With Spring well underway, our little eight-legged friend the spider has been setting up shop. Egg sacs that were laid in the fall begin to hatch, more food sources are available, and getting ready for the mating season in the summer. It’s a busy time for spiders in the Pacific Northwest.
Which is great – spiders provide a special service for us humans. Ridding our freshly planted gardens of produce-eating pests and other flying irritants. But it can be quite creepy when accidentally walking through a spider web or meeting one face to face when pulling out sports gear.
For all they do for us, we don’t want to get rid of spiders altogether. However, we prefer they didn’t do it inside the house. Just thinking of an army of little spiders bursting forth from an egg sac in the living room is enough to make some folks want to leave the house immediately – never to return.
Instead of putting the house up for sale, there are some steps you can take care of the spider problem, including natural spider repellents. Peppermint essential oils are a popular solution – but do they really work? And how do they work?
Using Peppermint Oil To Repel Spiders
It sounds like an “old wives tale” passed down from generation to generation. However, there is some scientific evidence that points to essential oils, such as rosemary, lavender, and tea tree oil being successful on the spider deterrent front. Oil from the peppermint plant seems to be the best of the bunch.
Will they deter spiders, such as common house spiders as well as baddies like the brown recluse or black widow spiders? There is proof that as a natural repellent, essential oils seem to be pretty effective. All it takes is adding several drops into a spray bottle, fill with water, and spray away.
The reason peppermint oils seem to work great as a spider repellent spray is one of the reasons why people like mint: the smell. The overwhelming smell of mint (as well as other strong scent natural oils for spiders) will cause almost all spiders to run the other way.
The reason is since they smell/taste with their legs, walking through these strong smells will mess up their own sense of smell. Are these studies 100 percent conclusive? We can’t say that, but they do provide some anecdotal evidence that essential oils are a decent bug repellent.
The spray can be used wherever you commonly see spiders, as well as areas that don’t see the light of day. If you can find out how they’re getting into the house, you can spray the solution or place cotton balls doused in peppermint to keep the spiders on the move.
Before dousing the house in peppermint, make sure to test small areas first. Essential oils could stain certain materials, such as flooring, furniture upholstery, or wood products. Too much peppermint can even be harmful to pets and some humans if taken in large doses or placed on the skin. If you do want to try this spray solution, make sure to do some research first.
Other ways to keep your home clear of spiders
Drops of peppermint oil in a solution that can be sprayed is an easy enough way to repel spiders in your home. But how can you keep the spiders away in the first place? Some spider traps may use toxic chemicals that could hurt outdoor pets. But there are non-lethal ways to keep spiders at bay.
Be A Bad Host
Like any other animal, spiders move to where the food sources are. While they may not like the sugar left behind in an “empty” soda can or crumbs from a piece of toast, many insects do. Those insects end up being food for the spiders. Why not get rid of spiders and insects at the same time?
By removing foodstuffs from countertops, sealing up dry pet food, and keeping a generally tidy kitchen is a great first step. If there’s no source of food for the bugs, they go elsewhere – and the spiders should follow. If possible, keep those recyclable soda cans outside or in a sealable bin.
Don’t Put out the Welcome Mat
Open doors and windows just scream “come on in!” to bugs. Around the country, windows fly open after a few days of sun to help air out a stuffy home. But if those windows don’t have screens, it’s an open invitation to spiders and other creepy crawlies. Inspect and fix any window screens that need it.
If you see cobwebs, funnel webs, or other kinds of webs, it’s time to get out the broom. By continually knocking down their homes, spiders will eventually move on to more hospitable surroundings. While you’re at it, sweep the kitchen floor clean to keep from attracting insects as well.
Having issues with spiders, bugs, or other pests? Contact The Bug Man to see how we can help. We will discuss the interior and exterior issues at your home and personalize a plan specifically for you. No two situations are ever alike, so we gather as much information as we can.
Our pest control solutions won’t require you to move out of your home for days on end. Our crews are state-certified and stay up to date on all pest control processes and technology to stay on top of their game. If you have a pest problem, we have the solution.