While spiders do act as natural insecticides by feeding on insects, their cons often exceed the pros. Not only are they an unpleasant sight, but their webs and eggs can be pretty harmful if ingested. Also, the bites of many breeds of spiders like the notorious black widow spider can be fatal. While spiders like the wolf spider and the brown recluse spider seldom bite, many people can develop terrible allergies to those spider bites. In addition, spiders multiply at alarming rates, and killing them all manually is not only unpleasant, but often impossible. You don’t want them in your home or near your pets and children for that matter.
Spiders have varied shapes, sizes and characteristics. You get large spiders and small ones, jumping spiders and spiders so light and tiny they seem to fly. Here are some ways to get rid of most of the spiders you would find in your place.
1. Peppermint Oil
Spiders cannot bear the strong smell of peppermint and thus it acts as a good spider repellent. The first thing you can do is to plant peppermint plants around your house to stop them from coming into your home. The smell is very pleasant for humans.
- In a spray bottle, add 1 tbsp of dishwashing liquid and 1 tbsp of peppermint oil to 3 cups of water. The dishwashing liquid ensures even distribution of water on the surfaces. Spray this solution on all possible spidey hideouts. Repeat this daily for a few days.
- Soak some cotton balls on peppermint oil and place them in the openings around doors and windows. Change them daily. Repeat till you notice a fall in the spider population in your house.
2. White Vinegar
This is another non-toxic kitchen ingredient that would chase away those spiders with its strong smell. And since it is an acid it can burn the soft bodied spiders and kill them immediately.
In a spray bottle, add equal parts of white vinegar and water. Spray this on the areas where you think spiders would likely hide. You can also directly shoot at your spiders with this. Repeat daily till the spiders disappear.
Due to its strong smell, both the leaves and the essential oil of this plant act as effective remedies against spiders.
- In ½ cup water, add 20 drops of eucalyptus essential oil in a spray bottle and spray this solution along the windows and any other opening.
- You can simply keep some fresh or dried eucalyptus leaves in the places where spiders are likely to be. Or apply a few drops of eucalyptus oil in those places.
4. Horse Chestnut
This has long been used to remove spiders. Its shells have a chemical that kills them. You can also use other easily available nuts like chestnuts and groundnuts.
Just crack open some horse chestnuts or poke holes in them to release the odor and place them in the areas and corners likely to be frequented by spiders.
You can even put some chestnuts in places that would be difficult to wet with the sprays, like among clothes and books where spiders are likely to frequent.
Tobacco is a herb whose smell is an irritant not only for some humans but also for the spiders. One of its components, lectin, is used as an insecticide.
- Put 1 or 2 tbsps of tobacco in a cup of hot water. Soak it for 30 minutes before straining it and adding the juice of a lemon to the solution. Put the solution in a spray bottle and spray it wherever you feel spiders frequent. You can also make a simple solution by just adding some water or vinegar to the tobacco leaves.
- Put some chewing tobacco in those places and repeat this process daily till the spiders are not there anymore. You can also make small tobacco balls by mixing the leaves with flour and a little water.
This is the best way to keep away spiders naturally, not only because it is very cheap but also because it is an excellent absorber of water from cells and so has been used as a natural antibiotic for ages.
Add 1 ounce of salt in 1 gallon of water and stir it to ensure complete dissolution. Pour this mixture in a spray bottle and spray it directly on the spiders when you see them. Also, you can spray them in the hidey holes and the nests. Do this daily till the number of spiders falls.
In addition to being a very good mosquito repellent, it has also been found to be very effective in eradicating spiders. Also, it is nontoxic to larger life forms like humans and animals.
- In case of a spider infestation, burn some citronella candles with the doors and windows closed to effectively kill the spiders.
- In a half-quart spray bottle, add 5-10 drops of citronella oil and 1 tbsp lemon dishwashing liquid to some water. Shake it well before spraying it where spiders are likely to be. Do this daily till the spiders last.
- Use the citronella spray to clean your floor so that the smell as well the essence spreads over a large area and keeps the spiders away.
This is another common ingredient after salt that helps in driving away spiders. It is a famous and efficient antibiotic and insect repellent. Also, it is also beneficial to larger animals. But you need to be careful about the yellow turmeric stains. So avoid places where you keep clothes and books and other such items.
- Make a paste by adding 2-3 tbsps of turmeric to water. Now apply this paste wherever you think you can to drive away the spiders. This is so effective that the spiders would run away within minutes.
- You can also sprinkle some turmeric powder over such areas and on the foliage around you, which is often a breeding place for spiders.
