Does Peppermint Oil Repel Spiders? (Updated Guide)

Peppermint oil before being used to repel spiders

Using peppermint oil for spiders is a tactic that has been passed around for many years. But after so much time it’s hard to tell if it’s actually useful, or just an old wives’ tale.

This guide will go over how effective peppermint oil is for rappelling and getting rid of spiders. Plus, we go over the best ways to use it!

Does Peppermint Oil Repel Spiders?

While spiders do a lot of good for our yards and gardens, it’s never fun catching them in your home! The mere sight of these eight-legged pests can make anyone’s skin crawl. While the go-to for most is to utilize chemical-based insecticides, there are some gentler alternatives out there.

Take, for example, peppermint oil. For generations, many families have used peppermint oil to keep creepy crawlies out of the home. But does peppermint oil actually repel spiders?

Believe it or not, this technique is not just an old wives’ tale. Peppermint is a fantastic, all-natural spider deterrent! It’s a popular natural remedy that many even say rivals chemical products.

Spider leaving a home after coming across peppermint oil

The reason peppermint oil repels spiders comes down to the smell. For us humans, peppermint is usually a pleasant smell that reminds us of candy, cooking, and refreshing sweets. But to spiders? That fragrant aroma is overbearing and uncomfortable!

Quick Tip: It’s not just spiders that think so! Many bugs hate the stuff. Other aromatic essential oils, such as tea tree, citronella, and eucalyptus, have a similar effect. However, peppermint oil seems to have the largest impact.

The exact reason why spiders hate peppermint oil so much isn’t apparent, but there are some theories and plenty of anecdotal evidence.

One hypothesis is that the intense aroma throws off their own sense of smell. Spiders have scent-sensitive hairs on their legs instead of receptors in their mouth. As a result, they smell by walking!

Crawling over surfaces covered in a strong smell like peppermint oil only ruins their ability to search for food.

Another theory suggests that the oil’s monoterpenoids are to blame. Monoterpenoids are natural fumigants found in many essential oils. They’re thought to play a large part in peppermint oil’s repellent properties.

Whatever the case may be, peppermint oil for spiders is incredibly effective (if you use it properly). It can prevent spiders from ever wanting to cross the threshold and get into your home when used correctly.

How To Use It To Get Rid Of Spiders

Using peppermint oil to get rid of spiders is fairly easy. In fact, there are a few different methods you can use. Like most essential oils, peppermint is quite versatile. 

For Small Areas 

If your potential spider problem is limited to a small area, you could try making the oil airborne. Oil burners and diffusers are readily available and can fill a room up with some pleasant fragrance. Diffusers are particularly effective, as the oil vaporizes into tiny molecules that float through the air.

These two tools are both effective. However, the impact won’t be as noticeable unless you’re dealing with a super confined infestation.

Using Peppermint Oil Spray As A Repellent

For any other case, peppermint oil spray is likely your best bet. Sprays are the most common application technique, as you can create invisible boundaries and treat areas all over your home (it’s one of our favorite ways to get rid of spiders in garages).

To create a spray solution, add one and a half cups of water and about half a cup of white vinegar to a standard spray bottle. Then, add about 20 drops of your peppermint oil. Give the bottle a good shake to mix everything up, and you’re good to go!

Some people like to use a more straightforward solution without any vinegar. To make that, all you have to do is replace the vinegar with a shot of dish soap.

Both formulas are equally as effective. But of course, the peppermint oil spray will only work if you apply it correctly.

So, where do you spray it?

If you want to spray peppermint oil to repel spiders, start with all the entry points. Spray around corners, windowsills, and door entryways. Then, look around your house for cracks or voids that spiders can get through. Finally, round off your application by hitting dark spots where spiders typically hide.

Try spraying behind appliances, below furniture, and any other place you find wispy spider webs!

Quick Tip: If you’re on the fence about applying a spray, there are a few other ways to utilize peppermint oil. Some homeowners like to soak cotton balls in oil and toss them around dark corners of the home. In this form, the oil acts like mothballs! You can move them around to ensure spiders aren’t getting in.

You can also use loose leaves or whole plants. Place the greenery around known entry points. Leaves and plants will have similar deterring properties. 

Advantages Of Using Peppermint Oil

It won’t take long for you to realize that using peppermint oil for spiders is rather effective. But beyond that, this all-natural remedy has a lot to offer. 

While exterminators might tell you that there are better treatment methods out there, very few have the same benefits of peppermint oil. Aside from repelling spiders, here are some of the most significant advantages this essential oil brings to the table.

