Sunday, June 23, 2024

A Summer Pest Control Update! - Enjoying a Pest-Free Patio with Peppermint Oil

A Summer Pest Control Update! - Enjoying a Pest-Free Patio with Peppermint Oil
This spring and summer, I've discovered an incredibly effective method for keeping our patio free from wasps, ants, spiders, and flies a simple spray made of peppermint oil and water. 

Wasps are the worst backyard pests for us. They were my target! Sorry, wasps, not sorry. You wasps should be happy, because it keeps you away, and thus extends your life!

I initially wrote about this several weeks ago, and this new article is an update on how incredible this all natural pest repellent has worked! 

I used to be harassed at our patio table, to the point that after some questionable language, I'd head in the house and let the little *& % & win!

Well, they're no longer winning. Who's the boss now! This update also reiterates some of the "science" behind why peppermint works so well - just because I was curious.

I opted for a spray bottle of water with about a tablespoon (or less) of peppermint oil. That way, I can liberally spray it everywhere.

The results have been nothing short of amazing. Previously, our outdoor meals were often interrupted by pesky wasps buzzing around our food, making it difficult to enjoy our time outside. However, since using a water-peppermint oil spray, we've been able to sit at our patio table and have a complete meal in peace.

I make sure to reapply the spray when I'm outside, targeting areas like the house bricks, flower pots (though not directly on the flowers), chairs, under the chairs, under the table, our swing, and the netting. It takes a few minutes or less and is well worth the results.

The mixture is mostly water with about a tablespoon of peppermint oil in the bottle, and it doesn't damage anything—not even our swing and chair cushions. There are absolutely no stains because it's essentially just scented water.

Why Peppermint Oil Works as a Pest Deterrent

The effectiveness of peppermint oil in deterring common pests such as wasps, ants, spiders, and flies can be attributed to several factors:

1. The Strong Scent

Peppermint oil has a strong, minty aroma that is pleasant to humans but overwhelming to many insects. Wasps, ants, and spiders rely heavily on their sense of smell to locate food and navigate their environment. The intense scent of peppermint oil can disrupt these processes, making your patio unappealing to them.

2. Natural Insect Repellent Properties

Peppermint oil contains compounds like menthol and pulegone, which are effective natural insect repellents. These compounds interfere with insects' ability to communicate and find their way around, effectively keeping them at bay. Research has shown that peppermint oil can repel various insects, including mosquitoes, flies, and even certain types of spiders.

3. Safe for Humans and Pets

Safety is one of the best aspects of using peppermint oil as a pest deterrent. Unlike chemical insecticides, peppermint oil is non-toxic to humans and pets when used moderately. This makes it an excellent option for families with children and pets who enjoy spending time outdoors.

Practical Application Tips

To maximize the effectiveness of your peppermint oil spray, follow these practical tips:

  • Consistent Application: When spending extended time outside, reapply the spray daily. This ensures the scent remains strong enough to deter pests.
  • Target Key Areas: Focus on areas where insects are likely to gather, such as around food, seating areas, and entry points to your home. Spraying under tables and chairs can help create a barrier that pests are reluctant to cross.
  • Avoid Direct Spraying on Plants: While peppermint oil is generally safe for plants, it's best to avoid spraying directly on flowers and foliage. This helps prevent potential adverse effects on your plants and ensures the oil is used where it's most effective.

Conclusion

Our personal experience with peppermint oil spray has been highly effective. The simple mixture of water and peppermint oil has transformed our patio into a pest-free haven, allowing us to enjoy outdoor meals and relaxation without the constant annoyance of wasps, ants, spiders, and flies. 

The scientific reasons behind its effectiveness—its strong scent, natural repellent properties, and safety—make it a practical and reliable solution for anyone looking to keep their outdoor spaces free from common pests. Give it a try and enjoy the benefits of a peaceful, pest-free patio!

KEY POINTS:

  • I apply the spray of peppermint water every day when I go into the backyard.
  • It wears off over time, especially when it rains. I apply it daily, because I'm in the backyard daily.
  • Spray furniture, under furniture, cushions, house bricks, where you know the pests tend to go
  • I especially spray around our patio table. That way I'm having my morning coffee in total peace!
  • It's cheap and easy, and if your pets or humans aren't allergic to peppermint, it's safe! Smells good too!
  • I keep the bottle of peppermint water sitting on the patio table all summer, so when I go outside, I can easily give everything a thorough spritz.

My hubby is utterly shocked at how well this works, especially when we're eating outside—it's pretty amazing.

The real test will be in August and September when wasps are punch drunk, and we usually cannot sit in our backyard. I'm totally confident that I've won this battle! I'll let you know.

Where I Buy Peppermint Oil:

I buy the 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.”


5 comments:

  1. Really amazing that something so simple, safe and inexpensive can be so effective. Well done Barbara for discovering the benefits of peppermint oil as a bug deterrant. And thanks for sharing your knowledge for all of us who like to enjoy their backyards and patios/porches without interruptions by pesky critters!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Excellent update! The wasps are definitely a problem for us too. Of course, it doesn't help that the very plants and bushes we plant for bees and butterflies also attract wasps. I love the idea of being able to create a protected area from wasps with something as simple as peppermint oil. Thanks for the information and update!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you so much for the update, Barbara! Does this spray solution work equally well to deter mosquitoes? Also, do you know whether it’s safe to spray on skin or clothing? Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would have no qualms about spraying my clothes since it's basically peppermint-scented water. Apparently, it's supposed to deter mosquitoes as well. I think it's working for our backyard because our entire yard is lined with tall cedar trees, which are known to harbor mosquitoes. So far, I've only seen one mosquito come onto our patio area, and I sit outside at night now, something I never did before.

      My friend says she deters mosquitoes by taking a fresh bay leaf from her garden and rubbing it all over herself. She says mosquitoes don't like the smell, so they stay away. I wouldn't do that because I don't want my body smelling like bay leaves all day, but peppermint is okay. I've never had to spray the peppermint-scented water on my body while in the backyard because wasps hate the smell and stay completely away from the sitting area anyway.

      This morning, I had a wasp trying to enter a crevice in our patio steps, so I drenched the area with peppermint water. I soaked it completely! The one that went in never came out, and the other that flew over to the entry hovered and wouldn't go in. The smell really affects them. It works like a charm, but I do reapply the peppermint water every day I go outside. It's been so peaceful!

      Delete
  4. Oh I just might have to invest in some peppermint oil! I wonder if this would work at the cottage! Lots and lots of bugs out there and I hate being on the menu!

    ReplyDelete

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