Monday, July 23, 2012

How To Repel Spiders Naturally


There are few things I hate on earth more than spiders.  Knowing that they are looking at me with 8 eyes is enough to give me the creepy creepers!!  I hate having any spider in my house, but especially poisonous ones!    

The brown recluse and I go way back.  As a girl I was bit by one in the leg and had the poison cut out by the doctor - a memory I don't think I'll forget anytime soon.  This past May, brown recluses were so bad in my home that I was finding 2 or 3 a day!  I knew I had to do something, and I didn't want to expose my home to toxic chemicals.

I will stop and say that I'm thankful that brown recluses are "reclusive";  they are afraid of humans and would rather stay out of our way.  I've read of a "banana" spider in Brazil that is very poisonous, aggressive, and territorial - yikes!  Even though brown recluses are shy and try to stay out of your way, I certainly don't want them around!

In my research, I found an easy spray that repels spiders.  I sprayed this spray on a brown recluse and watched it die on my wall.  Now, I will admit that I didn't spray it just once, but before you think I simply drowned the spider, I've tried spraying a spider several times with water and it did not kill it.





Here's the simple recipe:

1 cup of water

Directions:
Pour peppermint oil and water into spray bottle and shake well.  Spray directly on spiders, as well as around windows, doors, edges of the room, etc.  It is important to use this larger amount of oil per cup of water.

Spiders hate peppermint oil and will try to find another home.  I saw a definite decrease in spiders after starting this spray.  

Other useful hints to get rid of spiders:
  • Place Catchmaster Traps in corners of the rooms and under furniture.  I've caught several spiders this way.
  • Have lighter-colored walls and floors
  • Reduce clutter - spiders love things under beds and corners of the rooms.  You will for sure find spiders in a cluttered home.
  • Clean and dust on a regular basis
Not only is it possible to repel spiders without toxic chemicals, your house will smell like Christmas in July. :)   Do you have successful ways you repel spiders naturally?









 This is linked to:
Raising Arrows   The Modest Mom   A Mama's Story   What Joy Is Mine   The Better Mom
Growing Home    Time-Warp Wife    Far Above Rubies 
Women Living Well    Raising Homemakers    Deep Roots At Home    A Wise Woman Builds Her Home
Like A Mustard Seed

124 comments:

  1. Eucalyptus is supposed to repel spiders and I like the smell of it...some don't...but I keep some in my towel/linen closet, under the kitchen sink and in the pantry. I also hang it here and there around the basement during the winter when they like to come in where it's warm. :)

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    1. I love the smell of eucalyptus oil! Thanks for sharing!

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    2. I had heard that eucalyptus helps to repel spiders. I am a 51 year old man who will go running screaming like a little girl if a spider gets on me. When I go camping I put eucalyptus both inside and outside of my tent. So far I have been spider free.

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    3. Lol. Funny that. I confess to being fascinated by them but oh man I do t want em near me ever. We have "Hobo" spiders in the southwest corner of BC. These are a "fake" Brown Recluse, not as poisonous but not far off. They will cause a serious problem similar to the recluse. I see them all the time in my home, theyr big, and theyr fast. Right outside the window on one wall, is a low hill like the backfill of a house, which is covered in thousands of their little "carpet webs" and the little holes where the buggers zoom out to catch prey. In the early morning or at dewpoint you can see just how many there are and its chilling to think of the offspring. I want to spray/soak the dang hill in gasoline and fry 'em!! But alas, I cannot. Thanks for the info, it will be put to use tomorrow.

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    4. The knees get weak with sightings of most spiders, dime-size and larger, I am a wee bit braver on the smaller ones. Yet, I have to consider the very large amount of other nasty bugs they consume each night. The remedies listed have not been tried in my home, YET, but the tips on decluttering and frequent cleaning really make a difference. Also, having spots, outside, where I create homes and 'let them be', such a stacks of down branches, the wood pile, and most areas near outside lights. As much as I get creeped out by them, I like their lunches even less.

