By Mark Piatt
Updated on June 5, 2020
Their creepiness brings instant fear to many people even if most spiders are mostly harmless.
But spiders are critical in sustaining our ecosystem, so if you are interested in only repelling them, then essential oils may be an option.
My personal story with spiders and essential oils
Many people believe that if a spider is not poisonous, then it is ok to have them in your home. This is not always the case.
During the summer of 2014, I was bit by a wolf spider while I slept.
I had an allergic reaction and received a fungal infection from that bite.
The allergic reaction and infection eventually covered a large part of my body.
I had to get several injections of Kenalog (a powerful corticosteroid) and had to take multiple rounds of anti-fungal medication before we were able to get it under control.
For several years, the infection would come back because of spores that remained dormant in my body, which would require more anti-fungal medication. The infection was extremely uncomfortable and looked terrible.
Believe me, I do not want to go through that again.
Generally, if I find a spider in the house, I will let it loose outside, unless it is a black widow, then it is instant death.
I have a cousin that nearly died after getting bit by a black widow, so I show no mercy when I find them, and we get a lot of them in our yard.
Every spring I clean out my storage shed in the backyard. There are always spider webs, spiders, crickets, and on occasion, I have trapped a mouse.
Looking around online I found that many people claim that peppermint oil will keep spiders away. So, I thought I would give it a try.
In 2019, I purchased these 16-ounce spray bottles and added 25 drops of peppermint essential oil, a couple of drops of dish soap, and water. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, I would spray all along the edges twice a week.
Guess what? That was the first year in 30 years that I did not get spider webs in my storage shed.
Was it the peppermint or did spiders decide not to hang out in my shed?
I would like to think it was the peppermint spray that did the trick.
This April (2020) I started spraying the shed again twice a week. But this time, I have altered the formula. I am using a combination of Peppermint and Lemon oil.
If you do not wish to make your own spray, you can purchase some pre-made sprays such as this Spider Killer & Repellent Spray. This spray includes some of the highest active natural ingredients available based on numerous studies. Waterproof and lasts up to 90 days.
It is now May of 2022. I was on the late show with my spraying. I usually start spraying at the beginning of April but I am way too lazy and didn’t start until the middle of May.
A black widow and a small brown spider decided to make their home in the shed. I sprayed a peppermint mix on them and they took off like there was no tomorrow. It has now been a week since I started spraying and I haven’t found any new signs of those two spiders. Hopefully, they are not lurking around one of the storage containers I have in there.
8 Essential Oils That Repel Spiders
Why use essential oils?
- One of the main reasons is if you do not wish to kill spiders, but only to deter them from hanging out, essential oils are a good choice.
- While most of us like the aroma of peppermint, tea tree, and lemon, spiders find the smell overwhelming and offensive. Or perhaps maybe they do not like the taste of essential oils.
- Essential oils are generally non-toxic to us.
- Insecticides and chemicals can leave a residue.
- Harsh chemicals could be toxic to you or your pets.
- Pest control chemicals usually have nasty smells.
- Using toxic chemicals has the potential to contaminate your food.
Information provided in this description is for educational purposes only. For possible treatments of physical or mental diseases, please seek a trained and licensed health professional. Enchanted Aromatics is not responsible for any adverse affects resulting from the use of any suggestions, products, preparations, or procedures mentioned or from following historical uses of essential oils.
How do essential oils repel spiders?
Many plants that essential oils are derived from contain natural organic compounds that have insecticidal properties. These components are known as monoterpenoids.
These monoterpenoids have characteristic odors and tastes and have been used as cosmetic materials, food additives, insecticides, and insect repellents.
Essential oils repel spiders because these aromas can be extremely intense and overwhelming for spiders.
Imagine sticking your fingers in a jar of cinnamon oil and then licking your fingers. Your whole mouth would be on fire. The same goes for spiders.
When essential oils are sprayed in the areas you wish to keep spiders away from, they do not like the aroma and will avoid the area.
Keep in mind that it only repels the spider. There is nothing to keep the spider from hanging out in an area you have not sprayed.
How to use essential oils for repelling spiders
Remember, essential oils are highly concentrated, so a little goes a long way.
Before using, shake your spray bottle to make sure the oil and water can mix.
One major drawback of using this method is you will need to spray at least several times a week.
Essential oils are volatile compounds. This means they evaporate rather quickly. But on the bright side, spraying the area will add a nice aroma to the room.
Spray around the corners of the room, near entrances, along the edges of walls, floorboards, and anywhere that spiders may hang out.
You can also soak a cotton ball with the mixture and place it around corners.
But remember, this treatment is not a magic bullet. It only deters a spider from hanging out in a certain area.
There is nothing that will keep the spider from moving to another part of your home.
Also, if you have an infestation, more drastic measures will be needed, perhaps even calling an exterminator.
Cautions when using essential oils
Even though essential oils are all-natural, does not mean they cannot be harmful to you or your pets.
Essential oils are made up of many highly concentrated compounds and chemicals, so caution would be prudent when using them.
