Do Mice Hate Aluminum Foil? [How to Use & Additional Tips]

If you’ve had to research ways to get rid of mice before, you may have come across sites advising you to use aluminum foil to stop them from getting into your house. If this advice left you with more questions than answers, that’s totally understandable! Why would mice hate something as random as aluminum foil? And is it even true?

Well, the fact of the matter is that it’s not entirely certain whether this is true or not. Some behavioral patterns observed in mice have indicated a dislike for aluminum foil, but the reasons have yet to be confirmed. When aluminum foil is used to try and deter mice, the results can be mixed.

But, if nothing else, it’s an interesting topic and a cheap and easy method to try out when you’re having pest problems. Let’s have a look at some of the leading opinions on whether mice hate aluminum foil, and talk a little about some other methods for deterring mice.

do mice hate aluminum foil

Why Don’t Mice Like Aluminum Foil?

So, do mice hate aluminum foil? There are a few reasons why it is thought that mice detest aluminum foil. They are mostly related to the mouse’s need to avoid predators. In the simplest sense, aluminum foil can make mice feel like they are not safe from predators, and this can prevent mice from entering your house. 


Mice are preyed upon by a lot of different animals, so they are programmed to move fast, quietly, and always stick to the shadows to avoid being caught and made a meal out of. To help them sense predators, they also have extremely acute hearing. It is thought that these two characteristics play a part in influencing the mouse’s behavior towards aluminum foil. 

Aluminum foil is a very noisy material, it makes a metallic-y kind of ‘twang’ at even the slightest touch. This means mice cannot interact with it without making a lot of noise, which will increase their chances of being found by a predator, and may also hurt their ears.

For that reason, if a mouse meets a dead end blocked by aluminum foil, it will recoil from all the noise made and choose to look for another path to avoid it—which should hopefully be outside of your home!

Sharp edges

Aluminum foil folds into sharp edges easily when crumpled and manipulated, and while it’s unlikely to harm thick-skinned creatures like ourselves, it’s a different story for the tiny mice. It’s said that chewing through aluminum foil can cause cuts and injuries to a mouse’s mouth and paws, and this will deter it from continuing to chew. 

Reflective surface

Since aluminum foil can reflect light and even images to some extent, it can be unnerving for mice who may register those reflections as a form of movement. If they spot such ‘movement’ while far away, they may not even approach the aluminum foil at all, assuming that they are facing a predator when it’s in fact their own reflection.

What Does Aluminum Foil do to Mice?

Do mice hate aluminum foil? What does it even do to them? Does it do anything at all? These are all valid questions, but the answer is somewhat tricky. After all, aluminum foil by itself doesn’t do anything, but leaving it in the right place can still repel mice.

The main thing aluminum foil and steel wool do to mice is that they make them scared. The noise, the texture, and the reflections all lead to confusion and wariness that can provoke a mouse into staying away. And if they do try to chew through it, the sharp edges are likely to cause cuts, further deterring the mice. 

How to use Aluminum Foil to Keep Mice Out

Reynolds Wrap Aluminum Foil, 200 Square Feet

Despite the lack of clarity on whether aluminum foil and steel wool can really scare mice and keep them away from your house, it’s definitely still worth trying out.

Why? Because you most likely already have aluminum foil in your house! (And steel wool is very easy to buy!) If you’ve just discovered your mouse problem—maybe you found mouse droppings or mouse hair somewhere in your house—and are just beginning your research into what to do about it, then this is a perfect, no-effort, no-cost method to try out as a first idea.

Step 1 – Find the Entry Points

If there are mice in your house, it means there’s a way for them to enter (they most likely did not use your front door while you weren’t looking). In fact, there’s a good chance that there are multiple ways for them to enter.

cover mice entry points with aluminum foil

As such, the first thing you need to do is find those entry points. Any holes, cracks, and openings in your walls could be candidates, and if you find mouse hair or mice droppings around those areas then you’re likely to have found the right place. 

You might often find mice trying to reach your kitchen. This makes perfect sense—after all, that’s where the food is! Such mice might get in through vents or even pipes, so those places are all worth checking as well.

There’s no way to know if you’ve found everything, but this process can be done in stages over time. You’ll be able to see whether an entry point you already found and dealt with is still being used or not, and if none of them are, you’ll know there’s still more out there. 

Step 2 – Cover the Entry Points

The next step is to simply stuff any and all holes and potential entry points you find with aluminum foil. You can ball up aluminum foil as it is and push it into the crevices, or you can add some extra goodies for good measure.

