Are Mice Repellent Helpful in Rodent Infestations?

Common house mouse looks out from a mink in the wall
Common house mouse looks out from a mink in the wall

Getting mice in your home is not what you’d call an enjoyable experience. They can leave your home in tatters, gnawing through your walls, screens, and containers. And for this, most people look to mice repellent.

But what are the best mice repellent to use? Are there safe, natural repellents, or are they all toxic? Read on to find out.

But for a more immediate plan of action, you can visit Environmental Pest Management for all your pest control needs.

What Are Mice Repellents?

A mice repellent is any substance with the ability to deter rats from entering and nesting in your home. It can be the perfect solution for any homeowner wishing to deal with mice humanely without resorting to traps and poison. 

There are natural mice repellents and artificial ones as well. Some are more effective than others, and some can be somewhat useless. The trick lies in knowing which repellent to choose and where to apply it.

What Is a Natural Repellent for Mice?

Natural mice repellents have an inherent ability to keep mice away due to their potent smell. They’re generally non-toxic, which makes them great for homes with pets or small children. 

Here are a few examples of natural mice repellents:


Cat hunting to mouse at home, Burmese cat face before attack close-up

Owning a cat is one of the best natural mice repellent. Just by smelling a cat’s scent, most mice tend to retreat to avoid danger.

Peppermint Oil

Multiple studies have shown that essential oils with strong odors, particularly peppermint oil, are terrific mice repellents. 

Rodents abhor strong minty scents, resulting in fewer visits to your house. You can place a few drops of peppermint oil in sites you’ve seen rodents frequenting. And you can also use a diffuser for an easier and more-thorough application. Just ensure undiluted peppermint oil doesn’t come in contact with your skin, as it may be irritating.

Note: Other essential oils that work as mice repellents include wintergreen oil, eucalyptus oil, bergamot oil, and geranium oil. 


Similar to essential oils, chili has a repulsive effect on rodents thanks to its sharp characteristics. It was proven to decrease their approach when tested on rodents, making them a good repellant. 

But be careful when using chili, cayenne pepper, and other spicy items when pets and children are present. While they aren’t toxic, they can irritate the respiratory system. 


Vinegar can also be used to repel rodents thanks to its pungent scent. It can also clean after rodents, removing any sign of their scent. 

White vinegar and apple cider vinegar are both okay to use. All you need to do is soak some cotton with vinegar, place them near possible entry points and nests, and then replace them when dried out. 

Artificial Mice Repellents

Artificial mice repellents are man-made chemicals or devices designed to keep mice away. Here is a couple to look into.

Ultrasonic Repellents 

Ultrasonic repellents work by producing ultrasounds bothersome to rodents. Rodents are repelled enough to leave your house by constant exposure to the noise. 

Some ultrasonic repellents regularly change the produced sound to disturb the mice continuously. Some even use LED lights to scare them as they’re scuttling in the dark. 

While many individuals have found ultrasonic repellents to be effective, keep in mind that that’s not the case for everyone. A few users find them to be useless, and others say they take a week or more to show an effect. 

Still, most people love them since they’re so low maintenance and easy on the nose.


Moth balls as mice repellant over the sackcloth

Mothballs contain naphthalene, a chemical typically used to chase away moths and other insects. 

When naphthalene is eaten or inhaled, it prevents red blood cells from carrying oxygen to the tissues, ultimately resulting in the death of the creature.

As such, many people use mothballs as mice repellents. However, while the amount of naphthalene in mothballs is good enough for insects, it’s not nearly enough for mice. 

But you can slightly increase their effectiveness as mice repellents by soaking multiple mothballs in water and using the resultant mixture as a spray.

Can Mice Repellents Get Rid of Rodent Infestations?

Mice repellents are better options for dealing with house mice.

They can decrease the number of rats, but this only lasts for a short while. But after some time, the rodents can get used to the disturbing smells and sounds and start coming back. 

Mice repellents are generally not the best idea for an ongoing rodent infestation. They can be a means of prevention, but they won’t permanently resolve the issue. 

How to Keep Mice Away

To effectively get rid of mice, sanitation should be your primary goal. By preventing mice from obtaining food and shelter, they’ll eventually move on in search of a new home. However, if your house remains a good nesting ground for them, they may always stay. 

Apart from thoroughly cleaning your home, you also need to seal away any points of entry. That includes checking your floor drains, pipes, doors, windows, screens, and walls.


Rodent control can be difficult if you don’t know what you’re doing.

While many people will advise you to use rodent repellents simply, you’ll find that they only serve as a temporary solution. 

If you’ve tried your best, but the mice keep coming back, it’s time to give us a call. We at Environmental Pest Management can deal with the pests swiftly, leaving your home mouse and rat-free in no time.

