Sunday, May 26, 2024

The Use of Peppermint Oil to Deter Squirrels and Certain Insects

The Use of Peppermint Oil to Deter Squirrels and Certain Insects
I've been on the hunt for a natural, safe remedy to deter squirrels from digging in my hanging pots and garden and something that would naturally deter wasps and spiders

After researching various options, I discovered that peppermint oil is highly recommended for these purposes. Its strong, minty aroma effectively repels these pests while being safe for the environment, pets, and humans when used properly.

Peppermint oil is a popular natural remedy for deterring various indoor and outdoor pests. This essential oil, derived from the peppermint plant, has a strong scent that many pests find overwhelming and unpleasant. 

Here, I explore how to use peppermint oil to deter spiders indoors, wasps outdoors, and squirrels digging in your flower pots. I also discuss what pests peppermint oil won't deter and whether it might attract any pests.

Note: I've made the suggested diluted mixture, but I also use the pure oil outside (not diluted).

How to Use Peppermint Oil as a Pest Deterrent

General Preparation:

  • Mix peppermint oil with water to create a spray.
  • Use 10-15 drops of peppermint oil per cup of water.
  • For stronger solutions, use 20-30 drops per cup of water.
  • Shake the mixture well before each use.
  • I've also put some pure oil on the bricks of my house near my hanging pots as a potential climbing deterrent for squirrels.

Indoors (Spiders):

  • Spray the mixture around windows, doors, and baseboards.
  • Apply to corners, cracks, and other entry points where spiders may enter.
  • Reapply every 2-3 weeks or after cleaning.
  • I've sprayed the entire perimeter of my basement using this mixture. It seems to help!

Outdoors (Wasps):

  • Spray around areas where wasps are likely to build nests, such as under eaves, around porch roofs, and in sheds.
  • Apply to outdoor furniture and around picnic areas. I spray it under my outdoor table.
  • Reapply every few days or after rain.
  • I apply it to my decorative stones near my flowers and the open brick slots outside the house where I see the little "&#$%(" going in!
  • I have a little container on the patio table with pure peppermint oil.

Flower Pots (Squirrels):

  • They say you can spray the mixture directly onto the soil of flower pots, but I need to be brave enough to do that! I have sprayed it on my pots and around the edges of the flower pots.
  • I have yet to try dousing cotton balls with peppermint oil and placing them in the pots.
  • Reapply every 2-3 days or after watering.

What Peppermint Oil Won't Do

  • Rodents: Peppermint oil might be effective against mice and rats, but it is not a guaranteed deterrent. I couldn't speak to its effectiveness for this use. I encourage you to research more about rodents.
  • Significant Pests: It won't deter larger pests such as raccoons.
  • Persistent Insects: Peppermint oil alone may not significantly deter certain insects, such as ants and cockroaches.

Potential Insects That Peppermint Oil Might Attract

  • Pollinators: Bees and butterflies, which are generally drawn to floral and sweet scents, might be attracted to the sweet scent of peppermint oil.

Best Practices for Using Peppermint Oil

  • Consistency: Regular application is key to maintaining the effectiveness of peppermint oil as a deterrent.
  • Targeted Application: Focus on areas where pests are commonly found or seen entering.
  • Alternative Solutions: Consider integrating other pest control methods for persistent or large infestations.

Additional Tips

  • Safety: Ensure the peppermint oil mixture does not contact pets or children. While natural, it can still cause irritation.
  • Storage: Store peppermint oil in a cool, dark place to maintain potency.
  • Testing: Before widespread use, test the mixture in a small area to ensure it does not damage surfaces or plants.

Conclusion

Peppermint oil is an effective natural remedy for deterring spiders indoors, wasps outdoors, and squirrels from digging in your flower pots. 

Peppermint oil can be part of your pest control strategy by following proper application methods and understanding its limitations. 

It does seem to work for our home and the outdoor patio; I have had fewer wasps harassing me in the backyard so far this year. Since it's an easy, natural solution, I use peppermint oil inside and outside.

ADDED BONUS TIP:

Every month, I change our furnace filter and add about 20 drops of peppermint oil directly on the filter to give the house a pleasant, fresh peppermint scent throughout. It does wear off quickly (within a day or so).

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Where I Buy My Peppermint Oil:

I buy my peppermint oil from Amazon. There are many to choose from. Here's the latest one I purchased.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


4 comments:

  1. Terrific tip, Barbara. I love discovering a natural way to repel unwanted vermin. :) Thanks for sharing.
    BTW, if you need an idea for how to deter larger pests, such as raccoons getting into trash cans, sprinkle Cayenne Pepper on top of your trash and those 4-legged masked visitors will leave it strictly alone. Tip learned from a professor at the University of Missouri years ago when we had woods behind our house and a constant problem with raccoons. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've also used a homemade cayenne pepper mixture for that reason :) - apparently it's good for some insects too

      Delete
  2. Thanks so much for this terrific tip, Barbara! I definitely plan to try it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. We will certainly be trying this! The wasp are such a problem. I'll take the bees and butterflies any day over wasps! Thanks for the tip

    ReplyDelete

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