What can I plant to deter mice in the garden?

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During the spring when you are working hard to grow your garden, it can be frustrating to see animals digging holes and snacking on your plants. You want your seedlings to grow and not be killed by pests that are wreaking havoc in your garden.

Information has been passed down through generations about how to keep certain animals like mice and rats out of your garden. There are certain herbs and flowers that you can plant to keep your property rodent free.

#1. Mint/Peppermint

Peppermint is one of those things, used in plant form and scent form. As well as planting peppermint in pots or planters so they can be moved to targeted areas in the garden or yard, you could also consider using a peppermint-based repellent (granules or spray liquids), creating your own sprays with diluted peppermint essential oils (non-toxic and safe for pets and wildlife), and using packages of dried mint left in specific areas of high rodent activity. You could even reuse mint-flavored teabags.

Peppermint isn’t the only mint you can use to repel mice: spearmint and other types have been put forward as mouse repellents.

Although met with mixed results as far as rodents are concerned (some property owners report rodents actually eating mint leaves), different varieties of mint growing in your yard or garden will make delicious additions to many homemade dishes at the dinner table, and also in many a cocktail. The plants will also add a wonderful fragrance to your outdoor space, especially if you opt for particularly fragrant mint species.

#2. Amaryllis

Another plant that has been met with varied levels of success as far as repelling mice are concerned is amaryllis.

A fragrant, flowering plant in bright shades will add bursts of color to outdoor living areas, and some people say it’s the only thing they’ll ever use to protect their properties from the risky burden that is mice and rats.

Unfortunately, as with peppermint and other mint plants, some people have noticed their amaryllis are actually being specifically targeted and eaten by the rodents.

Helpful tip: if you notice that your repellents are being eaten by mice or rats, move them or protect them immediately — and stop using them as rodent repellents. There’s a chance they’re having the opposite effect to what you want: attracting mice instead of repelling them.

See also: Amaryllis flower symbolism

#3. Catnip

Not just something that’ll make your cats act a little crazy, the plant could also have the added benefit of repelling mice and other rodents.

It could be the scent of the catnip itself that repels rodents (if it proves successful), but it also could be the case that rodents smell cat scent markings in and around the catnip plant.

Cats are known to rub cheek scent glands around and over items sprayed with catnip, so it’s reasonable to expect them to do the same with growing plants too. Those scent markings, as well at cat urine, can actually act as a deterrent in some cases. Most animals will move home if a known predator starts hanging around their current one.

#4. Lavender

As well as being a wonderfully-fragranced plant that can be used to help promote better sleeping patterns, lavender is said to be great for keeping mice, rats, and other rodents at bay.

The plant/bush itself can be planted in the ground or in planters, moved around to wherever you need it for full rodent protection, and once the plant has been trimmed back or starts to die, you can harvest the lavender to create scent parcels. Not just great for reportedly driving rodents out, you can also use them to make closets and draws smell pleasant, as well as different areas and small spaces around the home.

You could also consider using lavender in a similar way to peppermint: creating a diluted spray solution of non-toxic lavender essential oil in water, to be sprayed directly on affected areas.

There are actually countless plants that can be used in the garden, or in pots and planters around the home, to help repel rats and mice. Sadly, none of them are guaranteed to actually work, and it is to recommend to rely on repellents or deterrents alone for a rodent problem.

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I am founder of FarmFoodFamily blog, where you can read about all living things. I have been a writer all my life, a collector of various interesting and old things, a traveler and an artist. Hobby and career paths have gone in many directions, from making miniature furniture to watercolor painting, fundraising for a symphony orchestra to selling antiques, from interior decorating to copyediting, from being a wife and mother to being a caregiver for family members with serious illnesses. Throughout the years I have learned and taught about all of these things and have been eager to share the information with a wider readership.

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