North America is home to 3,000 species of spiders. The vast majority of these arachnids are not dangerous, more of a nuisance than a reason to fear. However, limited species, among them brown recluse spiders and black widow spiders, can cause real harm (though bites are rarely fatal).
Between inducing fear or annoyance, dealing with an infestation, or keeping dangerous local species at bay—a DIY pest control program may be all that’s necessary. The best spider killer contains potent chemical or natural compounds. These formulas kill or repel spiders and continue to work days, weeks, or months after application.
Keep reading to learn about insecticide spray, dust, spider traps, and natural insect repellents. With the shopping considerations below, choose the most suitable product among these effective solutions for insect control.
- BEST OVERALL: Harris Spider Killer, Liquid Spray
- BEST BUDGET: TERRO T2302 Spider Killer Aerosol Spray
- BEST NATURAL REPELLENT: Mighty Mint 16 oz Spider Repellent Peppermint Oil
- BEST SPIDER TRAP: TERRO T3206 Spider & Insect Trap
- BEST FOR LAWNS: Ortho BugClear Insect Killer for Lawns & Landscapes
- ALSO CONSIDER: Garden Safe Brand Crawling Insect Killer
Types of Spider Killers and Repellents
Pest control companies market a variety of products to control spider issues. While most products work, some may be better suited for your needs than others. Spider sprays, dust, and traps work in different ways but all serve the same purpose—to kill or repel spiders.
Chemical Insecticide Dust
Chemical-based insecticide dust is ideal for killing bugs on their way into your home. These powders contain bifenthrin, permethrin, cyfluthrin, beta-cyfluthrin, deltamethrin, cypermethrin, or lambda-cyhalothrin.
The compounds contained in the pesticides either compromise the spider’s nervous system or exoskeleton. They typically work within 24 hours, offering one of the quickest means of controlling spiders. Most manufacturers specify that the products last at least 2-3 years.
Since pesticide dust is toxic, it should be sprinkled where no children or pets will get to them. They’re suitable for long-term solutions for under cabinets and along basement walls. If anyone in your household gets chemical insecticide in their eyes or mouth, contact Poison Control immediately for instructions on how to proceed.
Natural Insecticide Dust
A natural spider killer solution for indoors and outdoors is diatomaceous earth. This compound contains fossilized aquatic organisms, available in dust (powder) form. Diatomaceous earth causes insects to dry out and die by absorbing oils and fats from their exoskeleton.
This versatile, non-toxic product exterminates spiders and other insects including bed bugs, cockroaches, fleas, and ants. The natural dust starts to work within 48 hours, and since the compound does not break down, it’s effective as long as it stays dry.
Spread diatomaceous earth in a thin layer around plants, on the lawn, or anywhere else you want to get rid of spiders. While this product is considered safe, be careful during application, as it can irritate the skin and eyes.
Chemical Spider Sprays
There are several types of spray containers for killing spiders, including aerosol cans, liquid spray bottles, and large jugs that connect to garden hose nozzles. Chemical sprays contain synthetic compounds that are sometimes present in dust pesticides. Some are available as concentrates that you dilute and apply using a spray bottle.
Chemical spider spray disrupts an insect’s central nervous system and kills them instantly. You can use sprays for the exterior of the home to create a barrier to keep bugs out, or as spot treatments when you see a crawling bug or two.
Aerosol sprays make covering a lot of ground quick and easy. While spraying, it’s important to maintain 12 inches of space between the nozzle and the treated surface. The downside is that they’re one of the costlier products, and you might need a few cans to spray large areas, like your home’s foundation. It’s also worth noting that oil-based aerosols are chemical-heavy, and can leave a greasy residue behind.
Spray bottles are usually lightweight and reusable. If you use the entire contents of the bottle, you can reuse it by filling it with a water-soluble pesticide. The only negative aspect of using spray bottles is that they can cause hand or arm fatigue when spraying large areas.
Natural Spider Sprays
Natural pest control concentrates and sprays repel spiders without the use of chemicals or other potentially harmful ingredients. These products offer a safer option for indoor use, particularly in households with young children or curious pets.
Natural repellents deter spiders using plants and compounds that are unpleasant to their senses; the same products have a pleasing or neutral smell to humans. Formulas containing peppermint essential oil are among the most popular since they leave the home smelling fresh. Vinegar-based products are also effective, and many can double as household cleaners.
