How To Get Rid of Spiders

We love the benefits of spiders in our gardens, but we tend to be less enthusiastic about arachnids inside our homes. Clear up an infestation of spiders—and keep them out for good—by following these easy steps.

By Gretchen Heber and Bob Vila | Updated Dec 15, 2021 5:31 PM

how to get rid of spiders

You can try to focus on the fact that spiders can be beneficial to the home and garden, being that they snack on the other insects that might otherwise go unchecked. But for many, the truth about spiders doesn’t make it any easier to sleep at night, when you know there are a plethora of spiders under the same roof as your bed. Fortunately, there are many methods for how to get rid of these arachnids, with approaches ranging from the all-natural to the chemical-laden. Though spiders are persevering pests that do not go down without a fight, it’s well worth trying the technique outlined below. With luck, you can get rid of the spiders and save the cost of an exterminator.

6 Steps to Ridding Your Home of Spiders

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. Follow these steps carefully to rid your home of spiders.

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, eliminate any spider webs or spiders you come across, and promptly dispose of the vacuum bag.

how to get rid of spiders

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 dozens of sticky traps throughout your residence. While these squares alone are not likely to eradicate the problem—partly 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 nontoxic pesticide.

The next step is to address the problem area, or areas, with the spider killer of your choice. Nontoxic, natural pesticides are preferable, particularly in homes with pets and children, and many such products 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.

STEP 5: Apply homemade spider repellent.

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

In a spray bottle, mix:

  • five to seven drops of essential oil
  •  two 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 what works best.

how to get rid of spiders

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

The final step is to seal all openings in your home, whether it’s a crack in the foundation or a drafty window. And because spiders can sneak through small holes, it’s by no means overkill to place mesh screens within 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 it’s well worth the trouble and expense.

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 About How to Keep Spiders Away From Your Home

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?

To immediately kill spiders, spray them with either a chemical-based commercial formula, or a homemade mixture of equal parts white vinegar and water. Or you could, er, squash them.

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: I’m wondering how to get rid of spiders naturally. 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 the creepy bugs 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 are likely to concentrate their energies seeking prey in the form of light-attracted insects, rather than carousing through the darkness of your sheets. However, if you are partial to snacking in bed, you might want to rethink that habit, as prey and their attackers might be attracted to crumbs.

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 be interested in snacking on other bugs that show up to feast on the dead spider.

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