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    5. Found a remedy for 2 problems I have at my lake house... spiders and mice are a natural given in a home like that especially when its closed up for a few months at a time... spiders I see all the time and I am arachnophobic bad.... I koll them if I can or just run out screaming... some spiders I'm OK with.. (daddy long legs) are OK... as long as the stay in their corner...lol... mice we have recently only seen evidence of but last weekend I had 1 come out and make its self seen... he was a pest by far... the next morning it had stuff scattered out even thou I had it put up...I HAVE BEEN BIG ON HOME REMEDIES HERE LATLY IN MY OWN HOME WITH ANTS,FLEAS,FLIES, & MOSQUITOES... so far its been good except the mosquitoes... no luck on them yet.... and they love my youngest son... so I am going to get some peppermint oil and give it a try at my cabin....

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    6. Mosquitoes do not like garlic, add garlic to your dinner. The mosquitoes stay away from you if you smell like garlic.

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    7. Hi Jamie, so what your saying is that the peppermint oil gets rid of spiders and mice????

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  2. Yeah, I use Ecosmart spider and ant spray that is mainly peppermint oil and water. Do you know other uses of peppermint oil? I may just have to buy some and make my own...This is a great treatment for ants too. First time in 8 years in my home where I only had to spray once and they don't come back, all with no chemicals!

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    1. The other main use I use peppermint oil for is stomach aches and nausea. Thank you for sharing this info about ants - great to know!

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    2. Mice don't like the smell either. I'm letting peppermint grow around my foundation plus bring it in and hang some in the winter.

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    3. I use peppermint oil for migraines. I rub it on my temples, across my forehead and on the back of my neck then I keep still for a while and before I know it the migraine is gone!

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    4. I will have to try this if I ever have another migraine. Thanks for sharing!

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    5. Peppermint oil to repel mice too. Soak cotton ball usually just a 2-3 drops (I probably over do it). Put under house ,cabinet's where ever you have mice problem's. Nice knowing it help's with spider's too( I'm a big scaredy cat when it comes to spider's)

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    6. 1or 2 drops of peppermint oil in some hot honey tea (I use peppermint tea bags) will help with breathing problems. It is safe to drink and has a lovely tingly aftertaste. Thanks for the spider tip. I'll have to share it with the spiders spinning webs out in my mint garden. ;0) . The super concentration of the oil must really put them over the top. I'll have to try this.

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  3. This might sound silly, but I can't tell you how excited I am to find this! We are having lots of spiders, and little success of getting rid of them. I really don't want to pay someone to spray chemicals, but I have been tempted. I can't wait to try this. I really can't stand spiders! Thanks!

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    1. It doesn't sound silly at all, Trina! I was so excited to try this and find it works!! :)

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  4. I killed a big spider with a stick this morning, you can't get more natural than that : )

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  5. I agree!! Spiders give me the heebie jeebies! This is a great thing to know for taking care of them naturally. Thanks so much for posting!
    ~Heather @ourcultivatedlife

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  6. Off to the health food store now! I've had a bottle of peppermint pure essential oil for a few years now (I made peppermint bath salts one year for Christmas) and I plan to make a bottle of spray today, but if this stuff works, I'll need to get a constant (large) supply!!! I absolutely abhor those creepy things! We have a lot of large, brown wolf spiders here in Florida as we live under a lot of trees. Thanks for the tip!

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  7. Interesting! I will have to try that!

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  8. Organic orange oil. My sister uses it successfully to repel spiders and other bugs. She has even used it to clean the stains from the seats in her truck.

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  9. Maybe it's because we are both named Jill, but I cannot and will not tolerate a spider! I'm fortunate to live in Michigan where they at least go away in the winter....not like that other gal who has the wolf spiders in Florida! Of course they are around in Michigan too.....thanks for the encouragement and mostly the tip! Peppermint oil here I come! ~Jill

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  10. I got bit by a brown recluse spider last year, don't want that to happen again horrible, but i had garden spiders nesting in my peppermint garden. Is that normal?

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    1. It probably is normal, Candis. The actual oil is the best repellant. Thanks for stopping by!

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    2. I was just bitten twice. horrible!! thot I goin to die!!

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  11. To add one more idea, I found if you put peppermint oil on a cotton ball and vacuum it into you vacuum bag, before cleaning your house,help to spread the peppermint scent through out the house and into the carpets. Helps to cut down on the creepy crawlers.

