The Vaseline Hack People Use To Deter Spiders (& Does It Work?)

Having spiders in your home or intruding on your patio can be extremely unsettling, and some have turned to smearing surfaces with Vaseline to repel these arachnids. The theory behind this hack is that the petroleum jelly will be too difficult for the spiders to walk across, acting as a barrier to keep them out. Surprisingly, some home security companies recommend putting Vaseline around outdoor cameras to keep spiders from crafting their webs over the lens.

Unfortunately, there seem to be no scientific studies proving that petroleum jelly deters spiders or that it is difficult for them to maneuver over, making this hack purely anecdotal. If you have been trying to figure out how to get rid of spiders in your home and prevent them from coming back, the Vaseline method might not prove very helpful. Combining Vaseline with peppermint oil, however, may prove more effective at deterring spiders when spread outside of windows and doors. This hack might have a little more basis to it, as research has shown mint oil can help repel some species of spiders.

Vaseline alone isn't the best way to deter spiders

Besides the fact that there is limited evidence that Vaseline truly repels spiders, this hack could also make a huge mess. Whether you're trying to deter spiders from an area of your home or from coming inside at all, spreading this oily substance over your furniture, floor, and walls would be difficult to clean up. Additionally, this hack would only deter the spiders while the Vaseline is present. It could be worth a shot to try this hack on outdoor areas, like security cameras or perhaps on the legs of patio furniture, but there's no guarantee it will be effective.

On the other hand, combining peppermint essential oil with Vaseline has more of a potential to deter spiders. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology found that peppermint oil was capable of repelling the European garden spider (Araneus diadematus) and the brown widow spider (Latrodectus geometricus); however, the same study also found that another spider (Steatoda grossa) did not respond to the mint. This research shows that peppermint could be a good way to deter these creepy crawlies, but it might not always work for every spider.

Deterring spiders with Vaseline and peppermint oil

If you'd like to try using peppermint oil and vaseline to keep your home spider-free, stir several drops of the essential oil into a glob of the petroleum jelly. This can then be smeared wherever you think spiders are coming inside, such near entryways or any exterior cracks. While the peppermint oil may work to keep spiders away from the spot where it's applied, you'll likely want to implement other control methods as well.

To prevent spiders from hanging out in your house, you'll want to ensure that you're cleaning often. This could mean sucking up the spiders' webs with your vacuum and cutting down on clutter, especially in dark storage areas like basements, attics, and crawl spaces. By doing so, you'll eliminate places for these arachnids to hide. Because the majority of spiders are beneficial, eat pests, and won't usually bite, you might also consider leaving them alone if there are only a few. In cases of severe infestation, it's best to reach out to a professional pest control agency for help.