Can Lemon Oil Really Give You A Leg Up When Dealing With Spiders?

Whether you have full-blown arachnophobia or just find spiders creepy, you probably do not want them in your house. There are many DIY options for dealing with spiders, and of course, you can hire a professional to treat your entire home. If the infestation is minor, you may be able to manage the problem yourself. Because synthetic pesticides can be harsh and harmful to use around pets, it may be tempting to look for something natural. Lemon oil has a pleasant scent to humans, but the evidence of its efficacy against spiders is questionable.

Most spiders are harmless, but those that are venomous can be difficult to identify. Even some spiders that are not harmful to humans and pets can still bite when in defense mode. You can avoid uncertainty by figuring out ways to get rid of the spiders in your home to keep everyone safe. But while there are some tried and true methods for protecting your space from these eight-legged visitors, other suggestions, like lemon oil, may not prove as effective.

Can lemon oil get rid of spiders?

There is some evidence that adding lemon-scented plants around your home might help repel spiders. Lemon balm and lemon grass are beautiful plants that are easy to grow. Their powerful odors may help keep spiders from entering your home through cracks in your foundation or around doors and windows. Indoors, lemon oil is often recommended as a way to repel spiders, along with other strong citrus scents like citronella, and tea tree oils. 

To use lemon oil in your home, dilute it with water in a spray bottle. This DIY pest control spray can be used anywhere you have seen or suspect the presence of spiders. If you don't want to directly apply lemon oil to a surface, you can use it in your diffuser or apply a few drops to a cotton ball and place it in dark corners where those eight-legged pests like to hide. 

What science says about lemon oil

2017 study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology observed how some of the most frequently suggested oils affected spiders. While the study only tested three types of oil on three spider species, only chestnut and peppermint oil were found to be effective in repelling the creatures. While the entomologists who conducted this research noted lemon oil appeared to have no influence on the spiders, the limitations of this study make it difficult to know with certainty if lemon oil can really impact the presence of spiders in your home. 

If you aren't dealing with an infestation of potentially venomous spiders, it certainly does not hurt to try using lemon oil as a repellant. Even if this pleasant scent proves ineffective against spiders, you get the benefit of a fresh-smelling space. Lemon oil is also good for cleaning the air and acts as a natural disinfectant when used on a variety of surfaces.