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  12. I have found 3 black widows in the last 24 hours just outside my rental home... My fear of spiders started with a brown recluse in Army basic training... And poisonous ones especially... I am definitely going to try this... I am so afraid of them being in my stuff in the garage now... I literally am crying typing this; that is how scared I am of them now... (I know, "big bad" Soldier afraid of spiders... Pathetic I'm sure)... Anyway... Definitely trying this out tomorrow!!!!!

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    1. Yikes - you for sure do not want black widows around! You can also place peppermint oil on cotton balls and put them in the corners of the windows and rooms to help repel them. Also, the herb tansy repels bugs and spiders. Consider purchasing some and sprinkling it around the outside of your house. Best wishes Erica!

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    2. Just a friendly FYI: Tansy is a noxious weed. Thanks for the tips! :)

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  13. Rats and nice also hate peppermint oil..

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    1. Another great reason to use it! Thanks for sharing. :)

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  14. Will peppermint extract work? I cant find peppermint oil anywhere!

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    1. Candice, I don't think peppermint extract would work like peppermint oil. You can buy peppermint oil at a health food store, or online at Beeyoutiful. {Their ad is in my sidebar}

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    2. You can get peppermint oil in the drug department at Wal Mart.

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  15. What do you think about peppermint incense? stink up the whole place like the smell of food on thanks giving. :P

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    1. I have never used peppermint incense and most of it would most likely not be pure. I think the spray would work better because it is sprayed on surfaces and is not just in the air. Thanks for the question!

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  16. Im sure this is a silly question but im pregnant and we kill spiders in our apartment that the bug man misses almost daily. is the pepperment oil safe for me to use? First time mommy and im having twins so im being extra cautious.

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    1. Peppermint oil is said to be safe after 4 months. I personally drink a small amount of peppermint {along with red raspberry, nettle and alfalfa} from the beginning of my pregnancies, and have never had a problem. I don't use the oil directly on the skin or in the mouth until after 4 months though. I don't see why smelling peppermint would be a problem - especially when it is diluted in water. I believe the only possible danger is directly using the oil before 4 months. I would ask your doctor if you are concerned. Congratulations on your precious twins! Best wishes to you for a safe and easy delivery! :)

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  17. Thank you! I hate spiders and flies. Eew!
    Just a caveat. Peppermint can be a problem for people and pets who have seizures. I don't know if it has to be ingested to be a problem or even the smell will affect them. Even sites that sell pure peppermint usually have that warning.

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    1. I have a close friend who is epileptic, and she uses peppermint spray, plus uses the oil directly on the skin and in the mouth. Peppermint has never triggered a seizure for her, but if a person who has seizures is concerned, they should for sure talk to their doctor.
      Thank you, Ann!

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  18. Thank you all for the wonder tips, I have different sizes, types of spiders, in my garden which just crawls inside house. My first job is to buy the peppermint spray, I am offff to the shop. Thank you once again.

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  19. Thank you for sharing this info Jill . Had no idea about peppermint but found they also don't like vinegar. That's what I have been using in my spray bottle . I know everone will think I'mnuts but not all spiders are bad or usless. A lot help keep down the other bugs/insects that are harmful we may have running around our homes . If they stay on the ceilings they live to see another day. The first time they start crawling down the wall is their last time . lol

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    1. I agree - some times I'll let a wolf spider go because I know they eat brown recluses. I'd rather not have any of them around though. :)

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  20. A good spider is a dead one when it comes to our ho es thanks for the tip. However the ones in Asia can live I like silk sheets. Synthetic is ok but, just not the same.

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  21. will it KILL black widows if sprayed directly on them?

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    1. I'm not sure - you would have to try it. The brown recluse that I directly sprayed was slowly dying.

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  22. Peppermint essential oil is wonderful for mice! It takes very little and last a long time..plus you get the invigorating smell everytime you open drawers/ cabinets.It also works great for stuffy nose/ congestion..place couple drops on piece of cloth or cottonball and put between your pillow & pillow case..and keep pest away!

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  23. How often do you reapply the mixture? I just made a batch and sprayed around my windows, etc a few days ago. It does smell great.

