Insects like spiders come out in the fall, creeping into houses to hide where it's warm.
Spider webs are everywhere, with big, fat spiders lurking nearby that end up in our faces and air whenever we accidentally run into their webs.
Then there are the creepy wolf spiders, lurking in corners, that speed across the floor at a moment's notice. Or those small jumping spiders that can frighten people when they jump in your direction.
Tiny spiders or big spiders - if you have a fear of spiders, also known as arachnophobia, herbs can come to the rescue. Essential oils like peppermint are great for warding off spiders as well as other insects like ants.
Spiders and other insects dislike the smell of peppermint, particularly when it's an essential oil as it's much more powerful in this concentrated form.
Spiders smell and taste with their legs so crawling through essential oils is something they want to avoid.
Essential oils like peppermint and lavender contain monoterpenoids, which are fumigants that can ward off spiders and also ants with their strong scent.
Peppermint contains menthol, which is a strong scent that can also have side effects such as dizziness, confusion, muscle weakness, double vision and nausea if it is inhaled in large doses.
That’s why peppermint oil should always be diluted with caution used when spraying it in the house.
How to Use Peppermint Essential Oil
The best way to repel spiders is to add five drops of the essential oil to a 16-ounce spray bottle filled with water and a teaspoon of Epsom salt. It’s best to use distilled or filtered water so the essential oil isn’t contaminated by impurities found in tap water. The Epsom salt helps the oil mix with water.
Shake it up and then apply the spray. Doors and windows and any perimeters of the home where spiders hide are good places to spray. Check the corners of bathrooms and closets as well.
Spray these areas first, about once a week and see if the spiders come back. Caulk any cracks in the home and other spots where spiders come in. Make sure baseboards, windowsills and corners are cleaned regularly.
Other Essential Oils To Try
Peppermint oil can also be combined with other essential oils. Try essential oils like lemon, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender and citronella. Try a 50/50 ratio of three drops lemon and three drops peppermint. Or combine peppermint with citronella. You can also try a combination of lavender, peppermint and lemon. Keep in mind that you and family members or guests will be smelling these oils as well so you have to like the scent. It’s fun to experiment to determine what works best to keep spiders at bay.
Mint is toxic to dogs and cats. Inhaling mint can cause severe symptoms for pets so it’s best to avoid peppermint if there are dogs or cats in the home. Tea tree and eucalyptus should be avoided as well.
Lavender is safe for pets and so is marjoram, chamomile and geranium. These essential oils also repel pests.
When you hate spiders, it's great to know there's a natural method to keep them away.