Which Smells Repel Mice? - Mouse Trap Guide (2023)

Which Smells Repel Mice? - Mouse Trap Guide (1)

At least once in a lifetime, you have crossed your paths with a mouse. Now, you all know about some “inhuman” and natural ways of dealing with mice infestation, but what if I tell you that there are certain smells that will simply make mice run for its life?

Yes, there are some smells that mice can’t simply bear! For example, peppermint oil. If they sense the smell of peppermint, you can be sure that you won’t spot a single mouse anywhere near your house for a while!

Furthermore, any odor with strong ammonia or chemical smell will do the job. The goal is simple- prevent the mice infestation just by using strong smelling items on critical areas (those areas where they are entering your home, for example).

However, bear in mind that using these “smelly” methods won’t be so effective if there is a mice infestation already in your house. These methods only work as a preventive.


  • 1 So, Which Smells Repel Mice!?
    • 1.1 Mothballs are pretty effective
    • 1.2 Ammonia is a powerful mouse repellent
    • 1.3 Mice can’t stand dryer sheets!
    • 1.4 Peppermint Oil
    • 1.5 Use repellent granules
  • 2 Final Word

So, Which Smells Repel Mice!?

Here are some common, preventive solutions for you on how to prevent mice from taking up residence in your home.

Which Smells Repel Mice? - Mouse Trap Guide (2)

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Mothballs are pretty effective

So, as you imagined, I have encountered the same problem with mice as the one you are probably having. Luckily, I’ve managed to deal with the infestation, and afterward, I noticed quite an effective method- using mothballs.

Now, I had this problem once I moved into my old village house. Traps were great, don’t get me wrong, they were being quite effective. I kept killing them, and some of the mice liberating to the fields, but it seemed like they were easily finding their way back to the home.

Once I used these mothballs on the different corners of the house, and close to any crevice where a mouse could possibly sneak through, my problem surprisingly disappeared.

It was 4 months later when I realized that these mothballs were a true reason why mice kept their noses far away from the house. How did I realize that? Well, the smell dissipated and these little creatures came back.

Bottom line: these mothballs worked as a great mouse deterrent. If you want this method to be successful, you will probably need to replace old mothballs with the “fresh” ones every 3-4 months.

Note: Keep in mind that moth balls can be toxic. If you have kids, or pets that would eat these balls, either put them somewhere out of their reach or don’t use them at all. For example, mothballs can be a great solution for attic or basement that are out of pets and children’s reach.

Also, be sure to read instructions about precautions as moth balls can consist some toxic substances.

Ammonia is a powerful mouse repellent

The second on our list is ammonia. This smell has shown as a great repellent that makes mice run in the opposite direction. The reason behind ammonia working this great is that the mouse interprets it like the predator’s smell (urine).

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As scared of predators unlike anything else, they will run and avoid areas that smell on ammonia.

The procedure is quite the same as with mothballs. You need to build a “smell” blockage near the places where a mouse is invading your home. Any crevice up to ¼ inches is dangerous and mice can easily sneak through it.

Therefore, use the small amount of ammonia, place it on some glass or jar and make such path blockage. The same problem with mothballs troubles this solution- it’s not safe for children and pets at all.

Moreover, you can use ammonia to clean up the spaces and areas where mice have been living. Ammonia is quite an effective solution that removes unpleasant mice (infestation) smells and stains. This is, certainly, one of the most effective ways of cleaning mouse droppings.

If nothing else, you can use it to remove and mask pheromone trails left in the areas of mice pathing.

Again, cleaning with ammonia requires certain precautions. Make sure to clean in a room with a proper ventilation system, open everything you can (doors, windows), put some gloves on, and keep your kids and pets away from the working area.

Which Smells Repel Mice? - Mouse Trap Guide (3)

Mice can’t stand dryer sheets!

Who knew that dryer sheets could be so effective! If you have troubles standing the smell of mothballs of ammonia yourself, then consider using fabric softener sheets. Well, sometimes, you just have no choice. Namely, cleaning the kitchen with ammonia is just not a good idea.

So, these sheets are quite a good investment and solution. Dryer sheets won’t kill mice, but they’ll successfully repel them.

(Video) Do Moth Balls Repel Mice? Mousetrap Monday

Just place some unused sheets along their path. Rub a dryer sheet around your kitchen cabinets, kitchen baseboards and corners, and in the crevices of your pantry.

There are a lot of good sides of these sheets, such as effectiveness, easiness of use, and the price.

