15 Smells That Mice Hate – The Best Way To Get Mice Out Of Your House!

Mice are a common problem in both residential and commercial properties. While they may seem cute and harmless, mice can cause serious damage when they make their way indoors. In addition to leaving droppings and destroying insulation, these pests can contaminate food products, damage electrical wiring, introduce parasites into your home or business, and spread disease. The best way to keep them out is to prevent their access in the first place. Knowing which smells mice don’t like can help you do just that. Here’s a list of smells that mice hate:


Essential Oils

Essential oils are widely used to get rid of mice, as certain smells can interfere with their sense of smell and make them flee. The oils are derived from plants and contain certain compounds that mice can’t stand. Let’s get into the details of which essential oils are most effective in deterring mice:


Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is extracted from the peppermint plant and is an effective essential oil for deterring mice. It has a pungent and minty aroma which helps to freshen up the home.

In addition to preventing mice from entering a home, peppermint oil also helps to repel other pests such as spiders, ants and cockroaches. When using this type of oil, it can be applied topically or diffused with an oil diffuser. To keep mice away, it is best applied along windowsills, doorways or even places where you have noticed rodent droppings. For maximum efficiency, reapply peppermint oil every few days in order to ensure that the scent stays strong and that it remains effective in deterring rodents.


Eucalyptus Oil

Eucalyptus oil is extracted from the leaves of the Eucalyptus tree and has a minty, slightly sweet aroma. It is an ingredient in many over-the-counter decongestants, mouthwashes, and cough syrups. The natural insect repellent properties concentrate in the oil, making it perfect for keeping away insects, spiders, and yes – even mice!

The all natural essential oil can be sprayed along walls and in other hideouts that mice may be using as home base. While you may not enjoy the smell of eucalyptus oil as much as other scents on this list – it definitely makes the list of smells mice hate! The distinct smell will make them avoid your space for days or weeks at a time. Whether you choose to use eucalyptus alone or combine it with some of these other smells to boost effectiveness, this natural essential oil is an excellent choice for naturally eliminating pests from your home!


Clove Oil

Clove oil is one of the strongest essential oils when it comes to repelling mice. It has a strong smell that mice hate and is derived from the clove flower bud that grows in parts of Asia. Clove oil is considered to be safe and humane to use, as long as it is properly diluted with carrier oils such as coconut or almond oil before using inside your home.

It can be used in several different ways to repel mice:

  • By placing drops of oil on cotton balls and placing them around your home.
  • By making a spray mixture of clove oil, water, and soap (not detergent).
  • By adding oil to a diffuser or ultrasonic pest repeller.


Citronella Oil

Citronella oil is an essential oil obtained from the leaves and stems of different species of lemongrass. This essential oil has a unique citrusy smell and a potent insect repellent property. It has been widely used as a chemical mosquito and other insect repellent since the 1940s.

Recent studies have revealed that citronella oil is not only effective in controlling mosquitoes, but it can also repel rodents like house mice. Citronella oil slowly releases its strong smell throughout the environment and makes house mice highly intolerable, thus forcing them to leave the area. This method of mouse control is recognized as pet-friendly, non-toxic natural solution to get rid of rodents in homes or yards.


Household Items

Mice can be incredibly pesky to get rid of, but you can use household items to deter them and make your home less attractive to them. Some everyday smells that mice hate can be used to make your home less inviting and to keep the mice away.



Ammonia has a strong, sharp odor that is generated by household cleaning products that contain it. Mice tend to avoid ammonia because they perceive it as a threat from their predators like cats and foxes. It’s also effective at repelling other pests such as ticks.

If you notice mice in your home, use ammonia-scented cleaning products including glass cleaner, kitchen cleaner, furniture polish, and all-purpose cleaner to get rid of them. You can also make an ammonia water solution by mixing two tablespoons of ammonia with one gallon of water in a spray bottle and then spraying it around the infested areas. Be careful not to get too close to the solution when spraying; the fumes are quite powerful and may be dangerous if inhaled in large quantities.



One of the household items that emits a smell mice dislike is garlic. Fresh garlic and garlic-infused oils are both strong-smelling and offensive to many animals, including mice.

When mice enter a home or other enclosed area and catch a whiff of the powerful smell of garlic, they won’t be as likely to stay around. The smell not only drives them away, but also may affect their ability to return.

To deter mice, you can:

  • Crush two or three cloves of fresh garlic and spread the pieces near entry points.
  • Add a few drops of essential oil made from garlic to diluted rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle and sprinkle the mixture around windowsills and doorframes; this should fill the area with enough of a garlicky odor that even the most persistent mouse will want to find another place to hide.


Cayenne Pepper

Mice are known for their sensitive noses, and the strong scent of cayenne or other types of pepper can be an effective solution for deterring mice from setting up shop inside your cupboards. Cayenne peppers and other spicy ingredients, including chili or jalapeno pepper powder and paprika, should be sprinkled around areas of concern. The potent smell of these spices will likely keep mice away, but it is important to note that if they are ingested they could possibly prove fatal to them.

It is also advisable to refrain from using this method if you have any pets in the home that may ingest the spices by accident.



Vinegar can be used to repel mice from areas of your home in several ways. One way is to pour or spray vinegar around areas that are prone to mice infestation. You can also use it as a cleaning agent for countertops and other surfaces that may have been contaminated with mouse droppings or urine.

In addition, some people believe simply having a bottle of vinegar near the area that tends to attract mice will help in repelling them, as the smell is naturally unpleasant for mice. For extra strength, you can add essential oils such as peppermint, spearmint, tea tree oil and cinnamon bark oil to the vinegar and apply the solution in the same way mentioned previously. It’s a natural, non-toxic repellent and one of eight smells that mice hate.


