Do Spiders Really Hate Peppermint?

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If you don’t like critters with 8 legs and a bazillion eyes I suggest you squeeze your eyes almost shut so this page gets blurry, then scroll down far enough so you can’t see the pictures.

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We have a large screened-in pool deck and unfortunately it’s prime real estate for spiders, specifically brown widows. And here is where I am torn.

Good – Brown widows are venomous but rather docile and the chances that they will bite my children or pets is pretty low. Or so I’m told, I’m not about to intentionally find out.

*I feel the need to strongly knock on wood right here*

Bad – Brown widows are venomous.

Good – Brown widows tend to take over the territories of the less venomous, but more aggressive (though still on the docile side), black widow.

Bad – Brown widows are venomous.

Good – Brown widows belong in our ecosystem and removing them could screw up the balance.

Bad – I don’t know if I mentioned this, but brown widows are venomous.

The key is to remove the spiders that are there now and figure out a way to keep them away for good. But how?

Thankfully the internet came to the rescue.

THE CLAIM:
Spiders hate peppermint

THE MEME AS SEEN ON FACEBOOK:
peppermint oil

THE SITE THE MEME LINKS TO:
Herbs and Oils World (this is a commercial site, not an affiliate link)

MY METHOD:
Step 1: Clear out two corners currently infested by spiders

Step 2: Make peppermint essential oil/water mixture. The site didn’t get specific but they linked to a 4 or 5 ounce spray bottle and said to use 10-15 drops of peppermint essential oil. I decided to mix 10 drops of doTerra brand peppermint essential oil in 4 ounces of water. My use of doTerra isn’t an endorsement, it’s just what I had because I have a friend who sells it.

Step 3: Saturate one corner (the corner next to the door) at initial application. Reapply peppermint spray after rain and every 2-3 days thereafter. Do not spray second corner at any point during this experiment.

Step 4: Keep an eye on both areas over the next few weeks to see if the spiders move back into either corner.

THE PROOF:
*My experiment is not complete. I will add pictures and updates over the next few weeks.*

August 27, 2013

Spider sacs were removed from the corner near the door:
spiders1

and the corner a few panels over:
spiders2

Look for an update once a week until I determine if spiders really do hate peppermint!

UPDATE 8/29/2013
-Both corners are spider-free two days after removal & peppermint application




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23 Comments

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23 Responses to Do Spiders Really Hate Peppermint?

  1. I use peppermint for mosquito repellent and it works great!

    For spiders I would try a combination of catnip, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass…and spray like mad! Lol I don’t like spiders!

    I’ll be watching for your updates.

  2. I have wondered the exact same thing! I will be watching for your answer!

  3. Saw this article and figured if the peppermint didn’t work, there were a few other options to try: http://www.naturallivingideas.com/9-natural-ways-to-keep-spiders-out-of-your-home/

  4. Me

    So did it really work?

    I’ve tried eucalyptus oil and peppermint oil sprayed around baseboards and corners on the ceiling. A day later my husband said he saw a spider climb up the wall and when it got to the corner it dropped back to the floor. Not sure if that was a coincidence or if it was actually working. I haven’t personally seen spiders in the rooms I’ve sprayed, but we did get a big one in one of the rooms that I didn’t spray – again, could just be a coincidence! It’s only been a few days, so I’d like to know if this is going to work or if I’m wasting my time.

    I’d really like to know, a month later, did this experiment actually work?

    • Meg

      Well, no brown widows have moved back in BUT they haven’t moved back into the I sprayed corner either. We have had some huge banana spiders move in, they could account for that too. Or maybe it’s the weather change. So I’m calling this one a big no, simply because the banana spiders moved in.

  5. Karen

    I wondered if you added any dish soap in your solution? From what I have read you need a few drops to keep the oil in solution with the water (oil and water don’t mix, right). Then a good shake before you spray, to ensure its mixed. If not, I would imagine you are spraying mostly water. I am heading out to get some peppermint oil today. Going to try my own non-toxic experiment.

