The earth is home to approximately 38,000 species of spiders and if you are like many, you do not want any of them around you. As fascinating as they are, you may be wondering what you can do to keep them away from your home. First, you have to understand that spiders have been around for millions of years and are some of the most resilient creatures on the face of the planet.
Fortunately, mother nature has also is provided several solutions that will make your home less attractive to them. Peppermint oil is one of the few natural spider repellents that has been demonstrated to be effective by science. In this post, you’ll learn how to use peppermint oil for spiders.
How Does Peppermint Oil Repel Spiders?
It is not understood why certain oils repel spiders, but a recent study set out to see if using essential oils to repel spiders was just a myth, or whether there was something to it. They tested three different substances including lemon oil, peppermint oil, and the fruit of the chestnut tree. Of these, it was found that spiders have a slight tendency to avoid chestnuts. They do not avoid lemon oil at all, but they will run from peppermint oil. It was found that different spiders have different sensitivities to different substances (source).
Once you understand a little bit about spider anatomy, it is easy to see why they would avoid substances with volatile oils, such as peppermint. In fact, spiders have different types of breathing mechanisms. Some of them only exchange oxygen and excrete carbon dioxide through their skin. Others have different forms of trachea on their abdomen that are used for breathing. Because of their unique systems, they can survive for days in a sealed jar and still be alive, but they cannot survive having their breathing apparatus clogged.
Oils block the ability of spiders to breathe by clogging these breathing apparatuses. They also have sensory organs on their bottoms of their feet that can detect various types of substances on surfaces. It stands to reason that spiders would avoid substances that could potentially prevent them from breathing. Oils that are easily released into the atmosphere are more likely to be detected by spiders and avoided by them.
How to Use Peppermint Oil for Spiders? Try this Homemade Spider Repellent Recipe
Making your own spider repellent is an easy and inexpensive way to help keep spiders away from your home.
- 20 drops organic peppermint essential oil
- 1 ½ cup water
Simply mix these two items together and place them in a spray bottle. You will need to shake this mixture frequently as you use it because the water and oil will separate.
Spray around windowsills, entryways, and anywhere else that you want to keep spiders away. You will need to reapply this mixture about every two weeks because the oils in the peppermint will lose their strength as they evaporate into the air and do their job.
Where to buy organic peppermint oil?
You can find peppermint oil in most natural health food stores. Plant Therapy is a high quality brand you can buy online. This essential oil is certified organic:
What Other Insects Are Repelled by Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint oil is not only good for repelling spiders in your home, it is also good for repelling several other types of insects as well. One study found that peppermint oil is good for repelling mosquitoes from the home and from your body. Peppermint oil was able to repel between 84 and 100 percent of the mosquitoes in the study (source). In addition, the study found that a little bit of peppermint oil added to a petri dish killed mosquito larvae.
Peppermint oil will also work on several other types of insects as well including:
For repelling these types of insects, the oil works in much the same way as it does for spiders. Even though these insects have different sensory organs, they breathe using stomata through their skin. The will repels them because it has the potential for suffocating them. In the case of mosquitoes, the mechanism may be different. The oils may overwhelm their sensory system and make you invisible to them.
You can repel these insects by using peppermint oil on cotton balls, placed where you want to repel the insects. Just as with the water-based spray for spiders, you will need to reapply the oil frequently to be effective.
Are There Other Essential Oils that Repel Spiders?
Most people use peppermint oil for spiders because it’s the most effective one to repel them. However, several other essential oils can help repel spiders. The best ones are those that have a strong scent and volatile oils that dissipate into the atmosphere easily. Some good choices are:
These oils can be used alone, or in combination with peppermint oil. There are a great way to keep spiders and many insects away without resorting to harsh chemicals or potentially harmful pesticides.
Have you ever tried peppermint oil for spiders? Is it an effective spider repellent? Please feel free to share your experience with us.