are covered with an active ingredient. Sometimes, the active ingredient is absorbed by granules, but either way it does not exceed 15% of the product’s total weight. Granular repellents are widely used, either for protecting gardens when applied to the soil around around plants or repelling pests from the house when distributed in hard-to-reach areas. This solution is applied even at aircrafts.
Granular repellents have a number of advantages: they are easy to use as the product is sold with ready-to-use packages. Unlike dust and spray, granules cannot be ingested by the applicator or pets. There is a low risk of granules’ drifting as they settle quickly enough. However, there are some drawbacks. Namely, granules cannot be stick to the surfaces which are not flat or the leaves of plants. Also, these small balls may be mistaken for food by pets and eaten what creates a risk for them.
Earthkind Botanical Rodent Repellent is a set of all-natural repellent pouches which look like herb sachets. The main active ingredient of the repellent is balsam fir oil which is considered to be a botanical pesticide. Among passive ingredients you’ll find corn chips and various essential oils. The manufacturer promises that a single pouch will repel rodents for 100 days with a “woodsy scent” which is pleasant to humans but offensive to rodents. However, some customers claim that its effect lasts no more than two months, which clearly is appropriate.
First of all, take preventive measures, such as storing the food away, washing the dishes, cleaning the apartment often, repairing cracks or holes in the walls of your house. You might also find helpful some tricks when using such Repellent. Here’s what experienced customers advise:
This product can also be used in closets, a garage, other auxiliary areas, and even inside the car as it is proven effective from the customers’ experiences. This can become an irreplaceable element in a complex rodent infestation treatment wherever. “Overall, a great and useful product for non-living spaces such as attics, garages and under bath tubs and backs of cabinets,” one of the customers says.
Fresh Cab: Check the current price
Many commercially available repellents include the active ingredient thiram (a type of sulfur fungicide) which is considered by scientists to be an effective solution to protect crops and gardens from mice. Bonide 142 Sulphur Dust Fungicide can be applied to fruits and vegetables as well and is used both as a dust and spray. The product has a multi-purpose use: it repels pests and keeps your plants healthy. Upon contact with a mouse, large doses of thiram cause labored breathing, convulsions and other disturbing symptoms. A drawback is that when got wet the powder washes off with rain quite easily.
Consumers recommend adding some washing-up liquid to the stuff to enhance the product’s performance. “This product is, indeed, pure sulfur. Worked great for other applications requiring pure sulfur not just as a fungicide and insect repellent,” one of the customers noted.
Bonide 142: Check the current price
Pest Venator: Check the current price
|Harris Mice Repellent ||Active ingredients the essential oils; spray.|
|Grandpa Gus’s Natural Mouse Rodent Repellent ||Active ingredients the oils of peppermint and cinnamon, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate; spray.|
|Earthkind Botanical Rodent Repellent (Fresh Cab) ||Active ingredient is balsam fir oil; pouches.|
|Bonide 142 Sulphur Dust Fungicide, 4-Pound ||Active ingredient is thiram; dust.|
|JAMES AUSTIN CO 50 Multi-Purpose Colorless Cleaner Liquid ||Ammonia; liquid.|
|Lawn Mole Castor Oil, MolEvict ||Castor oil; liquid.|
|Best Peppermint Oil 100% Pure Peppermint Essential Oil||Peppermint oil; liquid.|
|Safer Brand 51703 ||Diatomaceous earth; dust.|
|Ultrasonic Pest Repeller by Pest Venator ||Ultrasonic device.|
One of the advantages of using natural repellents is that you can make your own solutions selecting a combination of ingredients of your choice. Moreover, this option allows to save money as most of the active ingredients can commonly be found in the kitchen and if not, the purchased product is most likely to be used for other purposes as well. So here are some recipes on how to make mixtures repelling mice.
Many people are afraid of dealing with poisons or traps, and this is also the case with natural and safe mice repelling solutions.
However, in case you don’t trust repellents, you’ll have to have lots of patience. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, for example, lists only 3 ways as an answer to the question “How can I prevent or control house mice?”. These are the following:
That is why, if you are ready to exterminate mice and have decided to get rid of them with the help of poison baits and traps, read our guides and products reviews:
The proper usage of a repellent depends on its type. For example, if you choose to use a natural repellent, then you have to be more or less consistent in its application, and strictly follow the manufacturer’s instructions. As outlined earlier in this guide, the natural repellents are better to be applied at least twice a year, in fall and in winter. However, during both fall and winter, you have to apply them consistently to see any results. In the case of electronic deterrents, aside from following the advised instructions, switch them on whenever you notice that the rodents are active. They pretty much have to be turned on at all times to prevent mice from returning back to your dwelling.
The sprays and such have to be reapplied every time the rain falls, in case you’re using it in the garden or yard, or whenever you feel the smell of a repellent has dissipated. Many consumers related the positive outcomes with the sprays only when they used them twice a day or more.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions both for safety and effectiveness. In the case of sprays, just apply them wherever you notice a rodent activity; and in the case of essential oils, they often need to be diluted in the proportions outlined by the manufacturer. The powers and granules are applied around plants in the garden, or on the floor along the mice highways.
