Peppermint Oil and Mice – Myths and Right Uses
Mice- a problem regardless of whether or not you are an animal lover. In fact, if you are an animal lover, chances are you might end up with more problems as there would be an ethical dilemma regarding killing mice.
But at the end of the day, mice are harmful, and you need to get rid of them. How amazing would it be if there were a way of avoiding the messy business of killing them? Well, with peppermint oil, there might be a way.
Does peppermint oil repel mice?
Peppermint oil, and peppermint in general, can actually repel mice. Mice are very susceptible to smell, and the right kind of smell can at least keep them away, if not kill them. But like all good things, it depends on the usage. It depends on:
- right quantity
- right quality
- right location
- right way of applying it
In fact, it is the difficulty of using it, coupled with the attention that users need to pay in order to make it successful, that has led to peppermint oil acquiring such a bad reputation.
Are you using right peppermint oil for repelling mice?
Peppermint oil is easily available anywhere- you can buy it online or at your local store. However, it is important to remember that blends won’t work. You need to buy something that is 100% peppermint oil. And buy a blend only if it is made specifically for repelling mice- it should be mentioned there on the product.
You also can get peppermint oil in the form of mouse repellent pouches. These come ready-made for the purpose, and often contain added ingredients, most commonly cinnamon oils. They come in the form of recycled coffee bags and have a time-release formula. To repel mice you need to place these bags at strategic points in your house.
Cultivating Peppermint around your house
Like most domestic disturbers, mice happily fool around outside during the summer months and move in to keep warm during winter. To counter that, what you can do is send out the message that your home won’t be a cosy comfortable shelter during the cold. This you can do by growing peppermint around your house.
However, mints are a very rapidly growing family of herbs. Unless you prune them regularly, they will fast encroach upon your garden area, so be doubly strategic while using them as a mouse repellent. You might find the smell of mint wonderful, but for mice, it is harmful and debilitating. The peppermint is also useful in repelling fleas, flies, and ants.
There are a zillion ways of using it. Understand that at the end of the day, while using the oil in the best way may help in getting rid of the mice, there are chances that they may creep back in case they get used to it. You might need to use methods that are better and stronger than peppermint.
How does peppermint oil exactly work while repelling mice?
Peppermint is believed to repel mice in two ways:
Mice communicate by leaving behind pheromone trails. Because peppermint has a pungent smell which is due to the chemicals released by the herb, they counter the pheromones and confuse the mice. So, while this may not be strong enough to kill mice, they might as well act as a natural repellent.
The smell of peppermint is also unpleasant on the soft tissues in the mice’s nasal cavity. This is done by the menthol, which is soothing for us humans.
So why the misconception that using peppermint oil is a myth?
The reasons are as follows:
* Using an insufficient amount of oil or diluting it so much as to stop its essence from having an effect.
* Using an insufficient amount of oil, or not refreshing it enough, so that the smell loses out on strength.
* Placing too much faith on it – peppermint oil requires work and you need to be very careful about the location, the amount, and give it the time it requires to work.
* Using peppermint leaves instead of oil. The aroma of the leaves is of course not as strong as that of the oil.
* Placing the peppermint oil at the wrong places. You need to be careful about the aroma not being dissipated, and it should be placed as near the dwelling places of the mice as possible.
However, there should be a repeated reminder that while the mice may choose dwelling places without peppermint over the one with it, this method of repelling mice works best for cases where the infestation is not that severe.
How to use peppermint oil to get rid of mice?
In case you are unable to find the unalloyed peppermint oil you were looking for in the nearby stores, you can make your own peppermint oil.
Things you need to make peppermint oil:
Mortar and pestle
Light base oil
Cheese cloth or some other strainer
A lidded jar
Storing the oil in a small dark bottle
What should you do then?
The oil is the strongest in the morning, which is the best time to collect the peppermint
Rinse the peppermint leaves with cold water and then pat them dry
Gently use the pestle to extract the oil in the mortar
Once you have the oil, heat it slightly in a saucepan
Now use this to cover the leaves fully- you may use a spoon to mix them well and cover the leaves fully
Once it is well-spread, allow it all to sit for a month after covering the jar
Use the cheesecloth to pour the oil into the storage bottle. You can also use a coffee filter for stirring of the leaves in the absence of a cheesecloth.
Here are a number of things you can do to use peppermint oil to get rid of mice:
Peppermint oil spray
This is the simplest way of using peppermint oil to repel mice. Mix a few drops of peppermint oil in water inside a spray bottle. Now use it to spray this mixture on strategic locations like doorways and windows, nooks and crannies, and other locations you might think are vulnerable to mice.
Remember that you need to keep on reapplying this if you are serious about using this as a deterrent. This is because as has been already mentioned, the smell of peppermint fades out soon. You need to reapply this every day or two, and sometimes more than once daily in case you are combatting a heavy infestation.
Cotton balls soaked with peppermint
This is a method you can use in case you are willing to spend a lot of cotton balls. You need to dip them on the oil and place them in strategic locations. Depending on the infestation and the effectiveness, you might need to replace the older balls with the newer ones on the same day itself. And as a method, you need to repeat this every day or two.
You also need to ensure that the mice don’t run off with the cotton to use it as a nesting material once the smell wears off.
Buy It From The Store
Where Can I Buy Peppermint Oil?
Visit your town’s supermarket and check if they stock essential oils. If they do, chances are you’ll find peppermint oil there. Else, you can buy peppermint oil on Amazon, or any local ecommerce store that offers products of this niche. You can also check out your nearest Walmart for peppermint oil of dependable quality.
Because peppermint oil is rather difficult to use manually and is time and energy consuming, there are a lot of products available in the market which uses the essence of peppermint to make it more effective. They can last for up to 2 months before being requiring you to replace it.
What can you use instead?
In case peppermint oil doesn’t work for you, there are a number of things that you can use to get rid of mice ethically.
There are ultrasound mice repellents, which again do not offer a permanent solution, but are a clean way of effectively getting rid of mice.
Then there, of course, are the good old mousetraps.
However, none of these might work in the case of a heavy infestation. Then you have to resort to using the help of a professional mice catcher who can help you with getting rid of the mice.
Remember that the other old remedies like mothballs and naphthalene are absolute myths when it comes to dealing with rodents like mice. Peppermint oil is a much better option compared to those.
Understand that at the end of the day, if you want to get rid of mice ethically, you need to spend some time and effort behind it. The easiest solution to all this is, of course, owning a cat, but that is a moot point. Peppermint oil, to sum it up, is not a myth. Because it is a natural, home-made product, it requires time. However, from the above account, it can be surely understood that now a lot of companies have opened up to the possibilities of peppermint oil, meaning that you get stronger products.