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 can emit a milky substance from behind its head that fills the air with the scent of peppermint to fight off predators. Gross! (But also smart.)
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 it in an area where you often see insects, such as on a windowsill or near a door. The scent should detour insects in the area. Here are 11 more natural bug repellents worth trying.
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; some people with sensitive skin may find the oil irritating. As another preventative measure, make sure you look out for these things in your house that are attracting pests.