Pleasant and Pungent Scents That Deter Mice

Scents that deter mice can keep your space free of pesky rodents. Although some people find these creatures adorable, they can wreak havoc with your property. If left unchecked, mice can:

Transport fleas
Spread disease with droppings, hair, and urine
Chew through electrical wiring, creating potential fire hazards
Multiply quickly, causing a complete infestation

Fortunately, there are simple ways to drive mice from your home with the power of scent. Unlike humans, mice have a very keen sense of smell. Fortunately, there’s a range of aromas—both pleasant and pungent—that can keep mice from your door. Depending on the severity of your problem, you can try one or a combination of these pest-repelling approaches.

Using Spicy Scents That Repel Mice

  • Cayenne Pepper—A type of chili pepper that emanates heat, mice really dislike the scent of cayenne pepper. Sprinkle this powerful spice around outdoor entrance spaces like doors, windows, and crawl spaces. This will not only deter these rodents, but signal that your home isn’t a hospitable place for them.
  • Cinnamon—Most humans enjoy the smell of cinnamon, but rodents do not. Consequently, this spice is one of the best scents that deter mice. Putting cinnamon sticks in drawers, cabinets, and closets will drive mice away, with the added benefit of giving these areas a lovely perfume.
  • Cloves—The spicy aroma of cloves is a real turnoff to mice. Although clove buds can be an effective deterrent, clove oil packs a more powerful punch. Soak cotton balls in clove oil and place them around food sources. This is a great way to keep mice away from both human and pet food.

Repelling Mice with Detergent Smells

  • Dryer Sheets—Dryer sheets have another one of those scents that deter mice. Place fresh sheets around hangout points like attics, closets, and storage spaces. You can also stuff mouse holes with them. 
  • Bleach—The strong smell of bleach irritates the ultra-sensitive nasal passages of rodents. Because this aroma is incredibly powerful, it’s recommended to make a solution of one part bleach to 10 parts water, then put the mixture in a spray bottle. Spray dark areas where mice like to lurk, like beneath the refrigerator, behind the stove, and in your laundry room. 
  • Laundry Detergent—Mice are not fans of the smell of laundry detergent. To keep mice away from your home, fill an empty gallon jug with ¼ cup of detergent and the rest with water. The detergent acts as a thickening agent that makes it adhere to surfaces longer. Spray the indoor and outdoor perimeters of your home. 

Pungent Scents That Deter Mice

  • Vinegar—One of the most powerful scents around, vinegar is a powerful deterrent to mice. Mix two parts of water with one part of white vinegar in a spray bottle. Mist the shelves of food cupboards and countertops to keep mice away.
  • Ammonia—Mimicking the scent of predators’ urine, ammonia is one of the strongest scents that deter mice. Soak rags with equal amounts of ammonia and water, then place them around entrances to your living space. 
  • Mothballs— Mothballs can be an effective deterrent to this pest. To that end, take a small plastic container and pierce it with a few holes. Place two or three mothballs in each container, then place them where mice frequent, like the attic and basement.  Because mothballs are toxic, make sure to put them out of reach from children and pets.
two mice caught in a bucket with some bird food

Ultimately, scents that deter mice are stopgap measures at best. Aromas quickly fade and require continual reapplication of scent-based repellents. To thoroughly treat an infestation of mice, it’s best to go with a professional pest control company.

mouse smelling something that makes them want to run away