How to Get Rid Of Spiders and DIY Spider Spray

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Getting a lot of spiders in your home? Find out what’s attracting them and how to get rid of spiders naturally. Then use a homemade spider spray to keep them away for good.

Why Am I Suddenly Seeing More Spiders?

People often see more spiders indoors as winter turns to spring or summer turns to fall. It’s not that spiders are suddenly moving inside, though. In fact, some scientists claim you are always within three feet of a spider. Instead, the reason you see more spiders is usually that you’re bothering them.

Things like cleaning, entertaining, rearranging furniture or decor — all are activities that disturb spiders’ hiding places, sending them scurrying for new ones. That’s why you’ll often notice them when you do Spring or Fall cleaning or decorate for the holidays.

What is the Best Way to Get Rid of Spiders?

If spiders scare you, or you find them creepy, there are things you can do to keep them out of your home.
First, you’ll want to follow the steps below to get rid of spiders already in your house. Then, use the homemade spider repellent spray and other methods to naturally keep spiders out of your home for good.

How To Get Rid of Spiders in Your House

The most important thing to know is that getting rid of spiders is a process. You’ve first got to remove places where they can hide. Then, get rid of any spiders or cobwebs you see. Once that’s done, you keep them from coming back using the homemade Spider Repellent Spray below.

Don’t Skip Steps

Skipping one of these steps only gets rid of the spiders you can see. Say you sweep cobwebs, for instance, but you don’t remove the clutter where spiders like to hide. You’ll see fewer spiders for a while, but eventually, they’ll come out of hiding — probably just as you’re going to bed.

Closeup of wolf spider on white background

1. Check These Places for Spider Infestations


Spiders don’t like attention. They’ll scurry away when they hear you coming, hiding in places they’re unlikely to be disturbed. The less often or thoroughly you clean your home, the more places there are that spiders will like.

Some common places where spiders may hide and breed in your home include:

  • 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

If you find an infestation, clean the area immediately to remove the cobwebs, spiders, and any egg sacs. Put glue traps down to catch spiders in difficult to reach areas. (I’ve used these in my basement behind heavy equipment.)

2. Keep Your Home Clean to Prevent New Infestations

Regular cleaning gets rid of cobwebs, and lets spiders know they’re not welcome. Occasionally vacuuming the center of the room and dusting tabletops isn’t enough.

Follow a regular weekly cleaning routine to keep spiders from building webs in your home. This includes removing clutter from the floor, vacuuming wall to wall, and moving items on countertops to clean behind them. (Not sure if you’re cleaning thoroughly enough? Grab a free Printable House Cleaning Checklist.)

Once a month, dust ceilings and light fixtures, and move smaller furniture so you can dust and vacuum behind it. You should also clean beneath your bed at least once a month, including anything you store down there. Remove vent covers on floor registers and dust them monthly, too

3. Inspect and Clean These Areas Seasonally

Some spiders prefer damp, dark areas like basements and seldom-used closets. Others like warm, dry places like attics and the spot behind the curtains you rarely open. The one thing that all spiders want in a breeding ground is a place where they won’t be disturbed, but where there’s a convenient supply of food — like other bugs.

  • Clean your fireplace and fire accessories. Open and close your chimney’s flue to dislodge any cobwebs that have accumulated. Then sweep or vacuum everything, including ceramic gas fireplace logs and screens.
  • Inspect your attic for leaks and cobwebs. Clean cobwebs, dust storage boxes, and sweep the attic floor while you’re up there. Make sure that anything you store in your attic is in a sealed box or container. This makes it easier to clean the contents of your attic and also helps prevent other pests too.
  • Inspect the basement for leaks and cracks in the wall. Fix any that you find. Sweep the ceiling and walls, dust storage boxes, and sweep the floor. Clean utility closets and spaces near your water heater and furnace, too.
  • 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. If you’ve got to store things in your garage, try to keep them away from doors and walls leading into your home. Also, make a practice of opening your garage door for several minutes every day to discourage pests and circulate air.