5 Signs You Have a Rodent Infestation

A rat peaking out from behind a rock.
A rat peaking out from behind a rock.

No matter where you live, there are expectations you have for your quality of life. We are confident that one of them is not having a rodent infestation. 

Rodents are sneaky characters whose numbers often aren’t known until they are eradicated from their nest or seen. They like to creep around undetected and are biologically designed to do so. 

Most homeowners may have an infestation and not realize it until they see just one rat. Usually, seeing this one critter signifies that there are many more who have not yet been spotted. 

You may be asking yourself, how do I know I may have an infestation if rodents are so stealthy? Consider these common signs of a rodent problem in your home.

Since 1986 we have proudly served the Greater Minneapolis and Twin Cities areas. Contact us today to see how we can help you take back your home from unwanted pests. 

1. Rodent Droppings

Rodent droppings isolated on a white background.

One of the first signs of a rodent infestation is droppings. Both mice and rats leave droppings that are deep brown and pointed at both ends. 

Familiar places droppings are spotted are under sinks and around food sources.

If you do spot droppings in your home, we advise being extremely careful. Rat droppings can trigger respiratory diseases in humans. 

The most common of these is Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (HPS). Humans can contract this disease by breathing in particles from rodent urine and droppings.

The Mayo Clinic notes early signs are similar to influenza. They can include muscle ache, fever, and abdominal pain. 

If you do see droppings, wear gloves and a mask while you clean. This will help to prevent you from catching HPS or other diseases from the droppings. 

2. Odor

A rat outside of someone's home.

Another sign of a rodent infestation is odor. Those who have experienced an infestation have described smelling a rotten or musty odor. 

This smell will worsen as the rodent infestation does and can be due to decaying rodents and their droppings. 

The odor can often intensify in areas that rodents frequent and dissipate once the infestation has been cleared. 

Remember, this odor can indicate droppings and dead rodents, which spread their diseases to humans. For that reason, we strongly suggest calling us to clean them and their odor from your home professionally.  

3. Chew Marks

Gnaw marks and a hole where rodents have entered a building. Chewing is a sign of a rodent infestation.

A true telltale sign of an active infestation is gnaw marks. These tiny marks can be seen on food packaging, electrical wires, and points of entry. 

Constant chewing is how both mice and rats keep their front incisors shaped and a good size. They are prone to chewing on baseboards and flooring as well. 

Their constant chewing can turn lethal to humans if they begin to chew on wiring in a home. When the insulation is stripped from electrical wires, an electrical short can cause a fire. 

4. Noise

A woman listening through her wall using a glass for a rodent infestation.

One of the first signs of a rodent infestation can be the sound of scampering or movement in walls or vents. The sound may also resemble scratching or chewing. 

This can happen in homes or businesses and is an indication that you have a more severe infestation. 

Both mice and rats are nocturnal, meaning that they forage for food and move mostly after sunset. This means that you are more likely to hear rodent sounds in the evening. 

Rodents sometimes travel in heating vents because they can fit, and they are drawn to the heat. 

Recently we posted a blog on the damage both mice and rats can do to an HVAC system.  

Potential problems include the spread of disease through vents or fire from chewing through wiring in walls. It is imperative to rid your home of pests that may be in your home in either situation. 


A German Shepard and Tabby cat sitting on a couch together

Housepets are quick to notice if there is something different or scurrying in a home. Odd behavior from your pets can indicate the presence of rodents. 

Dogs and cats are especially sensitive to changes in their environments.

This behavior may translate as scratching at a wall they hear movement in. Also, take note of when your pet’s behavior changes in a particular area of your home where the rodents are. 

Both cats and dogs have a much stronger sense of smell than humans. This means that they can smell an infestation earlier than we as humans could. 

Cats can not only pick up the scent of pests; they sense their movements through their whiskers. They not only have whiskers on their face but their legs as well. 

Your cat’s whiskers allow them to get a literal feel for their environment and disturbances in it. 

Dogs use their excellent sense of smell to sniff out rodents, which they see as a threat to their environment. 

If You Have A Rodent Infestation, We’re Here for You

A rat in a pest control trap.

Since 1986 our business has been helping families to take back their homes from pests. We take the time to get to know you and choose a method to keep pests away.

Affiliating with the National Pest Management Association and Minnesota Pest Management Association provides us access to our industry’s best minds. 

We can learn from them as well as witnessing the newest methods of responsible pest extermination. 

Methods gleaned from these organizations and our own experience help us treat your home while keeping the environment in mind.  

We treat your home by finding the source of your rodent infestation so that we can keep them away. 

Whether you need services for a house, business, or apartment building, we’re here for you! Visit our site today to learn more about pest management and receive a free quote.