Getting Rid of Mice and Rats with Non-toxic Peppermint Oil
Guide on Using the Non-toxic Peppermint Oil to Get Rid of Mice and Rats
Spotting just one mouse in any corner of your home or office is alarming. While there are many ways to get rid of these upsetting rodents, not all of them are suitable for every property or appealing to all rodent spotters. For example, an office owner just cannot afford to use a toxic chemical or product, as this is likely to affect the health of the staff and clients who visit. Similarly, a house owner for whom humane and eco-friendly solutions are ideal would not prefer to kill rodents.
One of the most non-toxic solutions is to use a mousetrap. However, many people seriously are tired of putting mousetraps at every corner of their homes and getting results almost after a long time. If you too are among these people, it is now time to try a more effective and humane approach for repelling or deterring mice.
Several tips and recommendations are available online for using a mouse repellant without a chemical or a poison. The most popular and oldest known trick is a cat. However, not all cats are hunters, as there are cats who are scared of mice.
This is why there are a few non-toxic solutions to get rid of mice, of which one of the most popular options is peppermint oil. This essential oil not only works well on these mice but also on other niggling creatures as well.
Introduction to Peppermint Oil
The essential oil is made from a plant of the same oil name, which is between spearmint and watermint plants in terms of usage. Obtained from these three plants, the concentrated oils have several uses, such as for pest control, cooking, and making toothpastes and shampoos. As compared to peppermint extract that is a substitute in baking and cooking, the oil is quite stronger.
Why Peppermint Oil is a Reliable Mouse Repellant?
You may have heard that peppermint oil is the most reliable way to get rid of rodents. Well, there is a scientific reason behind this assertion. The fact is that mice do not love the peppermint smell, as it is too strong for them to inhale. This is why they maintain a safe and far distance. Further, the peppermint’s smell aids in masking the food odors that appeal mice.
Practically, the oil of peppermint works to deter the living of mice in your home or office. Therefore, it is a preventive measure, not a curative solution. Moreover, it is a child- and pet-friendly solution for keeping those critters out. Further, its smell in home or office gives a feeling of freshness unlike other methods such as ammonia-based products or mothballs.
How Does Peppermint Oil Deter Mice/Rodents?
We know that peppermint oil has an unbearable strong smell for mice. Let us now understand how this strong smell repel mice.
The oil masks the pheromone trails that these critters leave behind and are for other mice to search the way to get around. It is obvious that rodents do not like this masking, as it ends up confusing them. Upon sensing this masking, rodents rather favor to be in places where navigation is easier, which is now obviously a faraway place. This is one way how mice then go far away from home or office.
Another way the strong smell repels mice is by irritating their nasal cavity. Although their sense of sight is poor, their sense of smell is highly acute or sensitive. Thus, they move from one place to another in search of food by using their sense of smell.
Peppermint oil contains a highly concentrated form of menthol, which is very irritating to their small noses. Thus, rodents or mice shall always avoid any place where the peppermint smell is too strong. In fact, the smell is so potent that it can even irritate sensitive human noses and throats if the oil is present in more than normal quantity nearby.
Is Using Peppermint Oil a Myth or an Unsuccessful Precautionary Remedy?
Ironically, you may have heard people saying that peppermint oil does not truly work as a mouse deterrent. This debate on its working has been going on for years. A lot of discussion has taken place regarding why this essential oil does not work for some people as a deterrent. In reality, the actual reason behind such an assertion is one or more of the following errors or improper usage traits:
Not using sufficient oil
Not using pure essential oil
Diluting the oil to weaken the concentration power of menthol in it
Failing to refresh the oil at fixed intervals, usually at few weeks, to retain a strong scent
Using very little amount of oil/leaves
It is wrong to expect that just a few peppermint leaves will work to repel the mice from their favorite places in home or office. Although the aroma is not pleasant, it is also not potent enough to force them to leave an otherwise cozy living place. Moreover, the scent of leaves is not as strong as that of the oil. Still, given a choice, the mice shall choose a place to live, which is not infested with mint.
