As the temperatures drop, outside critters will start seeking a warmer place to hide and eat - and that warm place we're referring to, ladies, just might be the interior of your kitchen cabinets and the crevices of your pantry.
And if you think your house is an exception, think again.
"There isn't a home in this world that doesn't have mice," Robin Wilkes, owner of Critter Control of Indianapolis told Angieslist.com. "Everyone has at least a few mice coming in and out, or living there."
According to Wilkes, the most common rodents to invade your home will either be the house mouse or the Norway rat.
Even though both live in all regions of the country, rats are more prominent in urban and rural areas, while mice like to stick to the suburbs.
So how do you keep them out, you ask? Luckily, there's a simple - and natural - solution: Peppermint tea.
Peppermint is a natural rodent repellant
Because mice rely mostly on their sense of smell, the direct scent of peppermint tea or peppermint oil is an immediate turnoff. Mice generally follow the scent of other mouse pheromones, which is why when the scent of peppermint is mixed in they get confused.
To get rid of your unwelcome rodents, all you need to do is to boil a pot of peppermint tea. Once the tea is boiled, spread the used teabags throughout the house. Be generous in the areas where you think you'll find your unwanted visitors. In just two to three days, your home should not only be mouse-free, but it should smell nice too.
If you'd rather no go through the hassle of making tea, peppermint oil works just as good. Plus, it's environmentally friendly and safe for family and pets when compared to other toxic chemicals and pesticides.
How to Prevent a Rodent Invasion With Peppermint Oil
There are three different ways you can go about setting up essential oils to repel mice: By spraying it, sprinkling it directly, or soaking cotton balls. If you have a hunch as to where your rodents are coming in - windows, cracks, and other crevices - just apply a line of undiluted peppermint oil across the entrance point. If you'd like to target a larger area, just dilute the oil with a little bit of water and spray said area. This is the better route to take if you're not sure where they're coming from. And, if you're funny about oil getting on your floor, just soak a few cotton balls in undiluted peppermint oil and place them near the entrance points.
Things to Keep in Mind
While peppermint oil is an effective deterrent, it's not a long-term solution. Therefore, you'll need to reapply the oil every few days. You'll also want to be extra careful about leaving cotton balls out for too long. Once the odor fades away, your little visitors might haul these off to furnish their nests.
The best way to get rid of unwanted pests is to combine natural deterrents with other tactics, like plugging up any holes in your home's structure with steel wool, for instance.
This story was originally published on First for Women.