DIY Spider Spray: Repelling Spiders with Peppermint. Does it really work?

A super easy and sweet-smelling trick to keep creepy crawlies away. Does it really work?

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!



  1. says

    Neem oil? I used it when I was on an all natural kick and it seemed to help. It may be harmful for you though so check first. But we live in the Sonoran Desert and when the Black Widows appeared I threw in the towel and went for the poison.

    • Isabel says

      I’m like you, Carol, I went for the poison. I have good one. I don’t spray in the air, not good for us. And I only do a room at a time, or hallway, wear something around my nose and mouth, then get out for a while, while any floating spray settles!
      I spray directly, fairly closely, at floor level around skirting, around door frames, window frames, around the feet of my bed (I had a nasty visit one night).
      I have found that if I spray directly onto the surface, the effect lasts a long time, as the blighters hate the smell… apart from killing them. I do the same in the shed, oh, and that reminds me, I gotta get the loft done.
      I’m fine when I see them outside, but inside… it’s them or me!

  2. Anonymous says

    So many “remedies” are enthusiastically posted and re-posted without anyone ever testing any of them. Thanks SO much for trying it out. And I do know that spiders eat other bugs, but I’m pretty sure their mess isn’t worth the relatively few Georgia bugs they eliminate. I’m off to get the broom and the water hose.
    – Ellen

  3. says

    We get spiders on our front porch, not to many but a few webs in the corner, and that is our main entrance so like you I attack them with a broom. I had heard about spiders liking cardboard so years ago I switched to all plastic storage containers in our basement.

  4. Jules says

    I was excited to read this because my unfinished basement that houses the laundry is very spidery and gets so webby like once a week. I laughed out loud at the results. Thanks for testing!

  5. says

    I don’t know how to be rid of the creepy critters, but once I see em, I stop em in their tracks with hairspray. I use it on their nests too before the baby spiders can scatter. Works great.

  6. CityMouse says

    I haven’t tried this, but maybe this might work inside, where the essential oils wouldn’t just evaporate into the great outdoors?

  7. Anonymous says

    I don’t know about y’all but I have alway’s used the spray with the orange smell. I don’t have spider’s anymore, but I do tray to spray with demon whip every 6 month’s r so. they use to real bad around my place now I don’t see any other than outside where there suppose to be. good luck to ya

  8. Sherry says

    I had peppermint plants in flower beds & pots around the outside of house with Lavender plants & lemon grass plants. A few more plants are Lemon Balm (good shade plant) , Citronella plants Cinnamon Basil, Rosemary . These plants will also keep away mosquitoes, mice, spiders, ticks and fleas. If you have a dog every few days put 3 drops on lemon grass oil on it’s collars. you can also spray peppermint oil on bedding. What is very important is that you use 100% oil Natures Made & Now are great brand at a modest price. On cotton balls and bedding I would apply oil directly (not diluted), chose a few of these plants to plant around your pets area outside and you entertaining area, I can’t want to get mine all finished. Good Luck & Hope my information helped.

    • Amy says

      Hi Sherry,

      I’m planning to plant the same flowers and plants. I heard they hate these and it will keep them away. Has this worked for you?


  9. cathy says

    we were plagued by spiders…and they seem to be getting bigger……last year I made up a spray using the essential oil …liquid soap and water…I hoovered every room in the house….then sprayed everywhere…including cupboards…on top of wardrobes…even outside windowsills and air vents. didn’t see another spider inside till last week…so I made up the spray again…and sprayed all over …keeping my fingers crossed because i’m really scared of them…

  10. Brian says

    I’m glad someone (you) tested it. I hate being told folk remedies that don’t even work.

    I have one tip though. Use yellow fluorescent light bulbs for your porch lights. This will attract less insects which in turn will attract less spiders since spiders go to places where there is light and food (insects). Most insects cannot see yellow light. They only hover around white lights.

  11. says

    Can use scope with a little water in a spray bottle and spray the area where you well be sitting and this should last for many hours……its the blue color I seem to think but you can get it in a travel bottle size . If the blue doesn’t work then its the green. I haven’t made it in years. Might be one of those you can goggle too.

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