A cotton ball soaked with peppermint oil, for example, or cayenne pepper. These are smells that mice do not like at all, so they should help keep them away. You can also reinforce your aluminum foil with wire mesh. This has a lot of the same properties as aluminum foil, but it is stronger and will present more of a challenge to a mouse that does decide to chew through the foil. 

You May Need More than Just Aluminum Foil

This is a point that should be mentioned: while mice may hate aluminum foil and steel wool, this is sometimes not enough to deter them. Some sites may claim that a mouse will die of starvation rather than confront the foil, but this is just not the case, at least not with every mouse.

A starved mouse will take any opportunity it is presented with to get food, and if it can hear sounds, feel a breeze, and smell food on the other side of that aluminum foil, it will most likely chew through whatever is in its way.

After all, a lot of the reasons aluminum foil and steel wool are unpleasant to mice is because it presents danger: the risk of being found, reflections that are mistaken for another creature, and sharp edges that can injure. But if the mouse is on the brink of death already, avoiding these risks is not as important. They’re desperate, and they’ll die anyway if they don’t try.

What Else You Can do with Aluminum Foil to Make Sure Your Home is Mouse-Free?

The trick to doing this well is to cover everything you see with foil. Cover large holes, small holes, cracks, and crevices. For this method to work as an effective mouse deterrent, it needs to leave them with no attractive route to enter the house.

If you’re thinking of using something other than aluminum foil or steel wool, you should know that mice chew easily through most materials. These pesky rodents can chew through dense cardboard, insulation, wood, paper, plastics, and pretty much anything other than thin sheet metal and steel wool. 

Once you’ve finished filling all the holes you can find, you just have to sit back and wait to see what happens. One positive about this method is that it’s very easy to see when it fails.

If a mouse gets into your house through one of these entry points, the aluminum foil and steel wool will get chewed through or pushed out of the hole, and you’ll see for sure that it did not work.

And on the other side of that coin, as long as the aluminum stays in place, you’ll know no mice are entering through that point. This is really the only way to find out the answer to the question for certain: do mice hate aluminum foil?

As you can see, the final answer depends on the particular mice that are roaming your house. It’s worth trying, but it may not be enough. If this method didn’t suffice, read on: we have plenty of other options in store for you.

Does Aluminum Foil Work Against Rats too?

does aluminum foil work against rats too

Rats are likely to have a lot of the same opinions on aluminum foil and steel wool as mice do. It’s too loud, it’s unpleasant to chew, the reflective surface is scary, etc.

However, rats are bigger and stronger than mice and will have less of a problem chewing through sheet metal. They may not like it, but it’s just not a strong enough barrier to keep the larger animal out. 

Rats are also quite smart and may not be as easily scared as mice are. Once one learns that the obstacles in its way are not lethal, many more are sure to follow.

Other Ways to Deter Mice Effectively

We’ve made it fairly clear so far that whether aluminum will scare mice for you is a big ‘maybe’. There are reports of it being super effective for some people, and reports of it doing nothing for others.

But we don’t want you to go away feeling like you have no hope and nothing to try! So let us introduce some other easy tips and tricks to help you repel mice and avoid a mice infestation. 

Tip 1 – Tidy Your House

Different people have different opinions and ideas on what a tidy house looks like. In a lot of ways, it depends on what you feel comfortable and happy living in. But mice have a much more standardized definition of what ‘tidy’ is. And to put it bluntly, ‘tidy’ = no mice, while ‘untidy’ = mice. If you find yourself having a mouse problem, the very first thing you need to do is clean your house.

The first type of trash you need to remove from your home is food waste. You will never be able to repel mice if you’re constantly giving them reasons to want to come inside. Mice eat all sorts of food scraps and crumbs, and you really need to make sure there is nothing for them to eat.

All leftover food should be removed from your house, and all food you’ve yet to eat should be stored in cupboards and well sealed. If you’re having a really serious mouse problem, you should also consider locking the cupboards, too. Food storage containers come in very handy if you’re dealing with mice—they won’t be able to chew through them as easily.

To prevent mice from making a nest in your home, you also need to make sure there’s no water and liquids around. Mice need water as much as they need food, and spills and open sources of water are a big attraction. This is especially true for sticky spills of sugary drinks.

Another thing you’ll need to do to both prevent mice and deal with them is to make sure your room is clear. Tidy items away, make use of shelves, organize crowded storage areas, and try to make your flooring as clear as possible. This way, there’s nothing to tempt the mice into venturing into that room, and there’s also nothing for them to hide behind. This will make them easier to see, and make it easier to spot mouse droppings, too. 

