Essential oils are all the rage. With people touting benefits like improved health, better sleeping, and higher air quality, these all-natural drops have increased in sales; the market was estimated at 5.51 billion in 2014 and is projected to reach 11.67 billion by 2022. According to the report, created by Grand View Research, these oils are used as fragrances and flavors in foods, cosmetics, perfumes, relaxation, and cleaning products.
One of the top oils in all of these subcategories is peppermint oil. This popular option is a classic European oil, as it was not only one of the oldest there, but used by Chinese, Japanese, and Greek folk medicine and mentioned in historical and fictitious accounts.
A cross between watermint and spearmint, peppermint oil is highly popular for its antimicrobial, calming, and cooling properties. The essential oil is ideal for relieving sore muscles, improving bad breath, calming upset stomachs and other digestive issues, and as a relaxing oil in diffusers.
One of the top uses of peppermint oil, though, isn’t for your own skin or health care, but around the house as a peppermint spray for mice.
Peppermint Oil and Mice
There has long been a discussion over which is the most natural, humane, or environmentally friendly way to get rid of mice. Almost all of that discussion, however, has revolved around traps, poison, and glue boards.
● Traps: Standard traps are either sticky or snap. Snap traps are the ones that we are used to seeing, where the mouse goes to get the bait, trips a wire, and the trap slams down, breaking the mouse’s neck.
● Poison: These are often anticoagulants, which leave the mouse bleeding internally. Mice typically become very thirsty during this process, and look for water; animals who eat the mice are also exposed to these toxic chemicals.
● Glue Boards: Just as they sound, mice run onto the glue board, get stuck, and typically die of dehydration or starvation.
● Moth balls: These are usually effective in getting rid of mice, and are easy to use. However, moth balls are toxic and shouldn’t be used by anyone who has a pet or young children.
● Peppermint oil: The scent that we love is a top mouse deterrent.
Does peppermint oil repel mice?
Yes! We have found that using a strong, pure peppermint oil, in a high enough concentration, has been extremely effective in keeping mice away from certain locations in our house.
Preventing Mice from Coming In
Find a high-quality peppermint oil — you’ll want to start with a pure, organic essential oil. Grab a bag of cotton balls, and then add about 20-30 drops of peppermint essential oil to each cotton ball. Lay them around your home, focusing primarily on the problem spots, or the areas where you’ve been noticing more mice. You can usually find them because of the droppings or grease marks.
When you’re looking for the problem spots, don’t just focus on the inside of your house. Place the cotton balls covered in peppermint oil in the entrances you suspect mice are using. This will keep mice from entering your house to begin with.
Peppermint oil covers the scent mice leave to find their ways around your house. By placing some peppermint oil covered cotton balls in those problem areas, you’ll be able to block that scent and prevent further explorations.
Think about placing cotton balls with peppermint oil in the places you don’t want them to start exploring.
After about a week, check on the cotton balls. Refresh any cotton balls where the smell is fading. If you already have a mouse problem, you may need to swap the cotton balls out more frequently; otherwise, once a month is a minimum.
Removing Mice from Your House
Peppermint oil is a much more efficient deterrent than repellent, but using a peppermint spray for mice is also fairly effective. Mix a solution of water and peppermint oil, and spray the liquid on doorways, window frames, baseboards, and anywhere else.
The formula is simple: one part of pure peppermint oil and one part water. Start with one ounce of each — a little goes a long way.
You should be using pure, organic peppermint oil. not peppermint extract. Pour both into a spray bottle and mix well. While these oils aren’t as fatty as cooking oils, you may experience some separation. If this happens, just mix the liquids up. You can also add a drop of detergent, which will help keep everything mixed together.
Peppermint Oil + 1: Mixing other combinations
While peppermint oil is a powerful deterrent on its own, some people have found that creating a blend has increased its efficacy.