How to Keep Spiders from Entering Your Home

Once you get rid of the spiders that are already in your home, you’ll want to keep from attracting more. To do that, follow the steps below and use the homemade spider repellant spray as needed.

Closeup of big spider crawling on carpet

1. Don’t Attract Spiders to Your Home

Good lawn care routines and keeping your yard picked up are two of the best ways to avoid attracting spiders to your home. The good news is that these steps also deter other household pests like mice, so it’s time well-spent.

Don’t create shelter for spiders against your home’s walls. Keep your shrubs and trees trimmed at least 12″ from the side of your home. Mow your lawn regularly. And don’t stack firewood, toys, or other items against your home’s foundation.

Switch to yellow bug lights for outdoor lighting near doors and windows. Regular lights attract bugs, and wherever there are lots of bugs, you’ll find spiders eager to eat them. Bug lights don’t attract insects, so they don’t lure spiders, either. (I use these on our deck and back patio.)

Find and fix gaps. Look where cables, pipes, and exhaust fans enter your home and caulk any gaps you find. Make sure your windows and doors seal properly. Use weatherstripping where needed. Inspect your home’s foundations and walls for cracks, then caulk or seal problem areas.

Close your chimney flue when you’re not using your fireplace. You’ll keep spiders from crawling inside your home, along with other unwanted pests like mice or even birds and bats.

Banish the dark. Spiders prefer dark areas, so opening your curtains every morning is one of the easiest ways to make your home unattractive to them. For windowless basements or rooms, use timers to turn on LED daylight bulbs for a few minutes several times each day. You’ll see a big reduction in spiders if there’s nowhere dark for them to hide.

Catch and release — or not. If you don’t want to kill spiders, you can always catch and release them outdoors. An easy way to do this uses a sheet of paper rolled like a funnel with the small end folded over. Scoop the spider into the funnel, then carefully (but quickly) carry it outdoors to let it go. Or you can always use a more lethal option and vacuum them up.

Apply barriers that keep spiders away. The homemade spider repellant spray below is one barrier method of keeping spiders out of your home. You can also use diatomaceous earth (DE), a nontoxic powder that tears up insect and arachnid skeletons and kills them through dehydration. Sprinkle DE around your home’s exterior walls and reapply it monthly or more often during the rainy season.

2. Use a DIY Spider Spray

This homemade spider spray relies on smells that spiders can’t stand to keep them from entering your home. Apply it near your home’s entrances, including beneath windows. You can also spray it on doormats. Since it’s nontoxic, you can use this DIY spider repellant indoors, too. So, if you have a child who’s afraid of spiders, you can spritz it around their room and beneath their bed nightly. (Tell them it’s effective against monsters as well if you like.)

All-Natural Homemade Spider Spray

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small spray bottle. Shake well.
  2. Spray generously around your home’s exterior walls and entrances. You can also spray it indoors in areas where spiders like to run or hide. This includes near baseboards, beneath sinks, around windowsills and doors, and in closets.
  3. Reapply weekly during active infestations then as-needed.
  4. Store an unused natural spider repellant spray in a cool, dark place.

3. When to Call the Professionals

Really bad spider infestations, like those found in older homes where they’ve been breeding for decades in the walls, may require a professional exterminator. These days, many professional exterminators use nontoxic methods that are safe around kids and pets, so be sure to ask.

You should also call a professional exterminator if you find a large infestation of poisonous spiders. Trying to eradicate these types of spiders on your own may send them into other hiding places that are more difficult to reach or cause them to be aggressive and bite. Two to watch out for are brown recluse spiders, which are brown or tan with a violin-shaped marking behind their head, and black widow spiders, which have the famous red hourglass on their abdomens.

Then, once the spider infestation is under control, use the methods above to keep spiders out of your home naturally for good.