Tip 2 – Essential Oils 

Another way to get rid of mice is to make your home as inhospitable as possible. This means going beyond just making sure there’s nothing in your house for the mice to want, and making sure it is full of things they do not like. Mice tend to hate aluminum foils, tin foil, wire mesh, copper wool, peppermint oil, cotton balls, cayenne pepper, and even instant mashed potato flakes.

It’s a long list, so you’re likely to be able to find something that is easily accessible and pleasant for you to use. Whatever types of deterrent you choose to use, the best way to use them is to place them near the entry points used by the mice.

Peppermint oil is one of the most popular deterrents to use because for us it smells nice, so it’s not an unpleasant method for the humans and pets in your home. In addition to that, peppermint oil doesn’t cause any extra mess like scattering potatoes flakes or cotton balls around your house. 

Extra Tip

The best way to use peppermint oil is to put it in a spray bottle and spray it around and inside holes and crevices you believe could be entry points. Remember to keep an eye out for droppings, bite marks, and hair and keep an ear out for squeaking and scraping sounds when you’re trying to find an entry point.

You can also seal small openings you find with aluminum foils, because as we said, even if this method doesn’t work for you, it at least lets you know whether that entrance is being used or not. For this purpose, you can also block entry points with other materials, but since aluminum foil has a chance of being useful in other ways as well, we recommend giving it a try. 

You can spray the peppermint essential oil in the hole, around the hole, on the foil, or literally anywhere in that area. If you don’t want to directly spray your walls and carpets, you could also soak strips of paper, cotton balls, and other materials in peppermint oil and place them around, too. 

Tip 3 – Mouse Traps 

Victor M156-20 Metal Pedal Sustainably Sourced FSC Wood Snap Mouse Trap - 20 Traps

You likely saw this one coming, and there’s a chance that you may not consider this to be an acceptable option, but the fact remains that mouse traps are a very effective way to get rid of mice. You don’t need to use mouse killing traps if you’re not comfortable with them, as there are humane traps that can just catch mice so you can take them and deposit them back outside.

These humane traps are a way you can remove mice without killing them, and you can buy mice traps like this from just about anywhere that you’ll find normal traps. Glue traps can also restrain mice without killing them, and as long as you keep frequently checking your traps, you will be able to deal with the mice before they die of starvation. 

If you don’t have a problem with killing mice, snap traps and standard clamp traps are likely the cheapest mouse traps to deal with a mouse infestation. Mice traps like this are considered inhumane and will not instantly kill mice, but they are effective and will solve your mice problem.

Tip 4 – Remove Nesting Materials

Mice don’t just enter your home for feeding purposes—they also like the soft fabrics that are all over our homes. All kinds of fabric, be it rugs, blankets, bedsheets, and even things like cardboard, can make for attractive nesting material for the little pests in your home.

Of course, it’s not possible or practical to completely rid your home of fabric, but mice rarely go out in the open where they can be spotted. That’s why you may not see them on your bed, but you may find bite marks on the towels you store in your cupboards.

If you want to make your home extra safe, ensure that the rodents’ teeth never touch your fabrics. Instead of leaving fabrics out in the open, lock them up in vacuum-sealed bags or in heavy-duty storage bins. Not only will they take up less space, but they will be protected from mice.

Tip 5 – Use a Repellent

You don’t have to rely on mouse traps in order to restrain mice. You can simply repel them from ever entering your home. If you’ve followed all of the tips above and your home is as clean as ever, you might want to top it all off with a professional repellent.

There are things such as the Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller, found on Amazon and in your local shop, that use ultrasonic waves to make your home extremely unpleasant to pests while not affecting you at all. The downside of these units is that you’d need one for every room in the house because ultrasonic waves do not travel through walls.

You can also pick up a rodent repellent spray or tablets. Spray the substance near all possible entry points and make sure to re-apply it frequently. However, if you have other pets or children at home, or people with breathing problems, make sure to do your research and check whether the repellent is safe for you to use.

Bottom Words

The bottom line of this topic is that sometimes mice chew through aluminum foil. We do not yet understand what those pesky mice are thinking, and we don’t know whether aluminum foil is really effective at keeping mice out of houses or not.

What we do know, however, is that it takes no cost or effort at all to place aluminum foil or other metal material in the holes and openings around your house, so from that point of view, there’s no reason not to try it out.

Other things mice find unpleasant are tidy houses, snap traps, and essential oils (just apply a few drops to some cotton balls and place them in areas where you find mouse droppings). But remember, if you don’t want to eliminate mice, you don’t have to! There are humane ways to bring your home back to normal. The other tips discussed in this article should do a perfectly fine job without ever hurting the mice.

We hope that you found this information useful and found a method that you can try right away!

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