You’ve heard about using orange oil and peppermint oil against spiders, but what about lemon oil? How do you use lemon oil for spiders? Does it even work? Here’s what you have to know.
Does lemon oil repel spiders?
Firstly, lemon oil deters spiders because it comes from a citrus fruit. Whether it’s an orange or a lemon, spiders have always loathed these fruits, and they’ve always avoided them. The reason for this phenomenon is not yet clear, but a lot of homeowners exploit it to free their homes from these arachnids.
Another reason that explains the spider’s aversion to lemon oil is that it’s an essential oil – an oil which concentrates all the repelling properties of the plant. Fragrant essential oils are popular among the pest control community because of their effectiveness. Eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender oils, for example, can ward off mosquitoes, fleas and yes, even spiders.
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This is primarily due to the fact that these oils all have monoterpenoids, powerful chemicals that naturally deter pests. The same compounds are also considered as fumigants, making them poisonous and an active ingredient in many commercial pesticides.
But in a more specific scenario, stepping on essential oils triggers spiders to move back in horror since they use their feet and legs to taste and smell. Walking on an oil-soaked surface for them would be the equivalent of humans eating and smelling something incredibly revolting and disgusting according to a human’s standards and perception.
How to Use Lemon Oil Repellents
So lemon oil works. But how do you use it? Well, there are 4 ways that you can do it. We’ve divided them into ‘recipes’, so you’ll know what ingredients and how much of them you should use. There’s also a bonus method at the end to give your house that extra line of defense that it needs.
Recipe No. 1
The first recipe is the easiest to make. All you have to do is mix the two ingredients below in a spray bottle. Then, spray your concoction into the spider infested regions of your house.
- 8-10 drops of lemon oil
Remember that repellents like this get washed away from water or the rain. Re-apply it as often as you can to get the best results.
Recipe No. 2
This recipe comes from Seventh Generation. Accordingly, you’ll need to mix in one household cleaner into your spray. Specifically, here’s what you need:
- 5 drops of lemon oil
- 5 drops of dish soap or dish washing liquid
- 1 quart of water
As a repellent, the dish soap gives an extra level of toxicity that can scare away spiders. And as a pesticide, the soap is even more effective because it’s a surfactant. It damages the spider’s waxy covering, and it allows the lemon oil to penetrate the arachnid and do more harm to its body.
Recipe No. 3
This last recipe is one of the most convenient ones out there. If you’re tired of spraying your repellents and constantly reapplying them, why not try this?
- 3 or less drops of lemon oil
- regular furniture polish
Adding lemon oil into your regular furniture polish can ward off spiders that live in it. Just make sure to be careful when considering how much of the oil you’re planning to use and what surface you’re going to wipe it into. Lemon oil is known to be corrosive. It’ll damage the furniture if you put way too much of it.
SF Gate’s Home Guides suggests giving your home a secondary defensive line by peeling lemons and placing their skins on your garden or yard. Arrange the peels face-up or skin-down to get the most of the lemon’s fragrance. Put them around your house as an extra barrier against invading spiders. Spiders that will attempt to step on them will recoil back.
Keep in mind though that you have to change the peels regularly. Always keep them fresh. Rotting peels will attract bugs, and that will make your spider problems even worse.
Using lemon oil for spiders and this peel method takes a bit of creativity from homeowners. Don’t be afraid to experiment on what works best for you. But be careful when you do so, especially when you have children and pets living with you.