Natural spider repellents are usually applied by spraying hiding places for insects, like cracks and crawl spaces. Natural repellents do not kill spiders, and their effects last for days instead of weeks or months, like chemical-based products.
Another safe means of controlling crawling pests in the home is by using traps. Traps have sticky surfaces that catch bugs and hold them in place until they die. The best options fold up to keep pets and children from touching the sticky surface.
The added benefit of folding traps is that you don’t have to look at a pile of dead bugs on the floor—and they’re also less disgusting to pick up and throw away. Place them along walls and baseboards where bugs are likely to travel.
Our Top Picks
Given the variety of natural and chemical-based products, there are numerous options available. These insect solutions are among the best in their categories and help you win the war against eight-legged pests.
If you’re aiming to treat your curtains, carpet, or furniture to help reduce the spider population in your home, this product is the go-to on the list. Harris spider killer spray contains a non-staining deltamethrin formula. It’s perfect for spraying fabrics and carpet and it works on solid surfaces as well. Simply spray the area you’d like to treat and allow it to dry. It’s safe for use both inside and outside of the home.
Something to keep in mind is that this product is a treatment, not a contact killer, and the spray needs to dry before it’s capable of killing bugs. Once it’s dry, it’s safe for children and pets.
- Type: Chemical spray
- Key Ingredient(s): Deltamethrin
- Also good for: Ants, roaches, beetles, crickets, and silverfish
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Odorless and non-staining
- Large quantity
For those on a budget, TERRO offers a low-cost solution with their insect killer spray. The versatile formula combines pyrethrins and deltamethrin that combats many types of crawling bugs, including spiders, ants, and cockroaches.
Use it on a single insect, as a foundation spray, or for treating cracks and crevices. As a barrier treatment or crevice spray, TERRO’s spray needs to be reapplied every 4 weeks, so it doesn’t last quite as long as other sprays on our list.
- Type: Chemical spray
- Key Ingredient(s): Pyrethrins and deltamethrin
- Also good for: Ants, cockroaches, crickets, bedbugs, and scorpions
- Indoor and outdoor use
- Lasts up to 6 weeks
- Water-based formula
- Cannot apply more than once per week
- Might not treat large infestations
If you’re looking for a safe, plant-based way to repel spiders and insects, Mighty Mint’s spider repellent is one of the best products available. This highly concentrated recipe uses peppermint essential oil to repel spiders. It’s safe for use both inside and out, as well as completely safe around pets and children.
Spray it around the exterior of your home or any space inside the home you’d like to be free of insect troubles. This spray is only effective for 2-3 days, so if this is your only defense against arachnid invaders, you may end up pumping a lot of peppermint to keep your home bug-free.
- Type: Natural insecticide spray
- Key Ingredient(s): Peppermint oil
- Also good for: Spider mites
- Large quantity
- Safe for pets and children
- Does emit a peppermint odor
- May not be effective for all spider types
TERRO’s insect trap is a classic design with a modern twist. This sticky trap catches bugs as they walk across the surface and keeps them there until they die. You can lay these traps flat against a wall or slide them under furniture and appliances. They also fold up into a box-type design to hide the unsightly bugs that die inside.
These traps are easy to throw out, replace, and offer a great alternative to toxic chemicals or messy sprays. For these traps to be effective, spiders and other bugs need to walk through them. They don’t work like bait. Bugs that decide to walk around these traps will live to see another day.
- Type: Spider trap
- Key Ingredient(s): Nontoxic glue
- Also good for: Ants, cockroaches, and crickets
- Humane and nontoxic
- Comes with 4 traps
- Versatile and compact
- Easy to use/set up
- Not effective for large infestations
Spiders in the home may be more noticeable—but outdoor infestations are nonetheless bothersome, especially if you spend a lot of time in your yard. Common spider residents to lawns and landscapes are grass, hobo, and wolf spiders, the latter having a fairly dangerous bite.
With bifenthrin and zeta-cypermethrin as the active ingredients, this Ortho BugClear lawn spray can handle spiders in grass, gardens, and shrubbery. The two active ingredients kill affected ants by slowly shutting down the nervous system to function properly.
