Most spiders don’t mean any harm, but it’s hard for anyone to believe it when you see creepy creatures with eight legs dangling around all over the place. When seasons change, many people find themselves wondering how to get rid of the spiders in their houses.
Though most spiders aren’t dangerous, some can be venomous, and even the safer ones will bite if they feel threatened. However, spiders don’t feed on human blood the way bed bugs and mosquitos do, so you don’t have to feel scared about them being in your home. They are creepy-looking, and it can get annoying to clean up all the cobwebs.
Why do Spiders Come Indoors?
Surprisingly, most spiders don’t come indoors. They are born and grow within houses. Only about 5% of house spiders ever actually leave your house. House spiders grow in numbers when egg sacs are carried in on furniture or building material. Here, they mate and live in the same house throughout their lives.
Then why do you see more spiders at certain times during the year, if they are not coming from outside? The answer can vary from species to species, but usually, around late summer, males will come out in search of females during the mating season, and this is when you’ll come across these spiders roaming around your house.
The most important thing to know about getting rid of spiders is that it isn’t a one-time thing. It’s a process. You have to remove places they can hide first, and get rid of any spiders or cobwebs you see next, and then keep them from coming back with the help of spider repellents and pesticides.
Skipping one of these steps would mean that you are eliminating the spiders you can see – which may be fine for a while, but eventually, they will return, and you will have to go through all that trouble again.
How to Catch Spiders
If you do find spiders, you’ll probably want to know the best way to get rid of it. One of the most popular methods is to use a glass or a jar. This is one of the more humane methods of catching spiders that don’t involve harming or killing them. You can use any container to do this, but the best ones are transparent, medium-sized, and not too heavy or fragile.
Of course, getting close enough to the spider to be able to catch it is a task in and of itself, but with quick reflexes and some courage, you should be able to capture it under your container. Once you have it trapped, you can slip a piece of thick paper under the container and lift it, making sure to keep the spider trapped inside. You can then take it outside and leave it at a good distance from your house.
If you’re more squeamish about spiders, you may want to get a spider catcher instead.
How to Get Rid of Spider Eggs?
You may discover a small egg sack near your windows or doorframes. This could have hundreds – if not thousands – of baby spiders waiting to hatch and enter the world. If you don’t deal with these immediately, you could go from a spider or two to a full-blown spider infestation. If you’re removing the egg sack by yourself, make sure not to damage the sack lest you disturb the baby spiders.
Take a piece of kitchen roll and carefully dislodge the sack. Place the kitchen roll and the sack into a bin bag and secure it tightly. Dispose of it in your general waste. You can also use a vacuum to dislodge the sack and suck it up, but this could damage the sack and make it burst inside your vacuum, which can start a whole new problem on its own.
How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House
Use Horse Chestnuts
This is a great tip for getting rid of spiders naturally. Though there is little understanding as to why this method works, it is suggested that Horse Chestnuts contain certain chemicals that spiders find unappetizing. By placing horse chestnuts in the corners of your house where spiders can enter, you can reduce the number of them that try to enter your home. Cut a few holes in the horse chestnuts to release more chemicals and repel the spiders even more.
Turn Off Outdoor Lights
It’s no surprise that lights attract insects. Although spiders may not be attracted to the light, they are there for all the bugs they can prey on. Luring bugs into your home is like setting up a three-course meal for a spider. By switching off the lights, you can keep away the bugs and the spiders.
Get a Cat
If you can afford to get and care for a cat, you could bring one in – because you love cats, and because they’ll rid you of your spider problem too. Cats are experienced hunters and will take care of the spiders crawling around. Although cats may not eat the spiders, they will use the opportunity to chase after them.
Eucalyptus smells good, doesn’t it? Spiders would disagree. You could set up eucalyptus as a houseplant or outside to discourage them from entering your house. This is a natural way to cleanse your house of its spider population while also making the house smell nice.
When using home remedies, you can’t forget the cinnamon. All you have to do is grab a cinnamon candle to burn and keep the spiders away. Cinnamon candles aren’t very expensive, but if you can’t find them or prefer not to buy them, you can opt for cinnamon oil and use an essential oil burner to make the smell spread through the house. The point is to disperse the smell to keep away the spiders.
Spiders hate citrus. Though most citrus fruits are seasonal, you can find lemons all year round. Grab some lemon peel and rub it all over your windowsills, bookshelves, or anywhere you think they could be hiding. This will easily make them choose to leave your home.
You can also run lemon around skirting boards and door frames to keep them out of basements and garages.
Although most of us use it as an ingredient in the kitchen or for some medical purposes, white vinegar is also great for keeping spiders away. Just like cinnamon and citrus, spiders hate the smell of vinegar. You can combine it with some water and spray it around the house. Some households like to mix vinegar with baking soda for a stronger pest control solution.
