If you are the kind of person that can’t sleep for a week if you see a spider near your bed, then join the club! We live only a few yards from a large wooded area here in Nashville, so we get our fair share of spiders in the house—especially in the winter, when they are looking for a warmer place to hang out. Now, I figure a few basement spiders are just going to happen and that’s OK, but I don’t love seeing them (especially the larger variety) striding across my couch or bedroom floor. Anyways, I wanted to find a less toxic solution to the problem and it turns out that essential oils are a great way to keep those eight-legged guys away from our living space. Essential oil sprays don’t kill spiders (good news for those of you who catch and release every bug in the house so as not to harm them), but they create an environment that they are just not into, and so they leave! It’s like you meeting your friend at a bar for a drink, and when you walk in it’s dark and smelly. What would you do? Probably leave and find another bar that had a better atmosphere, right? It’s basically like that.
There are several oils that spiders are really not into: lemon (any citrus oil is good), peppermint, tea tree, and lavender. I would just pick the one that you like best since you’ll have to smell the scent too. While peppermint oil is usually said to be the most effective, we don’t suggest using peppermint essential oil around children under 6. So if you have a little one like I do, I would choose a different oil to spray (I chose lavender instead). Storing your oils on this cute pink tray (similar here) isn’t required, but doesn’t hurt either.
Select the oil of your choice and drop 5-10 drops of it into an empty 16 oz. glass spray bottle (amber spray bottles are best for storing and extending the potency of essential oil products, but if you keep home sprays in dark cabinets like I do a clear glass spray bottle is fine too).Fill the rest of your bottle with water and add a few drops of dishwashing liquid at the end (the soap will help the oil mix into the water more evenly). Screw on your nozzle and give the mixture a few good shakes. If you want your new spider spray to look “official,” download our anti spider spray label and print it onto sticker paper so you can easily recognize your DIY mix. To use your anti spider spray, spray along baseboards, around doors and windows, and in the corner creases of walls in rooms where you have (or want to prevent) issues. If you have a current spider issue, you may want to spray those areas a few times that week and then spray once a week for maintenance after that. You can also put a drop or two of these oils onto a cotton ball and place them in harder to spray areas like under your bed. Spraying oils may cause spots on carpets or upholstery, so make sure to test a small area before spraying it on larger sections. Since dealing with spiders (real or imaginary) can be a bit stressful, it’s a good thing you’ll get a little calming aromatherapy while you spray! xo. Laura