- Do not use the essential oils undiluted.
- Do not overwhelm a room with the aroma of essential oils.
- Do not ingest essential oils.
- Keep in mind that some essential oils may be harmful to your pets.
- Do not use around young children. Some essential oils such as peppermint can be harmful to young children because their lungs are not fully developed.
- Treat your spray as you would treat any hazardous chemical.
- Keep the spray bottle away from children.
You may wish to take some of these precautions when spraying essential oils to repel spiders.
- Use gloves and if you are sensitive to the aroma, use a mask.
- Remove any pets when spraying.
- You may wish to open any windows for a short time after spraying.
- Keep the spider spray away from foods and beverages.
- Keep the spray away from children.
Does peppermint essential oil repel spiders?
Many of us have heard that peppermint essential oil can repel spiders. But is that really true?
Yes! Peppermint essential oil really does work to repel spiders. This is one natural remedy that does work. Although most pest control companies would have you believe that natural products do not work. They obviously do this because they do not want their patented products being undercut by natural remedies.
There have been a limited number of studies conducted on the effectiveness of using peppermint essential oil and a few other essential oils to repel spiders. Some of these studies also indicate that peppermint oil can also repel other creepy crawlies such as ants and crickets.
Another study published in PubMed concluded that peppermint essential oil was effective at repelling spiders from two different families of spiders tested.
The best essential oils for repelling spiders are:
Peppermint essential oil with its minty aroma is generally believed to be the most effective essential oil at repelling spiders.
Spiders absolutely hate that “minty” aroma.
Insect repelling compounds: Menthol, menthone, iso menthone, limonene, and b- pinene.
Tea tree essential oil has a strong camphoraceous aroma with a slightly spicy undertone. Tea tree essential oil is a great choice for repelling spiders.
Insect repelling compounds: Terpinen-4-ol, g-Terpinene, a-Terpinene, Terpinolene, 1,8-Cineole, and a-Pinene.
This can include, lemon, orange, bergamot, grapefruit, lime, mandarin, and tangerine, along with a few others. Although there is some debate on the effectiveness of citrus oils, anecdotal evidence does show that they seem to work citrus oils can be a good choice for repelling spiders Plus citrus oils smell really nice.
Insect repelling compounds: Limonene, b-Myrcene, a-Pinene, Geranial, and Neral.
Lavender essential oil is considered the most versatile of all the essential oils. The best part is its soft floral aroma which most people like, but spiders do not.
Because of certain compounds, lavender essential oil may be a good option for repelling spiders.
Insect repelling compounds: Linalyl acetate, Limonene, Lavandulyl acetate, and 1,8-cineole.
Eucalyptus essential oil has a distinctive medicinal aroma that is woody and warm. Spiders do not like the powerful aroma of eucalyptus oil. Because of this, eucalyptus oil is a good choice for repelling spiders.
Insect repelling compounds: Cineole, a-Terpineol, (þ)-Limonene, Piperitone, a-Pinene, and Caryophyllene.
Clove essential oil has a pungent odor that is repulsive to pests, including spiders. Between 73%-90% of Clove essential oil is made up of a compound called eugenol. This compound has been shown to kill some insects on contact and can repel many others. The essential oil works best for repelling spiders when combined with other essential oils such as peppermint.
Who does not like the smell of Cinnamon? Spiders! The cinnamon essential oil will repel many spiders. Like Clove oil, between 67%-87% of cinnamon leaf essential oil is made up of eugenol. Make sure you get cinnamon leaf essential oil, and not cinnamon bark essential oil. Cinnamon bark essential oil only has about 2%-13% of eugenol.
Citronella essential oil comes from lemongrass. You can get either essential oil. Citronella is well known for repelling mosquitoes, but it also repels spiders just as effectively, but for different reasons. For mosquitoes, citronella masks carbon dioxide and lactic acid, which mosquitoes are attracted to. Spiders do not like the intense smell.
Insect repelling compounds: This mainly comes from the compounds called geraniol and citronellal.
Other natural products that repel spiders
There are some other natural products that are effective for repelling spiders.
These Scent Pouches can treat areas for up to 60 days. They are made from citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary essential oils.
Mighty Mint Gallon is a 100% plant-based spray that is a natural and safe insect and pest control spray. Besides spiders, this spray is also effective against ants, flying insects, roaches, rodents, and other pests.
Grandpa Gus’s Spider Repellent Pouches are made from peppermint and lemongrass. They not only repel spiders, but the insects they eat, so the spiders don’t return. Each pouch can last up to 90 days.
Spiders have a particularly important role to play, but many people do not want them in their living spaces, storage areas, etc.
Essential oils repel spiders without hurting them.
Using essential oils will not have such a negative impact on the environment compared to poisonous pesticides.
By using an all-natural product, you can turn your living space into a spider-free zone while making your area smell good at the same time.
If you have any extra information to share, I would love to know your thoughts in the comment area below. Take care and enjoy your essential oils.