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Spices that repel mice

Updated February 21, 2017

Mice can cause damage inside a house and can spread disease. Some methods of extermination, such as poison and mouse traps, might jeopardise the safety of pets and small children. However, mice can be naturally repelled and discouraged from entering the home, by using spices that might already be in your cupboard.

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Cayenne Pepper

Mice do not like the smell of spicy seasonings, such as cayenne pepper or hot sauce. Ingesting it will upset their stomachs, so they tend to stay away from it. It is best to sprinkle it around any possible entryways the mice could be using to get into the house. Economy-size shakers of cayenne pepper are cheaper and safer than commercial mice repellents.


Mice are discouraged by the scent of peppermint and other types of mint. You can sprinkle dried leaves around the places where the mice were discovered, or better yet, grow the plants around the perimeter of the house. Many people prefer soaking cotton balls in peppermint oil and placing them around the home, as they produce a stronger scent and tend to be longer-lasting. Peppermint's aroma is pleasing to humans.


Cloves, although less commonly used than peppermint, also repel rats and mice. You can prepare sachets of the dried spice by placing them in pantyhose or strainer cloth and leaving them around the house. Their scent produces a relaxing mood in the house. They can be placed inside of furniture or wedged between seat cushions to prevent mice from taking up residence in the sofa.


Mice do not like the strong odour of garlic. Chopping garlic will release its odour, increasing its effectiveness for discouraging mice. The drawback is that most humans also do not appreciate a strong smell of garlic. Garlic might work best when placed outside the house or in attics and basements, where residents don't often go.

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About the Author

Clayton Yuetter

Clayton Yuetter has worked as a professional writer since 1999. His writing has appeared in many journals and websites such as The Milk House, The Country Folks, Progressive Dairyman and Three Times Daily. He received a Master of Arts in writing at the National University of Ireland, Galway.

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