Mice are a constant threat to our homes. While they may look all cute and furry, they can be destructive. If you have house mice and want to get rid of them without using chemical traps or an exterminator, what are your options?
Your main options are what are referred to as ‘natural’ mouse repellents. This can be anything that doesn’t use poisons, chemicals or pest control.
Natural mouse repellents can include herbs, physical deterrents or something more advanced.
But do they work? Are natural mouse repellents as good as poisons or a mouse exterminator?
How to get rid of mice naturally
Pest control or poisons are just two of many ways to get rid of mice. You do have other options, such as:
Stop them getting in
One key way to minimize mice is to remove their method of entry. They can use the tiniest gaps to get into your property, so do everything you can to fill them.
Closely inspect your property from the inside and from the yard. Identify and fill any gaps with caulk, hoarding or whatever is on the exterior of your home.
How effective is it? Very effective at preventing further mouse infestations, not so good for treating those already inside.
Peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, pepper and cloves
The use of household herbs and spices has been recommended since time immemorial. But do they work?
Soaking a Q-tip or cotton ball in peppermint oil or leaving cayenne, pepper or crushed cloves around where mice run is commonly recommended online and within families.
How effective is it? It can be effective depending on how many mice you have. There is no hard evidence these things work but anecdotally, people have long said mice hate these smells, so might work.
Ultrasonic mouse deterrents
We’re not unbiased here, but we know for a fact ultrasonic mouse deterrents work. We have tested them ourselves and collected reviews and opinions from customers.
Place a mouse deterrent in each room you know they visit and you’ll soon stop seeing signs.
Over a couple of weeks, even the most stubborn mouse will quietly give up and move to your neighbor’s house or go away altogether.
How effective is it? Very if our own research is anything to go by. Leave a deterrent running at night, use one in each room you know mice visit and you’ll soon notice they aren’t around anymore.
Using mothballs to get rid of mice is another of those tips handed down through the generations. Mothballs contain naphthalene, which most insects and small mammals hate.
There is very little naphthalene in a mothball. That’s enough for something the size of a moth, but you’ll need a lot of them to get rid of something larger!
How effective is it? You’ll need to use many mothballs to have the same deterrent effect on mice as they do on moths.
Ammonia is the acid created when urine decomposes. It has a particular odor that can permeate a space and is widely used as a deterrent in various forms.
For example, you can buy lion urine to use as a cat deterrent. You can also use dog urine as a cat deterrent.
Fortunately, you can buy it in bottled form, so you don’t have to collect it yourself. Put a little ammonia solution into a plastic bottle cap and leave where you think mice enter your property.
How effective is it? It can be effective but there are no guarantees. Plus, ammonia can be harmful to pets and children and gives off an unpleasant odor that humans can detect.
Some people swear by using hot sauce like Tabasco. They contain peppers and chilis, which most animals don’t like. A few drops around where mice are thought to enter or leave the property could be enough for effective mice control.
How effective is it? It can be effective but requires regular topping up as the sauce dries.
We think natural mouse repellents can work but all have downsides. Herbs, spices and hot sauce may be effective but require regular top ups.
Filling methods of entry can prevent further mouse infestations but doesn’t tackle any current rodent residents.
Ammonia brings its own challenges, not least the smell and you’ll need dozens of mothballs to even scratch the surface of effective mouse control.
That leaves ultrasonic mouse deterrents. In our opinions, the safest, most effective and humane form of mice control there is right now.