Does Cedar Repel Mice? How To Use Cedar for Mouse Control

If you’ve ever had the displeasure of hosting unwanted mice, you know how frustrating it can be. Not only are they a nuisance, but they also carry diseases and cause damage to your home.

Traditional control methods, such as traps or poisons, can be unsightly and risky, especially if you have children or pets around. In your search for a safer and more natural solution, you might have stumbled upon the idea of using cedar.

Does Cedar Repel Mice?

Cedar, specifically the scent of cedarwood, is a natural deterrent for mice. The strong aroma can disrupt a mouse’s sense of smell, which is critical for its survival as it uses smell to locate food, seek out mates, and avoid predators. Cedar blocks, cedar chips, or cedarwood oil can be part of a strategy to deter mice from invading your home.

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In this article, we’ll take a closer look at cedar for mouse control.

Cedar For Mice Control: How Does It Work?

Cedar, particularly in its aromatic forms, such as cedarwood oil and cedar blocks, has been a popular choice for mice deterrents.

So, how does cedar repel mice? The idea is that the strong, woody aroma of cedar is offensive to the delicate noses of our pesky intruders.

Mice are highly dependent on their sense of smell for survival. They use it to find food, detect danger, and even navigate their surroundings.

So, introducing a powerful and disagreeable scent like cedar into their environment can disrupt their olfactory cues and make your home a less appealing place to be.

Why do mice not like cedar?

The first reason is that the smell of cedar can be too overpowering for mice, given their super-sensitive noses. The other reason is more biological in nature. Some scientists suggest that certain components found in cedarwood oil, such as cedrol and cedrene, could be irritating or toxic to mice.

Furthermore, cedarwood oil can be toxic to mice when ingested or exposed to high concentrations. The strong scent can also cause irritation or harm to a mouse’s respiratory system if they’re exposed to it in large amounts.

However, it’s important to note that in practical home use, you’re more likely to be using cedarwood oil as a deterrent, not in quantities large enough to be lethal to mice.

Making and Using Cedar Oil Spray

If you’re thinking of stepping things up a notch, cedar oil spray is an excellent option. It’s easy to use, and you can apply it directly to areas you think are high-traffic for mice.

The spray tends to be more potent than blocks or chips and can reach places that can’t.

Homemade cedar oil spray can be a cost-effective and natural way to deter mice from your home. Let’s break down how you can make your own.

Supplies needed: 

  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Water
  • Spray bottle


  1. Add about 10-15 drops of cedarwood oil for every cup of water in your spray bottle.
  2. Shake the mixture well before each use to ensure the oil and water are thoroughly combined.
  3. Spray the mixture in areas where you’ve seen signs of mice or where you want to prevent them from entering.

How often do you spray cedar oil? The frequency of use will depend on the severity of your mouse problem. If you’re dealing with an infestation, you might want to spray once a week. However, if you’re using it more as a preventive measure, once a month should suffice.

Is cedar spray safe?

For humans, cedarwood oil is generally safe when used correctly. When using the oil or spray, do so in a well-ventilated area and avoid getting it in your eyes. For pets, cedarwood oil can be a natural flea and tick deterrent for dogs. However, it can be toxic to cats and other small animals.

That being said, when using any kind of essential oil, it’s crucial to use it responsibly. Always dilute them properly, avoid direct contact with skin and eyes, and store them safely out of reach of children and pets.

Cedar Blocks: Uses and Longevity

Cedar blocks are simple to use. You place them where you want and forget about them until they need replacing.

They’re particularly useful in closed spaces, like closets or drawers, where they can effectively ward off not only mice but other pests like moths.

However, their scent may diminish over time, and they can be less practical in large, open spaces.

The longevity of cedar blocks largely depends on their environment. In a closed space, like a drawer or closet, a block can maintain its scent for several months.

In open spaces, however, the aroma may start to diminish after a few weeks. So, for the best results, you’ll want to give your blocks a light sanding every few weeks to release fresh, aromatic oils and replace them completely every few months.

As for safety, cedar blocks, chips, or shavings are generally safe around the house. But they should be kept out of reach of curious pets who might be tempted to chew on them.

How to Use Cedar for Mice Control

Now onto the practical stuff. How do you use cedar to keep these whiskered intruders at bay? Here’s a simple guide to get you started:

1. Identify Problem Areas.

Start by identifying where the mice are most active. Look for telltale signs like droppings, gnawed items, or greasy smudge marks along the walls.

2. Cedar Blocks or Chips

Place cedar blocks or chips in these problem areas. You can also scatter them in areas where you want to prevent future mice activity, like in cupboards, attics, or garages.

3. Cedarwood Oil

Another option is to use cedarwood oil. Simply add a few drops to cotton balls and place them strategically around your home.

With the Cedar spray, you can spray the identified problem areas of your house.

4. Keep it Fresh

Over time, the aroma of cedar will diminish. So, remember to replace the blocks, chips, or cotton balls regularly to maintain the deterrent effect.

Other Pests Cedar Can Repel

Good news! Cedar isn’t just a one-trick pony when it comes to pest control. The strong scent that makes cedar so unappealing to mice also works on a variety of other pests.

For instance, moths, which are a common nuisance in closets and pantries, can’t stand the smell of cedar either. Cedar blocks and chips are often used to protect clothing and dry goods from these pesky insects.

On the other hand, cedarwood oil also has a broader use in the world of natural pest control. It can act as a deterrent for ticks, fleas, and mosquitoes, making it a great choice if you’re looking for a natural, multi-purpose repellent.

What is the difference between rat and mice? Rats are considerably larger, with thicker tails and bigger heads. Mice, on the other hand, are more petite, with thin, hairy tails and smaller ears. Behaviorally, rats are more cautious, while mice are curious. Both can be a nuisance, but the methods for dealing with them can vary slightly due to these differences.

What home remedy keeps mice away? Besides cedar, other natural substances can act as mice deterrents. Peppermint oil is a potent mouse-repellant. Other home remedies include the use of hot pepper flakes, cloves, and bay leaves.

What strong scents keep mice away? Several strong scents that mice hate include cedarwood, peppermint, and cloves. Other smells reported to repel mice include ammonia and the smell of cats or other predators, though these methods should be used with caution due to their potential risks.

Which is better mothballs or cedar? If you are looking for a natural deterrent, then cedar is better. Otherwise, you can use mothballs. Mothballs are made of chemicals that can be hazardous to humans and pets if ingested or inhaled in large amounts. Cedar, on the other hand, is a natural alternative and generally safer to use around the home.


It’s clear that this natural product has its merits in the world of pest control. The strong scent of cedar, particularly cedarwood oil, can be an effective tool in making your home less appealing to mice.

That said, it’s important to keep our expectations grounded. As much as we’d love a magic bullet, the reality is that most pest problems are best tackled with a multifaceted approach.

A successful mouse control strategy usually includes multiple deterrents, good sanitation practices, and structural interventions to block potential entry points.

Using cedar can be a part of your solution, but it’s unlikely to be the complete answer on its own.

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