Peppermint Oil for Spiders: Does it Work

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Using peppermint oil for spiders is a common at-home solution to any pesky infestation, but before you start sprinkling this oil around your home, you should understand how to do it right!

Does Peppermint Oil Repel Spiders?

Yes, using peppermint oil can be an effective means of repelling spiders. It is commonly known that many essential oils function as natural insect repellents, and while spiders aren’t technically insects, they also seem to be immediately turned away by the odor. It is believed that peppermint oil – the essential oil of the hybrid mint plant – has such a strong odor and such powerful aromatic compounds that spiders, who often smell with their legs and hair, will avoid walking through an area with that oil present. [1]

Some of the other active ingredients in the oil may also be slightly toxic to spiders, so they will quickly turn and move away from the source of such a smell. Lining any cracks or crevices in your house with peppermint oil, as well as doors to the outside, can be a quick solution that doesn’t kill the spiders, but does keep your home clear. [2]

A bottle of peppermint oil with a fresh twig on a wooden table

Peppermint oil Photo Credit: Shutterstock

How to Use Peppermint Oil to Repel Spiders?

If you want to use peppermint oil for spiders, you should also consider mixing in some vinegar. [3]

Anecdotal evidence points to this particular combination as being a surefire way of repelling spiders and all other types of insects as well.

  • Step 1: Mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar with 1.5 cups of water.
  • Step 2: Add 20-25 drops of peppermint oil.
  • Step 3: Mix well and pour into a spray bottle.
  • Step 4: Thoroughly spray your windowsills, doorways, and dusty corners with this spray.

Note: You can reapply this spray mixture on your doors and windows every 1-2 weeks, as the aromas will last far beyond the time when humans are able to detect them.

Side Effects of Peppermint Oil for Spiders

Peppermint oil might have a few side effects, such as:

Skin Allergies: Whenever you use essential oils, you must be careful about exposure, particularly to the skin. In some cases, this is perfectly safe, but topical irritation and inflammation are possible. [4]

Topical Inflammation: When spraying this mixture in an enclosed space, be sure not to inhale too many of the fumes directly from the spray of vinegar and peppermint oil. This can cause lightheadedness, headaches, topical inflammation of the sinuses, and other unwanted side effects.

While it isn’t a major risk, it is best to keep your pets away from these sprayed areas for a few hours. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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