There are more than 40,000 species of spiders around the world. Their eggs, webs, and general presence all render them pests that many households experience and struggle to get rid of. Luckily, preventative and reactive steps can help you minimize these arachnids — which are unappealing but usually harmless in small numbers — in and around your home.
One of the best ways to get rid of spiders is to clean your home. Dust, vacuum, and clear up any clutter. Regular tidying ensures spiders don't have a chance to build their webs or lay eggs. Messy areas provide many places to hide away and make it much more challenging to find and remove any critters that do take shelter under your roof. Use ammonia cleaners where possible.
Bleach has many uses and serves as an excellent homemade pesticide. If you have a spider problem, spray diluted bleach into areas where you know they hide. This method works best with a mixture of one part bleach to three parts water. Be mindful of any pets or kids — be sure to spray areas they can't reach.
To keep spiders out of your home, spray a mixture of lavender — a natural repellant — and water. For best results, fill a spray bottle three-quarters full of warm water, and add 7 to 10 drops of lavender essential oil. You can add a few drops of dish soap as well. Shake the mixture well and spray in areas of concern.
Peppermint oil acts similar to lavender, naturally repelling spiders. For best results, combine 15 to 20 drops of peppermint essential oil into a spray bottle filled with water. To keep spiders away, spray areas like baseboards, walls, crevices, and underneath doors. You can also diffuse peppermint essential oil in an oil burner to fill your home with the scent.
Spiders don't like any citrus scents and naturally avoid the aroma. To reap the benefits of this method, rub citrus peel from fruits like oranges or lemons along floorboards, window sills, and entranceways. This has the added benefit of being a pet- and child-friendly option. You can also use lemon-scented cleaning products around the house or burn citronella candles inside and out.
If you leave pet food out at night, covering it up can help deter spiders. Left out at night, this savory snack attracts other insects like flies, which will in turn attract the spiders that eat them. The same applies to any other food left out overnight on your counters. Rinse any dirty dishes you aren't washing before bed, or put them in the dishwasher.
Cover any drains and wall sockets when not in use. Spiders can crawl through pipes to gain entry or even clamber out of electrical sockets. If you know this is where your uninvited guests are getting in, use toddler-proofing plastic outlet covers, which you can find in most hardware stores. For your kitchen and bathroom sinks, replace the tight-fitting plug when the basin is not in use.
Much like lavender and peppermint oils, tea tree can repel spiders. Because they dislike the smell, spraying a mixture of tea tree and water will keep spiders away. Mix 10 to 20 drops of tea tree into a spray bottle filled with warm water and spray areas like baseboards, window sills, and drain pipes.
Spider traps are an effective method for treating smaller infestations. Place glue boards in corners, along walls, and anywhere else you have seen the pests congregating. The traps are non-toxic and won't leave any residue behind. You can make homemade traps with double-sided sticky tape, though these won't be as reliable.
If you discover an egg sack, it could have hundreds or thousands of baby spiders inside. It's crucial to remove the sack as soon as possible to ensure the eggs don't hatch inside your house. Carefully dislodge the sack with paper towels and throw it in the trash. Be sure to take the bag outside right away, and throw it in a bin that is not too close to the house.
Get daily tips and tricks for living your best life.