Where do you stand on getting rid of spiders? Some people think “catch and release” is the best form of natural spider control. I am not one of them.
Where I live, we have not just black widows and yellow sac spiders. We also have brown recluse spiders whose bites cause tissue damage. In my case, that meant having a golf ball-sized chunk surgically removed.
Now, I’m all in favor of leaving spiders in peace outdoors where they’re important to the environment. But inside? Hard pass. So, if you’re looking for no-nonsense advice to get rid of spiders in your home and keep more from coming back, I’m your girl. (Minus a golf ball-sized chunk.)
Why Am I Suddenly Seeing More Spiders?
You’ve probably noticed spiders show up more often when the seasons change. Things like Spring cleaning and rearranging furniture for the holidays disturb their hiding places, sending them scurrying for new ones.
It’s not that spiders are suddenly invading your home, but vice versa. They were already in it, and you’re bothering them. If you want to evict them, you’ll need to take steps to get rid of the spiders already in your house, then keep new ones from taking their place.
How to Get Rid of Spiders In Your Home
Step 1: Scout out Spider Infestations.
Spiders don’t like attention. They look for places to build their webs where they won’t be disturbed: corners and high ledges, cramped closets, basements, attics and garages full of boxes and junk, under sinks, behind appliances and furniture—even underneath things like sofas and beds.
So, natural pest control always starts with go through your home methodically, starting at the top, to figure out where the problems are. Take along a flashlight and one of the DIY spider repellents below. Even if you don’t see live ones, cobwebs or spider carcasses are signs of trouble spots.
Step 2: Spray on DIY Repellents or Shavings.
Once you’ve checked a spot for spiders, spray it with a DIY repellent or sprinkle the space with shavings to discourage new ones from moving in. If you find live ones, use the saline spray first then apply a repellent.
Saline Spider Spray
To make a saline spider killing spray, dissolve 1 teaspoon of salt in 2 cups of warm water and spray it directly on any spiders you see. (Use distilled water if you plan to keep it on hand.) The salt clings to their skin and dehydrates them.
Homemade Spider Spray Repellent
Combine 1/2 cup white vinegar, 1 1/2 cups water, and 10 drops of lavender essential oil in a spray bottle and apply. Both lavender and vinegar are strong scents that are unappealing to spiders, so the combination can help keep them away.
Other essential oils besides lavender that repel spiders are: cedar, eucalyptus, citrus, mint and peppermint. It’s important to note that of these, only lavender essential oil is pet-safe.
There’s a reason Granny kept quilts and other linens in a cedar chest: the smell repels a variety of pests, including spiders. You don’t have to panel your home’s walls in cedar, though.
Tuck bowls of cedar shavings on storage shelves or stuff some in muslin bags to make sachets. Then use cedar mulch around your home’s foundation and top it off twice a year.
Step 3: Sprinkle DE to Eliminate Spiders.
Also known as DE, diatomaceous earth is made from the fossilized remains of tiny aquatic organisms. It’s safe around pets and kids—there’s even an edible food grade version.
Although DE feels like a fine powder to humans, to insects and spiders it feels like shards of glass. Those shards stick to their bodies and dry them out while the abrasiveness speeds matters along. Bye-bye, Boris!
How to Keep Spiders Away
Even if you call pest control professionals, more spiders will show up unless you make your home less inviting. So don’t consider the problem solved until you do the following things to keep spiders away.
Spiders and other insects look for undisturbed places, which regular cleaning deprives them of. So, follow a cleaning routine that goes beyond mere dusting and vacuuming to get behind and beneath furniture frequently, too.
Keep a Clear Space
Shrubs or wood leaning against your home’s foundation provides spiders cool shelter in warmer months. Once temperatures dip, they look for somewhere nice and warm, like your home. Don’t tempt them: keep a space of at least 12 inches clear around your foundation. As a bonus, you’ll deter mice, too!
Even LED bulbs attract a few insects, though not as many as the old-fashioned incandescent bulbs did. But anything that attracts insects attracts hungry spiders. Switch your bulbs to yellow bug lights, at least near the less-often used entrances to your home, to attract fewer pests.
Wherever something enters your home from outside, it creates an entrance for spiders and other pests to enter your home, too. Check and caulk around cables, pipes, and windows. Look for cracks in your foundation and seal them.
Tend the Fireplace
If you have a fireplace, keep the flue closed when it’s not in use so your chimney doesn’t serve as a highway into your home. And if it’s not a working fireplace, open the flue every week and slam it shut, so spiders know it’s not a safe place for them to make their home.
Do you have any good tips to keep spiders away? I’d love to hear about them!