When seasons change, many homeowners find themselves wondering how to get rid of spiders in the home. The solution is a combination of addressing their favorite hiding places and avenues into your home, plus a hefty dose of the homemade Spider Spray recipe below.
Getting Rid of Spiders Indoors
It’s not that spiders suddenly move indoors — in fact, some scientists claim you are always within three feet of a spider. But weather changes often lead us to start our Spring or Fall Cleaning or to swap out seasonal clothing and decor, and those activities send spiders scurrying for safety.
Use a Layered Approach
The most important thing to know about how to get rid of spiders is that it’s a process. You’ve got to remove places where they can hide first, then get rid of any spiders or cobwebs you see next, and finally, keep them from coming back by using homemade Spider Spray.
Skipping one of these steps — by just sweeping away cobwebs and spraying, for instance, but not dealing with their favorite hiding places — means you’re eliminating the spiders you can see. That works fine for a while, but eventually, they’ll come out of hiding — probably just as you’re going to bed.
Remove Spiders’ Hiding Places
Spiders don’t like attention. They’ll scurry away when they hear you coming, hiding in clutter or places they’re not likely to be disturbed. Like cockroaches and mice, they love piles of unattended junk. (Related: How to Get Rid of Cockroaches and DIY Cockroach Killer.)
Some spiders prefer damp, dark areas like basements and seldom-used closets. Others like warm, dry places like attics and the spot behind window treatments you rarely open. If you want to keep spiders out of your home, you’ll need to make a regular habit of cleaning those areas.
Some common spider-attracting places:
- Damp garages or basements
- In cracked walls or gaps around pipes, windows, and doors
- Piles of newspapers and old magazines
- Open storage boxes in basements and closets
- Heaps of laundry left on the floor
- Closets crammed full of things you rarely use
- Under kitchen and bathroom sinks, especially if they leak
- In houseplants — even the fake ones
- In the corners of your room, especially high ceilings
Clean Often to Remove and Prevent Cobwebs
Running the vacuum through the center of the room and dusting horizontal surfaces isn’t enough to deter spiders from making your home their home. You already know they love to build webs; your job is to make sure that they can’t.
- Pick up clothes and other things left on your floor and put them away.
- Shake curtains before cleaning a room to dislodge spiders and cobwebs. Let the dust settle a bit before proceeding to clean.
- Dust furniture and anything on it like knickknacks, framed photos, and houseplants.
- Vacuum wall-to-wall, including the corners of rooms and closet floors. Lift throw rugs and vacuum beneath them, too.
- When cleaning the kitchen, move items that sit on your counters so you can clean behind and beneath them. Dust your kitchen decor, too.
At least once a month, clean the following to get rid of spiders and keep them from building cobwebs:
- Dust ceilings, light fixtures, and walls monthly. Use an extension dusting pole if you can’t reach.
- Vacuum behind and beneath small furniture like nightstands and end tables.
- Move your bed and dust the wall behind your headboard, then vacuum the floor beneath the bed. Anything you keep beneath your bed should be in covered storage boxes, which also need to be moved and dusted monthly.
- Remove vent covers on floor registers and dust them monthly. Related: How to Clean Your Air Ducts.)
Every four months — when seasons change — is a good time to deep clean seldom-used areas of your home. The seasonal tasks below will help get rid of spiders in such areas, which helps keep them from exploring the rest of your home.
- Clean your fireplace and fire accessories. Open and close your chimney’s flue, too, to dislodge any cobwebs that have accumulated.
- Inspect your attic for leaks. Clean cobwebs, dust storage boxes, and sweep the attic floor while you’re up there.
- Inspect the basement for leaks and cracks in the wall. Sweep the walls, dust storage boxes, and sweep the floor to dislodge cobwebs.
- Move your car out of the garage so you can clean it. Be sure to sweep the ceiling and walls, as well as the inside of your garage’s exterior door. Purge clutter and rearrange storage boxes then sweep the garage floor.
How to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home
Decluttering and cleaning will both do a lot to get rid of spiders inside your home. You should also take measures to keep outdoor spiders from coming inside, too.
The steps below, combined with the homemade Spider Spray recipe, will do the trick.
- Make sure your windows and doors seal properly. Use weatherstripping where needed.
- Inspect your home’s foundations and walls for cracks — caulk or seal problem areas.
- Don’t stack firewood against your home’s foundation.
- Trim shrubs and trees to keep them away from exterior walls, and trim or mow grasses regularly.
- Close your chimney flue when the fireplace is not in use. Not only will this help deter spiders, but it will also help control your utility costs, too.
- Spiders and other pests often enter our homes via paper grocery bags. Use cloth grocery bags and launder them regularly.
- You can also place spider glue traps where you often find spiders, like behind the water heater and under utility sinks.
Homemade Spider Spray
Spiders don’t like peppermint or vinegar, so use a combination of the two against them. This Spider Spray recipe also helps prevent other household pests like ants and mice. (Related: How to Get Rid of Ants Naturally)
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- Combine all of the ingredients in a small spray bottle. Shake well.
- Spray beneath sinks, around windowsills and doors, in seldom-used closets, or other areas where you find spiders and cobwebs.
- Store in a cool, dark place.
Call the Pros if You Must
Particularly bad infestations, like those found in older homes where spiders have had plenty of time to breed in the walls, may require a professional exterminator. These days, many professional exterminators offer non-toxic solutions, so be sure to ask.
Once the infestation is under control, the above methods can prevent future problems. Or there’s always this way to get rid of spiders in the house.