The reason why our bedroom sometimes smells like toothpaste

It’s spring! The temperatures are getting warmer, and nature’s color scheme is shifting from browns to greens. The birds are building nests, the flowers are starting to wake up, and the spiders are busy plotting how to intrude into your bedroom so that they can crawl into your mouth when you’re asleep (I doubt that that actually happens, but just the idea is enough to send shivers down my spine). The duck and I have a tumultuous relationship with spiders. There was a time when I had told myself that they won’t do me harm enough to actually not mind them, somehow the irrational fear of spiders inside my bedroom returned – possibly when my bedroom had floorboards with gigantic gaps between them; one day I observed a rather big specimen of a spider casually crawling out of the floor and back in again. Yikes! That was the first time my bedroom began to smell like toothpaste. Across the years, the duck and I tried several methods to keep spiders out. Here’s a photo of the duck posing with a few items from our current bye-bye-spider-kit – so that I shall never again awake in the middle of the night, drenched in sweat because I dreamed about a massive spider on the side of the wardrobe (which, I am ashamed to admit, might have been the only nightmare that ever had that effect on me). Anyway, here’s how we attempt to keep our bedroom an insect-free zone:

Bye-bye, spiders! – A four-to-five-step program

1 – The duck and I are huge fans of insect screens! There’s something magical about opening your window and knowing that an unassuming net helps keep some of the bigger outside spiders out of the room without obstructing too much of the view. You can even exchange most of the cheaper velcro insect screens with pollen-protection fleece come spring (though the duck and I are too lazy for that and prefer to suffer in style).
2 – Whenever our fear of spiders is particularly prominent, we put a few drops of peppermint essential oil on a cotton ball and place it in front of our bedroom window to discourage the spiders that live outside of it from concocting bedroom relocation plans. We read somewhere that this is a natural spider repellent as spiders tend to dislike this scent and thus keep their distance from it. The fragrance needs to be strong (at least as strong as that fast false fear), though. This is why our bedroom sometimes smells like peppermint toothpaste. The floorboard room had cotton balls everywhere: on the floor near the door, on the windowsill, and around my bed; I would re-peppermint them regularly.
2.5 – When I read that mixing up the essential oils you dribble on the cotton balls can keep the spiders from getting used to one particular scent, the duck and I were excited to have our room smell like lavender for a change. Next will be tea-tree oil, I think! I’m not sure that the oils are working. But even if they don’t, they make me feel somewhat safe!
3 (& 4) – If a big spider does find its way into our bedroom or the corridor outside of it, I first see if there is someone (other than the duck who swears by mental support being the best kind of support) around who is brave enough to catch it for us. If not, or if the spider is small enough for me to feel comfortable with it, I’ll use an insect catcher to try and trap it so that I can bring it outside and then add a few more drops of essential oil to the cotton ball on the windowsill.
4.5 – Maybe the fact that the duck and I are obsessed with peppermint tea these days also helps, you know, scent-wise?

Even though I’m pretty sure that there are spiders in our bedroom as I am writing this, the duck and I live by the motto that if we don’t see them, they don’t exist (which only works for spiders, though, not for cockroaches)!
What is your stance on spiders? Do you think they exist outside your field of vision?

5? – We tried naming the spider that was living in the shrubbery outside our window last year – that was kinda fun, actually!

4 thoughts on “The reason why our bedroom sometimes smells like toothpaste

    • To be honest, that is the reason I never wanted to visit Australia as a child. I’m working hard on overcoming that stupid fear of spiders, though, because there are just so many beautiful places I want to see in Australia.


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