Mint is a widely known plant. It is a common ingredient for cold and hot beverages. Some also use it in salads and different dishes. The distinguished taste and aroma make it a popular choice to use to make air fresheners and mouthwashes.
However, some pests and insects are not a fan and detest the fragrance emitted by the plant. This characteristic makes it an excellent choice to repel and control insects and pests.
Types of Mints & What Pest/Insects It Can Repel
Mints essential oils are great at keeping bugs away from your home and your yard. They can repel spiders, mosquitoes, and different types of insect and garden pests, like ants, flies, fleas, and moths.
There are different species of mints. Some are known to have excellent insect repellent properties. Here are some example of mints species and the pests they could repel:
1. Spearmint (Mentha spicata) & Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
These plants are ideal for the backyard garden because they are known to work well against mosquitoes, spiders, and flies. These types of mints repel pests, but they do not kill them. Their menthol property is effective against mosquito larvae, mites, mice, and other pests.
2. Pennyroyal mint (Mentha pulegium)
It is known to be able to repel ticks and fleas. You can rub it on your petal’s skin/ fur. Doing this will help stop their constant scratching because of animal pests and help prevent them from damaging their skin/fur.
Some gardeners believe that mint plants can also keep away cats, raccoons, and moles away from your garden. There has still been no definite proof of this claim.
A lot of commercially available insect or pest repellent contains chemicals that could potentially harm you, your family, your pets, and your plants. That is why a lot of companies are starting to make more products that are natural.
There are commercially available mint repellents that you can buy. But you donat need to buy those things when you can make your own.
(Tip: If you plan to grow a mint plant of your own, it is best if you grow them in pots or separate areas away from your other plants. Mint is an invasive plant, and it spreads rapidly. It can be a trouble to remove ones it has been settled)
Different Ways on How to Use Mint as a Repellent
1. Create Your Own Mint Insect Repellent Spray
You can use the five-parts rubbing alcohol to one-part mint oil ratio.
(5 Alcohol: 1 Mint oil)
To do this, follow the steps below:
When Using Dried Mint Leaves
Step 1: Boil a spoonful of dried mint leaves in a half cup of water
Step 2: You can add other herbs like Witch hazel and Lavender to increase the repellent property
Step 3: Let it cool down then strain the mint leaves
Step 4: Transfer the mint liquid to a spray bottle
Step 5: Add about a half cup of alcohol
Step 6: Shake well, and it is ready for use.
When Using Fresh Mint Leaves
Step 1: Boil leaves of peppermint and citrus peels in a pan
Step 2: Allow the mixture to sit overnight.
Step 3: Drain and strain it the next day
Step 4: Transfer it into a spray bottle
Step 5: Put equal parts of rubbing alcohol
Step 6: Shake well, and it is ready for use.
You can spray either of these mixtures before going outdoors.
2. Grow Mint in Pots
Pots of fresh mint plants could help repel many pests from entering your home and your yard. You can place them in the opening of your houses like the doors and windows. These could also help prevent rats from entering your home.
You can also put some mint pots in your yard. These will keep pests away from your plants and garden. Be careful where you place your mint pots in your garden. Remember that they germinate rapidly and could invade your yard.
(Reminder: Mint plants can only work when you have ordinary or simple pest problems. Seek professional help if you have an extreme pest situation.)
3. Make Mint Sachets
You can put dried mint leaves in an empty sachet. (Use sachets that still allow the aroma of mint to sip through even when close, like cloth bags). You can then hang the sachets in hard to reach areas or near small corners to prevent insects from flying in.
You can also place these sachets/ cloth bags around the garden to repel insects and bugs.
4. Crush Mint Leaves
You can apply crushed mint leaves directly to clothes or animal fur. These could help prevent mosquitoes from biting you and your pets. You can also put crushed mint leaves in areas that have ant problems.
5. Place Dried Mint Leaves in Grain Storage
Grains are prone to insect attacks, and over time this results in grains turning bad. Placing dried mint in your grain storage can help prevent these insect attacks.
6. Chew Mint Leaves
When your body gets to metabolize the mint, it will release the smell in your skin and prevent mosquitoes and ants from coming near you. (This is ideal when you plan to sleep outside)
7. Make a Spray for your Garden
Step 1: Place a medium-size onion, four garlic cloves, two cup mint leaves, and two tablespoons of cayenne pepper in a blender and blend it into fine particles.
Step 2: Strain the mixture and place them in a container
Step 3: Add about two tablespoons of liquid castile soap
Step 4: Add enough water to make a gallon
Step 5: Transfer them into spray bottles and spray them on the affected plant/s
8. Buy Ready-made Sprays Online
Since this is a natural insect repellent, this will not harm your garden. Your flowers, vegetables, and plants are safely away from toxins inside most chemical-based insect repellents. These are also safer for you, your family, and your pets
Also, not all insects in your garden are undesired. There are beneficial insects like ladybugs and wasps that feed on a variety of other insects. Chemical-based pesticides could kill them too.
Mint plants not only provide a fragrance for your house and a new taste for your food, but it also helps in pest control. It is nontoxic and yet still effective.
As stated above, you can buy a mint repellent, or you can try to make your own. Making a mint repellent is low-cost, and you can find most of the ingredients inside your home. You can decide what you want to do. It is totally up to you.