While many spider species are content to stay outdoors in their finely woven webs, some prefer the warmth and darkness of cupboards, closets, and dark corners. Sure they may like the comfort of your home but if you're not so keen, you'll want to know how to get rid of siders in the home asap. Plus, how to stop them crawling in in the first place...
Our arachnid friends tend to wander into our homes as the weather cools, and when there's less for them to eat outside. And their presence tends to be more obvious in warmer seasons, when other insects also start to emerge. Thankfully, the vast majority of spider species are not harmful to humans in any way, and even the ones that are tend not to attack humans unless provoked.
If you live in an area that does have poisonous spiders (see or guide on how to identify bugs), and you're seeing more of them than usual, it may be time to call pest control rather than attempting to tackle the problem yourself. Otherwise, avoid harming these critters by repelling spiders naturally and should they creep into your house anyhow, using the best methods to kindly kick them out.
How to get rid of spiders naturally
Getting rid of the critters is usually simple: it's all about creating an inhospitable environment. Spiders don't like to be disturbed and thrive in cluttered, dark areas in your house.
The cleaner your home is, and the less clutter it has, the fewer spiders you will have, and that's a fact. If you really can't bear them, there are things you can do to discourage them further.
1. How to get rid of spiders using essential oils
You can use essential oils all around the home to fragrance rooms but also to keep critters like mice and slugs at bay, some can help get rid of gnats also.
So it comes as no surprise that essential oils such as peppermint, cinnamon and others including citronella (opens in new tab), clove (opens in new tab), lavender (opens in new tab), eucalyptus (opens in new tab) , all handily available on Amazon, can help with spiders too. So, why not blend a combination of them to create an essential oil recipe that spiders will hate?
Peppermint oil especially works wonders at repelling spiders, so you can try soaking cotton balls in the stuff and placing them strategically in places where spiders have been seen or you can make up a homemade spray.
Any spare can be used in your favorite essential oil diffuser of course.
Homemade essential oil spider repellent spray
1. Essential oil of choice(Visit the Cliganic Store on Amazon) (opens in new tab)
2. A spray bottle (we bulk buy on Amazon) (opens in new tab)
- Give your home a good vacuum and dust to get rid of any pre-existing webs.
- Mix up the two-part solution by adding 20 drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle of water.
- Spray the solution around your house, focusing in on the corners of rooms.
- Repeat at least once a week. If spiders are still showing up spray every few days.
- Keep your windows open to allow fresh air to enter while you spray.
2. Grow repelling plants around your home's perimeter
If you suffer from extreme arachnophobia and want the blighters gone, you can start strong by growing peppermint plants (available to buy from Bonnie plants store on Amazon) (opens in new tab) on the outskirts of your house.
Other strong smelling plants like lavender, mint and lemon balm are also good options grow if you want to stop spiders coming inside the house.
3. Use cinnamon in all its forms
The following hack uses nothing but an ingredient you most likely already have in your kitchen: cinnamon. Yes: spiders hate the smell of even basic ground cinnamon (opens in new tab).
We'll tell you outright what won't work, though: cinnamon-scented candles. While the best candles are good for adding fragrance to your home (especially during the holiday season), they don't really work against spiders.
What you'll need is proper, all-natural cinnamon sticks or quills (opens in new tab) that you use for your home cooking.
- Position the sticks or quills strategically where spiders have been seen. This might be unpleasant if you don't like them, but you'll need to watch the spiders in your house to figure out where they're coming in from.
- If spiders have been nesting in your door or window frames, you'll need ground cinnamon (opens in new tab), sprinkling it carefully into the gaps. You do need to be careful with white window frames, though, because cinnamon can stain – avoid any cinnamon getting on the outside of the window where it gets wet from the rain.
- A couple of months; after that, the sticks and quills will start losing their natural scent. You don't have to replace them immediately: see if the spiders come back (they probably won't if it's winter by then).
4. Use an eco-friendly commercial repellent
Thankfully, not all pest control equipment is lethal. These days getting rid of spiders and other unwanted visitors can be done pretty ethically, without needing to organize a funeral for a deceased insect. And there's no need to get out the slipper or newspaper whack-a-mole style either.
These Stay Away Spider pouches from EarthKind we found on Amazon (opens in new tab) contain plant fibers as well as citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary essential oils. All you need to do is remove the outer wrapper and place them near spidey's favourite spots.
With a pleasant-smelling aroma (to us humans), it's not the best home fragrance on the market, but it does double-up as a mild deodorizer.
5. Keep your home clean and tidy
Spiders like dusty corners and places that haven't been touched in a while. They're often found in dark cupboards and inside shoes (eek!). So, make sure you give everything a good shake-out at least once a month, put cedar shoe trees inside your shoes (this Stratton design on Amazon (opens in new tab) should do the job), vacuum lots (with one of our best vacuum cleaners), and learn how to clean blinds to get into all of those nooks and crannies.