An All-Natural Solution

Have you ever thought about what kinds of chemicals your family is exposed to? Take one look at the ingredients list of popular repellents, and you’ll find a host of potentially harmful chemicals.

Some of the worst offenders are permethrin, pyrethroids, cyfluthrin, and DEET. Those chemicals have the potential to cause a wide range of adverse side effects. Exposure could lead to breathing problems, neurotoxicity, and more.

Peppermint oil before being used to repel spiders

While most brands take care to dilute those chemicals properly, there are still risks. Children, elderly residents, and those with poor health have the highest risk of encountering issues.

With peppermint oil, those health problems are not a concern. This is an extremely eco-friendly and safe method of pest control. You’ll know what’s in your repellent, leaving the uncertainty and worry behind.

Affordability

Sure, using peppermint oil to get rid of spiders can get a bit pricier than other options initially. But in the grander scheme of things, using it can be far cheaper than the alternatives.

Think about it:

Sprays only use 20 drops at most because the oil is heavily diluted without sacrificing potency. A large bottle of peppermint essential oil will last you through many refills.

Now, compare the cost of a small bottle of peppermint oil to the price of several commercial repellents or insecticides. Or even worse, consider the price of hiring an exterminator.

Suddenly, using peppermint oil for spiders looks like a much more cost-efficient choice!

Wide Availability

Another big perk of using peppermint oil is that it’s easy to find. The essential oil market is booming! 

Many big-box stores and grocery retailers carry them. If you can’t find them there, try looking in an herbal store or nature-focused store. Of course, peppermint oil is quite easy to find online as well.

Versatility

As mentioned earlier, peppermint oil doesn’t just work for repelling spiders.

Many insects hate the intense aroma that comes from essential oils. It’s a great way to keep everything from roaches and fleas to mice and squirrels out of areas where you don’t want them.

It truly is an all-purpose repellent that can help you keep your home pest-free.

Interior Enhancement

Finally, peppermint oil can do a lot to make your home feel a bit cozier.

Who doesn’t love the smell of refreshing peppermint? Its cooling scent is a great way to freshen up your domain.

Quick Tip: Plus, some say that peppermint oil can even have a positive impact on your health. It reportedly clears the sinuses, treats headaches, and more. That’s a lot more than you can say for chemical-based products!

Safety Precautions

Before you start whipping up a few bottles of peppermint oil spray, there are some safety risks to mention. While peppermint oil is all-natural and safe in small doses, overdoing it could lead to some potential health problems.

Inhaling undiluted oil could lead to some unwanted side effects. These include dizziness, nausea, muscle weakness, and double vision. Large doses can also impact your mental state, causing confusion and disorientation.

Quick tip: There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the smell. However, you must ensure that you’re correctly diluting the oil to avoid any aforementioned health issues. Also, you should always apply the spray in a well-ventilated area.

Another potential cause for concern is skin irritation. Peppermint oil contains menthol. As a result, it can really aggravate your skin!

Touching it with your bare hands could lead to intense drying, rashes, and more. If you’re allergic to menthol, you could even experience issues like inflammation and severe breakouts!

When handling both diluted and undiluted peppermint oil, wear gloves to keep your skin protected.

Finally, the last concern to think about is peppermint oil’s effect on cats and dogs. If you have indoor pets, avoid using peppermint oil altogether. It should never be anywhere your pets frequent.

According to the ASPCA, peppermint oil is highly toxic to canines and felines. Even inhaling diluted solutions can lead to a wide array of health problems. To avoid any risk of harm to your furry friend, it’s best to look elsewhere for a spider repellent.

Can Peppermint Oil Kill Spiders?

We know that it repels spiders, but can you use peppermint oil to kill spiders?

Unfortunately, here’s where this method falls short. Spraying peppermint oil onto a spider is only going to irritate them.

Sure, you could try to drown them in the stuff. But in terms of contact killing, peppermint oil won’t do a thing.

The most it will do is drive spiders away. Theoretically, you could utilize the oil in areas they reside to force them out of your home. However, there are always other places where they could go.

To deal with a large number of spiders that are already in your home, you’ll need to try other methods.

Conclusion

Using peppermint oil for spiders is definitely a viable option if you want to repel and get rid of these critters. It’s not only effective, but it’s also easy to use!

Let us know if you have any questions about getting rid of spiders with peppermint oil. We’re always happy to help.

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