The Best Spider Repellents to Keep Creepy Critters at Bay

Looking for a humane way to keep spiders out of the house without killing them? It’s easier than you might think.

Best Overall

A spray bottle of Mighty Mint peppermint Spider Repellent on a white background next to a cluster of mint leaves.

Mighty Mint Spider Repellent Peppermint Spray

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Best Bang For The Buck

A silver bag of Spicy World Cinnamon Sticks on a white background.

Spicy World Cinnamon Sticks

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Best Cobweb Spray

An orange spray bottle of Terro Ready-To-Use Cobweb Eliminator on a white background.

Terro Ready-To-Use Cobweb Eliminator

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In this article, we’re primarily focused on products that repel spiders rather than exterminate them. The aim here is to prevent our eight-legged friends from ever entering the house while minimizing the chances of harming them. Fortunately, finding a good spider repellent is not difficult. However, there are lots of different options, and it can be confusing trying to understand which works most effectively in a particular situation.

Having looked at over 40 products, we feel we’ve found a full range of options to suit most shoppers’ needs. Read on to discover the secrets to keeping spiders at bay, and then check out our recommendations for the best spider repellents available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Mighty Mint Spider Repellent Peppermint Spray
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Spicy World Cinnamon Sticks
  3. BEST COBWEB SPRAY: Terro Ready-To-Use Cobweb Eliminator
  4. BEST ESSENTIAL OIL: Maple Holistics Pure Eucalyptus Essential Oil
  5. BEST BARRIER: Wet & Forget Miss Muffet’s Revenge
  6. BEST PET-FRIENDLY: Harris Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade
  7. BEST MULTIPEST CONTROL: Ortho Home Defense Insect Killer
A person spraying Wet & Forget Miss Muffet's Revenge spider repellent on house siding.
Photo: amazon.com

Before You Buy a Spider Repellent

Some of the best spider repellents can still cause harm. Preventative measures can be a more humane answer and might also save you money. For example, making sure doors and windows are properly sealed will not only stop spiders from getting in, but it will also keep out drafts, thus reducing your fuel bills.

Removing food that attracts flies and other insects that spiders feed on is crucial. You can also use aromatic plants and herbs to deter spiders while making your home smell nice. Another alternative is to use a spider trap like the Carson Bugview. It can harmlessly scoop up all manner of beasties, and it can be used to educate children about them, too.

How We Chose the Best Spider Repellents

In the past, we reviewed ultrasonic spider repellers, which can be effective, but the sound waves don’t go through walls. They also can’t be used in homes with pet rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, etc., because they upset rodents.

In this article, we wanted to focus on repellents that could be used effectively throughout the house. Our aim was to deter spiders—ideally, without killing them. We consulted Mary Phillips, head of Native Plant Habitat Strategy & Certification programs at the National Wildlife Federation. “Spiders are essential to the ecosystem and have many benefits,” she says. “Some spiders, like jumping spiders and crab spiders, even help transfer pollen between flowers as they move around looking for prey.”

All products selected needed to be affordable and easy to use. We tried to find nontoxic spider repellents so they were safe for kids and pets. We also noted whether they would damage furniture or fabrics.

Our Top Picks

The following carefully collated selection of spider repellents fulfills the criteria we set out in various ways. There should be an effective solution here for most shoppers’ needs.

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Ready-to-use spray
  • Quantity: 16 ounces
  • Active ingredients: Peppermint oil, geraniol

Pros

  • An effective plant-based product made with U.S.-sourced peppermint
  • Long-lasting concentrated formula in easy-to-use spray bottle
  • Works as both an indoor and outdoor spider repellent when applied regularly

Cons

  • Although safe when dry, it should never be sprayed on or near dogs and cats

Many people like the smell of peppermint, but spiders do not. This plant-based repellent spray from Mighty Mint is made up of 3 percent U.S.-sourced peppermint and 1 percent geraniol, the main component of citronella oil. It can be sprayed on plants, hard surfaces, and most fabrics (though we recommend testing a patch first).

When using it as an indoor spider repellent, users will want to apply it once a week. It will also work outdoors in sheltered areas. Mighty Mint states that its spider repellent is safe when used as directed. Be cautious, though: Like some other insect repellents, peppermint oil can cause respiratory distress in some children and is toxic for many pets, so apply it judiciously.

Get the Mighty Mint spider repellent at Amazon, Walmart, or Target.

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Dry spice
  • Quantity: 7 ounces
  • Active ingredients: Cinnamon

Pros

  • Richly scented natural cassia Saigon cinnamon sticks are great value for the money
  • Hand-picked to assure quality; high oil content for lasting effectiveness
  • Aside from repelling spiders, these can also be used for cooking

Cons

  • A few thought the aroma poor, and while rare, some people have a cinnamon allergy

Few natural deterrents are as effective as these cassia Saigon cinnamon sticks from Spicy World. They are hand-picked for quality, and once harvested, cinnamon bark regrows, making cinnamon sticks a more sustainable option than many other spider repellents.

