Peppermint Oil and Spiders: Know the Facts
The first thing you need to know about peppermint oil is that it is not poisonous. You do not have to worry if your children eat some of it or drink some of it because they will probably get sick from eating something else. However, you may want to keep a few bottles around just in case you are out at a party where someone drinks too much of it.
Spiders are another matter. They can become very aggressive when they smell something sweet like peppermint oil. If you ever find yourself trapped in a room with several large spiders, you might want to consider putting up a sign saying “No Spiders Allowed.” Of course, there is always the option of shooting them with a shotgun.
How Peppermint Spray Works?
There are two types of peppermint sprays: those that contain peppermint essential oils and those without. Those containing peppermint essential oils work by killing insects and other arthropods that come into contact with the spray. Some people use these sprays to kill ants, but they tend to irritate the skin instead of killing them instantly. Other people use them to kill bedbugs (which can cause terrible itching) or fleas (which can lead to a rash).
Most of these sprays come in a small can and can be sprayed on your bed sheets, carpets, or other places where you believe that there might be bugs.
Some peppermint sprays do not contain any essential oils. Instead, they are made with something called “synthetic mint flavoring” that is supposed to smell like peppermint. These types of sprays can actually kill spiders, but they are not as effective when it comes to bugs.
Why Is Peppermint Oil Effective Against Spiders?
Most spiders are sensitive to certain smells and tastes. They can be repulsed by anything that is really strong, but most of them love sweet things because they themselves eat insects that have a sugary taste. This means that most spiders are very attracted to some types of sweet food, like candy. They also tend to be repelled by minty smells.
This is why peppermint oil works as spider repellent. They hate the smell and will stay away from any place that smells strongly of it. This means spiders tend to stay away from your house if you keep peppermint around the doors and windows.
Note: peppermint oil is not recommended for people who have respiratory issues because it can cause breathing problems. Also, it is very toxic to cats and other small animals if ingested.
Does Peppermint Oil Repel Mosquitoes?
Peppermint oil has been used as mosquito repellent for a long time. It contains menthol, which gives it a strong mint smell that many types of mosquitoes find offensive. They are not repelled by the smell itself, but rather by a protein that the menthol releases when it is broken down.
Insects like mosquitoes must identify hosts (i.e. humans and other animals) by detecting certain chemicals that we all naturally give off.
This gives them something like a sixth sense that allows them to home in on us from far away. The menthol in peppermint oil blocks the receptors in their brain that allow them to do this, causing them to search for a different host.
How Does Peppermint Oil Compare to DEET?
Most people are familiar with DEET, which is the most common insect repellent in the world. It has been used for decades to keep mosquitoes and other biting insects away from people. It is very effective and widely available, but it can also have side effects on people who are sensitive to it. These can include blurry vision, loss of coordination, and nausea.
Peppermint oil is different because it does not harm humans or animals in any way, but it is just as effective at repelling the mosquitoes. The menthol in it causes the same reaction in mosquitoes that DEET causes. It masks the human scent and confuses their sense of smell, so they are unable to find you.
Are There Other Ways to Use Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint oil can be used in a lot of different ways. You can rub a little bit of it on your skin, but you must do it carefully because it can cause a rash if you put it on thickly. Make sure to wash your hands after applying it to avoid accidentally getting it in your eyes or other sensitive areas.
You can also use it in a diffuser to keep mosquitoes away from your house. You can even put a few drops of it in a spray bottle, fill it with water, and then use it to keep the bugs away when you are outside. You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to your firepit or candle lantern to keep the bugs away when you are sitting outside during dusk or dawn, when many mosquitoes are most active.
How Well Does It Work?
Peppermint oil is very effective at keeping mosquitoes away, but it isn’t a perfect solution. It does not work as well when the wind is blowing or if you are surrounded by a lot of trees and other plants. If there are other scents in the area that are more powerful than the menthol smell, such as a nearby dead animal, then the mosquitoes will ignore the peppermint odor.
However, if you are going to be in an area where there are few trees and little wind, such as walking along a road or sitting on your porch, then the menthol from the peppermint oil will keep the mosquitoes away. If you are in an area where mosquitoes are a problem but you do not want to use DEET because of the associated health risks, then using peppermint oil is a good alternative.
Sources & references used in this article:
Literature for 1914 on the behavior of spiders and insects other than ants. by R Tisserand – 1978 – Inner Traditions/Bear & Co
The Body, Mind, Spirit Miscellany: The Ultimate Collection of Fascinations, Facts, Truths, and Insights by CH Turner – Journal of Animal Behavior, 1915 – psycnet.apa.org
Quick reference guide for using essential oils by J Alexander – 2009 – books.google.com