Will using a mouse repellent such as mothballs, peppermint oil, ammonia or even ultrasonic devices actually get rid of mice inside your home?
If you're battling a mouse infestation chances are you're willing to try just about anything to get rid of the problem.
However, even though many people try these home remedies or natural deterrents, unfortunately they're unreliable and simply don't work good enough to make them a viable solution to a rodent problem.
When mice enter your home they have a specific purpose. To find food, nest and reproduce.
Once a mouse has become established inside your home, a little bit of peppermint oil or a few mothballs will not be enough to chase them outside, leaving behind easy food, shelter and their nest.
Does this mean mice like the smell of these odors. No, it simply means they are not reliable enough to make a mouse abandon their nest, leave your home and go outside where they can become prey to a variety of different animals.
In order to understand why repellents are unreliable, lets look at them individually and see why you should use a different solution.
Peppermint Oil - There's no denying that peppermint oil has a strong and somewhat overpowering scent, especially if applied to a cotton ball and placed in a confined area. However, over time the smell dissipates as the odors are carried throughout your home.
These odors are not concentrated enough to make a mouse leave your home. In fact, if you used enough peppermint oil to actually repel mice, your home would smell so bad you probably couldn't live there yourself. Mice will just avoid a few cotton balls soaked with peppermint oil, not actually leave your home because of it.
Mothballs - Mothballs contain the active ingredient Naphthalene which is used to control certain insect larvae and moths. Because of this, many people think mothballs will deter just about anything including mice.
Mice don't necessarily like the smell of mothballs and an overwhelming amount of mothballs can dislodge them from their nesting area, but they will just move down your wall or through your attic a few feet and live in a more suitable area.
There's just no way you could place enough mothballs out to protect your home from mice. If you set out enough mothballs to make your home undesirable for mice, chances are it would be unsafe for you to live in as well.
Ammonia - Ammonia is a great cleaner with a very pungent odor. However, just like the products listed above, it's not reliable enough to repel mice from your home.
Ultrasonic Devices - Technology is always intriguing, but the newest gadgets on the market are commonly just a gimmick. Although some studies show that mice are bothered by unpleasant sound waves, and high pitched noises can make a mouse move from the area, chances are they won't completely leave your home.
If you really want to try a mouse repellent, the best place to use them is in small, individual confined spaces.
A good example would be a car or boat stored inside a pole barn. You won't be able to use the repellents to keep the mice out of your pole barn, but they may be strong enough to keep them out of your boat or out of your car.
Although it takes more effort, the only effective way to control mice and protect your home is to seal off all entry points into your home and use traps to remove the mice inside.
Mice can enter your home through very small holes. In order to prevent new mice from entering your home, take steel wool and plug all holes or use metal flashing. Don't use spray foam or caulk without adding some kind of steel barrier. Mice will just chew through spray foam and make another hole.
Once you have all the access points closed off, use traps to effectively catch any mice left inside your home. Don't worry, trapping mice is pretty easy. Just use a handful of Victor wooden snap traps, bait them with peanut butter and place them in areas where you see mouse sign or damage.
If you're having issues with mice inside your home, don't waste your time trying to get rid of them with repellents.
Seal off all the entry holes and use basic wooden snap traps to remove the mice. Sure, it's a lot of work in the beginning but it's the only way to make sure you get rid of the mice once and for all.