As the winter months approach, many of us will soon be dealing with furry home invaders. Mice come indoors when their food and water outdoors becomes scarce and once they get in, it can be hard to get them out. Harder still, if you would prefer not to use poisons and quite difficult if you are opposed to traps. As with many challenges around the home, the versatility of essential oils can lend a helping hand, and peppermint oil has a surprising benefit when it comes to repelling mice.
Pure peppermint oil, when used in conjunction with a basic understanding of mouse behavior can be a safe, non-toxic, and humane method of keeping unwanted pests and wildlife out of your home. To reap the benefits of natural peppermint oil, simply saturate several cotton balls with neat, undiluted oil and place the balls in areas where mice would travel. Remember that pure essential oil can damage sensitive surfaces, and when handling the pure oil practice common sense safety measures. Wash your hands thoroughly when you are finished handling peppermint, or any, essential oil.
Just putting a few peppermint balls in the corner of your living room and praying that the mice stay away won’t get you very far. To get the most out of your pest-proofing treatment consider several aspects of mouse behavior and physiology. First, mice will run along the base of a wall when they move around in your living space. It is rare that mice will traverse open spaces where they will be most vulnerable. This is good news for homeowners, as it narrows your focus of where to treat. Placing peppermint balls away from walls or perpendicular surfaces will be a waste of oil and effort.
Secondly, mice love your plumbing. They will lap up the condensation that forms on the outside of your pipes and they will often use the contiguous pipe as a method of gaining entry into your living space. Focus your efforts to these areas first, meaning your kitchen, counter tops, cabinets, and stove areas. If you can keep the mice at bay in these areas, then you won’t need to place peppermint balls in other parts of the house. In other words, attacking the problem at its source can help save time and effort.
While using a natural peppermint deterrence method is safe and humane, there are some considerations you must make to maintain efficacy. Remember that the essential oil will evaporate out of the soaked cotton balls so they may require replacement as often as twice a week to ensure that they remain at peak potency. You may need to experiment with various strengths and concentrations of peppermint oil to find an application that is a best fit.
A handy tip: to help protect surfaces and simplify the mouse protection process, place your cotton balls on index cards or napkins. This means that every time you need to move your peppermint balls you won’t have to handle the oil and you can move multiple balls at once. Just remember that the peppermint balls should be in corners and against walls or other perpendicular surfaces.