Spicy World’s cinnamon sticks are very affordable and can last a few years when stored properly. To use them, simply place the cinnamon sticks wherever spiders tend to lurk in your home. These are completely safe for culinary use, too, as long as they aren’t ingested in large quantities. However, while rare, a small percentage of people are allergic.

Get the Spicy World spider repellent at Amazon or Walmart (14-ounce pack).

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Ready-to-use spray
  • Quantity: 32 ounces
  • Active ingredients: Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), corn mint oil, citronella oil, rosemary oil

Pros

  • Creates a surface barrier that can stop cobwebs from forming for up to 60 days
  • Can be used indoors or in covered outdoor areas, such as porches
  • Low aroma and safe to use on most surfaces without risk of staining

Cons

  • Existing webs must be cleared with a broom or similar before application
  • SLS can irritate airways, skin, and eyes, and it is harmful to plants

Most spiders trap their food in webs, so eliminating cobwebs is a great way to encourage them to relocate. This can be done manually, but spiders rebuild webs surprisingly quickly. The Terro Cobweb Eliminator is an effective solution—once sprayed onto a surface, it forms a barrier that new cobwebs won’t cling to.

Terro’s Cobweb Eliminator is great for indoor use and outdoor trouble spots, such as porches. It can be sprayed without staining or damaging most surfaces (test a patch first). SLS and isopropyl alcohol can irritate the eyes, airways, and skin, so take care when spraying.

Get the Terro spider repellent at Tractor Supply Co.or Walmart.

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Essential oil
  • Quantity: 1 ounce
  • Active ingredients: Eucalyptus

Pros

  • Economical concentrate that can be used in drop form or diluted in a spray
  • Natural essential oil distilled from leaves and twigs
  • Multipurpose; also effective for scalp and hair care as well as candle- and soapmaking

Cons

  • Highly toxic if ingested, so keep out of reach of children and pets

Eucalyptus is another scent that spiders detest, and if you live in a USDA

Hardiness Zone

rated 8 through 11, you can grow eucalyptus as a shrub. Generally speaking, eucalyptus leaves are harvested more sustainably than other plants. This eucalyptus essential oil from Maple Holistics is a great repellent for indoor use. The resulting oil is economical, and only a few drops are needed. Either mix the oil with dish soap and water as a spray or use it in a diffuser.

That being said, be cautious: Even small amounts are toxic if ingested, so the essential oil should be kept well away from children and animals.

Get the Maple Holistics spider repellent at Amazon or Walmart.

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Ready-to-use spray
  • Quantity: 64 ounces
  • Active ingredients: Bifenthrin

Pros

  • Creates an effective barrier around windows and doors to prevent spiders from entering the home
  • Comes with an easy-to-use sprayer that can reach up to 10 feet
  • A single application can last up to 12 months and has a virtually unlimited shelf life

Cons

  • Bifenthrin may irritate skin and airways; may also kill bees and other beneficial insects

When applied indoors, Miss Muffet’s Revenge creates an effective barrier that can last up to 12 months. It can also be used around windows and doors on the outside of a home, but if those areas are exposed to the elements, you’ll want to apply it more regularly. The hand unit and 3-foot coil hose let users spray it up to 10 feet. It can also switch to stream mode for precise targeting to kill spiders in problem areas.

The active ingredient is bifenthrin, which can irritate skin and airways. It is also lethal to some aquatic life and beneficial insects, such as bees.

Get the Wet & Forget spider repellent at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Walmart.

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Powder
  • Quantity: 4 pounds
  • Active ingredients: Diatomaceous earth

Pros

  • 100 percent natural product can also be used on pet bedding for flea control
  • Listed with the independent Organic Minerals Research Institute (OMRI) and mined in the U.S.
  • Comes with a handy duster for targeted application in hard-to-reach areas

Cons

  • Care is needed when applying as dust can be irritating to eyes and airways

Diatomaceous earth is made from the pulverized fossil remains of freshwater algae called diatoms. This ground powder gets into the spider’s exoskeleton, and the silica dehydrates them, causing death. It also works as a deterrent, as spiders know to avoid it.

A handy duster comes included, allowing users to blow the diatomaceous earth into crevices where spiders lurk. This pet-safe spider repellent also kills fleas and can be applied to the coats and bedding of dogs and cats. It is mined and packaged in the U.S. and listed with OMRI for organic use. There are no hazardous ingredients, though the dust can be mildly irritating to eyes and airways.

Get the Harris spider repellent at Amazon or Walmart.

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Product Specs 

  • Type: Ready-to-use spray
  • Quantity: 1 gallon
  • Active ingredients: Bifenthrin, zeta-cypermethrin

Pros

  • Excellent defense against spiders and a wide range of other household bugs
  • Easy-to-use wand directs spray without bending and does not require pumping
  • Can be used indoors and around external perimeters; is safe for pets once dry

Cons

  • Low toxicity for humans and pets but will kill bees and butterflies

Ortho Home Defense’s Insect Killer formulation is effective against spiders and many other insects, including ants, cockroaches, fleas, ticks, and most beetles. It can be used indoors and out, either to exterminate invaders or as a preventative measure. The included Comfort Wand helps minimize bending and stretching. This formulation is safe for people and pets once dry.

