Mice may be cute, but not when they inundate your home. In fact, not only can mice be a huge inconvenience, but they can also carry diseases into your home that you don’t want there.
Mice are also good at hiding, so they can be in walls, cabinets, ceilings, and a lot of other places without you being aware of it. If you’d like to get rid of the mice in your home, there are simple and natural ways to do so. One of these is the use of black pepper, which is much more effective than you might think.
How black pepper repels mice
Black pepper works because rodents such as mice and rats have a strong sense of smell, and they hate the smell of pepper. If they come anywhere near the smell, they’ll turn away and run as fast as they can in the other direction.
They’re also very smart creatures, so it doesn’t take them long to realize that they need to stay away from that area because it is carrying a scent they don’t like. This is also the reason why so many people use this method – because they can keep the mice away without killing them.
The reason for black pepper’s strong smell is a chemical called piperine, and it works beautifully to repel all types of pests, including mice. Some studies even recommend black pepper because when compared to other methods of getting rid of mice and rats, this one is far more humane, not to mention very effective.
The worst that will happen is that the rodents’ nasal passages will be irritated for a while, but it is not enough for it to cause any permanent damage to the mice.
Yet another benefit of black pepper is the fact that in mice, especially female mice, black pepper can cause a decrease in appetite. That, in turn, can reduce the amount of reproduction and mating because the less the mice eat, the less they tend to mate and create offspring.
If you want to increase the potency of this method, combine the black pepper with a little bit of cayenne pepper, both of which you likely already have in your kitchen cabinet.
How to Use Black Pepper to Repel Mice
There are several methods you can use to repel mice with black pepper, and below are a few of them:
1. The Spray Method
This is perhaps the easiest method because you’ll make up a spray and spray the mixture wherever you notice droppings or cracks and crevices that may help the mice enter your home.
Simply fill a spray bottle 3/4 full with water and add 15-20 drops of black pepper oil, which you can usually find either online or at a health food store. If you do this, make sure the oil is 100% pure essential oil because it has to be undiluted before you put it in the water.
2. The Barrier Method
This once can be a little messy but it’s very effective. Simply take crushed black pepper and sprinkle it to create a barrier in any area where the mice are likely to hide. Try sprinkling it inside of your cabinets, near any cracks and crevices in floorboards and window sills, under your furniture, and even on countertops.
Keep in mind that when black pepper is exposed to air, it starts to lose its potency. This is why it’s a good idea to replace it every few days so that the pepper stays fresh.
You will likely have to estimate how much black pepper to use in each pile, then adjust it accordingly depending on the results you get.
3. The Cotton Ball Method
If you buy black pepper oil (essential oil), you can soak a few cotton balls with the oil and place them in the areas you know mice have been.
The good thing about this method is that you only have to replace the cotton balls about every 2-3 weeks, or whenever you notice the smell dissipating. It’s a cheap method and a simple one, but it works like a charm.
Tips for Keeping Mice Away
Black pepper is a great way to repel mice and keep them away from your home, but keep in mind that rodents are not only persistent, but they’re very smart as well. This means that if they truly want to get into your home, some of these natural methods may not work
In extreme circumstances, nothing you try will work and you’ll have to call a professional exterminator. In the meantime, here are some things you might want to remember when trying to rid your home of mice:
- Keep your home, especially the kitchen, as clean as possible at all times. The more clutter and discarded food that’s in your home, the more mice you’ll usually find.
- If you’re having problems with rodents or other pests in your garden, sprinkle some crushed black pepper in the soil to keep them away.
- Other essential oils and spices can also keep away rodents, including peppermint oil, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, cloves or clove oil, garlic, and cinnamon.
- You can also try stuffing aluminum foil into any holes, cracks, and crevices that mice might want to enter. They will start to chew the foil but will be unable to and they’ll have to stop.
- In addition to keeping your house clean, start storing all food in air-tight containers. Any morsel of food left on the countertop or elsewhere is an invitation for them to come into your home.
Mice are curious and resilient creatures that will try anything to get into your home and stay there, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t things you can do about it. Black pepper is a natural method that repels them and doesn’t harm them, in part because the smell is so bad that they’ll run in the other direction as soon as they smell it.
This is good news especially for people who want to get rid of mice without harming them.
I am an accredited practicing dietitian, experienced gardener and a dedicated cook. I love writing and sharing my experience so you can learn from my successes and mistakes.