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51 Comments

  1. Heather-Joan Carls says:

    YES!!! I love the picture at the end of the your post!!! I have come close to doing that! I LOATHE spiders!!! I don’t fear them but I am compelled to kill them before they have a chance to kill me kinda mindset lolz I actually killed one last night in the bathroom up by the ceiling with the broom. 11 o’clock last night WHACK! Thank you for the tips. I can use a lot of them. Watch out, spiders, Heather-Joan is coming to extract massive genocide on you! lolz 😀 :p

    1. Only spider I want in my house is one that doesn’t procreate, that spins a big web to catch all mosquitoes. Not sure which I loathe more….probably mosquitoes. I keep asking “Why God…Why couldn’t you have created mosquitoes and spiders in a way that would have been less annoying/harmful to humans, but still fit into the food chain!”

    2. Katie Berry says:

      Amen. I say that about mosquitoes, too!

    3. Jennifer Jay says:

      You sound like me. I look like rambo after i see a spider in my domain! Then you’ll hear my battle cry as I go on my warpath, all the while swearing i will end their 1000 spider kids lives for f’ing with me!!

  2. Kristi Wood says:

    Another completely non-toxic way to control creepy-crawlies in your house is to sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth (which you can buy on Amazon or in a lot of locally-owned gardening nurseries) under and behind appliances and along the floor in closets and pantries. It is completely safe for pets and children; it’s used as an additive in cattle feed, so you could eat a spoonful of it and it wouldn’t hurt you at all. It’s the microscopic skeletal remains of diatoms, and it has sharp edges that cut into an insect or arachnid’s exoskeleton and cause them to dessicate. I’ve been using it for years.

    1. crystal P says:

      does it work for mice? I have problems with both spiders that im deathly afraid of and mice bad this year have tried quite a few things to rid the mice but not having luck thank you for your help

  3. The best way to rid spider is the vacuum cleaner. Every year my aunt start a (cobwebs) spring cleaning in her garage and basement. There are so many giant Hobo-spiders, with large webs in there. After vacuuming we checked the full dust bag and all spiders were killed inside, most of them were split in several pieces! The suction was to strong for the spiders.

  4. I absolutely am terrified of spiders and even though sometimes I do try to kill every last spider on earth and get filled with a spider-killing vengeance I just want them to leave. If they don’t bother me I have no need to kill them, but alas, they never listen and they can’t say I didn’t warn them. I try to look for ways to keep them out with natural deterrents like peppermint oil. So this article was helpful.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I can’t stand spiders, either, though I try not to kill them outdoors. I’m glad to know you found the article helpful!

  5. Can’t wait to fill my squirt bottle and get to work around here!! Spiders are fine if they stay outside. They’ve just made themselves too comfortable here this year….

    1. Katie Berry says:

      We’re having more spiders around here than usual, too, Sandy. Last week when I was getting out of the shower, I grabbed my towel and found a HUGE spider on it. Needless to say, I did quite a lot of spraying around the house after that!

  6. I live in Ky and just within the last few weeks I have seen huge black spiders in my home. I have never seen them in the house before and certainly not in the numbers i am now!. Just tonight i have killed 5 of them,which are bigger than a quarter. I feel like I am stuck in a bad nightmare. I have a major fear of spiders so i hope these natural remedies help. All together i have killed 15 in the past week. Where are they coming from?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Amy,
      The spiders are probably coming in due to the change in season. They’re looking for a nice, warm place to spend the winter. Hope the tips in this entry helped!

  7. Silly question I suppose – should I spray BOTH the inside AND outside of the windows & doors with the peppermint oil vinegar solution?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It’s not a silly question at all! I think you’d get best results spraying both sides though, obviously, if it rains you’ll want to reapply outside.

    2. No silly question….I just woke up at 1:00 to use the restroom and a huge spider was sitting right next to my head..YIKES…….I am spraying inside; outside and it that doesn’t work I’m moving into a plastic bubble. Geesh it is really bad this year.

    3. Katie Berry says:

      I might need a plastic bubble, too. Was sitting on the patio yesterday and thought I felt something crawling on my leg. I looked two or three times and saw nothing. A minute later, I felt that same sensation on my stomach — under my shirt. Looked down and, sure enough, there was a spider on me. Between the horrified dance and ripping my shirt off to get the spider off of me, I gave my neighbors quite the show!

