Before you reach for the chemical-laden bug spray and store-bought insect repellents, there’s a natural solution you can try—peppermint.
Insects hate peppermint. In fact, the stick bug uses a milky substance it can emit from behind its head that fills the air with the scent of peppermint. The bug uses this to fight off predators, as the scent is an unbearable irritant to most insects.
Using Peppermint Around the Home
If you have spiders, ants, mosquitoes and other bugs around your home, try using peppermint oil. The scent may also help keep mice away.
To get started, pick up some peppermint oil at your local health or grocery store. Look for 100-percent pure peppermint oil with no additives.
Next, try putting a little peppermint oil on a cotton ball and place the ball in an area where you often see insects, such as on a window sill or near a door. The scent should detour insects in the area.
Make a Diffuser
Try mixing a few drops of peppermint oil with some hot water and place it in a spray bottle. A good ratio is 5 to 10 drops of essential oil per ounce of water. Use the mixture to spray down countertops, furniture, curtains and blinds and hard-to-reach areas of the home where insects are often present. Always test in a small area first to make sure the oil doesn’t damage the items you want to spray.
Store the diffuser in your refrigerator to make the scent last longer.
You can also use the mixture on your skin if you’re planning to be outside, but be sure to do a test on your skin first since some people with sensitive skin may find the oil irritating.