Natural Pest Control, Part 2: Essential Oils & the Power of Peppermint
There is so much that can be said for essential oils... such a wide variety of oils, with a plethora of uses, it would be impossible to discuss them all. Many essential oils have medicinal properties and can be ingested, inhaled, or applied to the skin to aide with a number of ailments, from headaches and snoring, to soothing eczema and calming nerves. We use 30+ different essential oils in our product line. They feature in most of our bath and body products as well as our household cleaners, laundry detergents, air fresheners, etc. Over the past number of years we have also discovered the incredible pest repelling powers of certain essential oils, and that is what we are going to focus on in this, part 2 of our "Natural Pest Control" blog series.
The photo above portrays the simplicity of using essential oils for pest control. All you need is a spray bottle, water, and some of your favorite essential oils. Many people also like to add some liquid soap to the mix to help the spray stick to surfaces longer. Liquid soap also helps eliminate small, soft bodied insects like spider mites and aphids on contact. You can use any empty (and cleaned) spray bottle that you may have around the house so you don't have to go out and buy a new one.
You can order all of the ingredients and packaging on the DIY section of our website.
Here is a basic outline of some popular essential oils, and the pests they are known to repel:
- Cedar Wood - fleas, plant lice, moths, cockroaches, slugs, snails, weevils
- Citronella - ants, fleas, flies, gnats, mosquitoes, moths, spiders, ticks
- Eucalyptus - cockroaches
- Lavender - chiggers, fleas, flies, mosquitoes, head lice, moths, spiders, ticks
- Lemon Grass - chiggers, fleas, mosquitoes, spiders, ticks
- Peppermint - ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, fleas, flies, lice, mice, moths, spiders
- Rosemary - flies, head lice
- NEEM OIL - very versatile for all kinds of insects, mites and fungi - more details to come in Part 3 of our Natural Pest Control series
You can combine a variety of oils in one spray bottle to attack multiple types of pests. One that works really well as a base is peppermint oil, which repels a large number of insects as well as mice and squirrels. Spray some cotton balls with peppermint oil and place them near cracks and crevices where mice and squirrels are known to enter through.
We also spray all of our outdoor furniture cushions, rugs, canopy, etc. with peppermint oil spray before putting them into the shed to overwinter. Years ago mice ate through all of our cushions while they were in storage, but once we started spraying everything with peppermint oil, we have never had problems since!
To rid your home and garden of ants, aphids, beetles, caterpillars, fleas, flies, lice, mice, moths and spiders, simply fill a small spray bottle with water, add a squirt of liquid soap and a few drops of peppermint oil. Close the cap and give it a good shake. Don't be afraid to try other essential oils in addition to the peppermint. We like to add rosemary for it's wonderful smell and it also helps keep the flies away.
Our Simple, PEPPERMINT PEST Deterrent Spray Recipe:
- 1 - 6oz, plastic spray bottle
- 1 tablespoon of natural liquid soap
- 6mL of Peppermint Essential oil
- 2mL of Rosemary Essential oil
- 150mL of Water
Feel free to experiment with combinations, and let us know what works well for you!
Make sure to also take a look at our all natural mosquito repellent recipe HERE, which uses a number of essential oils that are safe to apply to the skin and will keep those pesky blood suckers away!