Peppermint might be a popular winter scent for its ability to create a calm, warm environment that draws people together. In the summer, though, it’s ideal for getting rid of unwanted visitors of the eight-legged varieties. Peppermint is a highly regarded insect repellent and useful household ingredient in keeping spiders out of the house and away from your property.
All About Peppermint Oil
Peppermint is a hybrid mint, bred by mixing spearmint and water mint, a perennial that is common in waterways in Europe, Africa and Asia. Peppermint was found in 1753 in England and was originally treated as its own species; now, though, it’s recognized as a hybrid. The plant grows quickly, and can rapidly overtake an area. It’s frequently used in mint-flavored foods or hygiene products.
Peppermint oil is extracted from the peppermint leaves by chopping or crushing them, pouring a carrier oil, like olive oil, over the crushed leaves, and sealing the mixture in a jar for 24 hours. The next day, strain the oil and add more chopped peppermint leaves and carrier oil, and reseal. Repeat this for five days.
There are several different peppermint cultivars, including chocolate mint, lavender or lime mint, among others. Ensure that if you choose to make your own peppermint oil, you use a pure peppermint cultivar that hasn’t been bred with other varieties of mint.
Or, look for a pure, organic peppermint oil. Whether you make the peppermint oil yourself, or purchase a bottle, peppermint oil has an extremely high amount of concentrated natural pesticides.
Peppermint Oil and Spiders
There are several different popular and widely used remedies to get rid of spiders.
● Insect repellents: Many products are available on the market to keep your abode free of spiders. These products, though, don’t always have environmentally friendly ingredients. In addition to being harmful to the earth, these products aren’t always effective in the battle against spiders. Many insect repellents incorporate ingredients that can be found to be toxic, making them dangerous for families with children or pets.
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● Spider and insect traps: These glue traps are less toxic, and therefore safer for children, but due to the nature of the glue traps, these traps are not a humane way for a spider to die. Many spiders tire of trying to break free from the glue, and end up falling face fast first on the glue trap. The glue then gets stuck in the spider’s airways, and it ends up suffocating,
● Home remedies: There are many at-home remedies that some people have found to be successful when treating their house for spiders. From white vinegar and chestnuts to citrus and turmeric, many people have tried different home ingredient remedies to keep spiders from entering their houses.
● Peppermint oil and spray: Peppermint oil spray is a long-favored treatment for repelling spiders and keeping them from returning.
Does Peppermint Oil Repel Spiders?
Yes! Peppermint has a high concentration of pulegone, a natural pesticide. In one study, pulegone, menthone, and carvone were extracted from spearmint and pennyroyal. When these three essential oils were extracted and used as insecticides, researchers found that pulegone was nine times more effective when used in its authentic form; menthone was six times more effective, and carvone was twice as effective.
The pulegone that is found in peppermint is highly concentrated. Peppermint also contains menthone, the second month effective natural pesticide found in mint.
Using Peppermint Oil to Repel Spiders
Using a high-quality, pure, organic peppermint essential oil is the key to successfully driving spiders from your house. The recipe is simple:
- 15-20 drops of pure peppermint oil
- Spray Bottle
Mix the peppermint oil and water in the spray bottle. You may need to adjust the amount of peppermint oil that you use in the water; add drops of oil until the water has a strong minty smell. Once you’ve perfected the formula, spray the water mix in the cracks, gaps and corners that provide easy entrance points for spiders. As the water evaporates, the peppermint essential oils will remain and provide a natural block that keeps spiders from entering.
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You can reinforce the spray by adding two to three drops of peppermint essential oil to a cotton ball. Once the oil has soaked into the cotton ball, place it in the same corners and spaces where you are seeing spiders enter.
To get better results, there are a few ingredients you can add to your mixture. They’ll not only extend the life of the spray, but will help to increase its ability to permeate the spider entrance points.
- White vinegar
- Distilled or boiled water
- Witch hazel
- Vegetable glycerin
- Eucalyptus, lemongrass or clove essential oils
It’s good to keep a bottle of the solution on-hand so that the next time you see a spider, you are prepared and ready to protect your home from unwanted arachnid neighbors.