No matter how clean you keep your home, porch and patio, spiders are bound to find their way indoors or inhabit some of your outdoor living areas. The same areas that are attractive to people are often attractive to spiders, so it's helpful to know a way to keep them at bay. Peppermint oil, an essential oil that can be found in many natural markets, repels spiders and other pests such as ants. It smells pleasant as well, and can be used without harming pets or people.
Why Peppermint Works
Peppermint is a scent that spiders find repulsive. Spiders sense chemicals, and essentially scent and taste, through tiny receptor hairs on their front legs. A strong scent such as essential peppermint oil is enough to send spiders scurrying in another direction, as far away from the overwhelming odour as possible.
Making a Peppermint Pest Repellent Spray
Fill a small or medium-sized spray bottle to near the top with tap water. Add five to ten drops of peppermint essential oil. Do not use peppermint extract or fake peppermint scents. Reattach and seal the spray nozzle. Shake the mixture and open the lid -- if the water smells strongly of peppermint, you're good to go; otherwise, add a few more drops of oil. Spray the mixture in dark corners, inside windows or any other areas where spiders have been seen.
Pure Peppermint Oil as Spider Repellent
Saturate a cotton ball or cotton pad with peppermint essential oil and place it in a small tray or saucer in areas where spiders congregate indoors. The scent will keep them away. Do not leave the oil-soaked cotton directly on wood finish, fabric or delicate areas as the oil may leave a stain. Re-soak the cotton when the scent is no longer noticeable or if spiders return. The cotton method works well in enclosed indoor areas.
Special Considerations While Using Peppermint Oil
Peppermint essential oil is quite strong, so do not rub your eyes or anywhere near them if you've got any oil on your hands. Use cool water on a washcloth to wipe your face if your eyes burn or get watery after handling peppermint oil. Most pets and pests will stay away from peppermint oil, but do not apply oil where a pet may ingest it, just in case. Peppermint oil will not harm your skin unless you are sensitive to it, and is even used to calm the mind, relieve muscle aches and headaches -- all added bonuses to your spider-fighting adventures.
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