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What Scent Keeps Mice Away?

A mouse looking at a bowl of sugar cubes.

Although rodents are known for having poor eyesight, they have a keen sense of smell. Unfortunately, their love for many scents can attract them to your home — where they can build their nests, leave droppings, and damage your walls.

If you’re concerned about a rodent infestation inside your house, you might wonder how to get rid of mice quickly and effortlessly. Luckily, there are various scents mice don’t like; these odors can draw them away from your home. It can be helpful to know what scent keeps mice away so that you can make an effective homemade repellent.

So, what scents do mice hate? Let’s answer this question in more detail below.

What Smells Attract Mice?

Before we can discuss which smells rodents don’t like, it’s important to know what scents they’re attracted to. When it comes down to it, mice constantly search for food sources; they like everything from meats to cheeses and pet food.

When there are strong smells of freshly-cooked food or leftovers inside your home, there’s a chance that they’ll catch a whiff of it and come running at the first opportunity. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list, check out some of these scents that rodents love:

5 Scents That Attract Rodents infographic

What Scents Do Mice Hate?

It’s no secret that rodents are inquisitive, hungry little critters. Mice will chew through walls and slip into the smallest of places to get their food. Because of this, you might be feeling dejected.

Are mice drawn to all scents? What scent keeps mice away if they seem to love all kinds of food? Believe it or not — it’s believed that there are some odors that repel rodents. We’ll go over how you can make repellents with these specific scents below.


Cinnamon has a pleasant smell that many people love — so you might be surprised to learn that mice despise it! The strong, spicy scent of cinnamon can be used to deter mice in various ways.

For example, you might simply choose to sprinkle cinnamon around potential rodent entry points. This ingredient is a pantry staple in many kitchens, so there’s a good chance that you have some lying around. If you’re looking to create a more pungent odor, you can soak cotton balls in cinnamon oil, then place the cotton balls in various locations throughout your home.

Peppermint Oil

So, what scents do mice hate besides cinnamon? There are many more worth discussing. One worthy of your attention is peppermint. This can include peppermint plants, toothpaste, and oil.

Essential oils are known for having strong scents and a wide variety of uses. Fortunately, one specific type of essential oil — peppermint oil — can be used as a natural mouse repellent.

All you have to do is spray the peppermint oil on rodent access points throughout your home. However, use caution during the spraying process; in some cases, it’s said that excessive amounts of peppermint oil can potentially cause skin rashes and eye irritation.

Cayenne Pepper

When discussing what scent keeps mice away, it’s impossible not to mention cayenne pepper. You can sprinkle cayenne pepper flakes around your home as a way to repel mice, or you can use chili powder as an alternative.

Although cayenne pepper can be used as an effective repellent, it’s crucial to mention that you might only want to use this method when you have a single, isolated rodent problem. This method might not work if you have many mice scattered throughout your home, as it’s easy for the cayenne pepper flakes to get kicked around and scattered when it’s lying around everywhere.


Clove is a scent that reminds many people of the holidays. Although you might enjoy the smell of this spice on a cool winter day, you might be pleasantly surprised to learn that it can make rodents run out the door. Although you can use the clove buds themselves, the best solution is to soak cotton balls in clove oil.


After reading about all of the deterrents above, are you still wondering what scents mice hate? If you don’t have any of the ingredients or items we’ve already mentioned, it’s understandable if you’re still searching for an effective solution. Fortunately, this method could be the one you’ve been searching for.

Vinegar is a common household ingredient — and it can be used as a repellent spray! Simply fill a spray bottle with vinegar and spritz potential rodent entry points throughout your home.

Dryer Sheets

Believe it or not, mice also dislike the smell of dryer sheets. However, it’s important to note that dryer sheets can quickly lose their scent — especially when left out in the open on your countertops and floors. If you choose to use dryer sheets as rodent repellent, remember to replace them frequently so that they maintain their strong scent.

Have a Rodent Infestation? Call Dustin Pest Control!

So, what scent keeps mice away? As you can see, there is more than one answer to this question. There are many options to choose from depending on the ingredients and items you already have lying around inside your house.

Of course, having mice in your home is no laughing matter. These rodents can cause extensive damage to your property in a short amount of time, so it’s important to address the problem as quickly as possible. Fortunately, Dustin Pest Control can help. We offer effective pest control solutions that will have you feeling comfortable and safe in your home once again. Our team of experts offers solutions for everything from mice and termites to bed bugs in Fresno.

If you’ve been searching for rodent control companies in Fresno, CA, or the surrounding area, don’t look any further. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Written by Dustin Pest Control

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