9. Mint Tea
Spiders have taste buds on their legs. As both the smell and taste of mint tea repels them, they run away the moment they arrive at the tea spread around. Using the fragrant mint tea also freshens up the air around you. Its effect against such creepy crawlies makes mint oil a very popular insecticide.
- Put some mint tea bags in the areas where spiders may be found. Since this does not involve the risk of stains, you can put them in your wardrobes and closets provided there is no moisture around. The spiders will soon disappear.
- Sprinkle some mint tea dust by opening the tea bags. The further you spread it the better. The spiders will flee the moment they taste it.
Spiders absolutely hate the smell of citrus. The limomene present in citrus fruits makes them very good at repelling insects and spiders.
- On a spray bottle, add some water and some fresh lemon juice. Shake it well to ensure proper mixing and apply this solution on all the likely places to be frequented by spiders, including doors and windows.
- Peel some lemon, dry them under the sun and put those peelings on those locations. You can even make a fine powder out of those peelings by grinding them. Apply that powder on those areas.
- To ensure an overall, round the clock protection, use lemon based products as much as you can- liquid soap, hand wash, floor cleaner and the like.
Similar to lemons, you can use powder of orange peelings.
You can also use these peelings and their powders on bookshelves and among clothes. Though technically not a citrus fruit, you can even use fruits with a low citrus level, like tomato. The leaves of this plant, when blended with water, help in making an excellent spider repellant which you can preserve for a long time in the fridge.
11. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth (DE) comes from the fossils of diatoms (microscopic aquatic beings). The grains have razor-sharp edges (as can be seen under a microscope) which make DE act as a pesticide by letting it cut into the skin of a soft bodied insect or spider when it walks over it. The cuts drain the fluids from their bodies, eventually drying out the creatures and killing them. However, take care not to wet the DE before using it.
Just put a fine layer of DE on cracks, corners and closets, and also around your house, to ensure that the spiders step in on it while moving around. Do this daily till the spider population drops.
You can use cedar in any form- as shavings and in the form of an oil, to get rid of spiders.
- Place some shavings or blocks of cedar in your corners and closets to stop spiders from entering.
- Put a few drops of cedar oil on places where there are likely to be spiders.
The pungent aroma of cloves is very effective against spiders.
- Put some cloves in strategic locations to ensure that the spiders run away.
- In a spray bottle, put 4 cups of water and add a few drops of clove oil to it. Shake well to ensure good mixing and spray it on places where there is a chance of the spiders being there.
- Make a fine powder by grinding 10-12 cloves. In a spray bottle add 4-5 cups of water and then the powder. Shake it well. Then spray it on strategic locations.
14. Lavender Oil
Like mint tea, this is another remedy that freshens up your air and makes it fragrant while killing off those spiders at the same time.
- Apply a few drops of lavender oil to areas where there are spiders and also in cracks and nooks.
- Place some Q-tips in strategic locations after dipping them in lavender oil.
- Put 5 drops of lavender oil in a flower vase filled with water. Then put some fresh flowers in it, which will spread the aroma by drawing it in from the water. This helps in keeping spiders away and beautifying the place at once.
15. Baking Soda
Baking soda is another multipurpose ingredient that is used as a remedy against a lot of things, including spiders.
Just sprinkle some baking soda around the house and on those places frequented by the spiders. You can even use it on clothes and books to drive the spiders away.
Apart from these, there are a host of other natural home remedies for spider extermination, like garlic and black pepper. There are also traps and chemicals available, though it is best not to use them. It is not very hard to control spiders after all, and can be better done by maintaining the following throughout the year:
- It is extremely important to maintain cleanliness. The webs of the spiders easily trap dirt and give a hideous look to your walls. Also, spiders are very easily attracted by dry accumulations like old paper, dry leaves and woodpiles. So keep your place clean.
- Instead of the regular light in the gardens, which attract insects and hence their prey, spiders, it is better to use blue lights or insect repellent lights to keep spiders out of your home.
- Keep all the openings to your house closed, especially during the evenings, as much as you can. Seal all untoward cracks and holes that might have developed to prevent insect and spider infiltration.
- Be very careful with your food. Always keep them covered and don’t stack up the unwashed dishes. Also, don’t pile up your clothes and grocery on the floor.
- Foliage is a very good place for spiders to nest and hide. Always trim your garden, mow the grass regularly, and don’t allow old leaves to accumulate. Use spider repelling products on your leaves if you have to.
- Vacuum cleaning your house is one of the best ways to get rid of spiders. Thoroughly clean each and every surface of the house, including holes, furniture, corners and any possible item, and make sure to remove webs and egg sacs.
However, if none of the methods listed here work, it is always better to seek professional help in case of a serious infestation to eradicate the spiders.