Another reason is that the smell is not strong enough to mask the trail or aggravate the nasal cavities of the mice. Not using a strong solution is often the reason why the oil fails to do its job. The key to using this oil in the right manner is to ensure a concentration as pure as possible. It is ineffective to dilute the oil solution too much just for saving some money. Obviously, a concentrated product is a bit costlier than a diluted one. It is more sensible and affordable to use a higher concentration of oil.
At times, the reason leading to the ineffectiveness of this oil is impurity. The oil in use may not be a pure peppermint oil. It can be even so that people may not be applying the oil in the right or infested areas. This might be the result of identification of incorrect or misleading places.
If you the places where rodents are known to frequent, just using a good concentrated solution for spraying or making and putting the oil-soaked cotton balls is enough. For example, if the mice are coming from the pillar behind the gas stove, placing the oil solution on countertops is not an effective way to get rid of them. Here, it is essential to apply the solution or sprayed balls of cotton close to the opening behind the gas. Lastly, ensure that the pillar’s visible hole is sealed.
Another cause of ineffectiveness is diligence. It is common for some people to leave the oil spray or sprayed balls at the infested corner. However, what they need to realize is that the aroma dissipates in just one or two days. Thus, it is essential to replenish the cotton balls or sprays every other day. At times, this is essential after just a few hours. This may give you a feeling that much effort is required. However, it is not so, as you can simply stop it in some time. This is because the rodents easily can make out they now need to leave this home.
Frankly speaking, peppermint oil is not a guaranteed solution for all issues related to rodents or mice. For instance, once a mouse has its own nest in a favorable corner of your home, it can be challenging to show them the way out with only a few peppermint leaves. However, as a preventive measure, the oil is a guaranteed solution.
In case your home is a breeding ground of mice, it is more reliable to use a trapping method of getting rid of infestation. Once this is done, it is time to sanitize the area. After doing so, you can spray the oil on cotton balls and put them in that place. The oil shall mask the left trail, which shall deter mice from returning.
How to Use the Peppermint Oil for Deterring Mice
For taking the benefit of powerful menthol aroma, it is essential to apply the oil where the mice nest. One of the most common ways to use the oil is to spray it on a cotton ball or soak the latter in the oil. Then, you can place these balls in cabinets, corners, cracks, and walls. Doing so quickly spreads the aroma due to which mice shall not stay back to find from where such a displeasing smell is coming.
For more protective precaution, you can simply dab the oil on most vulnerable areas throughout your home. You can even apply it to the home’s perimeter. These two ways are handy especially for those who reside near open fields. There are some more ways of using this oil in your RV, home, or office, which are as follows:
Mixing the oil with cleaner.
Mixing the oil with water in a spray bottle.
Grow mint around your property.
Use a pure mint-based product brought from any trusted herbal store.
Except for the last one, all other options can have peppermint oil brought from a store or made by you using mortar and pestle.
Using Cotton Balls
If you have these balls, you only need to buy 100% pure oil of peppermint, which is of high quality. It is not that costly, as it demands only a few dollars for an ounce. Once you do so, simply put five drops onto a ball. Prepare some balls in this way and distribute them in areas from where these critters tend to come into your home.
This natural repellent therapy works well before mice infestation. If mice are already inside, they just avoid the places where balls reside. Despite this fact, the balls are still handy to use in those places where the rodents should not go and hide.
However, just note that the aroma shall fade quickly. Thus, do not forget to add new oil to those balls for keeping them fresh.
Mixing with Cleaners
This is an effective to remove pheromones. Here, you only need to use your spray bottle that has a cleaning liquid inside along with some peppermint oil. After adding the oil, shake the bottle well to have a well-mixed solution. That is it! You can now use the bottle as you normally do.
