Do Mouse “Repellents” Work?

Do Mouse Repellents Work?

There is a large product selection and a wide range of advice out there that will claim to help you get rid of mice. However, it’s best to keep a skeptical view of these things, because, while they may not be harmful, they may not be that effective either. The suite of repellent products and solutions currently available are presented as an alternative to poisons and traps, and their main selling point is that they are safer and more humane. In this article, we’re going to go over some of these mouse repellents and their effectiveness.

The effectiveness of mouse repellents

When we say mouse repellents, we think of a variety of items and products, from moth balls, to peppermint, cayenne pepper, tabasco pepper, ultrasound machines and even cats! Although some of these deterrents may even be somewhat effective, it’s important to keep mice infestations in perspective. A female mouse can give birth to more than 60 mice every year, and the mice take a handful of weeks to reach sexual maturity. With that knowledge, how much time are you willing to spend on solutions that are “somewhat” effective? Let’s take a look at some of the most commonly recommended mouse repellents.


Naphthalene is a solid white substance with a strong smell that is found in mothballs, and when it is ingested in large quantities, it can lead to a condition where blood cells can longer carry oxygen. Naturally, you can draw the conclusion that naphthalene is a good mouse repellent, and some homeowners will place mothballs near a mouse nest in order to force the pests to leave the building.

Mothballs have a very small amount of naphthalene in them however, which is enough to deter insects, but not enough to deter mice. In fact, you would need the same amount of naphthalene to kill a mouse, as you would need to kill a human.

Even if mothballs are unpleasant to mice and you place them near their nest entrance, they will either walk over the mothballs or create a new entrance.

Peppermint oil

Peppermint oil is another popular home repellent, but does it actually work? It is a pleasantly smelling substance, and it’s nice to have around your home, but, unfortunately, it does not do a lot against mice.

This substance is considered to be a repellent, because in high concentrations, peppermint can be very strong, and it can drive rodents away. However, rodents are used to living in sewers and garbage, so a little peppermint will not phase them. Peppermint will also evaporate and float upwards, which has a lesser effect on rodents, because they are close to the ground.

Ultrasonic repellents

You may come across ultrasonic repellent devices on the market, and they may sound like a good idea. After all, ultrasounds work on dogs right? For rodents however, this is not the case, at least no in the way that we’d wish. Ultrasounds may keep them away for a while, but in the long run, the rodents will adapt, especially if they really like your home. Not only that, but ultrasounds strong enough to actually be very effective against rodents would also be effective against you and your pets.

For small infestations, it’s best to stick to trapping and baiting in order to deal with mice. If you have a persistent infestation and you can’t get rid of it no matter how hard you try, contact us for a free inspection.

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