6 Scents That Will Keep Mice Away From Your Home

Rodent Guide
Written By Rodent Guide

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

While mice are something you do not want in or around your home, keeping them away is much better than dealing with them once they get in (mouse control guide here)!

Some folks prefer to use certain scents to keep mice away from their home, which is a great idea, but what scent will keep mice away?

Let’s take a look at 6 of the most common.

What you will learn in this post:

  1. What scent will keep mice away
  2. Frequently asked question

What Scent Will Keep Mice Away

What Scent Will Keep Mice Away? – These 6 Will Help

There is no doubt that the best way to keep mice away is by sealing mice entry points!

If a mouse cannot get into your home, you will not have to deter them or keep them away! The mice cannot get in.

You can use these 6 scents to keep mice away from your home.

What Scent Will Keep Mice Away Infographic

1. Peppermint Oil

If used correctly, peppermint oil will repel mice. You need to know some things before using it to make it as effective as possible.

  1. You must top the peppermint oil up regularly
  2. Use it in confined spaces
  3. Use a lot of it!

Lots of folks have tried and failed to use peppermint oil. I have tested this, and mice avoid peppermint oil areas (especially peppermint oil balls). But if you use it in wide-open areas, it will not work because the scent will dissipate in large areas.

2. Black Pepper

Black pepper is another scent that will keep mice away but beware, a small gust of wind will blow the peppercorns away and render them useless!

You should apply black pepper into areas where you have noticed mouse activity, and ensure there is no breeze to blow them away.

Cracked black pepper works much better than peppercorns. When you crack the black peppercorn, it releases more scent and is, therefore, more effective.

Pepper is an excellent homemade mouse repellent and one that is easy to get hold of too.

3. Cayenne Pepper

Cayenne pepper is very similar to black pepper and needs to be applied to confined areas where there is no danger of being blown away.

Look at areas where you have noticed mice activity and decide whether or not you can safely and effectively apply cayenne pepper to that area.

It would be best to consider using it in tight corners or an area where mice have used to nest. If you have identified mouse travel zones, then these are perfect because they already allow only restrictive movement.

Cayenne pepper can be used as a powder, but I have had much more success using a cayenne pepper sliced into smaller chunks. If you add these into thin mouse travel zones, they will not like it!

4. Bleach

We know that bleach repels mice, which is why it is on this page.

It is worth using bleach in areas where you have noticed mouse activity. Not only does it keep mice away, it will also clean up any mess left by the mice (it’s perfect for cleaning mice’s urine!)

5. Kitty Litter

This is another one that we have covered extensively. You can use kitty litter to repel mice; it works!

If you do not have a cat, borrow some litter from a friend. Place the used litter where you have noticed mouse activity because it is a scent that repels mice!

6. Cats Scent

If you want to know what scent will keep mice away, then the scent of a cat will certainly do the job!

This is more challenging to implement, but it is not impossible.

We know that having a cat does keep mice away. But what if you do not have a cat and don’t want one? What can you do then?

Easy, borrow a male cat from a friend and send it up into your attic (if your friend is happy with that, obviously). Assuming the cat hasn’t been spayed, it will leave its scent in your attic.

If you want to know what scent will keep mice away, then I suggest using the scent of the enemy, a cat!

Frequently Asked Questions

frequently asked questions

What smells do mice hate?

Mice do not like the following scents: black pepper, used kitty litter, bleach, peppermint oil, and cayenne pepper. As a word of warning, these items need to be used correctly to be effective. If you are not using them correctly, they will not work. Also, the scent of a cat is excellent for keeping mice away! If you don’t have a cat, you can borrow a friend’s cat (assuming they are ok with that). Send the cat into your attic, and let the scent be transferred to all the places mice like! They will soon dislike those same places.

Will keeping lights on keep mice away?

While mice do not like to be seen, they are not afraid of the light. Keeping the lights on may help to prevent mice from appearing out of their hiding place, but it won’t keep the mice away. Sealing mouse entry points will keep the mice away better than anything else.

What is the best mouse repellent?

The best repellent is to stop them from getting into your home in the first place. You should take a regular trek around your home to identify any entry points that mice can use to get into your home. Any entry points that you see should be sealed immediately. If a mouse cannot get into your home, then you will not get mice in your home. It is as simple as that!


What scent will keep mice away? I would begin with one of the 6 scents identified on this page. Each one works if used correctly.

As I mentioned earlier in this post, stopping mice from entering your home is much better. That is by far the best way of keeping mice away. Once you have sealed off their entry points, you should perform monthly checks around your property for any new entrances that have appeared since the last check.

After all, mice carry some pretty bad diseases. For the health of those who live with you, mice should not be sharing the same living space as your family!

When applying these scents to your home, you should always ensure that you are protected. Let’s say you need to go into the attic, you should wear a respirator to stop you from inhaling dried mouse during and feces. These can make you very sick if the mouse is a carrier of hantavirus.

You should always be safe, and if you are not confident in tackling the mouse problem, you should seek professional help.

Good luck!


About the Rodent Guide

I’m an expert in do-it-yourself rodent control. For more than 20 years, I’ve dedicated my life to helping people live harmoniously alongside these critters by sharing rodent control solutions that are effective and kind.

I believe in treating all creatures with respect. My mission is to ensure everyone understands how to protect their home from rodents without using cruel methods.

7 thoughts on “6 Scents That Will Keep Mice Away From Your Home”

    • Hi Judith

      Using hair from a cat may work! I have never tested it, but mice will get the scent of the cat for sure. Have you considered using kitty litter too?


  1. Also worked for me was fabric softner sheets for your laundry room. I had mice in my shed, I cleaned it put a fabric sheet every 3 feet and no more mice. Now I will spray oil with horse radis, cayenne perrer and garlic around the base of my shed. as the fabric sheet dry up.

  2. after a while they use the dryer sheets as toilet paper. I guess the scent goes away. Car dealers stuff sheets in engine area. Not close to hot spots to avoid a fire. Use common sense in placing the sheets in the engine compartment. My daughter’s new car came with sheets in the engine compartment, so they must know something with all those cars to protect from mice!

  3. Long time ago I put rat poison under the trailer. I went to kitchen and open the drawer and found the rat poison in the drawers. They brought them inside.

    • Oh no! They can carry quite a heavy load – I do not like to use poison, however, if I have to, I will use it in live catch traps so they can’t escape with it.


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