At the time of cleaning, you simply sprinkle the oil around. As you hopefully clean all walls and other surfaces daily or alternately, using the oil and cleaner solution is an easy way to dismay mice from entering into your home from any possible medium.
Using a Peppermint Spray
In case you do not intend to use a cleaner and have big or hard-to-reach areas to cover, an easy remedy here is to prepare a spray on your own. You can do so by mixing water and oil in equal parts and putting the same in a spray bottle. Dipped cotton balls are only suitable for small areas.
Considering that one ounce of peppermint oil is enough, a 2-ounce bottle can be useful to accommodate oil along with one ounce of water. Once you put the mix inside the bottle, shake it well before each use to make it homogenous. This is because oil and water tend to separate over time. Then, you can sprinkle this mixture anywhere and target even big areas in this way. This is a curative measure as well.
Growing Peppermint around the Base of Your House
This one is the most attractive remedy for those who love to plant or are suspicious about the pure oil products sold in stores. As peppermint is a preventive measure, it sounds wise simply to plant it around your home. While making your dull yard attractive to you, it makes the same unattractive to rodents. Mice will never choose your home for nesting.
During warmer days, mice live in open environment; while during colder days, they try to look for shelter in homes. The objective here is to make the environment around your home repellant for them. If you can prevent the mice to stay near your home, the probability of them coming inside the home is certainly less.
Peppermint is a perennial plant and needs more than average moisture as well as a semi-shady area to grow. If this environment is maintained, the plant quickly spreads to form a dense rug. This is also likely to intrude other areas in the garden or lawn. However, its smell is so pleasant that you may take some adjustment and grow it in a dedicated area. In such an area, mouse shall never nest due to very pungent aroma. The planted area will also repel other critters such as flies, ants, and fleas.
This is an easier solution to consider. If you are looking forward to buy a peppermint oil from a store instead of creating your own by planting or grinding leaves, here are some tips to buy the right one:
Ensure that the product is 100% peppermint oil that is exclusively for repelling insects, especially mice.
Look for a chemical-free solution.
See if you can get an endorsed product.
Do not go for peppermint extract.
Avoid choosing a fragrance peppermint oil, as it contains some more fragrances. It should be purely an essential oil.
Ensure that the smell is stronger than a fragrance oil or an extract.
Top 5 Peppermint Oil Products to Buy
Peppermint oil is usually available at a health store or a local grocery store. To make your search easier, here are some pure peppermint oil products to consider:
NOW Peppermint Oil (1 Ounce): Has a strong aroma and is 100% pure and natural. Although it is used for therapeutic purpose as deemed by its GC/IR verification, the users of this oil have also endorsed it as effective mice repellent when used on cotton balls. This product is perhaps the most affordable option in this list.
ArtNaturals Pure Peppermint Essential Oil (4 oz.): Is promoted as the oil with insect repelling as well as medicinal properties. The scent is fragrant as well as refreshing enough to deter almost any insect or bug. Both the maker and its customers swear by the effectiveness of this solution in repelling mice. The oil is prepared as per the natural standards, which means it is cruelty- and paraben-free. The product comes with a useful dropper.
Andin’s Essentials Pure Peppermint Oil (4 oz.): Is a terrific mouse deterrent during winters as per its users. It is known for its highest concentration of menthol and lasting aroma for almost 18 months if it is preserved well. It comes with a glass dropper and its solution is of a therapeutic grade.
Essentially KateS Peppermint Essential Oil (4 oz.): Is both a cleaner and a repellant. The bottle comes with a detailed user guide (e-book), a phenolic cap for storing it for a long term, and a long glass dropper. The oil inside repels mice, rodents, spiders, and other insects. It is perhaps the costliest option in this list.
Vitacost 100% Pure Peppermint Oil: Is another pure, undiluted, and highly concentrated solution. It meets FDA standards and is more affordable then Essentially KateS oil.