Updated On

April 18, 2024

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    In our top 5 best mouse repellent reviews we’re going look at individual repellents, but first, we’re going to give you some in-depth information on the subjects of mice and repellents in general.

    Then we’ll move on to the specific products we found.

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    Why Repel Mice In The First Place?

    One of the most basic and important reasons to maintain control of rodents is because of the plethora of health hazards they cause.

    Mice and rats have been known to carry plague, rat bite fever, typhus, trichinosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Hantavirus, and more. The list is nearly inexhaustible, so getting mice under control is very important. The more you know about them, the better you can target them.

    Did You Know

    Rodents are known to carry over 200 different diseases, most of which can be transmitted to people.  Their urine, hair, and feces – which they drop at random – can come into contact with us or our food, leading to serious illnesses.

    Mouse Biology

    Rodents are one of the most successful groups of animals in the world.  They can live in a wide variety of climates and environmental conditions.  Their large front teeth, which grow continuously throughout their life, are designed for gnawing and in fact, need to be used for that purpose in order to keep the tips worn down.

    This continual gnawing is one the reasons they’re so difficult to keep out; their biology forces them to keep gnawing on everything they encounter.

    They have an extremely keen sense of smell, and like a bloodhound, can track down enticing odors.  They also release pheromones which attract others of their kind.

    This is why once you have one mouse, more suddenly start popping up; they’re following the trail the first one left behind.  The oils are their fur also help create a trail as they rub against walls, the edges of holes, etc. These “rub marks” will look like dark, greasy smudges.

    Mice produce large litters, between 5 to 7 pups per litter, but under ideal conditions, they can give birth to twice that many.  

    Worse yet, they can become pregnant with a second litter while the first is still nursing. The females often become sexually mature by the time they’re 30 days old, so the population can explode out of control very rapidly.

    Mice are omnivores, organisms that eat both plants and animals.  They can, and will, eat anything people eat, so your trash cans are areas they’ll be drawn to.

    Canva

    Because they’re so small, they only need 1/10-ounce of food per day (about 1/2-teaspoon).  They only require 1/5-ounce of water per day and much of that can come from their food.  Even tiny amounts of food left out where they can access it will be able to nourish and sustain them.

    Mice are also excellent jumpers.  They can jump twelve inches straight up.

    They can jump onto a vertical surface such as a wall or door and springboard off it to a higher level.  They can jump down eight feet or more without being injured and can climb on any surface that is slightly rough because it allows them to get a good grip on it.

    Their sense of balance is excellent, which is why you will often see them running along wires from one telephone pole to another, or along thin tree branches.

    Mice are also smaller than they look. They can squeeze their head through openings as small as 1/4″ in diameter (the size of a pencil). The rest of the “bones” in their body are actually flexible cartilage, they can get their whole body through it as well.  This makes it extremely difficult to keep them out.

    Habitat and Behavior

    Mice are most comfortable in temperature ranges from 70-90ºF, the same range we normally enjoy, which makes your house perfect for them.  They’re a bit sluggish during cold weather in the winter and won’t breed, but they don’t hibernate.

    Since it’s always summer in your house, they’ll act like it, reproducing and eating everything they can find.  Mice are mainly nocturnal and are very curious about any new items in their environment.  They will explore as the area around their nest for up to 200 feet in every direction.

    Mice will gnaw on almost anything, but they’re especially drawn to the coating on electrical wires in your home and car.  In vehicles, the warmth of the engine compartment draws them in, then they’ll proceed to gnaw on the wiring.

    Today’s Homeowner Tips

    If your car suddenly refuses to start, check under the hood; you might find a dead mouse that electrocuted itself by gnawing on the battery cables.  This happens more often than you might think.

    Click here to learn more about other mouse removal guides.


    Are Essential Oils Effective As Mouse Repellents?

    Many people swear by the efficacy of essential oils for keeping rodents such as mice out of your home.  What are essential oils though?  Where can you find them?

    Essential oils are considered to be a natural product that can be extracted from a single plant species.  Not all plants produce essential oils, though.

    The oils can be found in the roots, leaves, stems, fruits, or flowers of the plants that do produce them.

    Aromatherapy, in many cases, means the same thing as essential oils.  The terms are generally interchangeable.

    Can Essential Oils Be Used in Repelling Mice?

    The answer to this question is a definite maybe.

    Scientifically speaking, there isn’t any research anywhere that we could find on the subject – and we looked!

    Any sites that claim to have evidence or data from clinical trials are typically run by companies selling essential oils, creating an obvious conflict of interest.

