There are many species of spider that are happy to make your home their own, although they want to keep out of your way as much as you do theirs.
Most domestic spiders are completely harmless, but their unusual shape can make some people feel uncomfortable and want to get them out of the way.
Chemical-based bug sprays have long been the go-to option for many people to repel and kill spiders, but essential oils could offer a more natural and kinder alternative. Here we answer the question “Can essential oils repel spiders?” to see if a homemade spider repellent can be of use.
What essential oils do spiders hate?
This should be an easy question to answer, although due to the limited number of studies carried out by researchers not much is really known about how effective essential oils are in combating spiders. One study did find some natural products that had some effect, although, given the many types of spider species, this may not apply to them all.
Some people will have more success than others with non-chemical spider repellents, so it may be a case of trial and error to find the right one. Either way, spraying an essential oil around your home will add a lovely aroma that is far more inviting than the harsh smell of chemicals lingering in the air.
Does peppermint oil repel spiders?
Peppermint essential oil has a lot of helpful uses and research has also revealed that it was able to repel two species of spider during tests. Chestnuts also proved to be just as effective for the same species of spider. Whether or not spiders actually hate peppermint remains unclear, but the results do indicate it can be effective.
You could try this spider repellent essential oil blend to see if it can keep spiders at bay in your home. It uses a combination of sweet orange, lemon and peppermint that should be sprayed weekly around spider entry points such as windows, skirting boards and dark corners.
However, if someone in your home is allergic to plants in the mint family, you should avoid using peppermint oil to spray as a repellent. Also, people with enzyme deficiency G6PD should not use peppermint. This is also true for some people taking medications as peppermint oil could break down the effectiveness of the drug.
Does lavender oil repel spiders?
As with many of the other essential oils, research for lavender oils and spiders is limited. Many people do recommend using lavender oil to repel spiders, as they believe the strong smell is enough to keep them at bay. Research related to the use of lavender essential oil to reduce the survival rate of a two-spotted spider mite has shown it to be effective, although this hasn’t been expanded into further tests.
Can I use essential oils to ward off arachnids?
While spiders are the most well-known type of arachnid, other types such as ticks and mites are just as common. If this becomes a problem in your home, you can use essential oils to repel or kill them.
For example, researchers found that thyme oil was effective against mites and ticks, while sandalwood also works well against certain types of mites. Clove oil and garlic oil are other oils that have been used in tests, with both producing positive results against these types of arachnids.
Does eucalyptus repel spiders?
Much like lavender, there is currently no solid scientific proof regarding using eucalyptus as an essential oil spider repellent. The belief is that they hate the strong smell and will avoid going to areas where it has been sprayed. Many people have found it to be effective, and not only will it mean fewer chemicals are sprayed in your home, but it will also be kinder to the spiders.
Is there a pet-safe spider repellent I can use?
When it comes to finding the best indoor spider repellent that is also pet safe, you have to be very careful about using essential oils around cats and dogs. Certain types of essential oil can be very toxic if ingested (which is why humans also use carrier oils to apply them to their skin) so these suggestions may not be appropriate for your four-legged friends.
For example, cats can be harmed by coming into contact with tea tree, thyme, oregano or cinnamon, while dogs can have adverse reactions to juniper, anise, clove and thyme. For more information about using essential oils around pets, read our blog on how to use them safely.
How to make a homemade spider repellent
If you prefer to try your hand at making your own natural spider repellent for indoor spaces, try the following instructions:
- Mix your essential oil with some water in a spray bottle. Use around 10-15 drops of the oil per 500ml of water and add a dash of dish soap to help emulsify the mixture.
- Shake well to blend the ingredients together.
- Spray the main entry points for spiders, such as door thresholds, windows, dark corners etc.
Have a read of our blog How to make a Spider Spray to find out some more helpful hints and tips you can use to make an effective anti-spider spray.
No matter where you live you will encounter spiders at some point. Mostly they just want to set up a safe home without disturbance and can be left to their own devices. But if you can’t stand to be near them and need to clear them away, then using a natural spider repellent could be the best way to go. Be sure always to take your pets into consideration before spraying and hopefully, spiders will soon learn that your home is no friend of theirs.