    • Meg

      I hadn’t heard this. Since I was spraying in my pool area I wouldn’t add the soap because it could run into the pool with the rain and it’s a struggle keeping the pool chemicals balanced. But, worth a try indoors! My husband used to spray his plants with diluted dish soap, so there is probably some basis there :)

  6. Alicia

    Hiiii.. Can someone please confirm if the peppermint works now or not?? I had an spider climbing in my hair last night while sleeping!!!! I was horrified when this woke me up and i saw it was a spider.. Please help, i really dislike spiders in my house and especially on me.

    • Meg

      That would freak me out!!

      I came to the conclusion that it kinda works, maybe. I haven’t seen any more brown widows but some orb weavers did move in to the area. I dont know if the brown widows were chased out, or if it was the cooling of the weather, or the peppermint. So, I’ll tell you that peppermint can’t hurt but it might not help either.

      • alicia

        Hahaha thanks meg. I sprayed some peppermint mix around the house.. Ill just keep some insect killer close(sorry enviroment). And ill have to start checking the bed before I go to sleep.

  7. Vanessa

    I had a really bad yellow sac spider problem a few weeks ago. I started spraying peppermint oil all over the place, bought some peppermint scented candles, and I store candy canes in my sinks and cupboards, and I can say that I haven’t seen one since. I was killing at least one a day, usually more, and to not see any in so long makes me very happy. I am gonna say it works. Plus my house now smells like christmas!! :)

  8. April

    Peppermint does work, but I use it full strength. Add drops to cotton balls and place them around. Took one large spider (big enough I thought he might eat my cat) to the pearly gates over night. Another plus, my garage smells all minty instead of humid and dirty :)

  9. Spring

    Hahahahaha!!!! This is awesome!!!! I just ordered the oil and plan on doing the cotton ball thing too!

  10. Nichole

    How often should you reapply the solution to keep spiders away?

  11. Stephanie

    I tried spraying with oil/water mixture as well as leaving cotton balls soaked in peppermint oil around. After a couple days I found multiple spiders crawling on the cotton balls. Despite having read this on multiple websites, I don’t think it works at all!! (Also tried sticking a cotton ball soaked with vinegar under a glass with a large spider I had just caught. It climbed all over it, couldn’t care less that it was there!)

  12. Charlot

    I have peppermint planted completely around my house and that doesn’t bother the spiders. I know what will keep them out of your house though…Food Grade Diatomaceous Earth or DE. This only works inside the house because it has to be dry to work. I dust it around my house monthly and I keep it in cracks and behind furniture all the time. I haven’t seen a crawling bug in over a year. I see flying ones once in awhile because they haven’t landed in it yet. My pets have been flea free for the first time since I moved to NC in 2003. I tried everything to get rid of them but nothing worked. It is harmless to mammals (don’t breathe it in like any powder) but deadly to any bug. Only buy FOOD GRADE. The kind for pools has chemicals and is toxic. I am so thankful I found DE because I am terribly afraid of spiders and hate fleas and this is the buggiest place I have ever been in my life. I rarely go outside in the summer because the bugs are so bad.

  13. Mary

    Where can I buy peppermint oil? And I have spider webs all over my bushes! Can you spray shrubs???

  14. Andiee

    @Mary – I went looking all over the place today for peppermint oil. The closest I could find in any “regular” store was extract which was 9% oil and 91% alcohol. I finally stopped in at Trader Joe’s (a health food store) and they sent me to another health food/drug store called Marlene’s. I’d never heard of it before, but they had it. I’d google for a health food or natural food store in your area.

    • Meg

      Yup! Whole Foods also sells it. You can also find it in the beauty aisle in some grocery stores, ours sells it and tea tree oil on the bottom shelf under the eye make-up. You don’t want extract, the stuff sold in the baking aisle. It’s mostly alcohol and will evaporate much faster, you want the oil, which is generally not recommended for ingestion. You can also order it online. You dont need to get the super expensive stuff, any oil should be ok :)

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