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    1. I normally spray it once or twice a day, depending on how bad the spiders are. You can spray it all day if you'd like! :)

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  24. Is peppermint oil safe to spray around infants? My friend has a 3 month old and a brown recluse infestation.

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    1. Yes peppermint oil is very safe to spray. :)

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    2. I been bitten twice in one month. Can I use it on me? to keep from being bitten?

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    3. You can spray it on yourself. I don't know how long it would be effective or how often you would need to use it.

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    4. Definitely not safe to use around babies! Especially if they have an allergy to it. It can be very toxic and cause serious breathing problems and possibly be fatal. Look it up!

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    5. You cannot drop peppermint oil into a baby's mouth - that would be very harmful. I also would not hold a peppermint oil bottle directly under an infant's nose to inhale, as these direct vapors are too strong for small babies. It is, however, completely SAFE to spray diluted peppermint oil around babies, such as the recipe above. In fact, this spray would be much safer than chemical-laden sprays and air fresheners that you buy at the store.

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  25. Thank you for this info!!! We just moved into a home this weekend and I have found two brown recluse just today. Gives me the heebee jeebees!

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  26. I have a question about this would it be safe to spray it on my clothes and or bed?? and could I be able to use it as an air Freshener?

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    1. Viviana, yes this is safe to spray on clothes and a bed. You can also use it as an air freshener.

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  27. Hi, I get that spiders shouldn't like the peppermint oil, but I have found beige house spiders sitting on the bristles of toothbrushes which do smell minty.. do you know why this could be?

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    1. The spiders may be drawn to something in the toothpaste residue on your toothbrush. While it may smell minty, it would not have the strong, pure smell of essential peppermint oil that would repel them. Thanks for the question!

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  28. I have really grown to love essential oils. Their uses are endless. I now only use DoTerra brand oils. They are superior to others and now when I smell another brand I can't stand it. I have used their peppermint oil during a severe migraine and it really helped. It cools your body naturally too. Essential oils have been trusted for ages and work so well. Thank you for sharing this article :)

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    1. April, essential oils are very useful to have on hand - I agree!

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  29. Awesome advice, just tried it on two different types of spiders that are infesting my screened in porch and they both died! So happy to find something non-toxic, Thanks for sharing!

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  30. Does this peppermint oil trick work on the large spiders as well? Because I live in South Carolina and I've come across a couple spiders that I've actually stabbed to my wall with a ten inch dagger and them had to put a 0.45 caliber slug in it to kill it. And what really scary is the fact that they are actually getting that big, I mean if they were to actually bite someone at that size they could do some serious damage to that person's body and I really don't want one buying my six year old little sister.

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    1. Adrian, that is one big spider! If you spray around your house, it should even deter the big ones. Best wishes!

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  31. Hi Jill. Just found your blog and appreciate the peppermint oil suggestion for killing/repelling spiders. For some reason, they're bad this year and I HATE them! Is this spray safe for all surfaces - like paint, carpet, sheets, etc.? I would like to spray all around our bedrooms but don't want to stain anything. Thanks again! Rebecca

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    1. Rebecca,

      I have never noticed any kind of staining at all. I would test it in an inconspicuous area if you are concerned. Thanks for the question!

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  32. Hi Jill,

    I am up late again researching on how to get rid of brown recluses. I went to google and typed in natural remedies for spiders and your site popped up. I was so excited, because I know you and we live in the same town. My family moved into our dream home in November. I noticed a few spiders here and there, but really didn't think of it as a big deal. April roles around and I have my fourth baby and I start to notice them more. When one crawled up my 6 year olds leg and one fell on me when giving my newborn a bath, I had enough. We receive quarterly visits from Terminex, so I called them to come spray again. It didn't work at all! So, I called another exterminator and they came and drenched this place with chemicals. I did notice less spiders, but I am still seeing them. I have caught about 5 in the past few months on sticky traps under my babies crib. My husband says that they are just spiders and that everyone has them. I know every house probably has spiders, but these have the violin on the back. I am sure they are brown recluses. I am going to try make and try this spray tomorrow. Do you have any other suggestions?

