I have a serious problem!
Anyone who knows me, understands that I'm not exaggerating one bit when I say that I have a HUGE phobia of bugs- in particular spiders and (blech) centipedes.
I probably need an intervention!
I've gotten into a minor traffic scrape because a bug flew in my car (it was HUGE! Downright Paleolithic, in my defense...)
I've embarrassed myself countless times in public when caught off guard by a creepy crawly.
And no horror has ever been more traumatic than my giant huntsman spider encounter in Mozambique!
After living virtually bug free in New York City for the last 14-ish years, my bug phobia has returned full force since moving to the Maryland countryside earlier this year.
I literally live in the middle of the woods. It's beautiful, it's serene, but creepy crawlers abound everywhere.
A naturalista through and through, I refuse to resort to toxic chemical sprays. Instead, I've decided to fight back naturally and organically. I am on their turf after all. I don't want the creatures to die, I simply want to keep them OUTSIDE!!!!!!
If you also suffer from the occasional (or not so occasional) creepy crawler then here are three natural and organic ways to rid your home of spiders and centipedes and all of their little friends!
1. Peppermint Essential Oil
Spiders and centipedes HATE the smell of peppermint!
Not only is the smell enough to keep them away from your home, but coming into contact with the oil burns them. They will retreat immediately!
To apply, I use a dropper and apply peppermint essential oil directly to cracks in the floorboard, underneath the radiator and around windows.
For soft surfaces, like the perimeter of my bed and the sofa (I take no chances) I mix a few drops of peppermint essential oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz the mixture where I need it.
This works like a charm!
The peppermint leaves my house smelling cool and fresh and keeps spiders and centipedes OUT! When guests visit, they're always commenting on how good my house smells (if they only knew why....)
2. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Similar to peppermint essential oil, spiders and centipedes can't stand the smell of eucalyptus (neither can mosquitoes or flies for that matter!) essential oil.
I burn this oil in an essential oil steam diffuser. Eucalyptus smells so good and compliments the peppermint aroma coming from my floorboards.
Eucalyptus makes me feel like I live in a spa. Not only is the fragrance calming but it has medicinal properties. Eucalyptus is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and decongestant, which means it is a natural air purifier, kills airborne germs and is also beneficial to individuals with chronic bronchitis, asthma and allergies.
In a nutshell, you can't go wrong with eucalyptus! EVER!
3. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is extremely irritating to insects. Heck, it's irritating to humans if it gets in our eyes and mouth.
Spiders and centipedes will go out of their way to avoid cayenne pepper which is why it is so effective when sprinkled outside around the periphery of a house and along exterior window ledges.
IT REALLY WORKS!!!!
Let the bugs play outdoors so you can enjoy the indoors with this winning combination of natural and organic pest control.
All of the above mentioned remedies are safe for humans, kids and pets (cats and dogs).
Note: If you have pet rodents stay away from the peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils because the smell will upset them. Peppermint essential oil is actually effective in driving mice out of homes as well.
For more tips and tricks for naturally repelling pests using essential oils see my post: 3 Ways to Use Essential Oils to Get Rid of Moths