The active ingredients are bifenthrin and zeta-cypermethrin, which the Environmental Protection Agency rates as low toxicity for humans and animals. However, both are pesticides, so they will kill pollinating insects like bees, butterflies, and moths. Both are harmful to fish, too.

Get the Ortho spider repellent at The Home Depot or Walmart.

Or, DIY Your Own Spider Repellent

All of our top picks are very affordable, but if you’d prefer to take matters into your own hands, it’s not difficult to whip up a homemade spider repellent. Again, Phillips offers some useful advice:

  • “Peppermint oil, citrus peels, and vinegar all have strong scents that spiders are not fond of. A few drops of peppermint oil can be diluted with water in a spray bottle to be spritzed around entryways, windows, and other areas where spiders tend to reside. Citrus peels can be rubbed along windowsills, doorways, and baseboards or placed in a bowl in spider-prone areas.” Salt water spray also works but will kill spiders, which we would rather not do, if possible.
  • Spiders don’t like chestnuts or walnuts. It’s believed there are chemicals in the shells that are harmful to them. Simply place whole nuts wherever they lurk.
  • Tobacco is another scent spiders find unpleasant, but it needs to be hand-rolling tobacco or pipe tobacco. One recipe we found suggests mixing it with flour and water to make little dough balls to place around the house. Be careful, though, as this could stain some surfaces.
  • Strongly scented plants are another option. Anything with a lemon scent (lemongrass, lemon verbena, etc.) will work. Herbs like mint, rosemary, lavender, and eucalyptus are effective, too. Some also deter the insects that spiders feed on, making them doubly effective.

Jump to Our Top Picks

What to Consider When Choosing a Spider Repellent

Spiders can sometimes find their way into the cleanest homes, and while even venomous types are seldom dangerous, it’s understandable that people want them out of sight. In this article, we were particularly looking for pest control spiders find to be unpleasant but not lethal. Consider the following factors to understand which is the best spider repellent to tackle those eight-legged critters the way you’d prefer to.

Safety

Finding a safe kid- and pet-friendly spider repellent will be a priority for many. Usually, a product that is not safe for children will be clearly labeled. Bifenthrin is a common insecticide used in spider repellents that can cause skin irritation on contact. Though most are considered safe when dry, it is best to avoid spraying insecticide in areas where small hands can reach.

There are a number of products on the market that claim to be natural spider repellents, and it’s understandable that people assume these are completely safe. However, while they may not be toxic, some emit vapors that can be unpleasant for children and animals. As with any chemical product, it is important to read the label carefully.

Ease of Use 

None of the products that made our selection are difficult to use, but it’s worth thinking about where the deterrent will be applied before choosing a repellent. Spider repellent spray is a very popular choice. It is easy to aim accurately, which minimizes waste, and many sprays come with hoses that reduce the need to bend or stretch while using them. However, some sprays are not effective against black widow or brown recluse spiders.

Essential oil spider repellents are quite easy to use. Often, all you need to do is add a few drops to a diffuser. Cinnamon sticks can be placed on windowsills or in corners. However, while these types of products can be useful for small, targeted problem areas, they are less effective when creating a barrier.

Scent

With many natural spider repellents, the element that deters spiders is the scent. Peppermint, cinnamon, cedar, and vinegar can all be effective, though the strong smell of vinegar means many people will avoid using it in frequently used parts of the home.

While essential oils can also be effective spider deterrents, care may be needed around kids and pets. Some produce particularly strong scents that might even cause respiratory discomfort in small children. For this reason, many commercial spider repellents with strongly scented ingredients use a less concentrated formula. Many sprays have no scent at all once dry.

FAQs

The information above provides a detailed look at the different kinds of spider deterrents and the best ways to use them. While doing our research, we found a few questions that crop up quite often.

Q. What smells attract spiders?

According to pest control experts, spiders aren’t attracted to particular smells. Instead, food waste attracts other types of insects, which in turn attract spiders seeking to eat them. Anything that draws flies, mosquitos, ants, earwigs, etc., should be avoided. Leaking water can also provide spiders with a source of drinking water.

Q. Are spiders in the house dangerous?

Most spiders in the house are completely harmless and would rather avoid humans if possible. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, even two of the most venomous spiders in the U.S., the black widow and brown recluse, are not normally aggressive and tend to only bite if surprised or trapped. However, if you are bitten by one of these, you will want to seek medical attention immediately.

Q. How can I prevent the recurrence of spiders?

There are a number of ways to prevent the recurrence of spiders, and we looked at these in detail in this article and others. Some top tips are:

  • Remove cobwebs as soon as they appear. Pay particular attention to less frequented areas where they might not normally be spotted.
  • Turn off outside lights when not required, as these can attract insects as well as the spiders that feed on them.
  • Use one or more spider deterrents from the list above.

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