I've heard from a few different sources now that spiders really don't like the smell of peppermint and that you can use peppermint essential oil to keep them away from your home. When I first heard about this, I have to be honest: It seemed like a dream come true to me. I'm not deathly afraid of spiders, per se, but out here in the middle of nowhere, we really do get a whole lot of them. August and September seem to be the worst months as far as I can tell and they make a terrible mess all over the house. It can get a little embarrassing sometimes if I don't keep up with my de-spidering duties.
Of course I could get my house sprayed for spiders, but I've been avoiding the scary chemicals as much as I can, especially this year with the baby on the way.
This seems to be our spiders' favorite hangout. Our humble little side entrance that everyone uses instead of the front door. They'll just cover the door right up with their webs if you let them.
Here was the scene:
Lots of spider webs being put up in every corner.
Dead flies and other various little bugs trapped in the webs all over the siding. Just ugliness all around.
I followed the instructions that I'd heard about. All it takes is about 15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle of water. I used 30, just to be sure. You can also put the essential oil directly on a few cotton balls and tuck those into corners and crannies that seem to be frequented by spiders. So quick! So easy! So delightfully Christmassy smelling!
Could this be the answer to my prayers? Does it really work?
No. No it doesn't.
I went around and de-spidered the whole area with my special de-spidering broom, then sprayed the whole area with the peppermint spray. Then I placed the cotton balls. Then I repeated all this 3 days in a row. The webs seemed to be getting worse and worse everyday! This area has a little roof, so it doesn't get wet when it rains. So it wasn't that the peppermint got washed away.
Will this work for you though? I don't know. A whole lot of people seemed to rely on this method. It's worth a try, really, just for the delicious smell of the spray alone.
If you're like me and don't have any luck with the peppermint: Here are a few things that I find do work:
-Spiders are supposed to dislike strong scents in general, so you can try other oils like lemon, cinnamon, or tea tree oil. I've had some luck with the tea tree oil in the past. It definitely kept the spiders away more than the peppermint did.
-Keep the spidery area super clean and tidy. They especially like cardboard boxes, so keep them stored somewhere else, or replace them with lidded plastic tubs.
-My most successful method: Get an old broom that you can use frequently (1-2 times per week at least) to clear away new webs and bug carcasses. Spray the area down with the garden hose each time you do this. Use a nozzle with a very strong spray.
I find having to get out the old broom and garden hose so regularly to be really inconvenient, actually, but it seems to be the only thing that really works. The spiders truly seem to think twice after I do this and the re-occurrence of webs seems to lessen significantly after I give the area a really strong spray. I wish it was as easy as a sweet smelling spray bottle, but for me, that's just not going to happen!
Good luck with your own spidery situations! If you've got any other great tricks (ones that really work for these crazy country spiders), I'm all ears!