There are, obviously, a lot of products on the market for fighting off all of the creepy crawlers that enter your home, disgusting bugs like roaches, ants and spiders as well as rodents like mice and rats.
But what if you want to repel these bugs and rodents naturally? What then?
Chances are that if you’ve done a search for DIY mice and rat control or insect repellent, you’ve noticed that peppermint oil is a popular solution for repelling not only spiders, mosquitoes and other bugs, but mice and rats as well.
The question is, why does peppermint work as an insect or pest control product?
The reality is that there isn’t much scientific research providing, definitively, that peppermint essential oil does work as an all-natural insect repellent (although with the growing interest in essential oils and all-natural remedies, that may be changing in the near future).
A study conducted at the University of Georgia for a student thesis found that “five plant-extracted essential oils (spearmint, peppermint, wintergreen, cinnamon and clove) were repellent to Argentine ant… at 0 and 7 days after application.”
A 2010 study was conducted to “determine the insecticidal activity of essential oils” in stored products like flour, beans and meal. The study results concluded that the essential oils “have fumigant activity that might be of importance for controlling stored-product insects.”
Likewise, though many people claim to have found success using peppermint oil as a mouse repellent, there is little to no searching providing its effectiveness.
That said, peppermint oil has a strong aroma and, for a species that relies on its smell over weak vision, the mice are believed to find the aroma to be offensive and irritating.
This, of course, means that you will need to use 100% natural peppermint oil and have it slowly diffused into the room without spilling or quickly losing its potency.
While most pest control companies will, obviously, dispute claims that an essential oil could work as a natural pesticide or insecticide, there’s still plenty of evidence (and Google searches!) with anecdotal evidence that it can be a viable solution.
Possible Essential Oil Repellents
If you want to test essential oil as bug repellent out for yourself, here are a few good oils to choose from:
- lemon oil
- eucalyptus oil
- lavender oil
- tea tree oil
- citronella oil
And if you are looking for a solution for diffusing the oil in a way that will help it retain its potency and still be long-lasting, then I would encourage you to take a look at our 100% all-natural peppermint plug-in refill. It’s universal fit, so it can be used with Air Wick®, Glade®, Renuzit®, and many other plug-in air freshener warmers.
And, of course, other than being a potential option as a natural insecticide, can also energize your mind and elevate your senses (which is what makes it one of our bestselling products).
A brief word of warning for pet owners, though. Peppermint can bother cats and poses a significant health risk, so vets advise against using it in your home if you do have a cat.
If you’re looking for a green solution to keeping unwanted critters at bay during the spring and summer months, peppermint oil is definitely worth a try. Though there’s no conclusive evidence proving its effectiveness as a pesticide, enough studies have been conducted to indicate that it could be a potential solution. And for families who prefer to stick with all-natural remedies, it’s a great option.