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    1. How cool that we live in the same town! :) The only things that I know of to safely be rid of spiders is the peppermint and sticky traps. You can place the peppermint essential oil on cotton balls and put those in closets, cabinets and corners of rooms. You can also purchase dried peppermint and tie them in socks or sachets and place them around the house and in cabinets, etc. I know of some people that plant peppermint plants all around the outside of the house to keep spiders out, and mice hate peppermint too! Best wishes to you in getting rid of these!

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  33. If I use peppermint that I grow and extract the oil from the leaves with alcohol then mix with water, will this work the same???

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    1. Sherri, if you make an essential oil out of it, then yes this recipe would work the same. If you make a tincture with alcohol, it would not be as strong as an essential oil, so you would need to use more when mixing it with water. :)

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  34. It has been a godsend, from God, to find your site. I live in northern Indiana, close to the Michigan border. And once in a great while, you will hear of a brown recluse spider bite. I was suspicious a couple years ago my daughter had a bite from something on her leg, it swelled larger than normal and had a little scab in the middle. Not your usual spider bite around here. I didn't worry to much, its rare in up north to have them.

    I have an old dresser on a porch, and I saw a couple of spiders, in it,caught one with a sticky trap, and it was a brown recluse. I had it confirmed by 3 men from the parks dept. in town. How do you southern women handle it? I've been crying like a big baby. You gals are tough!

    Thank you Jill, I'll try all your great tips!

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    1. Lynn,
      I have done better about my fear of spiders in recent years, but I do try to keep them repelled for sure! So sorry you are finding brown recluses and I hope the peppermint oil works as well for you as it does for me! :)

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  35. chestnuts are suppose to work well also! might as well double up and go for it!

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    1. Never heard of chestnuts - thanks for sharing!

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  36. ICK, every site about spider repellents seems to think we need a picture of a spider. We know what they look like and we don't like them. I mean really don't like them.

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    1. I agree - I hate pictures of spiders also. I did choose a brown recluse picture for this post to help others identify this particular poisonous spider. :)

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  37. I just put some home items in a storage unit and remember the last time I had to store things. I found so many black widows and was bitten by an unknown spider hiding in a pair of sweats I had in a drawer from storage. The bite was immediately painful and the pain lasted for weeks. I didn't go to the doctor, though I probably should have. I had a scare from the bite for years. Now that I have to use a storage unit again I was looking for a good way to keep those nasty, scary creepy crawlers out of my belongings. The peppermint oil is perfect. I've enjoyed learning and using essential oils for years. But more for health and beauty uses. This tip on spider repellant is one of the best tips I've found on the internet. Thank you so much for sharing your remedy.

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    1. Oh no - those black widows are bad ones too!

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    2. Plastic garbage bags, then all ya hafta spray or treat, if at all, is the outside of the bags. RT

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  38. Thank you for your info! I'm going to buy peppermint oil tomorrow! I have an abnormal fear of all bugs. I don't even like butterflies or ladybugs. Lol I know most people say they are super afraid, but have any of you jumped out of a slow moving vehicle because of a bug? I have. Lol

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    1. I have stopped the vehicle and jumped out because of a flying insect on more than one occasion. :)

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  39. Really LOVE all the information that you share Jill!!!

    I have a questions, we have a LOT of spider webs in our bushes. I was wondering if the peppermint essential oil spray will kill the plants? The webs are in our rosemary plants too!
    Rosanna

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    1. Rosanna,

      Thank you for the kind comment! Peppermint oil is used by some as a pest control, so it should be fine! :)

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  40. Lemon. Spiders smell with hairs on their legs. (shudder) My grandmothers house always smelled of lemon and so did ours. It wasnt until I ws grown that I knew why. the lemon repelled spiders. We had a black widow colony that migrated around the ranch every couple of years and numerous brown recluse and other spiders everywhere. But rarely in the house. Lemon oil, although I seem to remember my grandmother rubbing fresj lemon peel on door jams and window sills

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  41. Your recipe is the 1st out of 5 that I googled that calls for so much oil and less water. Before I found your blog, I had mixed a bottle (27oz) and added about 15 drops to it and sprayed my kids room pretty much everywhere, lol! I'm wondering if I should do it again tomorrow with your recipe? Their room smelled wonderful but when I tucked them into bed tonight I couldn't smell the peppermint anymore. Does that mean its no longer warding off those 8-legged creepers? Thank you so much for your advice!!

