Does Bleach Repel Mice & Keep Them Away? (Full Guide)

Bleach that you can use to try to repel mice

Many homeowners want to know if bleach repels mice (or even kills them), and the reason is simple:

Pretty much everyone has bleach in their house already!

In the world of pest control, being able to use what’s available is always ideal. But when it comes to bleach, there are many differing opinions on its effectiveness.

This guide will teach you if you can use bleach to keep mice away on a consistent basis.

Does Bleach Repel Mice?

If you have mice in your living space and have gone online to look up do-it-yourself methods to get rid of them, then you know how difficult it can be to wade through all of the information and advice that’s out there.

One mouse repelling method that is mentioned on many websites is the use of bleach. As with most kinds of advice that you find online, there are lots of differing opinions about using bleach to repel mice or keep them away. Some people swear by this method, while others feel that using bleach is ineffective as even potentially dangerous.

So does bleach repel mice?

Our opinion on this subject kind of falls somewhere in the middle of the debate. Like humans, mice don’t like the smell of bleach. Treating mice-prone areas with bleach may certainly keep mice away for a while, but it’s probably not going to work as a long-term solution.

However, it’s alright to use bleach as a temporary measure until you either call a pest control specialist or find another, more permanent solution. So, will bleach repel mice? Yes, but there are other, more effective ways to deter them.

How Long Does Bleach Keep Mice Away?

While using bleach to repel mice will usually work temporarily, it’s not a method that will keep them away for very long.

On average, it takes between ten minutes and one hour for the pungent smell of bleach to dissipate. Even though bleach is one of the smells that keeps mice away, they’ll just come back in a few hours once they don’t smell it anymore.

If you do decide to try this method, be prepared to apply your bleach solution every few hours. This is the only way that you’re going to keep a steady and strong scent of bleach in mouse-prone areas. Don’t forget that while you are keeping mice away with bleach, that you, your family and your pets are also exposed to the sometimes toxic bleach fumes (we’ll talk more about this later).

The Best Ways To Use It

Even though using bleach to repel mice isn’t the perfect solution to your problem, it’s perfectly fine to try until something better can be arranged.

Depending on your individual mouse-related circumstances, there are multiple ways that bleach can be used around your home to at least keep mice at bay. Let’s take a look at some of the easiest and most popular methods.

1. Get Out Your Spray Bottle

Probably the most common way to repel mice with bleach is to make a sprayable solution. Use one part bleach to ten parts water and put it in a spray bottle. You’ll want to spray this solution wherever you see mice, or where you suspect that mice are hiding. 

Good places to try are corners, entry points and mouse runs. While spraying, always leave a place for the mice to escape, or they will simply stay in your house.

One advantage to this method is that the bleach solution will help to disinfect the mouse-prone areas that you are spraying. However, using bleach has the potential to damage your floors, walls, belongings and furniture. Bleach fumes are dangerous to humans and pets, so breathing them in for even a small amount of time can begin to cause health issues. We recommend using this method with caution.

2. Put Out Cotton Balls

An alternative to using a spray solution is to soak cotton balls in the diluted bleach. Place the cotton balls in the same areas where you would use the spray

 Cotton balls dry quickly and lose their potency, so you’ll need to frequently replace the dry ones with ones that have been recently soaked in the solution in order to keep the scent fresh and repel mice in the area.

3. Seal & Spray Entry Points

One thing you don’t want is to have a steady stream of mice coming into and out of your house. Take some time to check around your home for entry points and seal them up.

After all possible areas have been sealed, sprinkle some bleach near these areas to deter the mice. If the mice attempt to chew their way back in, the idea is that they will be repelled by the strong smell. This method is good to use in conjunction with other methods like traps, bait, and placing steel wool in openings.

Does Bleach Kill Mice?

If your intention is to actually kill the mice that are invading your home, then you are probably wondering if using bleach will do the trick.

Bleach is highly corrosive and will kill anything if enough of it is ingested. The problem with using bleach to kill mice is that quite a bit of it has to be taken in by the mice to actually cause death. 

Because mice hate the smell of bleach, it’s pretty unlikely that they would even go near any bleach that you put out to kill them. So in theory, bleach has the potential to kill mice, but it’s not likely that they would ingest enough to do the job. Mice that are exposed to a small amount of bleach will probably recover in a few days. 

Can Mice Die From Ingesting Bleach?

Will mice die from ingesting bleach? They will if they get enough of it in their system, but it’s going to be a slow and painful death. Mice that ingest a lot of bleach will experience oxygen depletion, a damaged throat, pulmonary edema, stomach issues and severe pain. It’s really not a very pleasant or humane way to get rid of mice, but many people choose this option.