  8. Pam Baker says:

    I have natural wood window sills & wood base around the floors. Will this spray harm the wood if I apply it & it doesn’t get wiped off?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Assuming your wood trim is sealed in some way, this is safe. I have wood trim around my windows and baseboards, too, and haven’t had a problem using this spray over the past 12 years.

  9. Cherry pie says:

    I live in hull and the last few weeks I’ve been killing at lot of little black and yellow spotted spiders but to night i saw the biggest one on my bed now am not afraid of alot of things but spiders i cry at I’ve got two very young babies one is a year old and the other 14 weeks but i can’t find the bastard thing now but i don’t want to get in my bed or put my little girl in my room in case its a spider that can do damage. …. I NEED HELP ASAP xx

    1. Katie Berry says:

      It’s quite late there (I’m in Kansas, in the States) but you’ve done the best thing you can do at this time of night by pulling your babies into your room.

      Tomorrow, do the cleaning recommended in this article. Then see if the chemist has peppermint oil. Follow the recipe in this article and spray around the base of all walls and doors in your home, and also spray the window wells. Repeat that twice a week.

      And do try to get some rest!

  10. Essential oils are NOT good for cats.

    So many articles I’ve seen offering this solution (including too many offering it as ‘pet safe’ fail to mention that fact.

    A disclaimer would be nice.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      As a cat lover, I understand your concern. (My cats are 12 and 6.) But to say ALL essential oils are not good for cats is incorrect. Catnip oil, for instance, is used in a variety of cat toys and, when combined with water or carrier oils, is perfectly safe for cats. You might know catnip’s Latin name: Nepeta cataria. It is in the mint family, as is peppermint — the essential oil used in this recipe. Many people, in fact, find their cats enjoy the smell of peppermint and that it has calming effects on them when used properly.

      That last part is important. Just as catnip oil must be diluted, so must peppermint oil. If it’s applied directly to mucous membranes it will burn… and that is true whether we’re talking cats or humans. If properly diluted, it’s not at all harmful. The same can be said of SOME but not ALL other essential oils. They were, after all, among the first medicines used to treat animals!

      In other words, while I understand your concerns, I didn’t include a disclaimer on this because I know the use of peppermint oil when properly diluted is safe for cats. But thank you for caring about your feline friends!

  11. Alexandris Ransom says:

    I am ready to burn this house down! For the past mth. I have had a spider crawl in my bed or on my body while in bed. I can’t take this much longer.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Yikes! I can’t imagine how much you must be dreading bedtime. You might want to strip your bed completely and wash all of the bed linens then, while it’s bare, flip your mattress and vacuum under your bed. Hopefully one of those things will get rid of that spider.

  12. I have a lot of spiders on my apple trees and was wondering if I sprayed it with the peppermint oil if it will harm the apples?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I really don’t know what effect it would have on your apple trees. You should probably speak to a Master Gardener at your County Extension Office to find out for sure.

  13. In one apartment I lived in, I would find spiders on the ceiling more often than anywhere else so I devised what I like to call my ‘spider defense kit.’ The kit contains an umbrella so if the spider falls it doesn’t get on you, an aerosol can of hairspray to demobilize spider, and a broom with a shoe on the end for smashing purposes. Worked 99% of the time. One time it didn’t, the spider fell and I couldn’t find it so I just left!

    1. Jennifer Jay says:

      Yesss! My sister from another mister! I have to try that!

  14. I am always looking for natural ways to keep spiders out. Just sprayed the apartment and replaced the wall attachments. Today after returning home, I needed to use the restroom. I look down at my fliptop garbage can and see it covered in little dust like crawlies. I sprayed it down but don’t look forward to further cleaning. Feeling tramatized because they weren’t there an hour ago.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Well, when I lived in Hawaii those little crawly things were ants or termites. Empty the trash, clean the can thoroughly, and spray it. Hope that helps.

  15. Joanna Pagan says:

    What type of vinegar,

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Joanna, I’d recommend distilled white vinegar. ACV can actually attract household pests because it can contain pectin.

    2. Joanna Pagan says:

      Thanks so much Katie .going to try tonight.

