Ask Angie’s List: Can you get rid of home pests with essential oils? –

Recommended by Ronald Stiles, Published on June 24th, 2017

Sometimes the most natural methods work best. You can get rid of mice using a reliable old snap-trap, and nothing takes out spiders like a rolled-up newspaper. But if you want to get rid of spiders and mice with minimal force, essential oils may be the solution for you.

Peppermint oil pest control is an effective means of repelling spiders and mice. Spiders smell through their legs, and so theyre very sensitive to oils on the surface. Mice rely on their sense of smell, so they tend to be turned away from distinct essential oil odors. Mice tend to follow pheromone trails left by other mice, and peppermint oil confuses those senses.

Also, essential oils are environmentally friendly and safe for your family and pets compared to toxic chemicals.

You have three options for setting up essential oils to repel mice and spiders: sprinkling it directly, spraying it or soaking cotton balls.

If you know where pests are coming in, or have a suspicionsuch as crevices, cracks, windows, and other hiding placesyou can apply a line of undiluted oil across that entrance point. You can also create a diluted mix of water and a small amount of peppermint oil and spray it across a wider area. This is particularly useful if youre not sure where theyre getting in and want to cover an entire corner or window.

You can also soak cotton balls in undiluted oil and place them near the entrances you want to block.

Peppermint is the most effective oil to repel spiders. Besides peppermint and spearmint, essential oils for spiders include citrus elements like orange, lemon and lime. Citronella, cedar wood, tea tree oil and lavender can also be effective.

However, consider whether you want to get rid of spiders at all. You obviously want venomous spiders to be far away, but in many cases, especially if theyre outside windows or doors, spiders are effective pest control all their own! There is no better natural insect exterminator than the spider, and no more potent bug repellant than a spiders web.

As with spiders, peppermint oil is an effective deterrent, but you need to keep several drawbacks in mind. Essential oil is not a long-lasting product; it will need to be replaced every few days. And especially in the case of mice, you want to check those peppermint-soaked cotton balls every so often. Once the odor fades away, that cotton will make attractive nesting material for the mice.

You want to make sure you place the essential oils right where mice are entering, rather than where theyre already getting in.

Generally, you want to combine peppermint oil pest control with other measures. For mice, plugging up holes with steel wool tends to keep them out, since they have a hard time chewing through it.

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Ask Angie's List: Can you get rid of home pests with essential oils? -

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