How To Get Rid of Spiders

Most of us welcome beneficial spiders to our gardens, but feel less hospitable about hosting them inside our homes. Clear up a spider infestation and keep them out by following these easy steps.

By Gretchen Heber and Bob Vila | Updated Sep 29, 2022 3:20 PM

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Most people know that spiders benefit our homes and gardens by eating insects such as mosquitoes, flies and ants that might otherwise go unchecked. However well we comprehend this fact, there are those of us who can’t get around having free-range arachnids under our roofs while we sleep.  The good news is that there are many methods for how to get rid of spiders naturally, as well as a few effective but not-so-natural methods. Though arachnids are persevering pests that do not go down without a fight, the spider control techniques outlined below are well worth trying. With a little effort you can get rid of the spiders, save the cost of an exterminator, and focus on how to keep spiders out of your house long-term.

Bob Vila and its parent company, Recurrent Ventures, puts conservation and sustainability at the forefront of nearly everything we do. Though effective, some of the solutions offered in this content are not organic or sustainable. Bob Vila’s staff encourages readers to make informed choices about maintaining their home and property, and opt for solutions that will not have detrimental effects on the health and longevity of this planet and its inhabitants.

6 Steps to Ridding Your Home of Spiders Once and For All

As is the case with other pests that enter our homes, getting rid of spiders is a multi-pronged process that involves eliminating eggs and adults, and then doing what we can to prevent them from returning. Carefully follow these steps on how to get rid of spiders naturally. 

STEP 1: Vacuum your home top to bottom.

If you’ve spotted any spiders already, their egg sacs are likely lurking in the darkest crevices of your home. First things first: Vacuum the entire house top to bottom, including under the living room sofa to the corners of closets. As you go, vacuum up any spider webs or spiders you come across, and promptly dispose of the vacuum bag or canister contents in your dumpster or outdoor garbage bin.

RELATED: Solved! Why Are There So Many Spiders In My House?

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STEP 2: Make your home less inviting to arachnids.

Your next goal is to discourage spiders from entering your house in the first place. You already know that light attracts bugs, and it’s no different with spiders. So it can only help matters to switch off some of your outdoor lighting, or to swap out the regular bulbs for yellow sodium vapor lights. While you’re at it, remove nonessentials from the immediate perimeter of your home. As spiders are attracted to warmth and shelter, things like leaf piles and firewood stacks are best kept away from the house.

STEP 3: Use traps to identify possible areas of spider infestation.

Back inside, place sticky traps throughout your residence. While these squares alone are not likely to eradicate the problem (in large part because they do not contain any pesticides) they are laced with a spider-luring aroma. That means, based on which traps end up with the most activity, you can identify which rooms are most vulnerable and proceed accordingly.

STEP 4: Administer a pesticide—preferably a nontoxic one.

The next step is to address the problem area, or areas, with the spider pesticide of your choice. Nontoxic, natural pesticides are recommended, especially in homes with pets and children, and many such natural spider killers are available at your nearest home center. No matter which product you select, expect to apply the solution more than once to get rid of spiders completely, as these pesticides work only upon direct contact. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely.

RELATED: Buyer’s Guide: The Best Spray Bottles

STEP 5: Apply a homemade spider repellent.

After applying a pesticide, follow up with a spider repellent. It’s easy to make your own, since many essential oils—including rosemary, lavender, and peppermint—are thought to be effective.

In a spray bottle, mix:

  • 5 to 7 drops of essential oil
  • 2 cups of water
  • A drop of dish soap

Now spritz any area where a spider might potentially enter your home—window frames, for instance, or the gaps around exterior doors. It may take a bit of experimenting to find out which scent works best.

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STEP 6: Seal all openings to prevent spiders’ reentry.

The final step (and ultimate spider deterrent) is to seal all openings in your home, from cracks in the foundation to drafty windows. And because spiders can sneak through small holes, it’s by no means overkill to place mesh screens inside vents. As long as there’s a way for spiders to gain entry to the home, you can never truly consider the problem solved. The silver lining here is that warding off spiders is one of many good reasons to seal your home, so the project is well worth the trouble and expense.

RELATED: How to Fix Cracks in Concrete

How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House

So you’ve identified what attracts spiders to your home, sealed potential points of entry, and regularly apply spider repellent around the house—what else can you do to prevent indoor spider infestations? There are several other natural spider repellent methods you can rely on, including:

  • Dust and vacuum your home regularly
  • Treat and prevent indoor pests that spiders eat (flies, ants, mosquitoes, etc.)
  • Take out the trash and recycling regularly
  • Store outdoor garbage cans and recycling bins away from windows and doors
  • Place fresh chestnuts on window sills, along baseboards, and near exterior doors

Final Thoughts 

Follow these steps carefully to get rid of spiders in and around your home. Start with a thorough vacuum cleaning, being sure to look for egg sacs as well as adult spiders. Make a habit of turning off outdoor lights, and clean up leaves and other matter that would provide a home for spiders or their prey. Use sticky traps to identify areas of infestation, and apply repellants or pesticides as desired.  

For long-term control, carefully check your home for any areas of spider ingress and seal up these spaces, which, of course, can be quite tiny. 

FAQs 

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Because there’s simply no such thing as too much knowledge about spiders—specifically, getting rid of them—check out these FAQS for even more information.

Q. What is the best way to get rid of spiders instantly?

Consider relocating a singular nonvenomous spider outdoors by carefully trapping it under a glass or plastic container, sliding a piece of paper under the container, and releasing the spider away from your home. If that’s not an option, you can spray spiders with a 1:1 mixture of white vinegar and water, use an indoor insecticide spray, or squish a solitary spider with a tissue, paper towel, or solid object.

Q. What scents will keep spiders away?

What keeps spiders away? Spiders are repelled by a number of natural scents that humans generally find pleasing, including eucalyptus, citronella, lavender, peppermint, tea tree, cinnamon, citrus, cedar, marigold, horse chestnut, lemon, and vanilla. 

Q. What is a natural spider repellent?

In a spray bottle, mix essential oils or extracts of any of the above scents with water or white vinegar and apply to areas you have seen spiders, as well as to doorways, windows, and other places where they may find a way into your home. 

Q.  What attracts spiders to your bed?

Actually, spiders are not particularly attracted to your bed. They don’t like humans any more than we like them, and they are more likely to concentrate their energies seeking prey in the form of light-attracted insects than carouse through the darkness of your sheets. If you are partial to snacking in bed, you might want to rethink that habit, however, because the crumbs could be attracting spiders’ prey (and thus, the spiders themselves).

Q: Does killing a spider attract other spiders?

A dead spider doesn’t inherently attract other spiders, though the occasional arachnid may be drawn to the carcass as food, or snack on other bugs that show up to feast on the dead spider.     

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