Other Repellents

While there are many smells that mice hate, there are also other methods that you can use to repel them. These methods include physical barriers, electronic repellents, and chemical repellents. This section will discuss the pros and cons of using each of these methods to keep mice away from your home.


Mouse Traps

Mouse traps can play an important part in the process of getting rid of mice. There are several types available, with different advantages and disadvantages. It is best to use them as part of an integrated approach for controlling mice problems.

  • Live Traps – Live traps are also called “cage” or “bait” traps because they do not actually kill the mouse. Instead, they trap the mouse alive inside a small cage-like device. You then must manually release the mouse somewhere away from your home or property. This can be quite a commitment of time and effort, however these traps offer a humane way to deal with mice problems without actually killing them.
  • Snap TrapsSnap traps look like two-piece clam shells with bait located in the center of one piece which is hinged at one end, so it slams shut on the mouse when triggered by their weight or movements in search of food. Some snap traps have powerful springs that could easily cause injury if handled without caution.
  • Glue TrapsGlue boards are designed to physically immobilize mice when they become stuck while attempting to get to the bait that’s placed on top of them. They often consist of a paper by-product material treated with adhesive glue so that any rodent attempting to cross over it finds itself encased up to its paws in glue and unable to move forward or backward until released or expired due exhaustion or suffocation in some cases.
  • Electronic TrapsElectronic mouse traps were designed as an alternative way to humanely trap rodents and kill them with painless electric shock while avoiding contact with human hands due risks posed by manually resetting mousetraps baited with food items that may lead directly into contact with droppings from infected rodents if precautions aren’t taken seriously during disposal operations from mousetraps loaded/baited daily for optimal performance/efficiency when dealing direct contact as opposed using repellents for lower maintenance concerns involved overall maintenance time restraints professionally speaking in many commercial pest control procedures used today frequently undertaken both inside residential facilities among and within homeowner personal complex environments associated sometimes within workplace hazardous industrial grade occupations labor frontiers currently becoming widely more accepted than ever before globally.


Ultrasonic Repellents

Ultrasonic repellents are a device that plugs into an electrical outlet and emits a loud noise in the ultrasonic range, our human ears can not detect. They are available in three different settings, to repel different animals such as mice (pest control), cats (or other pets) or dogs.

These devices emit a continuous or intermittent sound – depending on the set frequencies chosen by the user – and although mice generally hate this sound, for some people it might be experienced as uncomfortable background noise.

It is important to remember that since mice have small size and light weight they can also be repelled by airflow caused by vents, AC units and fans so ultrasonic repellers should be used in combination with these devices to provide maximum protection.



Mothballs are an effective, inexpensive mouse repellent option if used properly. Mothballs contain pesticides – specifically naphthalene or paradichlorobenzene – which emit a strong odor that can effectively repel mice. However, mothballs are chemical repellents, and the active ingredients are toxic to both humans and animals if ingested.

For outdoor use, consider strewing mothballs around areas where mice might be congregating outside of your property. Be sure to place them away from plants and foliage, as the active ingredients may also be toxic to vegetation. As an indoor option, putting mothballs in small cloth bags can also help keep mice away from enclosed rooms or spaces in your home.

It is important to always follow the instructions on the package when using any pesticide-based product for long-term control of mouse infestations. Keeping a watchful eye on those affected areas regularly will help reduce exposure to any hazardous chemicals used to deter rodents and other pests around the home.


Natural Predators

Mice usually avoid areas they perceive as occupied by larger, more dominant predators. Therefore, it’s not surprising that many of the smells that mice hate are associated with natural predators—like cats, foxes and rats. Let’s take a closer look at some of these smells:

  • Cat Urine – The smell of cat urine is an extremely effective mouse repellent. Mice have a heightened sense of smell, making them acutely aware of the presence of the cats in their environment.
  • Fox Urine – Just like cat urine, fox urine is also believed to be an effective mouse repellent. Fox urine contains compounds that mice find particularly offensive, such as indole and skatole.
  • Rat Urine – Rats are known to emit pheromones when threatened or scared which can put off other rodents like mice.
  • Ammonia – Ammonia is a powerful cleaning agent composed of nitrogen and hydrogen which has long been used to deter mice in residential settings (also works on spiders). When the pungent vapors interact with water in their fur or eyes they will quickly experience severe discomfort causing them to flee.
  • Peppermint Oil – The aroma of peppermint oil elicits a defensive reaction in most rodents and so mice will typically avoid crossing paths with anything that carries this odor—including peppermint oil traps.
  • Garlic Oil & Onion Juice/Oil – Just like peppermint oil, garlic oil and onion juice/oil possess aromatic qualities which will keep pesky critters from infiltrating your space as well as your food supply!
  • Crushed Pepper & Cayenne Pepper – Although not technically scents, both crushed peppers and cayenne peppers make great rodent repellents when sprinkled near possible entry points in your residence or around food storage containers because its spiciness makes for an unpleasant experience for anyone attempting to make it past!



It is essential to block potential entry points and keep areas clean and well maintained to reduce the likelihood of a mouse infestation. However, if all else fails, using smells that mice hate to repel them is also an option.

There are many everyday scents such as peppermint, mustard oil and powdered alum that mice find unpleasant. Additionally, some store-bought products even contain combinations of multiple odors that keep rodents away. All of these smells are simple, cheap and effective ways to aid in keeping your home mouse-free.


Frequently Asked Questions

What are smells that mice hate?

Mice are very sensitive to smells and hate the following scents: peppermint, spearmint, ammonia, garlic, onion, alcohol, vinegar, and chili pepper.

What type of scent repels mice?

Strong, minty smells like peppermint, spearmint, and ammonia are all scents that mice hate and will repel them.

Will vinegar repel mice?

Yes, vinegar is one of the smells that mice hate and will repel them.