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7 Smells That Mice Hate

Rat smelling yellow cheese

7 Smells That Mice Hate

Posted September 26, 2022

Over 21 million homes are occupied by rodents in the United States every winter. That’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed; unfortunately for homeowners, these pests can damage property and pose serious health risks. If you’re unlucky to have a run-in with these pesky intruders, you may be looking for ways to prevent them from returning. One popular method to keep mice away is by repelling them with certain smells that they hate.

As it turns out, there are several smells that these pests cannot stand, which means you can use them to your advantage. But what exactly do mice and rats hate to smell? Mice can be kept away by using the smells of peppermint oil, cinnamon, vinegar, citronella, ammonia, bleach, and mothballs.

From essential oils to common household items, many odors will send mice and rats running in the other direction. So, if you’re looking to learn what scent will keep mice away, here are some of the smells that mice dislike most:

Natural Mouse Repellent

If you want to know how to keep mice away, there are many natural mouse repellents that you can use to keep these pests at bay. Here are some natural smells mice hate: 

Peppermint Oil

Peppermint oil is an effective method for keeping mice and rats away. These rodents cannot stand this oil’s robust and minty smell, so a few drops around your home can go a long way in keeping them away.

You can also use a diffuser to spread the peppermint oil around your home or apply it directly to areas where you’ve seen mice or rats. Just be sure to dilute the oil first, as undiluted peppermint oil can irritate your skin.


Cinnamon is another scent that mice and rats hate. Rodents are susceptible to smells, and cinnamon’s potent scent can be overwhelming.

You can sprinkle cinnamon around your home, or you can use it to make a rat-repellent spray. Add a few drops of cinnamon oil to water and spray it around your home.


The pungent smell of vinegar is also a natural way to repel mice and rats. These pests cannot stand the sharp scent of vinegar, which means it can be used as an effective rodent repellent.

You can use white vinegar or apple cider vinegar for this purpose. Soak some cotton balls in vinegar and place them around areas where you think rodents might be entering your home. You can also use vinegar to clean areas where rodents have been, as this will help remove their scent.


Citronella is a well-known mosquito repellent, but it can also be used to keep mice and rats away. These animals hate the lemon-like smell of citronella, so using it around your home can help to deter them.

You can buy citronella candles or oils or plant citronella plants around your home. These plants will not only help keep rodents away but also make your outdoor space more pleasant.

Common Household Items That Deter Mice and Rats

In addition to natural smells, there are several chemical smells that mice and rats hate. These chemicals can be found in standard household products, so you likely already have them in your home. Here are some household items that make excellent rodent repellents:


The strong smell of ammonia is another scent that mice and rats hate. They cannot stand ammonia’s sharp, pungent odor, so using it around your home can help prevent them from entering your home and stop them from nesting in your walls.

You can use ammonia to clean areas where rodents have been, or you can soak some cotton balls in them and place them around your home.

Just be careful when using ammonia, as it can harm your skin and lungs if inhaled. And make sure to wear gloves and a mask when using this cleaning product.


Bleach is another standard household product that can be used as a rodent repellent. The pungent smell of bleach is unpleasant to these animals, so using it around your home can help keep them away.

You can mix it with water and spray it around your home, then monitor the area to see if the rodents are repelled after a few days.

Be sure to use bleach safely, as it can be toxic if inhaled or ingested. Wear gloves and a mask when using this cleaning product, so you don’t breathe in the fumes.


Mothballs emit a strong, pungent smell that these animals cannot stand. You can place them around areas where you’ve seen mice or rats, or you can put them in any enclosed spaces where these rodents might be hiding.

You can also make a rat-repellent spray using mothballs. Just place a few mothballs in a water bowl and let them dissolve. Then, pour the solution to a spray bottle and use it to mist areas where you think rodents might be entering your home.

Do not use too much of this spray, as the strong smell of mothballs can harm your health if inhaled. Be sure to open windows and doors using this spray to ventilate your home.

These are just a few smells that will eliminate mice and rats. By placing them around your home, you can help to keep rats away, get rid of mice and rats, and make your home a less inviting place for them to live.

However, if you continue to have rodent issues, you will need to contact Fox Pest Control to help you avoid these pests. Our team of experts will work hard to find the source of your problem and eliminate it quickly and efficiently. Call us today at (855) FOX-PEST to learn more about our services and how we can help you remove rodents from your home.

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