Can peppermint get rid of spiders – true or myth?

Dave Campbell

You may have heard that peppermint oil can help keep spiders out of your house. It turns out that this may not just be an old wives tale, but that it might work. But it’s only one part of an overall strategy for pest control! There are more factors to consider to get rid of spiders from your basement or home.

Is peppermint oil for spiders a myth?

There are many theories about why spiders react to peppermint. The most popular theory is that they respond to the smell by sensing danger and fleeing before being exposed.

There is good evidence that this works as I use it every summer when the spiders start to multiply. In a study led by DR Andreas Fischer, (Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Toronto Scarborough and Simon Fraser University), peppermint oil was found to be somewhat effective in repelling two species, the Steatoda Grossa, or false widow family, and Latrodectus Geometricus, the brown widow. It doesn’t kill spiders, but it does keeps spiders away.

A peppermint oil spray is a safe, natural and effective way to control spiders in your home. The peppermint solution can be mixed with some water in a spray bottle and sprayed wherever there might be an infestation of spiders.



peppermint oil spiders

False widow

There are a lot of different peppermint sprays you can buy, and some are better than others. I’ve tried a few in recent years, but one that I personally recommend and can vouch for to be very effective is this product by Eco Defense. I’ve found it to be good for spiders and other insects such as ants and also for mice. There are other essesntial oils that you can use too, but overall, many people report good results with peppermint oil. Some other types of spider repellent may be toxic to dogs, pets and other wildlife, so peppermint oil is a safer option all round.

Spiders are arachnids and most species have eight legs. They also possess a pair of small, pedipalps near their mouth called chelicerae that they use for their food or to help spiders feel around. The kind you are most likely to encounter is the common house spider, but other species may react the same way to peppermint oil. They can smell peppermint oil from far away when you spray it in the area where they live. The scent can deter spiders from returning and making their home in the same place.

How to make your own homemade repellent spray

You can make up your own spray of spider repellent. You will need a few drops of peppermint essential oil, white vinegar and water in an empty spray bottle you can buy at any drug store or grocery store.

  • Fill the bottle halfway up with white vinegar to make it smell more like the plants that spiders don’t like
  • Add 20-30 drops of peppermint oil
  • Add a little dish soap
  • Fill the remainder of the bottle with water and shake it up to mix everything together The spray should be a light green color.

If spiders bother you or your family, you can use this recipe to make some deterrent for each room in your house that’s been infested.

What mixture should you use?

It is best to have a mixture ratio of 40% peppermint oil and 60% water. It smells better when diluted with an equal amount of water, so it’s easier to spray around your home without being too strong.

A higher ratio is an effective way to repel spiders from a specific area or object.


Place cotton balls around the house

You can also use cotton balls soaked in the peppermint oil to keep spiders away from your house. Just position them around the perimeter of your property in stategic places, and they’ll be gone within weeks!

If you want a more natural approach, grab some cotton or fabric squares (cut into small pieces), put on gloves and drop one piece at each corner of your room. It can also be used on your sheets and pillowcases for a more pleasant sleep.


pic of brown widow spider species


Put mint plants in problem areas

If you have specific areas of your home where you are finding spiders and their webs, then you can try to plant some mint. It takes a while for plants to grow and start producing leaves, so this won’t solve the problem overnight, but if you have time and patience then it’s worth trying out. You can place them around doors and windows, as spiders usually dislike these types of plants. You can also pluck off the leaves and leave them around the home.

Mint does not produce very large or strong leaves, so don’t think that placing them outdoors in your garden will solve the issue. You can also place a small pot on windowsills where you have seen spiders before so it might not be able to provide as much protection.

Where can I buy a diffuser?

I have tried 2 different peppermint oil diffuser sprays that deters spiders and this one I found at Amazon work really well also.




peppermint plants


The spider-repelling power of peppermint is a phenomenon that has been debated at length by experts and amateurs alike. For now, the jury’s still out on whether or not it works to keep these insects at at distance; but if you’re looking for an alternative way to do your own pest control and protect your home from these pesky creatures, giving this natural spider repellent spray a try might be worth your while.


 Is using peppermint safe for pets and children?

Peppermint based spider deterrents are a natural product that contains a compound called menthol. Menthol is used in many products such as toothpaste and mouthwash, but it can also be irritating to the skin. It’s advised that anyone with sensitive skin buy the peppermint oil diluted before applying it on their body or using it around animals or children who may lick substances off of themselves.

Are there any side effects of using peppermint oil?

When using this solution to get rid of spiders, there are some mild side effects. The most common include skin irritation, stomach discomfort or nausea. These reactions only happen when large doses of essential oils are consumed, which is unlikely to be the case if you simply spray peppermint oil in your home.


what is peppermint oil used for

Infographic acknowledgement –

Sources  and research –


Dave Campbell

I'm Dave Campbell and the owner of You can read more about me and my background on my About Me page.

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