Does Peppermint Oil Repel Spiders?

When you read articles online about how to naturally get rid of spiders, you often see peppermint oil suggested. But how effective is peppermint oil, really? Does peppermint oil repel spiders as effectively as they say? Yes, but there is so much more to it than a simple yes or no answer…

Peppermint oil does repel spiders

  • The evidence is mostly anecdotal. Peppermint oil has been observed to repel spiders. But unfortunately, there are very few scientific studies regarding this. It’s not right to completely conclude that peppermint oil does repel spiders effectively. But because of anecdotal evidence and mere observation, you can give it a try. There is even a test by researchers showing peppermint oil repelling two different families of spiders, so it’s not like peppermint oil as a spider repellent is completely baseless.
  • The strong smell is the likely reason spiders hate peppermint oil. It’s believed that spiders hate certain scents because of their strong smells. Some of these smells are unpleasant for humans too, such as garlic and vinegar. But some are pleasant to us, like peppermint. Spiders “smell” with their legs, so they avoid crawling on areas with these strong smells. This makes the ingredients with strong smells effective repellents. And they are natural too, which is always a plus.
  • Natural solutions are generally safer than commercial pesticides. Commercial pesticides have powerful ingredients like carbaryl and pyrethrin. You can find these pesticides in the form of bug bombs, foggers, and even liquid solutions. They work by attacking the nervous system of their targets, eventually killing them. But these ingredients can also be dangerous to humans. Natural solutions like peppermint oil, on the other hand, are less likely to harm you simply because they don’t have the powerful ingredients you typically see in commercial pesticides.
Peppermint oil does repel spiders.

Get rid of spiders with peppermint oil

1. Use real peppermint or peppermint essential oil

Some homeowners prefer using real peppermint, especially those who have gardens that happen to have peppermints in them. After all, peppermint is also a great repellent for many garden pests, such as cabbage worms.

If you don’t have real peppermint on hand, you can always just buy peppermint essential oil. Essential oils, particularly those in the peppermint variety, have many uses. They are very much in demand, so you will have no trouble looking for them.

2. Mix with water and put the solution in a spray bottle

To create a peppermint oil solution, mix peppermint and water in no specific ratio. If you are using real peppermint, you can crush the herbs and put them in the water. If you are using peppermint oil, just put a few drops in the water. Essential oils are already concentrated, so you only need to use a few drops.

Mix the solution well and put it in a spray bottle. This way, it will be very easy to spread the solution on spider-hiding spots and passageways, especially those spots that are inaccessible, small, or tight.

3. Spray on spider hiding spots and passageways

Spray on areas with spider activity. Usually, these are hiding spots and passageways. Passageways are easy enough to spot — doors, windows, cracks, gaps, and holes. But hiding spots can be tricky. After all, different kinds of spiders have different habits and hiding spots. Black widows, for instance, are more likely to hide in dark and dry places. Cellar spiders, on the other hand, are more likely to settle in damp areas.

If you don’t know the kinds of spiders you are dealing with, simply spray on areas you don’t always visit, such as attics, basements, crawlspaces, and even cabinets where you store your old clothes.

Black widow spider. Image source: Ken-ichi Ueda (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/deed.en)

Disadvantages of peppermint oil for spider control

  • Natural solutions have limited effectiveness. The great thing about home remedies like peppermint oil is that they are relatively safer than commercial pesticides. But this advantage comes with a cost — they are often not as effective. This is understandable since they are not specifically made to kill spiders. Many times, these home remedies just happen to have natural ingredients in them that happen to repel spiders. And that’s the thing — most home remedies can’t kill pests. They can only repel.
  • Peppermint oil can only repel spiders, not kill them. Peppermint oil, like other home remedies for spiders, can’t kill these eight-legged creatures. They don’t have specifically formulated ingredients that attack the nervous system of arachnids, unlike commercial pesticides. Home remedies are great if you are only dealing with a few home invaders. But if you are dealing with a full-blown pest infestation, pesticides are much more effective than repellents.
  • Essential oils can be dangerous when mishandled. Yes, home remedies like essential oils are generally safer than commercial pesticides. But this doesn’t mean that they are completely safe to use. If you are not careful, they can be as dangerous as the commercial pesticides you are trying to avoid. There is such a thing as essential oil poisoning. If you accidentally ingest peppermint oil, you can experience diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. And it doesn’t take much to get poisoned. It can take only 5-15 millimeters of the stuff for adults and 2-3 for children. Some people are also allergic to essential oils. These people can experience itching and rashes with direct contact with essential oils.

Repel spiders naturally with peppermint oil

Yes, peppermint oil does repel spiders. There are no extensive studies to support this claim, but researchers have observed the effectiveness of peppermint oil against certain spiders. Many people are also getting results with this home remedy, so it’s not bad to even just try using it.

Mix peppermint oil and water and put the solution in a spray bottle. Spray on spider-hiding spots and passageways and reapply when you feel like it. But take note that peppermint oil doesn’t kill spiders. It only repels them. If you have a full-blown spider infestation at home, don’t rely on natural remedies. Consider using commercial pesticides instead. If you don’t want to bother, you can let pest control professionals handle the spiders for you.

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