If you’re googling how to get rid of spiders, odds are you’ve got a whopper watching over you in the bathroom, or perhaps you’ve noticed several dotted around your home. In either case, you don’t need to endure this unwelcome guest, and you shouldn’t really ignore it either — spiders can quickly reproduce or, at the very least, can cause some ongoing mess with cobwebs.
Whether you’re unnerved by spiders or just frustrated by them, much like fruit flies, there’s several methods you can use to banish them once and for all. Here, we will take you through all of your options, from home remedies to more traditional traps. So you can rest assured that your eight-legged visitor will stay away for good.
Is the spider dangerous?
Before you attempt to get rid of a spider in your home, make sure it’s not a Black Widow or Brown Recluse spider. While plenty of spiders can bite and cause discomfort, these two breeds are poisonous, and can be dangerous to people.
In Southern states, a Black Widow spider has a black body with a red hourglass shape on the underside of the body. In Northern states, they have a black or dark brown body with red, yellow or white spots down the center of the abdomen. Black Widows will mostly be found in dark spaces, such as attics or basements. The bite can affect the nervous system, causing muscle cramps, nausea and issues with breathing. While fatalities aren’t common, you should still seek medical attention if bitten.
Brown Recluse spiders are more often found in the South. They have brown bodies with a small violin print on the back, and frequent dark, dry spaces, such as wood piles, attics and closets. A single bite can cause nausea, itching and aches — they’re particularly dangerous to young children and senior citizens. Again, seek medical attention if you think you’ve been bitten by a Brown Recluse spider.
It goes without saying that you shouldn’t attempt to get rid of either of these spiders if you suspect them in your home; call an exterminator instead. Otherwise, the following tips can be used to remove and deter spiders in your home.
How to get rid of spiders using home remedies
1. Peppermint oil — The fresh, Christmas-y smell of peppermint will actually repel spiders. All you need to do is combine several drops of peppermint oil with some water in a spray bottle and spritz it around your home. The smell of lemon has similar results, so you could alternatively rub lemon peels around your home.
This won’t hurt the spiders, but it will discourage them from returning. Reapply weekly for best results. If you want to go the full hog, you could also invest in some peppermint plants.
2. Diatomaceous Earth — This is a natural biological powder which is as effective on spiders as it is on other pests. If a spider comes into contact with Diatomaceous Earth, it will break down its exoskeleton, leading to death by dehydration. Simply sprinkle the powder in small, low-traffic spaces around your home, such as under furniture.
Diatomaceous Earth is safe to use around pets and humans, but be sure you’re using the ‘food grade’ variety. Follow the instructions for best use and avoid using it on countertops or anywhere you prepare food.
3. Vinegar — Vinegar seems to come in use for everything these days, and repelling spiders is no exception. White vinegar contains acetic acid which will damage and kill spiders if you spray them directly. You can also use it around the home as a deterrent.
Simply fill an empty spray bottle with a half white vinegar, half water solution and spray around areas where you’ve seen spiders in your home. Why not clean your home with the solution at the same time? Just be wary of these 7 things you should never clean with white vinegar.
4. Baking soda — You can’t mention vinegar without referring to baking soda, it seems. Baking soda is another powder you can sprinkle around your home to tackle unwelcome spiders. It won’t kill the insects, but it’s a natural deterrent which can be found in most kitchen cupboards.
Baking soda is non-toxic as well, so you don’t need to worry about pets and kids running around. If guests are coming over and you want to remove the evidence, simply vacuum it up.
5. Vacuum cleaner — That leads us nicely onto this point. If you know exactly where the spider lives and it’s in your reach, you can just use your vacuum cleaner to deal with the problem and clear any cobwebs at the same time.
The sheer force of a vacuum will kill a spider immediately, so you don’t need to worry about it crawling back out of the dustbin. If you own one of the best vacuum cleaners, it may come with a telescopic wand which you can extend to reach awkward spaces.
6. Adopt a cat — It might sound like a silly reason to adopt a pet, but cats are amazing spider hunters and will surely keep these insects out of your home. If you’ve always been on the fence about getting a cat (pun intended), now’s your chance.
7. Catch the spider — If you don’t want to hurt the spider, you can always go back to basics and catch it yourself. If you don’t want to touch it, spider catchers are available, such as the My Critter Catcher ($22.95, Amazon (opens in new tab)).
If you’re not that nervous around spiders, there’s always the old-fashioned ‘catch it under a glass’ technique. Just be sure to release the spider a good 15 feet from your home so it won’t find its way back in.
How to get rid of spiders using traditional methods
1. Spider traps — You can buy dedicated spider traps from most home department stores. These usually consist of a sticky surface which traps the spider as it crawls over it. An example would be the TERRO Non-Toxic Indoor Traps ($13.17, Amazon (opens in new tab)).
These traps should be placed in areas where you’ve seen spiders, such as along walls. They are cheap to purchase and offer an alternative to chemical methods. However, bear in mind glue traps will catch anything that comes into contact, so these should be handled with care and disposed of properly. Keep these away from children and pets.
2. Insecticides — Lastly, you can use insecticides to kill and prevent spiders, but these generally contain chemicals and toxins, so we recommend using a natural repellent instead, such as Mighty Mint Gallon Insect and Pest Control ($35.98, Amazon (opens in new tab)).
Tips to keep spiders out of your home
- Keep a tidy house — Spiders like to hide. By keeping a clean home you’re not giving them the chance.
- Install screens — If you like to keep your home aired, cover any open doors and windows with mesh screens to stop spiders from strolling in.
- Remove the food source — If you’ve got other pests in your home, such as ants or flies, that’s what your spiders are eating to survive. Deal with your other pests to remove this food source. If you leave food and dirty dishes out often, this could be the source of your pest problems.
- Keep your home clutter-free — Remove any old magazines and boxes once you don’t need them. These offer hiding places for any passing spiders.
You might also want to check out how to get rid of fruit flies quickly if you find any at home. Also find out the 10 things you didn't know you could clean with baking soda and also can I use malt vinegar for cleaning? — here is the best vinegar to clean with.