    The only other source of information is anecdotal, that is, personal testimony given by people who have used essential oils to get rid of mice.  Some of the repellents we reviewed fall into that category.

    In fact, one of them had several thousand positive comments from satisfied customers who say it worked in their house.  An attorney would claim in court that this creates a “preponderance of evidence” in favor of the proposition that essential oils work.

    Our common sense on essential oils

    We can also use a bit of good old-fashioned common sense to answer this question.  As previously noted, mice have an incredibly acute sense of smell.

    Using peppermint oil to get rid of mice makes sense because it is such a strong smell that it overwhelms their sensitive noses, and they shy away from it.  Cayenne pepper does the same thing.  Cinnamon has a sting to it that tends to prevent mice from chewing on it because of the burning sensation it creates in their mouth.

    These common-sense observations support the idea that essential oils are mouse repellents that really work.  However, it is important to note that “repellent” doesn’t mean “unbreakable barrier.”

    With repellents, you’re looking at percentages rather than yes or no barriers.  So, when people claim that black pepper and mice don’t mix, their claim may only be accurate for 60% of the mice.

    The other 40% may be quite happy, or at least, unconcerned with the presence of the pepper.

    As long as you keep these observations in mind you won’t be setting yourself up for disappointment by harboring unrealistic expectations.


    Do Ultrasonic Mouse Repellents Work?

    These are usually devices that emit high-pitched ultrasonic noises that hurt mice ears, thereby driving them away – repelling them.  There is some evidence to suggest these devices work, but again most of it is anecdotal.

    There’s nothing wrong with anecdotal evidence, mind you, it just doesn’t have any hard and fast numbers you can assign to something.

    In our estimation, the best ultrasonic mouse repellent is one that keeps away more mice than it lets in.  By that standard, anything above 50% would be considered a success.

    We’re going to review some of these devices, and ultimately recommend a layered approach to repelling the little critters (more on that in a minute).

    Read Also: What’re The Best Ultrasonic Repellents?


    What Environmental Considerations Help Repel Mice?

    What do we mean by environmental conditions?  We’re referring to the conditions in your home that might be conducive to mice, or to attract mice.

    Based on what we know about mice (see above) we can immediately see a number of actions that will help immensely in discouraging mice naturally.

    Keeping your home clean means more than not leaving food crumbs laying around.  It means using bleach and other cleansers to eliminate odors that will attract mice.  Remember how sensitive their noses are.  But they can’t smell something that isn’t there.  If you keep your kitchen spotless and wipe the dining room table off with soap and water, there will be less to draw them in.

    Make sure all the food containers in the cupboards are airtight to prevent attractive odors from seeping out.  For example; don’t simply put a clip on a bag of potato chips, roll it up tight, then put the clip on there.  Even better, put the chips inside a gallon plastic bag and seal it.  Go through all your kitchen cabinets and cupboards to make sure there’s nothing left open that could lure them in.

    Put on your Sherlock Holmes deerstalker hat and go hunting for any holes the mice are using to get into your house and plug them up with steel wool.  Mice like to gnaw on things but the steel wool will cut their gums when they gnaw on it.  They don’t like pain any more than we do so they’ll stop very quickly when they run into it.

    Keep the outdoor trash cans as far from the house as possible.  Use plastic bags for all your trash, and be sure you tie it tight when you take it out.  Also, a favorite trick of ours is to put a brick or two on top of the trash can lid to hold it shut so they can’t squirm through.

    Cats are natural predators.  Even if you feed them too much they still won’t be able to resist going after mice and playing with them before finally killing them.

    By the way, cats are usually proud of their kills and will often bring them to you for display. Encourage your cat, pet them and act happy. Positive reinforcement will encourage them to kill more mice.


    What is Layering and Why It’s Important For Repelling Mice?

    Mouse repellents aren’t a hundred percent effective no matter what the manufacturers tell you.  This is the voice of 14½ years of in-the-field pest control experience telling you this.

    So, do you throw up your hands in defeat?  Of course not.

    In cold weather, several layers of thin clothes will keep you warmer than one layer of thick clothes, or one big coat.  The same thing is true in pest control, and especially with rodents.

    We like to use multiple layers of different repellents to gain control over the mouse population.  A combination of ultrasonic repellents and essentials oils will give you the most bang for the buck.

    Mix them up so the mice aren’t fighting just one irritant but several all at the same time.  The cumulative effect will be more than they can tolerate and they’ll leave for greener pastures.