This chemical spider spray is a versatile product that can also work against spiders, ticks, mosquitoes, fleas, spiders, and more than 200 additional insect species. The solution comes in a ready-to-use spray bottle that connects to your garden hose, containing enough solution to treat a lawn infestation for up to 6 months.
- Type: Chemical spray
- Key Ingredient(s): Bifenthrin and zeta cypermethrin
- Also good for: Ants, ticks, mosquitoes, scorpions, hornets, armyworms, and fleas
- Large quantity
- Covers 5,300 square feet of lawn
- Built-in garden hose attachment
- Not pet-friendly
- Does kill beneficial bugs (honeybees)
For those looking to end their spider problem without introducing harmful chemicals in the environment, diatomaceous earth is a solid option. This natural substance consists of the fossilized remains of microscopic aquatic organisms; it infiltrates the exoskeletons of ants, dehydrating them from the inside out and killing them within 48 hours.
Diatomaceous earth is also an effective means of killing bedbugs, cockroaches, fleas, and other insects. This product is not harmful to humans or pets, providing the ideal pest solution for homes with pets and young children.
- Type: Natural insecticide powder
- Key Ingredient(s): Diatomaceous earth/silicon dioxide
- Also good for: Cockroaches, bedbugs, fleas, earwigs, silverfish, millipedes, and centipedes
- Earth-based powder
- Kills spiders in 48 hours
- Large quantity
- Stain-free formula
Between concentrates, sprays, dust, and traps, natural and chemical spider control products are plentiful. The right spider killer or repellent depends on your household, affected areas, and the extent of the problem. While natural formulas are safer, they don’t last as long as their chemical counterparts like the Harris and TERRO sprays and must be reapplied more often.
When opting for DIY pest control, it’s important to follow manufacturer guidelines and handle products with caution. Store and apply insecticides inside where children and pets won’t come in contact with them. In particular, make use of application distances when using sprays, and avoid direct skin contact with all insecticides.
How We Chose the Best Spider Killers
After a thorough evaluation of the key aspects that should be included in the best spider killers including versatility, type, quantity, and effectiveness, our top picks can provide successful removal of many household and outdoor pests.
Many of the above options offer quick and long-lasting results that can also kill other common insects such as cockroaches, fleas, crickets, and scorpions for full pest removal. Plus, some of these options are nontoxic or humane for fewer chemicals in your home or outdoor spaces for the safety of pets and children.
Finally, many of the spider killers above also come in budget-friendly, large quantity options or two-packs for long-lasting use in the event of re-infestation. However, many of our picks are chemical-based solutions, and directions should always be followed for safety.
If you’re new to DIY extermination, you may want to consult these commonly asked questions about spider killers. If you have additional questions, contact the manufacturer of the product you purchase.
Q: Where should I apply spider killer?
You can spot spray a single spider, or treat your foundation, windows, doors, and other places the insects gather, like cracks, crevices, and crawl spaces.
Q: Is spider spray safe to keep in the home?
Natural spider sprays containing peppermint oil or vinegar are very safe. When stored correctly, chemical insecticides are safe. Precautions for storing insecticide spray include:
- Store pesticides where children and pets cannot reach them. Ideally, pesticides should be stored in a locked cabinet in a well-ventilated room.
- Never store insecticides near food or medical supplies.
- Store flammable liquids and aerosols away from ignition sources, such as cars, grills, and lawn mowers.
Q: How do you dispose of empty insecticide spray?
To safely dispose of an empty bottle of spider spray, rinse the exterior of the container and cap over the sprayer. Dispose of the cap as you would regular household waste and dispose or recycle the container based on material. All aerosol cans can be recycled once empty.
Q: How do you properly dispose of insecticides?
Unused insecticides should never be poured into sinks, drains, or toilets. This can contaminate local waterways, as well as harm wildlife. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, pesticides cannot be eliminated from most municipal drinking water.
To dispose of pesticides, follow the instructions on the product label. These are usually indicated in a “Storage and Disposal” statement on the product label.
Q: How can I prevent a recurrence of spiders?
Treat the exterior of your home according to the manufacturer’s suggestions. The label should have a treatment interval listed, so adhere to it when you’re putting together your DIY pest control plan.