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Spending time outside in the fresh air is wonderful for your health. However, it can get annoying very quickly when vicious insects are attacking you. Enter peppermint essential oil, a natural product that comes from the herb Mentha x Piperita. It’s used as a home remedy to treat headaches, nausea and irritable bowel syndrome, among other things.
However, you can also turn peppermint essential oil into an effective, all-natural bug repellent that works wonders to keep spiders and mosquitoes at bay. Here’s how you can use it to your benefit.
Does Peppermint Oil Repel Bugs?
Yes, peppermint is a strong scent that can be very effective in repelling bugs. Using peppermint oil is a natural, harmless way to keep your home and yard pest-free.
Peppermint oil can be used to repel mosquitos, spiders, bees, ants and roaches. While it doesn’t kill these pests, it can kill bed bugs when sprayed directly on them. Spraying peppermint oil for bugs can allow you to enjoy your outdoor space without worrying about bites or stings.
The Benefits of Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint essential oil smells just like its name – fresh and minty. It’s a cooling essential oil and can help reduce anxiety and stress.
Research shows that peppermint can help relieve pain in patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or stomach cramps. Menthol, one of the elements found in peppermint oil, can be very helpful for treating migraines or other types of physical pain.
This essential oil shouldn’t be used around young children and is toxic for pets, especially if diffused. However, when diluted properly, it shouldn’t have any adverse effects on adults.
What Bugs Does Peppermint Essential Oil Repel?
Possibly because of its strong odor, peppermint is an excellent spider deterrent. You can spritz a mixture with this oil around your house to prevent any arachnid home invasions or dilute it to wear on your skin as protection while you’re outside.
Studies also suggest that it works to scare away mosquitoes. Before spraying it all over yourself, though, you should do a patch test. A small percentage of people may experience irritation after putting peppermint oil on their skin.
How Long Does Peppermint Spray Keep Bugs Away?
Peppermint spray can repel bugs for up to seven days according to one study, but the results may vary. Try spraying your mixture once a week, and take note of when you see the bugs reappear. If you notice spiders or other insects come back before seven days, start to spray every few days.
How to Find Good Quality Peppermint Essential Oil
The first step to making your own peppermint essential oil bug spray is to find good quality peppermint oil.
Essential oils are not regulated, but they are part of a massive industry. Because of this, many companies selling them may be more interested in instant profit than in quality manufacturing practices.
To find quality essential oils, look for companies with a mix of honest reviews and good standing on the Better Business Bureau website. Read reviews and see which companies stand out as the most trustworthy to you.
Product prices will vary depending on the type of oil you’re purchasing, and they should be sold in dark glass bottles to maintain freshness. Avoid any oils labeled as “fragrances” and any that aren’t 100% essential oil.
How Do You Make Peppermint Essential Oil Spray?
To make bug spray for topical use on your skin, you’ll need the following ingredients:
- Peppermint essential oil
- Witch hazel
- Spray bottle
Fill the bottle with one part peppermint essential oil to 10 parts witch hazel. Experiment with these proportions to see what works best for you. You can also consider adding other essential oils to make this bug spray even more potent.
Peppermint essential oil is highly volatile, meaning it evaporates quickly. However, because its fresh, minty smell is so strong, it should keep bugs away for a while. Reapply the spray if you notice mosquitoes starting to hover.
To bugproof your yard, you’ll need:
- Peppermint essential oil
- White vinegar
- Larger spray bottle
- Cotton balls
Mix 10+ drops of the essential oil with 4 ounces total of water and white vinegar. You can spray your patio or outdoor chairs with this mixture or consider wetting a few cotton balls and leaving them around to scare off bugs.
More About Essential Oils
Quality essential oils are extracted from plants either through diffusion or cold-pressing. Because they’re so concentrated, you typically mix them with carrier oils like coconut or olive oil before use.
Essential oils work through aromatherapy, or the chemical power of scent. Studies suggest they can lead to healing in your body after traveling through your olfactory or respiratory systems.
Many people use essential oils by applying them to their skin, adding them to beauty products or diffusing them into the air. Always check the potential toxicity of essential oils before diffusing them because some can harm young children or pets.
Explore the Great Outdoors
These peppermint essential oil recipes should effectively repel spiders and mosquitoes so you can enjoy the fresh air without being surprised by any nasty critters. Try different combinations and proportions to see what works best for you, and don’t forget to research any additional oils you decide to use.
With your all-natural bug spray in hand, you’re ready to face the great outdoors without fear.
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