    Top 5 Best Mouse Repellents

    Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about each mouse repellent.

    1. MaxMoxie Pest Repeller
    2. Peppermint Essential Oil
    3. Rodent Repellent 4 Scent Pouches
    4. Exterminator’s Choice Vehicle Defence Rodent Repellent
    5. Loraffe Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent

    MaxMoxie Pest Repeller

    This ultrasonic pest repellent from Max Moxie is a two-pack of plug-in units. They emit ultrasonic (22-65Khz) frequency sound waves that are too high for humans to hear but are definitely in the audible range of mice.

    The sound will become very irritating for them, causing them to spend less time in your house and more time somewhere else.  This is a very cost-effective solution.

    Put one of these in each room of your house, about 2-4 feet above the floor. Plug them in (vertically not horizontally) and turn them on.  Give them about 3-4 weeks to take full effect.  This is plug-n-play simplicity at its finest.

    No traps
    No sprays
    No poisons
    Great customer service
    Cost-effective solution
    Takes a long time to work
    Not always effective against every mouse type

    Rodent Repellent 4 Scent Pouches

    These scent pouches, from Fresh Cab Botanical, are EPA registered as meeting federal standards for professional pest control. They’re made with balsam fir oil, as an alternative to poisons, traps, and sprays. Four pouches come in the package when you order them.

    They are extremely fast acting. Simply remove plastic wrapping around each individual pouch when you want to use it Each one will cover 125 square feet. These are best used in enclosed areas such as drop ceilings, wall voids, and crawl spaces under houses.

    Well, houses and electrical junction boxes are other areas that are ideally suited for this type of repellent. Replace them every 30 days for maximum effectiveness.

    In areas where there is a large infestation, use one bag for every 8 square feet of floor space. This is a fairly limited coverage area per pouch, but due to the low cost, this turns out to be a very economical solution to mice and rats in enclosed areas.

    No traps
    No sprays
    No poisons
    Easy to use
    Small coverage area per pouch

    Exterminator’s Choice Vehicle Defence Rodent Repellent

    Mice, rats, and squirrels sometimes nest in the engine compartments of parked vehicles. As a result, they chew through engine wiring, creating hundreds or even thousands of dollars worth of damage.

    But not anymore. Now there’s Exterminator’s Choice Rodent Repellent. It protects your parked vehicle from nesting rats and squirrels, and it will save you money on expensive repairs.

    It’s safe to use in engine compartments, under wheel wells, and tailpipes. Exterminator’s Choice uses no chemical pesticides. Instead, it incorporates a natural blend of essential oils to deter all types of rodents.

    Safe to use in engine compartments
    Works for almost every kind of rodent
    No harmful pesticides, all-natural ingredients
    Saves money on expensive engine repairs
    May need to be re-applied frequently for best results

    Loraffe Ultrasonic Rodent Repellent

    If you prefer a hands-off approach to mouse control in your home or business, this ultrasonic rodent repeller machine from Loraffe is for you. It works by sending disturbing sound waves that only mice can hear. You can also opt to use its built-in strobe lights to help chase them away for good.

    For use in:

    • Kitchens
    • Living rooms
    • Basements
    • Garages
    • Warehouse

    It’s simple to operate. Just plug it in and let it do its job. There are no batteries to install and best of all, only the mice can hear it.

    Works well to repel mice and other rodents
    Easy operation, just turn it on
    Inaudible to humans
    Features strobe lights for added protection
    There are rare instances of pets being bothered by the ultrasonic waves
    No warranty

    Peppermint Essential Oil

    This 16-ounce bottle of peppermint oil comes from Mighty Mint. It comes in an easy to use spray bottle. The guidebook is an e-book and has to be sent to you via e-mail attachment when your oil ships.

    Peppermint oil is a natural repellent for rodents of all kinds. It has a very sharp, penetrating scent that overwhelms and overpowers the sensitive sense of smell in mice and rats. Their senses are so acute that distilled peppermint oil actually becomes painful to them.

    Peppermint oil also works as an anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial, all-purpose cleaning agent. This helps keep your house clean, eliminates odors that attract mice, and substitutes an odor they don’t like. For us though, it simply gives the house a clean, fresh scent.May not work on all mouse species

    Anti-viral
    16oz easy spray bottle
    Anti-bacterial
    Smells fresh and clean
    May not work on all mouse species

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    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Ed Spicer

    Ed Spicer

    Ed has been working in the pest control industry for years helping 1,000's of homeowners navigate the world of insect and rodent management.

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