Mice are some of the most common household pests in Northeast Pennsylvania. During the cold winter months, these critters seek shelter inside homes and other types of buildings, making their presence felt through noisy rumbling in the wall.

While most homeowners are eager to get rid of mice, they are also reluctant to use traps that they view as cruel or inhumane. Luckily, there are a number of natural mouse repellents that work effectively and keep mice away, so you don’t have to clean up icky traps,

Learn more about natural mouse repellents, catch-and-release methods, and DIY traps that work.

Natural Mouse Repellents that Work

If you want to eliminate mice without killing them, the best option is to practice proper pest prevention. Following are four natural mouse repellents that will work on any species of mice in Northeast Pennsylvania.

Essential Oils

Mice have a strong sense of smell and dislike strong scents like essential oils. Applying essential oils through a diffuser can often disorient them and cause them to evacuate your premises.

The most potent essential oils for mice and most other rodents include:

  • Peppermint oil
  • Citrus oil
  • Cinnamon oil

Try diffusing these oils around the home with a store-bought diffuser, adding a few drops to a spray bottle mixed with water, and spraying your countertops with the solution.

Apply these oils daily for the best chance of repelling mice all season long.

Cats and Kitty Litter

Cats are a natural predator for mice, so use them to your advantage.

Mice are hardwired to recognize the smell of cat urine, so having a cat on your property with a stinky litter box will naturally deter mice with no effort. Still, keep your litter box clean, but feel good knowing it keeps mice away without you even trying.


Ammonia is another effective mouse deterrent you probably have lying around the house. Simply soak some cotton balls in ammonia and place them inside your drawers and cabinets to keep mice away. You can also try stuffing the cotton balls inside any cracks or crevices in your walls and floors to prevent mice from entering.

Note: This is different from using mothballs, which are generally not recommended.

Natural Predators

Mice have many natural predators beyond cats, extending across the animal kingdom. Birds, snakes, and reptiles all feed on mice, though keeping these animals on your property may not be the most practical. However, there are products designed to capture the scent of these animals to repel mice, with the most effective being bobcat urine.

The Toilet Paper Trap

If you prefer to make a DIY mouse trap that is humane and allows for catch and release, consider the toilet paper trap. This DIY mouse trap involves placing an empty toilet paper roll on the edge of the table or counter and weighing it down so it doesn’t move. Put a piece of food at the end of the roll and place a bucket on the floor below that is deep enough so that the mouse won’t be able to crawl back out once it falls in.

Once captured, you will be able to move the bucket outside and safely dispose of any mice back into the wild.

How to Catch and Release Mice Safely

Catch and release may be safe for mice, but we need to be sure that it is safe for you.

If you try to catch and release mice in your home, you’ll want to avoid contact with the mouse. If you are using a store-bought bait station, there are likely instructions included on how to remove mice once they have been caught.

If you are using a homemade trap, do so by wearing protective gloves to avoid getting bitten or scratched, and release the mouse approximately 100 yards away from your home. The last thing you want to do is release the mouse too close to your home so it returns the very next day.

If you want to deal with mice humanely, it’s also important to understand what attracts mice to your home in the first place so you can keep them away without intervention. Likewise, practicing these tips during the late fall and early winter will ensure that mice never enter your home in the first place!

Calling an Exterminator

Rodent infestations are notoriously difficult to deal with, and having mice in your home can be dangerous due to the diseases they carry. Contact an exterminator at the first sign of a mouse infestation to avoid risks of disease transmission or illness.

An experienced pest control professional will be able to inspect your home to determine the severity of the infestation and recommend a unique treatment plan to get rid of the mice.


Will natural repellents harm my pets?

If you have pets, there are certain types of mouse repellents you will want to avoid. Even natural repellents can be toxic to pets if ingested, so be sure to do plenty of research before choosing a repellent. When in doubt, it is always a good idea to consult with a pest control expert to determine which method is right for you.

Do ultrasonic devices work effectively against mice?

Ultrasonic devices use sound frequencies that are thought to be irritating to mice but quiet enough not to disturb humans. However, there is little scientific evidence to prove that these devices actually work. Determine which pest control method is right for you by trying a few different options.

How can I tell if the natural mouse repellent is working?

Knowing if a mouse infestation has been eliminated can be difficult, especially for the average homeowner who is not well-versed in extermination. However, there are a few signs to look out for, such as not hearing scratching noises, seeing fewer or no live mice in the house, and seeing fewer rodent droppings. A pest control professional will be able to do an inspection to determine if the infestation is gone for good!