Homes are meant to be our sanctuary, a place that makes us feel safe and secure. However, different circumstances could make it less ideal and livable. Health hazards like pests hiding in corners can affect the way we live. While some pests usually go away on their own, some, including spiders, require a more stringent approach.
What are the most effective spider repellents to try at home? Some solutions could be right in your kitchen or pantry, such as citrus fruits, essential oils, and vinegar spray. Keep these uninvited guests away from your home with these all-natural spider repellents.
Learn more: Identifying House Spiders
DIY Spider Repellents
1. Citrus fruits
Spiders loathe citrus fruits. You can easily prepare organic spider repellent by mixing half a lemon with water. Pour this into a bottle and spray around the house. Spiders typically nest in wall crevices and hidden, dark places like cabinets and wardrobes, heavy pieces of furniture, walls, and ceilings, as well as cracks in wooden flooring. Make sure to check out these places where spiders usually hide. Another way to eliminate spiders is to sun dry citrus fruit peels and grind them using a food processor. Sprinkle this powder all over the house once a week, and the spiders will disappear in no time.
2. Essential oils
Most bugs and insects, as well as spiders, hate strong aromatic smells. This makes essential oils an effective natural spider repellent. You can make an essential oil repellent by blending ten drops of essential oil with water and placing it in a glass spray bottle. The most effective oils to repel spiders are lavender oil, citronella oil, eucalyptus, tea tree oil, lemon oil, and peppermint essential oil. You can also use an undiluted one and sprinkle a few drops in corners where spiders tend to stay. In addition, you can also utilize this as a bug spray or as a mosquito repellent. Aside from spray, you can also drop essential oils in a cotton ball and place it in known hiding places.
3. Spices and herbs
One of the less toxic ways to eliminate spider infestation in your home is the use of herbs, spices, and cooking powders as a pest repellent. You can make a DIY spider spray by sprinkling salt, baking soda, turmeric, or dried mint directly in the space where spiders hide. You could also grind black pepper and cloves to a fine powder, then sprinkle all corners, cracks, and hidden places in your home. Remember that the said spices are quite pungent, and the fine powder can irritate your eyes and airways as you apply it.
4. Vinegar spray
Not many people are aware that vinegar can repel spiders. Commonly used as a homemade cleaner, this kitchen item effectively keeps spiders away due to its odor and sour taste. Mix a 50/50 solution of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Use this natural spider spray on areas where you regularly see these pests. If you also don’t like the vinegar’s odor, you can add a few drops of peppermint oil to mask it.
5. Rolling tobacco
The strong tobacco smell commonly repels spiders. Take a strong pipe or rolling tobacco and mix it with warm water and flour until you have a thick dough. Make tiny balls with your hands and put them in different corners around your house. This is an efficient way to chase spiders away.
Keep your home spider-free by placing whole walnuts in their shell in corners, on windowsills, or any place these creepy crawlies nest. Walnut shells contain a chemical toxic to spiders, and this makes them a great spider repellent. Other nuts to consider are horse chestnuts and the fruit of the Osage orange tree. Many believe that spiders are sensitive to their smell.
7. Sticky trap
Sticky traps effectively trap creepy crawlers like cockroaches, spiders, beetles, mites, and scorpions. These pests like traveling along edges and in dark areas. Hence the best position of a sticky trap is in an out-of-the-way spot in direct contact with a wall. The open ends of the spider trap should be parallel to the wall to make it easy for the insect to enter. Typically, you’ll want to place sticky traps at least 5 to 10 feet apart in areas where pests are likely to travel. Cupboards and other storage areas, living areas, the garage, and indoor walls are ideal places to place sticky cards for brown recluses and other spiders. These traps can be bought from many hardware stores or online outlets.
Salt is a natural kind of spider poison, so it makes an effective pest control aide. Mix an ounce of salt (1/8 cup) in a gallon of warm water, and pour the saline mixture into a bottle. Spray the saline solution directly onto a spider to kill it. Saltwater is also great for killing spider nests.
9. Spider deterrent plants
Many plant varieties are proven effective at repelling spiders, both indoors and outdoors. These plants’ strong smell effectively keeps the spider away: lavender, lemon balm, lemon verbena, rosemary, chrysanthemums, eucalyptus, lemongrass, marigold, and mint plant. Not only do these plants repel spiders, but lots of them also ward off other insects that spiders are attracted to. A bonus is that they’re a beautiful sight to see.
10. Diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE), made of fossilized remains of a particular kind of algae called diatoms, is a great spider killer. This white powder isn’t only effective and inexpensive, but it’s also non-toxic, which makes it an excellent natural spider repellent that isn’t harmful to pets or children. The silica in the DE absorbs all of the moisture out of the pests, causing them to dehydrate. You can sprinkle DE around areas where you notice spiders.