Ditto in the bathroom – the more often your bathroom is cleaned, the fewer spiders there'll be in it. Remember to clean the air ducts in your bathroom, too, and give everything a good wipe down with the best cleaning products. You don't have to go gun-ho with bleach and toxic materials. Try cleaning with vinegar and water (equal parts in a spray bottle) for a family-friendly environment.
6. Get rid of insects that attract spiders
Spiders wander into your home partly in search of a mate, but partly for the same reasons you're there: domestic comforts such as warmth and food. And what do spiders like to eat? Insects.
So, take our advice on how to get rid of fruit flies, lady bugs (you may have to vac them up using a handheld vacuum, unfortunately), and any other bugs that have taken up residence in your house.
7. Use a spider catcher, jar or glass
If you're brave enough, this is a simple but effective solution: trap the spider under a glass or reuse a candle jar as a carrier to take it outside, away from the house.
If you're afraid of being bitten, or simply can't bear getting close to a spider, use a spider catcher: it won't harm the spider, but will allow you to keep it at arm's length. My Critter Catcher has a store on Amazon (opens in new tab) where you can buy their catch and release tools cheaply.
8. Get a carnivorous plant
OK, this one might be lethal, but plants gotta eat! Unlike the best indoor plants that feed solely on water and sunlight, carnivorous plants like a little spider-shaped snack now and again.
But if you think Venus fly traps are a little overdone (or just a bit aggressive looking), consider other unusual plants like pitcher plants (available on Bloomscape (opens in new tab)) to do your dirty work.
9. Get a cat
Constantly on the prowl for unwanted pests, a feline friend is the perfect partner in crime to provide 24-hour support and surveillance against spiders. Ready to pounce with predatory paws, your mog will keep all sorts of intruders at bay.
Or leave them be – they're only spiders
This may sound insensitive to those who really loathe them (sorry, people) – but unless you have a serious infestation (which is unlikely, because spiders tend to be solitary), you are unlikely to be disturbed by spiders in any way. In fact, if you're wondering how to get rid of mosquitoes, or how to get rid of moths, they're practically your BFF.
Oh and that thing you heard about swallowing spiders at night? It's a myth. So, we say – forget about them, they'll do you no harm.
Having said that, if you are in the US and are regularly visited by the highly dangerous spider species such as the black widow – it's time to call in professionals.
They'll be able to identify where the spiders are coming from and decide how best to deal with them.
Can you get rid of spiders using conkers or chestnuts?
Sadly, there's no scientific evidence to prove that conkers or chestnuts repel spiders. They look nice as an autumnal decoration, though, so why not give them a go, just in case? After all, they couldn't hurt.
Warning: Conkers can be poisonous to cats and dogs so please consult your vet before putting these in your home if you have pets.
How to get rid of poisonous spiders
The vast majority of spider species either won't bite humans, or will only do so if threatened or picked up.
In the UK, three spider species can deliver a painful bite: the false black widow, the cellar spider, and the woodlouse spider. All three species tend to be shy and like woodpiles, dark attics and cupboards, or cracks in walls.
In other words, you're very unlikely to be harmed by them, but if you do find one, handle with caution, wearing thick gloves.
In the US, three spider species are dangerous: the black widow, the brown recluse, and the hobo spider.
These will deliver a very painful, dangerous bite that can, in some cases, be lethal, so you must seek medical attention immediately if you've been bitten by one of these spider species.
All three tend to prefer living in piles of wood, cluttered attics, underneath patio furniture, and, occasionally, inside shoes. Do not attempt to handle these spiders, and call pest control if you have lots of them.
Expert tips on how to get rid of spiders
Martha Stewart's top tip for how to get rid of spiders
In her book, Martha Stewart's Homekeeping Handbook (opens in new tab), the cleaning legend recommends the following:
'If you keep spotting spiders in the nooks and crannies of your home, consider leaving scraps of soap, preferably eucalyptus-scented, where webs appear to help deter the crawlers,'
'You can also spray cotton balls with a bit of pennyroyal oil and rub these along windowsills and baseboard to keep the critters at bay.'
Pennyroyal/Pennyrile oil (or Mentha Pulegium as it's known in Latin) can be purchased in 2oz bottles on Amazon via Herbal Terra LLC (opens in new tab). You might also see it displayed as Squaw mint, Mosquito plant or Pudding grass in other stores, so keep your eyes peeled.
Lynsey Queen of Clean's top tip for how to get rid of spiders
Another tip comes from Lynsey Queen of Clean (opens in new tab) who recommends: 'Vacuuming your home regularly will not only keep it clean, but it will also suck up webs. Make sure you get into in the corners of the room and behind the sofa and radiator too, as this is where spiders are likely to set up camp.'
Haven't got a clue on how to clean a radiator? We've got some hot tips right here to clean up your act.