Lavender is a favorite item to include in homes all over. So naturally, many homeowners get excited when they hear that mice hate lavender.
But does lavender repel mice effectively? This guide will cover everything you need to know.
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Does Lavender Repel Mice?
Lavender, a part of the mint family, is a flower with a sweet, floral smell. For thousands of years, lavender has been prized by people for its use in oils, soaps, perfumes, healing tinctures and household cleaners. Somewhere along the way, people also discovered that the scent of lavender has the ability to repel household pests like mice, rats and insects.
Learning that mice tend to stay away from the scent of lavender, many homeowners, especially ones looking for a more natural approach to a mouse problem, will give lavender-based products a try.
But does using lavender actually work to repel mice?
The answer is yes and no. While lavender will repel mice and keep them away, it’s our opinion that using lavender is not going to be a viable long-term solution.
One of the problems with using lavender to repel mice is that the scent doesn’t last very long (which is why it didn’t make our list of the best scents that will keep mice away). There’s no denying that mice hate lavender, so it may seem like you’ve gotten rid of the mice after the initial treatment. However, the mice will usually be back once the potency dies down.
Even if you don’t see mice for a week or more after using the lavender, they likely just moved somewhere else in your home that is away from the smell. In that time, they have a chance to reproduce, chew things up, and cause mischief. You’d have to treat every nook and cranny with the lavender for the mice to actually leave your home (and that still isn’t guaranteed).
Our suggestion is to use lavender to repel mice in your home until you are able to explore other, more effective methods. There are plenty of effective DIY methods you can employ. But if you have a serious infestation that’s out of control, that’s when calling a pest control specialist is a good idea.
What About Lavender Oil?
Lavender can be used in many forms in order to temporarily repel mice. Depending on your situation and personal preference, you can opt for dried lavender flowers, lavender leaves, live lavender plants, or lavender essential oil.
Lavender essential oil is probably the most popular option for keeping mice away. Not only is it easy to use, but mice hate the smell (even more than other forms of lavender). You can find lavender oil in natural health stores, in pharmacies and in many retail stores. Just make sure that you are purchasing real essential oil and not an oil that is made with artificial ingredients.
How To Use Lavender To Repel Mice
There is no “one-size-fits-all’ way to use lavender to repel mice. Most of the time, it’s a process of trial and error until the right method is found.
If you decide to give lavender a try, then you may find that a combination of methods works best for you. Let’s take a look at a few of the ways that lavender can be used for dealing with mice in your home.
1. Create An Essential Oil Spray
Perhaps the most popular way to use lavender to repel mice is by making a spray using a lavender essential oil. Creating your own spray is economical, easy to do, and it can be sprayed just about anywhere you think that mice may spend time. Do be careful if you have pets, however, because using too much lavender essential oil can be harmful. If you’re concerned, talk to your veterinarian before using lavender or any other type of essential oil.
To create your own lavender essential oil spray, you’re only going to need a few items: a spray bottle, real lavender essential oil and water. Some people add rubbing alcohol to the solution, but it’s not necessary.
It’s very important to use pure lavender essential oil. There are lots of oils that claim to be lavender, but they are just artificially scented.
Take your spray bottle and fill it 3/4 of the way full. Drop in about 12 to 15 drops of the lavender essential oil, place the top on the spray bottle and give it a gentle shake. Now you’re ready to spray your solution in places where you have either spotted mice or think they’re hiding out. You will need to respray all the areas as soon as the lavender scent they hate begins to fade.
2. Grab Some Cotton Balls
Another simple way to use lavender for repelling mice is to place cotton balls (treated with the essential oil) around your house. Put about ten drops of the lavender essential oil onto each of the cotton balls you intend to use, place them in mouse-prone areas, and leave them alone. Since the scent of the oil tends to dissipate quite quickly, you’ll need to repeat this process often. If you don’t, the mice are going to come back as soon as the smell is gone.
One nice thing about using cotton balls is that you can stuff them into places that it would be hard to spray. Places to put lavender-scented cotton balls include under the refrigerator, inside kitchen cabinets, near baseboards, in closets, or in any of the other places where mice could be lurking. Some like pairing this with steel wool for mice as well.
3. Create Your Own Lavender Sachets
Store bought lavender sachets are often used to pleasantly scent closets and clothing drawers. Did you know that you can easily make your own sachets using dried lavender from your garden? Not only will these sachets smell better than anything you could buy at the store, but they are also a sweet-smelling way to help control mice.
You’re going to need dried lavender, cedar shavings, lavender essential oil and some small drawstring bags. Mix the dried lavender and cedar shavings, add 15-20 drops of the essential oil, give it a good mix, and place some in each bag. Tie the bags with a nice ribbon, and you’re ready to go.
Put your sachets in places where mice usually pass through. Closets, pantries, crawl spaces and along baseboards are great spots to put your sachets. Put a sachet in a bureau drawer or wardrobe to scent your clothes and keep mice out.
4. Use Lavender Leaves
In addition to using dried lavender flowers, you can use dried lavender leaves to keep mice away. Place these leaves in spots wherever you see mice or mice droppings. It’s best to slightly crush the leaves to release their scent.
We’d like to restate here that using lavender to repel mice should be used along with another kind of rodent control. While it’s true that lavender will repel most mice in the short term, it’s only going to work on the mice that come in contact with it. Mice in your attic, basement or walls will just stay where they are. As soon as the smell from the treatment fades away, all the mice that left will come back.
Will Lavender Plants Repel Mice?
So far we have been talking about mice inside the home. But what about the mice that come into your home from your yard? Knowing that mice are often repelled by the scent of lavender, many people choose to plant it in their garden.
Lavender is a perennial in some areas and an annual in others, so check with your local nursery to find out how to plant lavender in your area. You can create a border around your home, or you can plant it wherever you think that mice will try to get in.
Many people also plant lavender in pots and place the pots in strategic areas around the yard. The nice thing about potted lavender is that you can bring it inside during the winter. Not only will this keep your home smelling great, but the scent of the fresh lavender will somewhat discourage mice as well.
Lavender can repel mice and keep them away, but it won’t last long. That’s why we like to think of it as a fairly risk-free method to try that will spruce up your place.
But if you have a serious infestation that you need to deal with, this isn’t the method for you.