While mothballs are an inexpensive and quite effective way to get rid of mice, it’s not safe when used around pets and children. Since the active ingredient in mothballs is naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene, it can become hazardous when someone gets exposed to it. When a person smells mothballs, he or she essentially inhales a pesticide. Mothballs become even more dangerous if accidentally swallowed. In case you think your child or pet has been inadvertently exposed to mothballs, please, call 911 or poison control at 1-800-222-1222 immediately.
The best thing you can do to eliminate mice is to prevent the infestation in the first place. According to the researchers from the National Pesticide Information Center, there are a few prevention steps you can follow:
Consumers have mixed results from using electronic repellents, but one thing can be said for certain is that whenever a tester fails to see the positive results, he would blame everyone but himself. That said, many have abandoned the use of a repellent too soon, or have not read and followed the instruction closely, have not cleaned the debris or any other objects that can prevent ultrasound from traveling freely, and overall made many other mistakes that led to their unsuccessful use of a repellent.
Others, however, who followed all instructions and advice, saw the fruits of their hard work. See, for example, what this guy has to say about his use of the Pest Venator:
Funny enough, the repeller was pretty potent not only against mice but also against ants. So I think, you’d better see and try it for yourself. However, do not rely on a repellent alone. Use prevention methods, and maybe natural repellents, just to be on a safe side.
Before an experiment made by X-PEST ultrasonic rodent repellent started, mice in the aquarium were quiet and felt comfortable. After the ultrasonic device was switched on, they became anxious, restless and wanted to run away.
Mouse repellent for cars, RVs, tractors, garage
The best way to get rid of rodents in cars is, perhaps, using an electronic pest repellent for cars, like the Loraffe Under Hood Rodent Repeller .
You can also try to install Pest Venator in a garage along with this Fresh Cab Botanical Rodent Repellent placed along the mice highways. This bestselling Exterminators Choice spray is also fantastic at doing its job.
Mouse repellent for campers
It might be best to use natural sprays, like Eco Defence Spray. They don’t require plugging in or batteries and are pretty potent when used consistently.
Mouse repellent for boats
Same as for cars, use ultrasonic and natural repellents for best results.
Mouse repellent for home
A combination of essential oils and ultrasonic pest repellers would serve you perfectly.
Mouse repellent for garden
As mentioned earlier in the guide, Thiram might be used with caution. Lawn castor oil and ammonia can be also added for better results.
Alternatives are numerous, really. As technology progresses, we will see even more of the alternative ways to get rid of mice. But as of now, the best and most effective ways, according to scientists, are traps and rodenticides.
In fact, trapping is the most preferred method of controlling or reducing the mice population in the household, as said by the researchers from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
As for the poison baits: although, they are super effective, their use is to be avoided especially around kids and pets, due to their high toxicity. However, if used with caution and with the help of special bait stations, rodenticides become an effective mice killer. You can read more on that in our guide on poison baits here: Mice poison. According to the scientists from the Penn State Extension, the foggers are not very effective against rodents.
In case you own a restaurant, a hotel, a school, or a kindergarten, you answer not only for yourself, but for the safety and health of your visitors, guests, or children, for that matter. In this case, we do not recommend you use DIY methods. Please, call a professional pest control company to take care of your pest problem.
Also, when you see your DIY attempts failed miserably, please, seek a professional help.
The repellents are better to be used in combination with either each other or any other method for best results. That said, we advise on using ultrasonic pest repellers, like Pest Venator, along with other repellents, like James Austin made of ammonia, and Thiram (sulfur fungicide).
I bought Pest Venator 2 months ago, and I'm very surprised by the result, because. very controversial opinions about repellers. I followed the instructions strictly, and within 2 weeks the mice left my house. This is excellent result! And it's important that my cats do not hear anything.
did you forget about no mouse in the house? their mouse balls last six months, smashing those pouches in the dirt. plus they're cool looking - kinda badass
Hi! Tell me how to repel mice? Maybe someone knows the most budget effective way of getting rid of these rodents?
I used the mice deterrent spray mentioned here. I think it’s very cheap. It has some downsides, naturally, for instance, you have to perform repeat treatment. But at least it’s humane. If you want to get rid of mice once and for all, you’ll have to invest and use killing products, such as electric traps.
I think that after reading this article, many people wonder whether peppermint oil repels mice. I decided to research the matter. And yeah, it turned out to be really effective as long as you use pure peppermint oil.
I prefer to use an electronic mouse deterrent and many such devices really help get rid of rodents as long as you read the manual carefully and follow it. Don’t use them for too long though, and if the mice are not removed within 2 weeks, try other methods of getting rid of them.
I’m always for natural products and less synthetic chemicals. I put mint, fir branches and cinnamon in places potentially attractive for mice in my backyard. But unfortunately, all of that was in vain. The odor disappeared quickly and there was nothing to repel the rodents. When looking for a natural mouse repellent, I found Eco Defense Mice Repellent. I no longer worry about mice at home, because there are none.
Mice are one of the worst disease carriers, and they are also pests. It’s a must for me to use a mouse repellent at home, like Fresh Cab even if no mouse signs are visible. It’s a good preventive measure too.
Hey, could you say if a single mice repellent is enough for a room or do I need several of them? I’ve a large house with a big attic; I think I’ll need a few packs of pouches.