However, there are some bad sides worth considering. Mice may get used to the smell and adapt to it over time. Needless to say, sheets’ effectiveness will drop over time. You won’t be able to install them into tight spaces where only mice can pass through.

It’s useless to use them for larger infestations.

Which Smells Repel Mice? - Mouse Trap Guide (4)

Peppermint Oil

Now, in order for this method to work, you need to make sure that you are using the right stuff. Namely, you need 100% peppermint oil or some product that is especially designed to repel mice (based on peppermint).

Once you are sure that you’ve got the right product, make sure to know the doze! The scent needs to be quite strong to repel mice. So, in this case- the more, the better. I have been using 5 drops on a cotton ball, and it works pretty fine.

Again, keep in mind that the location makes 80% of your success. You want to block their pathing with these smells. So use it on the way they are coming to your home. Simply, you want a mouse to smell the peppermint BEFORE it enters your house. Afterward, it might be useless, as they will find some spot in your house without the scent of it.

Use it to mask pheromone trail that mice leave on their travel. The most important tip that I can give you- replace these balls every 20-30 days. If the fragrance wears off, you are doomed. Keep the dose of peppermint scent constant!

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If you are dealing with a recurring problem, change them out every 2 weeks.

Which Smells Repel Mice? - Mouse Trap Guide (5)

Use repellent granules

Of course, there are some products especially designed to repel mice. There are granules that are 100% organic mice repellent. Unlike other solutions, these granules work in a combination of natural oils that directly attack a mouse’s nervous system.

We are not just speaking about mice here, but about rodents in general. These granules are so powerful that will repel moles, shrews, chipmunks, squirrels & more.

These granules you want to use outdoors. No need to worry, in most of the cases granules are a completely natural rodent repellent that is safe to use around your pets.

Final Word

As we have seen, there are methods worth trying that will keep the mice infestation away from your warm home. However, these repellent smells won’t be much of a help if things have already gone bad.

The procedure is quite similar with each of these methods- simply apply these strong smells to the mice path, or areas that they visit often, and be sure to naturally prevent them from coming back again.

Hopefully, this article helped you find out about the ways of dealing with mice just by using the smells that they can’t bear.


What scent attracts mice to the traps? ›

The rodents are primarily nut and seed eaters, so the mouse trap bait they are most strongly attracted to is peanut butter or hazelnut spread. Their hunger for calories also entices them to try chocolate.

What scents are safe for mice? ›

Eucalyptus. This is a safer option to use. It is proven that the eucalyptus scent is a strong mice repellent. You can easily mix up a DIY eucalyptus oil spray using two teaspoons of eucalyptus oil, one cup of water and a couple of drops of liquid detergent.

What does white vinegar do to mice? ›

Use white vinegar as bait by mixing it with some peanut butter and placing it in a trap. Mice dislike the smell of white vinegar and will stay away from areas sprayed with it or have soaked cotton balls in it. When you use white vinegar as bait in a trap, the mouse will eat it and die.

What is the number one smell mice hate? ›

As it turns out, there are several smells that these pests cannot stand, which means you can use them to your advantage. But what exactly do mice and rats hate to smell? Mice can be kept away by using the smells of peppermint oil, cinnamon, vinegar, citronella, ammonia, bleach, and mothballs.

Why is my mouse not setting off my trap? ›

One is to put less peanut butter on the trap. If you put a big glob on, the mouse can grab some off the top while leaving plenty of weight on the trap to prevent it from springing. A pea-size amount should do the trick. Another possibility is not using food as bait at all.

Why won't mice go in traps? ›

Mice have a great sense of smell. This ability helps them stay alive, especially where traps are concerned. Mice know what we smell like. If they smell us on, or around, a trap, they will avoid that trap.

How do you lure a mouse into a trap? ›

Tiny bits of peanut butter or soft cheese have always worked well. Stick a pinch or two of marshmallows, gum drops or beef jerky to the trigger and the trap will spring when mice take a bite. When female mice gather nesting materials in fall and winter, dental floss, yarn and twine attract them to the trap.

Do mice learn to avoid traps? ›

Mice learn to avoid traps

Only travelling in familiar places, with one side of their bodies against a wall. And avoiding open spaces. This behaviour helps them stay alive by avoiding traps. Mice have a great sense of smell which also allows them to avoid traps.

What liquid attracts mice? ›

Liquid baits that contain a small amount of sugar are particularly attractive to rodents. Rats will often come to water stations, since they need water daily unless they are feeding on very moist food. Although mice can survive without drinking water, they will use it when it is conveniently available.


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