This Citrusy Fruit May Be The Secret To Keeping Mice Out Of The Garden

The sound of mice scampering around in your garden and chomping away at your plants is unpleasant and can leave you with a feeling of disgust. Beyond mice destroying your crops, what's concerning too is they can infect your garden with diseases.

Mice are attracted to newly planted seeds like corn, grain, green beans and sunflower seeds, as well as to certain vegetables like zucchini, cauliflower, and turnips. If you have a rodent problem, you may notice mouse droppings that are about the size of a grain of rice, and there may be gnaw marks on your vegetable crop. Other telltale signs of mice problems include the grassy nests and ground tunnels that they create in the soil.

To protect your crop, there's a solution to get rid of mice humanely that works very well and has been effective for farmers on a large scale. Scattering orange peels around your crops somehow works magic — and it's applicable to your home garden, too.

Spread citrus peels throughout your garden

Citrus contains limonene, which is found in lemons, oranges, and grapefruits. Mice are very sensitive to its strong odor, which masks the smell of food they are after – naturally, the critters will avoid areas where they smell it. The good news is you can use this to your advantage and place the orange peels in your garden to keep mice out without having to resort to traps.

When you gather your citrus scraps, focus on the orange peels and not the other parts of the actual citrus fruit, which are not as effective. Then, take your peels to your garden and scatter them around plants rodents like to feed on. A good piece of advice is to create a perimeter around the vulnerable plants with the peels while also making sure there's enough space for your crops to adequately spread out and grow. The scent wears off over time, so it is best to replace the orange peels regularly, about once a week.

Boil down peels and use it as a spray

Beyond citrus peels keeping mice away, the smell also repels aphids, slugs, mosquitoes, and biting flies. For this reason, you might want to turn your citrus peels into a spray. Peels can be boiled down to a liquid form that will prove just as effective at keeping mice out of your garden. 

To make the spray at home, boil down the orange peels and strain the liquid. After letting it cool, place about half of the orange peel liquid into a spray bottle, and fill the other half with water. It's recommended to spray the liquid near plants mice eat or where you see mouse droppings or footprints and reapply it in your garden about once a week. You can also add citrus essential oils to water and create a spray that way if you don't want to go through the trouble of boiling orange peels.