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    1. I do believe that a secret to making an effective spray is to use that much oil to the ration of water. I wouldn't use any less. If you have a bad problem, I would spray throughout the day. It's really a good idea to spray right before bed to keep them away while you sleep.

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  42. I laid on my couch yesterday to take a nap. I look up and saw decent size spiders on my ceiling. 14 to be exact!! Ill be trying the peppermint oil today!!!!!!

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    1. Wow! 14 spiders is a good reason to get the peppermint out! :)

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  43. Jill, I know this may seem like a silly question but how much water is in 1 cup? I live in England and very fortunate that we don't have poisonous spiders but we do have big black one's. Only last night I nailed one the size of my palm with the bottom of a flower pot. I feel guilty killing them but hate it when I can't see where they've gone :(

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    1. Not a silly question! 1 cup is 8 fluid ounces. I believe I would kill a spider that large too if it were in my house. I wouldn't feel too bad. :)

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  44. I am looking for non-toxic repellents that may last longer than sprays. Thanks tho for the ideas here. I`ve had some luck with "Orange Guard"..It`s a d-Limonene product that does not claim to be effective against spiders but the store employee had been told it was. For the areas that seem to weird to spray I soak a cloth and wipe it on. It does seem to help. I`d thought about lining corners etc with 1/4 inch rope soaked with it..held in place with Velcrow maybe. Another product I`m going to check out more is diatimatious earth..pool filter powder. Leave it in thin lines at entry points etc. It probably will not repel tho, it will more likely kill as it is used for some other insects, roaches I think, to invade the lung..or whatever it is they breath with. Good luck and thanks ! RT

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    1. I have heard of diatomaceaous earth killing some insects, but not spiders. Let me know if you try it and it works!

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  45. Regarding mosquito's, they hate real cedar oil. I have used it outside on the rail on our deck for 8 years and i kid you not, I don't remember ever getting bitten outside on the deck, even tho there is a little bitty creek near by. :)

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  46. Hello does fresh peppermint work as well or just the oil?

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    1. I have never tried nor read anything about fresh peppermint. I've had a reader tell me that she finds spiders on her peppermint plants. I think it's the strong potency of the oil that works.

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  47. Grow your own peppermint -it's so easy a polition could do it !

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  48. Works for gnats also.... work in a deli and daily we spray trash bins etc to keep em out.... will try at home for the 8 legged freaks thanks Jill

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  49. Thanks for the tips on the peppermint oil! But I was wondering if it will bother my cat? He is an indoor only cat, and do not want him to be bothered by or avoid the rooms with the peppermint oil on the cotton.

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    1. Peppermint is not recommended for cats, Patty. :(

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    2. thats too bad. I'm going to go ahead and use it outside around my doors and windows. thanks again!

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  50. Thanks so much, Jill. As a serious arachnophobe, I love having this information. I've had a boa constrictor wrapped around my neck (no sweat), but if someone wanted to put a little spider in my hand, I would totally freak out. I hate, hate, hate them!!! I have some black widows at my front entry, and recently saw some of their nasty cotton-candy webs near the base of my kitchen cabinet under the sink. Needless to say, I immediately soaked two cotton balls in peppermint oil and put them near those cabinets. I also hate seeing images of spiders but in this case, I see where it was necessary to let people know what that nasty brown spider looks like, so they can be aware. I think peppermint oil will be my new best friend, but I will be sure to keep it away from my cat!

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    1. I'm like you - I'll hold a snake way before I would touch a spider! :)

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  51. Does anyone know how often the spray should/could be sprayed around the house to be effective? Once per day might be too much, but maybe once a week is too little? I want to be able to keep them away! But it's also good to have something on hand to kill on the spot. :)

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    1. It depends on how big of a problem you have. If you see spiders in your house, I would spray at least once a day until they are gone.

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  52. I just tried it out. I started seeing spiders since the weather has broke. I saw a few spiders outside on my foundation wall. I sprayed a square around the spiders and and they were trying to get away, they dropped themselves over the sprayed area to avoid it. Yay! Thanks for all the great advice!

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    1. Great, Lisa! Glad it worked for you! :) Please visit me at my new domain to see my most recent posts! www.jillshomeremedies.com

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