Cedar mulch, blocks, and chips placed around your home will get rid of spiders and other bugs as they loathe their smell. A bonus is a pleasant woody scent around your home.
12. Soap and water spray
One of the most effective ways to kill a spider is by using a soap and water solution. Mix 2 tablespoons of dish soap with water in a spray bottle. Shake well, then liberally spray on individual spiders, spider nests, or spider eggs inside your home. This DIY spider repellent spray will clog up their breathing pores, causing them to die instantly.
Read more: How to Get Rid of Spiders
Tips to Getting Rid of Spiders at Home
1. Keep spiders away, to begin with
You can prevent pests, especially the poisonous spider species like the wolf spider and brown recluse spider, from getting into your home by ensuring you don’t have an environment around your property that attracts them. They often nest outside in plants, piles of leaves or wood, or dark, quiet places like old tires or buckets. Having these things right next to your home makes it more likely that one of these critters will wander in. Keep these away from your home to prevent spiders from getting indoors.
Moreover, identifying and sealing possible entryways is also crucial to keeping spiders out. This could involve caulking small holes, baseboards, or cracks and ensuring windows and doors are closed properly. Try cleaning up and using a repellent before you seal up any cracks to assure these uninvited guests go away first.
2. Get rid of any possible food source and their shelters
A clean home decreases your chances of having a spider problem. Not only will a clean home mean fewer areas for them to hide, but it will also mean that small insects won’t be around for them to feast on. Without a reliable food source and lesser hiding places, it will be more difficult for them to linger. Some web-building spiders make their homes high up on the ceiling. Often, these webs can be swallowed up by a vacuum cleaner or tapped down with an extending duster.
3. Inspect your basement
Your basement is the best hiding place for the common house spiders. They’d much rather stay outdoors. But, in most cases, they find their way to your basement in search of shelter and food. They like dark, cool areas and feel most at home in places that are filled with clutter and dirt, where they can take shelter from their predators. They also like living in conditions that have moisture, such as windows, water, and drains, so don’t be startled if you see webs around openings. Insects are also fond of basements, giving spiders plenty of food supply.
4. Keep lights off
As much as possible, switch off any lights outside your home. The kind of insects that spiders like to feast on will be attracted to the light and, therefore, will bring your home under the unwanted attention of spiders. If you really need to keep the lights on, use yellow lights as these are less likely to attract insects. If you need bright outdoor lighting, try to move the light source far away from your home.
5. Move your garbage bins
If garbage bins are placed near your home, you might want to relocate them. Having your trash near your home may invite spiders onto your property, most especially when the bins are dirty or debris is scattered on the ground nearby. Garbage bins attract insect pests such as cockroaches and flies, and these pests attract spiders. To reduce the spider population, make sure to wash your trash cans at least once a month to keep them clean. Always keep bin lids closed, too.
6. Cover your pet food
Pets can also increase the risk of spider infestations, especially where the food is concerned. This happens in a couple of ways. First, like the garbage bins, pet food attracts other pests, which multiplies the spider population. More so, storage containers provide shelter for spiders. To keep the spiders off, store pet food in sealed containers and keep the boxes up off the ground. It’s also important to keep the place around your pet’s food bowls clean and dry.
7. Clean drains
Sink and floor drains usually accumulate debris and gunk. This is attractive to pests, and it offers an ideal breeding site, especially for small flies. So make sure to regularly check all the drains at home, including those in the basement and laundry room. Vinegar and baking soda make an excellent homemade drain cleaner, providing foaming action that flushes out clogs.
8. Minimize plants and mulch
Trim any tree branches or shrubbery that touch your home. This helps eliminate “bridges” that pests can use to reach your house and find their way in easily. Likewise, mulch in garden beds can be an ideal shelter for these pesky pests. So instead of using mulch in places that touch your foundation, set less pest-attractive ground cover (e.g., rocks).
9. Use preventive pest control products
Install screens on your storm doors and windows to let fresh air in and keep insects out. Use zappers, aerosol spray, ultrasonic spider repellents, sticky paper, and other pest control products and traditional deterrents to drive critters away. The scent of ammonia or bleach will also help a lot, and some modern devices, such as a motion-activated sprinkler system, will activate every time an animal comes in its reach.
Learn more: What Do Spiders Eat?
Leave the Extermination to the Pro
While only a few spiders pose harm in your home, they can be bothersome and hard to control. Trying to eradicate these pests by yourself may send them into other hiding spots that are challenging to reach or cause them to be aggressive and bite. If you want to make sure that spiders stay away for good, contact us at Midway Pest Management and schedule a free consultation today.