  16. Got up for work and found a spider which I tried to kill. But it got away. Its hard to kill any insect when your bedroom has carpet. Now I have to go to work and I’m afraid it will come out tonight while I am sleeping. Last month I found a spider that was dead but looked weird. My son in law said it was a scorpion spider. ? The spider that git away was near the same area that the dead spider was. Hope I find that spider before I go to bed tonight.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I hope you did, too.

  17. Taylor Everhart says:

    I have had several spiders come into my trailer and I have tried about everything and I can’t find out where they come from. I’m allergic to them when they bite me and they have been biting me a lot. I just want them to stop biting me and I won’t kick them out, because they kill the other bugs in my house.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Taylor,
      That sounds miserable. I really don’t know any good solutions to letting spiders stay in your house but keeping them from biting you. Sorry, I hope you find relief!

  18. karen whitaker says:

    I live in a 125 year old farmhouse surrounded by corn and ponds. Spiders pack their bags every Spring and Fall to vacation in my house. My first line of defense and to expire their visas permanently is to vacuum every nook and cranny of this old house including the wrap around porch. Feeling pretty secure that I have intombed 90 percent. I remove the bag, seal the opening with duct tape and burn it along with the weekly trash. Day 2 I fill my small spray bottle with water and 4 drops of pure lavender oil ( Cheap Imitation OIL Won’t Work ) and spray around window sills, baseboards and doors. I then fill my large spray bottle with water and apple cider vinegar and spray all entries on my porch, in the garage and around the foundation of the house and along the windows. I also spray the basement. Come Late Fall I repeat the process so they won’t be inclined to vacation here in the winter. As far as killing spiders in and around the house I have no qualms about it, seeings how they are not an endangered species and give birth to thousands of babies at a time I feel my battle being one against millions is totally justified. Same with ANTS…

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Karen,
      Sounds like you’ve got a great process down pat. You’re absolutely right about quality oils making all the difference. Go forth and kill those spiders!

  19. I believe in the 80/20 rule. you know, where 80 of all reward comes from 20 of the effort? Well, I believe your blog is that 20. I’ve added you to the list of sites that I frequent. Thank you for the in depth and detailed blog posts. Not many people are willing to do that anymore.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Brian,
      Thank you!

  20. Lisa M Slagle says:

    Does walnuts in the shell, put in corners keep spiders away? I’d heard it, if it worked, my cats could play with them too…

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Lisa,
      That may have come from the old British practice of putting conkers in the corner, which do work to keep spiders away. Conkers are horse chestnuts (not the sweet chestnuts you might eat around Christmas), and they’re toxic for cats, so maybe not the best practice these days. ?

  21. Hiya my fear is when i spray peppermint I feel it was disturbing spiders and they were coming out more? Is that true?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Mary,
      It’s not the peppermint oil that’s bringing them out. Moving things around and cleaning can all bring spiders out of their hiding places in search of new ones. So, keep at it with the peppermint oil and they’ll figure out the best place for them to hide is outside, not in your house.

  22. Katie, I have spiders hanging around my garage ceilings and various other things all the way down, including to the floor. Primarily in the corners, but lots of hanging out everywhere. I like your natural spray formula.. I’m thinking I must spray the walls and floor to get rid of them. I figure that is temporary at best. I have white walls. Do you think your spray will stain?

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Hi Boyd,

      I understand your concern. I use this spray in my garage since spiders seem to love it — especially the popcorn ceilings which the home builders inexplicably decided to add. I stand a couple of feet back from the walls as I spray and apply a light mist, rather than saturating the surface. In almost 10 years of using this homemade spider spray, I haven’t had any issues with discoloration indoors or out.

      Of course, as with any homemade cleaner or DIY natural pest control spray, it’s important to stick to the recipe. Sometimes, especially when the ingredients are non-toxic, people tend to eyeball things or decide to make them stronger, and that’s when problems arise.

  23. Robyn Taylor says:

    Will using this spray on aluminium windows, damage them, with it containing vinegar.

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Vinegar can discolor aluminum window frames but that’s not the same as damaging the frame. I do recommend spraying the window sill, which is the wood part surrounding the window, and not the aluminum frame itself.

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