How To Use Peppermint Oil With Traps For Mice
Updated: Jan 11
Mouse infestation is a common pest problem that any homeowner is likely to experience. Fortunately, severe infestations can be easily avoided with rodent repellents that can help keep them a good distance from your property. Scent-based repellents such as peppermint essential oil are one of the most effective rodent control methods that utilize strong smells to repel mice.
So how do peppermint oils help trap mice and rats? Pure peppermint oil contains a strong menthol scent that’s said to irritate a rodent’s sense of smell. You can use it to create a peppermint oil spray and spritz it on the areas where you suspect they roam in the house. You can also wet a few cotton balls with peppermint oil and leave them inside cabinets or near common crawl spaces. The smell of peppermint should drive them away and lead them to the locations where the mousetrap is waiting.
How Mouse Trapping With Peppermint Oil Works
Mouse trapping is a foolproof method to capture mice and rats that are wandering inside your home. But with their sensitive sense of smell, they can sometimes detect human traces in their pathway and figure out a way to avoid these sticky traps. Plant based essential oils such as peppermint oil can be a great rodent control complement to drive mice and rats to your traps.
Peppermint oil basically works as a natural mouse deterrent. They have a distinct and strong minty smell that can be quite irritating when picked up by a rodent’s nose. There are three ways that peppermint oil is said to help control the rodent population in your home:
1. It can distract the mice and lead them straight to your mouse traps
When you want to use peppermint oil, it’s best to strategically place or spray them somewhere far from the mouse traps. Mice typically travel along walls and corners in search of crumbs of food, and when they detect a powerful scent along their usual trail, they can avoid that route and possibly end up where the mouse traps are located.
2. It can mask the smell of the bait in the trap
When you use strong-smelling cheese in the trap, mice and rats can sometimes detect it from afar and avoid coming close to the bait. They can also be repelled by your own scent on the surface of the trap when you place them without using gloves. But if you apply peppermint oil in the areas surrounding the mousetrap, this can conceal other scents so that the rodents won’t pick up on any threats.
3. It can prevent future rodent infestations
After you’ve successfully captured all rodents, you can use peppermint oil as a preventative measure to keep them from settling again on your property. You can place peppermint oil near possible entry points inside and outside your home to effectively ward them off.
Why Do Rodents Hate Peppermint Oil?
Among the household pests, mice and rats have weak vision which is why they rely heavily on their senses of smell and hearing to survive. Although they can only see objects up to 2 feet away, their ears can catch ultrasonic sounds and they can use their noses to search for food items and navigate their way inside your homes.
This fact is one of the reasons why natural scent repellents are said to work on keeping mice away. When rodents get a whiff of the strong peppermint smell, the aroma is believed to agitate their nasal cavities which can make them run in the opposite direction. Peppermint oil also contains a potent menthol essence which can hide the scent of nearby snacks and kibble, making rats and mice look for other potential food sources.
Ways To Use Peppermint Oil To Keep Mice Away
The secret to effective mouse trapping with the help of peppermint oil is knowing how to properly use them. It’s best to use high concentrations of pure peppermint oil rather than peppermint extract since it is stronger and has greater mouse repellent properties. Here are some of the common ways you can prepare peppermint oil for DIY rodent control:
Peppermint oil spray
Peppermint oil and cotton balls
What are their benefits?
Using peppermint spray is a safer and more natural alternative to pesticides and rodenticides.
They’re also more convenient for everyday use since you can easily spray them in narrow crawl spaces or along walls and kitchen surfaces where rodents usually walk.
You can use this method to wipe peppermint oil on the counters and baseboards in the kitchen cabinets and pantry.
You can leave them inside cupboards or shelves to protect your food from littering mice and rats, or near small openings to prevent their entry.
How do you make them?
To make a peppermint oil spray, you’d need pure peppermint oil, water, and dish detergent.
Simply mix two teaspoons of the essential oil with 1 cup of water in a spray bottle. Add 3 to 5 drops of the detergent and shake the bottle to mix the solution.
If you are growing peppermint plants in your garden, you can also prepare fresh peppermint leaves for the repellent spray.
You can take a few cotton balls and dab them on pure peppermint oil to cover them with the strong scent.
You can either rub the cotton ball on the surfaces to transfer the scent of peppermint oil or leave them on the corners of areas where you usually see mouse droppings.
The cotton balls can also be placed outdoors to keep mice from entering, but make sure to put them in a dry area like the garage.
How often do you need to use them?
After mixing the ingredients in the bottle, you can spray the repellent in the common entry points or areas with high mouse activity. The pleasant scent from the spray will eventually fade after a few days so it’s recommended to re-apply them every week.
Unlike in the spray method, the minty scent of the oil can easily wear off within a few days from the cotton balls.
To ensure they remain effective, you should replace the cotton balls with freshly scented ones at least every 1 to 2 times each week.
Other Natural, Non-Toxic Methods For Repelling Rodents
When you have pets or children at home, it’s best to resort to toxic-free rodent control methods to ensure their safety. Here are other natural ways that can improve the effectiveness of the traditional mouse traps and help get rid of mice:
Eucalyptus oil - Pure eucalyptus oil is another effective mouse deterrent that has a powerful scent that can drive away most pests like rodents, mosquitoes, ticks, and bed bugs. It is commonly used as a natural repellent spray to protect surfaces from rodents.
Cinnamon oil - Cinnamon also has an overpowering fragrance that most rodents dislike. You can either use pure cinnamon oil to make a repellent spray or place cotton balls infused with cinnamon essence or create cinnamon sachets to store in closets and cupboards.
Cayenne pepper - The spicy powder of cayenne peppers is also an effective repellent that can irritate the senses of any rodent. You can create your own spray or simply sprinkle several spoons of cayenne pepper along the rodent’s trails.
Diatomaceous earth - Diatomaceous earth is an organic rodenticide that you can use to lure rodents to bait stations. You can also mix them with different essential oils to create a strong smell that will repel mice.
Steel wool - The best way to avoid seeing rats and mice inside your home is to seal small holes and crevices where they can sneak in. You can simply plug these entry points with steel wool to prevent them from gnawing their way inside.
When To Get Professional Rodent Control Help
Sometimes, your rodent infestation may already be so serious that natural repellents may not be enough to solve your issue. If you notice property damage, marks and chewing on walls, pungent smell, and scattered nesting materials in your home, it may be time to call for a pest control company to assist in rodent control and rodent removal.
Professional rodent control experts can thoroughly inspect how far the rodent damage has gone. They have the necessary equipment to conduct a home inspection and look for the locations where the mice and rats are hiding in your home. After the assessment, they can recommend mouse trapping or removal solutions to catch existing rodents, dispose of dead mice, and put up measures to prevent future infestation.
Expert Rodent Removal and Pest Control with Midway Pest Management
Using peppermint oil to help repel and trap pesky mice and rats can be a great defense against severe mice infestation. You can ensure that your home is rodent-free by having the pest control specialists at Midway Pest Management handle your rat problems.
Midway Pest Management provides professional rodent control services using the best tools and equipment. We employ a proactive approach and make sure that our experts conduct detailed home inspections before suggesting a specific pest control program to eradicate unwanted rats and mice. Contact us today to schedule a free visit or learn more about our pest control services for your home.