Article updated on April 25, 2024 at 5:00 AM PDT

This Non-Toxic Spray Finally Solved My Rodent Problem

Want to get rid of mice for good? This all-natural spray worked shockingly well for me, and it won't harm mice or pets.

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David Watsky
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David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Before, during and after earning his BA from Northeastern, he toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or the best way to cook bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
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two mousetraps and mint spray on counter

The best way to keep a rodent infestation at bay might surprise you. It certainly surprised me.

David Watsky/CNET

As cute as mice seem, having hoards of them sneaking around your home or apartment eating food and leaving droppings is anything but cute. Getting rid of one or two isn't difficult but if you have a steady stream of vermin, as I did, you may need a more foundational fix.

I tried several strategies to curb the mouse infestation in my Brooklyn apartment, including cutting off any supply of food and setting several mouse traps. The mouse deterrent that worked the best was also the safest. This $20 peppermint spray has kept my abode mouse-free for over a year. Better still, it's safe for pets and doesn't even harm the mice.

Here are the various methods I used for getting rid of mice, ranked from worst to first.

The best and worst ways to get rid of mice

5. Tomcat Bait Station

hands holding mouse bait station

Poison bait stations were the least effective method I tried.


Poison bait traps represented my third attempt. These devices lure mice in with an enticing smell and offer a block of green, edible bait that's laced with poison. These didn't work at all. I never found so much as a nibble taken from the bait block. And the more I thought about it, these posed a far crueler fate for my unwanted intruders than even snap traps. They also mean dead and decaying mice scattered about your home. 

  • Cost: $5 on Amazon.
  • Grade: F.

Read more: Keep Bugs Out of Your Kitchen With These Common Houseplants

4. Starvation

a stovetop

My first attempt was to remove temptation by overcleaning the kitchen. It worked to some degree, but this infestation required greater firepower. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

My first approach was to starve the mice out by sealing up food as best I could and overcleaning the kitchen after every trip. It worked to a degree and I noticed fewer encounters, but my kitchen doubles as a busy meal-kit testing site; try as I might to keep food bits and odors from lingering for more than a few minutes, there's only so much one can do.

  • Cost: None.
  • Grade: C-plus.

3. Humane traps

humane trap on counter

I caught several mice with these humane traps but not enough to stem the tide coming from next door. 

David Watsky/CNET

Next, I tried humane traps at the puppy-eyed request of my partner, a dyed-in-the-wool pacifist. These contraptions work by luring mice into the hull with food; when they enter, their weight triggers a door, trapping them inside. Then, it's on you to release the live mice, preferably far away so that they don't come back -- mice have a famously good sense of smell and direction -- and hope they become someone else's problem.

I set two, and they worked as advertised. I caught a mouse every few nights but it did little to dissuade others from following in their footsteps. Plus, having to relocate a mouse five blocks away every other morning got old fast.

  • Cost: $10 (two-pack) on Amazon.
  • Grade: B-minus.

2. Classic snap traps

snap trap on counter

Snap traps captured a lot of mice but did nothing to keep more from following behind. 

David Watsky/CNET

Snap traps were the most efficient at stopping the parade of hungry freeloaders. Unlike the trapdoor traps, these mousetraps do kill the mice but they do so with merciful efficiency. The snap traps worked well and I caught more mice than I can count, but still more came. And these devices posed a danger to my curious terrier, so they could only really be used safely up high on the counter. 

  • Cost: $9 (6-pack) on Amazon.
  • Grade: B.

1. Mighty Mint peppermint spray

bottle of mighty mint rodent repellent

I sprayed my kitchen's problem areas with Mighty Mint and haven't seen signs of mice for a month. That's $18 well spent.

David Watsky/CNET

Having exhausted most of my options short of an expensive appointment with an exterminator, I resorted to a 16-ounce bottle of peppermint spray for $19 on Amazon. (It's also available at Target for $10.)

As directed, I sprayed the white peppermint solution near my kitchen baseboards, on the counter behind my toaster oven and in the crevice behind my wall oven. I reapplied the spray every couple of days. You can also use this spray in basements, attics, the engine of your car or any other spots you might not want rodents hanging out.

The peppermint smell was noticeable for the first few hours, but I found it pleasant. The spray went on clear, and there was no damage to the wood floors or marble countertops where I applied it.

Two weeks later (as of when I'm writing this) and I've seen no droppings or signs of mice at all -- the first time I can say that in months. To be sure it's working, I left two baited snap traps to gauge whether or not mice have been coming around. Neither one has been triggered. 

  • Cost: $19 on Amazon.
  • Grade: A.
peppermint spray in front of cute dog

Peppermint spray is safe to use around pets; a big selling point in this house.

David Watsky/CNET

Is peppermint rodent spray safe to use around pets and children?

Mighty Mint peppermint spray is made from natural ingredients and is safe to use around dogs and children. But you'll want to avoid getting in or near your eyes since peppermint oil can cause burning. It also contains soap, so it's not safe to ingest.

How does peppermint spray repel rodents?

Mice and other rodents hate the smell of peppermint. (Hard to believe, I know.) The spray contains a mix of peppermint oil (4%), water, glycerin, polyglycerol oleate and soap. 

What are the uses for peppermint spray?

Peppermint spray is used to repel rodents from indoor spaces like mice and rats. It's also used to repel insects including mosquitos, spiders, aphids and ants. It can be used in gardens and sprayed on plants to deter invasive pests and vermin. 

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