Peppermint oil is a very effective deterrent for mice, rats, squirrels and other rodents that may be troubling your home. The application is simple, and has the added bonus of leaving your home smelling nice, as well. The most effective peppermint oil strength to use is 100 per cent, which is sometimes sold as “essential oil” and can often be found in health food stores. Dilutions may have some effect, depending on how much the solution is diluted, but they are not as effective as full strength peppermint oil.
Observe where the mice seem to be most active. The most popular areas tend to be behind cabinets, in pantries and in the kitchen generally. Mice like places where there is warmth, potential bedding material and abundant food.
Soak cotton balls with full strength peppermint oil. The number of cotton balls you will use depends entirely on how many areas you intend to cover with peppermint oil. Plan on 2 balls for either side of a small area, and extra balls commensurate with severity for larger areas.
Place the cotton balls in the affected areas. If you spot mouse holes in your walls, stick a few inside. Mice have poor vision, but extremely keen senses of smell. Peppermint oil is such a strong scent that it overwhelms them, making them not want to go near it.
Repeat in all affected areas in your house. Peppermint oil is not toxic to humans or pets, and is perfectly safe for areas with small children (barring any allergies).
Repeat the process once a month, or whenever you notice that your house no longer smells minty fresh. Peppermint oil is effective, but the scent only lingers for about a month.
Mice, like many creatures, will go where there is food and a warm place to live. By making it very distasteful to them to live in your house, they will most likely leave immediately. After two months, try not replacing the peppermint oil soaked cotton balls. The mice will most likely have moved on long ago, and your house should once again be all yours. Peppermint oil can leave a greasy stain on your clothes if you are not careful. Wear old clothes or a smock when working with it.