Peppermint is a hybrid mint obtained from a natural cross between watermint and spearmint. The flowering parts of peppermint are used to extract essential oils like peppermint oil. This oil has natural insecticidal properties that help repel bugs and spiders.
Peppermint oil doesn’t kill spiders. Instead, it repels them. Spiders tend to hate the smell of peppermint oil hence used as an instant repellant. Walking on peppermint oil alters the spider’s sense of smell, which eventually causes them to flee.
Use Peppermint Terpeneless oil available in local stores for successful results when repelling spiders. It works because it is more concentrated in menthol scent than other brands like; Peppermint Japanese and Peppermint Supreme.
How it works
Peppermint oil mainly contains a high concentration of menthol as a component in it. This component is responsible for the sharp odor of peppermint oil. Many of us find this mint odor cool, refreshing, and pleasing.
On the other hand, spiders have special cells known as olfactory cells, which are naturally located on their legs. These cells help facilitate breathing and tasting capabilities when distinguishing edible and non-edible objects. Their strong sense of smell can be advantageous when using scents to keep them away.
Therefore, the strong menthol odor will spread after spraying peppermint oil on spiders or around their surroundings. The spider will easily detect the sharp odor since it breathes via its legs. For a spider, peppermint oil’s sharp menthol odor overwhelms its olfactory cells.
Hence on detection of the smell, the spider will avoid crawling on the areas that contain the oil or the odor.
Nevertheless, essential oils contain some amounts of monoterpenoids in them. In this case, the essential oil involved is peppermint, which contains the compound. Monoterpenoids are found in fumigants and play a role in insecticidal properties. Therefore the compound also lends a hand to how peppermint oil repels spiders.
Can peppermint leaves kill and repel spiders?
Peppermint plants will only help keep spiders away but are not efficient when killing them. The peppermint leaves have a strong mint scent. This scent is not friendly to the spider’s olfactory cells. Hence the peppermint leaves will help deter the spiders away.
To repel spiders using peppermint plants, pluck and crush about 10 leaves and mix them with ½ cup of water. Leave the mixture to absorb well for about 3 minutes. Then pour the solution into a spraying bottle on the spiders and their habitats.
You can also use a simpler method of plucking peppermint leaves and putting them near your window pens or the doorways. The minty scent from the leaves will help deter the spiders.
Why do spiders hate peppermint?
Spiders are not friendly to strong odors and scents. They will do their best to avoid entering places with such conditions. Due to the fact that their legs are used to breathing and also crawl, they wouldn’t prefer crawling on surfaces with strong odors and scents.
Peppermint releases a strong mint scent from its leaves and the essential oil extracted from its leaves. This strong mint tends to irritate the spider’s sense of smell. This is what makes it a good repellent.
Therefore peppermint having a strong odor makes it the last place a spider would choose to be close to.
How to use peppermint oil to get rid of spiders
You can prepare an easy repellant as an alternative to calling the exterminators to clear away spiders in your home. To do so, here is what you will need:
- Peppermint essential oil
- Filtered water
- Spraying bottle
- Dish soap. This breaks the life cycle by destroying the spider’s eggs. Hence new spiders won’t show up.
Steps on how to use it
- Place 250 ml of filtered water in a spraying bottle.
- Add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil to it.
- Then add 5 drops of dish soap.
- After that, close the top tightly and then shake the mixture well.
- Spray the solution around doorways, windowsills, corners, and cracks where the spiders like to hang out.
How to make a homemade peppermint spray for spiders
As a substitute, you can use peppermint spray to get rid of spiders. Here is what you will need:
- Peppermint leaves
- Spraying bottle
How to use it
- Pluck about ten to fifteen peppermint leaves.
- Smash and grind them until they are soft. Then place the leaves in a spray bottle.
- Add 250ml of water.
- Give the mixture some five minutes to absorb the leaf content.
- Then spray the mixture on and around the spider’s habitat.
How often to use peppermint oil for spiders
Long exposure to the scent of peppermint oil is harmful. Therefore it is imperative to use it once a week. If the spiders persist or reappear again, you must spray after every few days but not consecutively.
You can use it daily for one week to eliminate outdoor spiders. While indoors, 2 times a week should be fine if the solution is concentrated. It all depends on the way you are using it. However, always note that the sooner the solution, the faster it will work.
Vinegar and peppermint oil for spiders
The white vinegar we use in our kitchen is also an excellent spider-repellant. This is because it has a high acid content, making it perfect to use against spiders. To use vinegar for spiders, you must mix water and vinegar at a ratio of 1:1, equal amounts.
Place the ingredients in a spraying bottle and shake well. Spray the vinegar and water mixture around the house where the spiders gather. The vinegar will leave a pungent smell that will work as a repellent.
Nevertheless, vinegar can also be used together with peppermint oil. Just add 10 drops of peppermint oil to the mixture and use it to repel the spiders. In fact, peppermint oil will make the mixture more effective and help curb the pungent smell of vinegar.
But when it comes to comparing which one is preferable for using against spiders, peppermint oil is more advantageous than vinegar. Since it does not leave behind a pungent smell but a pleasant smell when used indoors.
Can you mix tea tree and peppermint oil for spiders?
The tea tree leaves can also be used to produce essential oil for use against spiders. They have a scent that spiders hate. Therefore a blend between tea tree and peppermint oil will be a perfect repellent for spiders. What you will need:
- Peppermint oil
- Tea tree oil
- Spraying bottle
- Liquid dish soap
How to use it
- Make a mixture of peppermint oil and tea tree in equal amounts.
- Pour 10 drops of the mixture into a 450ml spraying bottle.
- Fill the spraying bottle with warm water up to the top.
- Add 5 drops of liquid dish soap, then close the spraying bottle tightly. The dish soap is used to break the oil molecules so that they can mix with water.
- Shake the mixture well.
- Then spray the mixture around doorways, windowsills, corners, and cracks where the spiders like to hang out.
When using peppermint oil to repel spiders, you’ll have to consider the following:
- Avoid spraying peppermint oil onto fabric and wood because it will leave oily spots.
- The oil can burn when it comes into contact with the skin.
- Finally, avoid getting peppermint oil in your eyes.
Therefore, peppermint oil doesn’t kill spiders, but it’s more effective when repelling them. If you want to kill them, you might want to spray the spiders with a mixture of white vinegar and water.
- New York State, Integrated Pest Management: Peppermint and Peppermint oil profile
- NIH: Eco-Friendly Peppermint Oil Pesticide
Calina Mabel has over 15 years of experience in the field of journalism and communications. Currently, Calina Mabel is the Content Writer for categories such as Cockroach, Ants, Bed Bugs, Mosquito, Rodent, Termite, and Flies on Pestweek.com. She aims to build content for these categories with a focus on providing valuable and accessible information to readers, in order to create the world’s largest knowledge community about Pests.
All content written by Calina Mabel has been reviewed by Emily Carter.