Due to the smell of bleach, it’s not easy to get a mouse to ingest enough of it to actually cause death. If you’re set on trying to kill mice with bleach, then there are a couple of things that you can do to mask the bleach smell.

Mixing the bleach into something like peanut butter is a trick that people use to fool the mouse into eating the bleach. Put the bleach into about a tablespoon of peanut butter and place it where mice hang out. Make sure that the bleach smell is completely masked before putting out the mixture.

It’s possible to mix bleach with peanut butter powder as well, but make sure that the consistency resembles jarred peanut butter. Mix bleach with the powder until there is no smell and place it in areas where mice have been seen.

The peanut butter method actually has a pretty high success rate, but there are more humane ways of dealing with a mouse problem.

Will Spraying Bleach On A Mouse Kill It?

Dealing with mice is nothing like dealing with insects. You can’t take a spray bottle full of something poisonous and simply spray a mouse with it in the hope that the mouse will die.

A mouse needs to ingest and be exposed to a high concentration of bleach before it actually dies. Spraying a mouse may send it running from the fumes, and the mouse will most likely suffer from throat and breathing issues, but it’s not going to die from being sprayed. You’d have to stand there and give the mouse a continuous soaking for anything major to happen.

There are many more efficient ways to deal with a mouse problem, and we highly suggest calling a pest control specialist if things are getting out of control. 

Safety Concerns When Using Bleach

If you’ve ever used cleaning products that contain bleach, or if you use bleach when you do laundry, then you’ll know that bleach gives off powerful and pungent fumes. These fumes are not only unpleasant, but too much exposure to bleach may cause serious health issues for humans and pets. Before you decide to use bleach to repel or kill mice it’s important to understand the safety concerns that are associated with bleach.

Bleach is often associated with cleanliness and disease prevention. However, using bleach, especially in spray form, is known to cause a number of health concerns including burns of the skin, throat and lung irritation, nausea, headaches, stomach pain, eye irritation and shortness of breath. 

If you have young children or pets, it may be better to find an alternative to the bleach method. While the fumes can cause any number of health problems, if your kids or pets come in actual contact with the bleach, the results could be quite serious.

Alternative Methods To Consider

Using bleach to repel mice is not our method of choice. Bleach fumes can be harmful to people and pets, bleach can damage surfaces in your home, and it needs to be applied often and consistently. Even a small amount of bleach fumes can cause a mouse to suffer painful symptoms, so bleach is not the answer if you are looking for something humane.

There are lots of alternatives out there that range from all natural methods to ones that are chemically based. To be honest, the best option for dealing with mice is to call a pest control company. However, if you want to give it a go, then you’ll want to check out the following do-it-yourself ideas.

Bring Out The Essential Oils

Using essential oils is an excellent way to go if you are looking for a more natural approach. Not only are they thought to repel mice, but they can make your house smell great. Some essential oils to try include peppermint, lemon, eucalyptus and geranium. 

To make a spray solution, mix about two teaspoons of your choice of oil in a cup of water or rubbing alcohol. Pour the solution into a spray bottle and spray it where there is mouse activity. Alternatively, you can soak cotton balls in essential oil and place them in mouse-prone spots around your home.

Be aware that some essential oils may be harmful to pets, so check with your veterinarian.

Clean Up

Cleaning up areas in your home that seem to attract mice is an easy way to keep the mouse population at bay. Make sure to keep your kitchen and living areas free of crumbs, clean dishes and countertops regularly, make sure to vacuum and mop your floors, and take out the trash on a daily basis. Place all pantry items in tightly sealed plastic containers, and you’ll also want to make sure that pet feeding areas are kept clean and free of food particles.

Check around the house for plumbing leaks or any kind of standing water. Mice need water as well as food, and they may stay in your home for the water source that leaky plumbing provides.

Give your home a good inspection and seal up any cracks, holes or entry points that you find. Mice can fit into very tiny holes, so don’t overlook something that you think is too small.

This is a method that’s a very sensible way to use bleach for repelling mice. Cleaning your home with some bleach will make things easier for you later on!

Use Traps Or Bait

If your initial goal  was to kill mice with bleach, you can try placing traps or bait around your house instead. Traps and bait come in many forms, and it’s often a good idea to use a combination of different kinds.


While bleach does repel mice for a moment, it’s not a reliable method for keeping them away for an extended period of time.

That’s why we recommend other more effective (and safe) forms of pest control when dealing with the mice in your home. Remember, you have plenty of options!

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