Of course, the smell isn’t very pleasant to us either, but don’t worry – it disappears as soon as it dries.
If you really can’t stand the smell of vinegar, even temporarily, you can try peppermint. Fill up a spray bottle with water and mix it with peppermint oil. Spray this into the cracks and corners to get rid of the spiders without killing them. You can also use a peppermint teabag. Once you’ve brewed your tea, you can leave the squeezed bag in a room to make the spiders leave.
You don’t need to be a smoker to know that tobacco will keep spiders away.
If you’re allergic to any of the above, or maybe you don’t like the strong scent, you can use some tobacco as an efficient spider repellent. Mix it with water and spray it in different parts of the house.
Wash Your Fruit
Fruit attracts flies, which attract spiders. Grapes are particularly appealing to most insects, so spiders are also more likely to be found around them.
Though most farmers now use pesticides to prevent it, organically grown produce may bring into your house a multi-legged friend or two. Make sure to clean your fruit when you bring it home from the store.
Remove Spiders’ Hiding Places
Spiders don’t like attention. When they hear you approaching, they will run off and hide in places where they won’t be disturbed. Like cockroaches and mice, spiders love unattended junk piles. Sometimes, they prefer damp, dark areas like basements or seldom-used closets, while others like warm, dry places such as attics. If you want to keep spiders out of your house, you will have to make it a habit to clean out these places regularly.
Clean Often and Remove Cobwebs
Dusting horizontal surfaces may look like it’s doing its job, but it’s not doing enough. Spiders can build webs, after all. The aim is to prevent them from being able to do that.
Pick up clothes and other things that you may have left lying around on the floor and put them away.
Shake any curtains before you clean a room to dislodge any cobwebs in hidden places and to make spiders run off for safety. Let the dust settle a bit before you start cleaning. Clean the dust off furniture and anything that may be placed on it, like knickknacks, photos, and houseplants.
Use the vacuum wall-to-wall, including corners of rooms and closet floors. Make sure to lift any rugs and vacuum under them as well. When you clean your kitchen, move the items on your counters and clean behind and under them too.
Move the Bins
Bins may not be particularly attractive to spiders on their own, but they do attract flies. And spiders love flies. Bins are like banquets for spiders since garbage attracts flies that they can snack on. Wheel your bins out as far away from your house as possible, and keep them closed to avoid the flies as well as the spiders.
Keeping Spiders from Entering Your Home
Decluttering and cleaning help in discouraging spiders from sticking around. You should also take measures to prevent outdoor spiders from entering.
Make sure your windows and doors are sealed properly. If you need to use weatherstripping, don’t hesitate to do so. Inspect your home’s foundations and walls for cracks. Make sure to seal any open spaces from where spiders can enter.
Don’t stack firewood against your home’s foundations. Trim any shrubs and trees around your exterior walls to keep them away from them, and make sure to trim and mow your grass regularly.
Sometimes, spiders can enter from chimneys as well, if the fireplace is not in use. Close the chimney flue if you are not using it. Not only will this prevent spiders from entering, but it will also help you control your utility costs.
Often, spiders and other insects and pests enter our homes from paper bags used for carrying groceries. Try to switch to cloth grocery bags, and make sure to wash and launder them regularly.
You can also use spider glue traps where you often find spiders, such as under sinks and behind piles of clutter.
Make sure to keep your pet food covered. Because this food attracts other pesky bugs like flies – which are a delight for spiders to eat – you will inevitably be attracting spiders too. Grab some plastic boxes and place them over the pet food to cover them so that bugs and spiders don’t enter your home.
Cleaning your windows with ammonia and water may also help keep the spiders from getting inside the house. When the windows dry, go over the whole thing with a newspaper and kerosene. The kerosene will evaporate immediately but leaves behind a repellent for creatures such as spiders, flies, and mosquitoes.
Food-grade diatomaceous earth also helps to control spiders and other insects like cockroaches, earwigs, ants, etc. that could come crawling in from the outdoors. You can apply this natural repellent to cracks, window sills and any crevices where spiders (or other bugs) may hide. Make sure to use food-grade diatomaceous earth, which is safe for people and pets.
How to Kill Spiders
Though most spiders should just be moved outside instead of being killed, sometimes you have no other choice.
You can squish the spider in a piece of tissue or paper towel and flush it down the toilet. You will have to make sure that the tissue can be placed in the toilet. Otherwise, you can throw the squished spider into the trash.
A spider is likely to be on the ground unless it is on a cabinet or counter or scaling a wall. You can step on it and kill it.
Vacuums can kill spiders, and also offer a great solution to getting rid of egg sacks. Just make sure to use the house and to let it run for some time to make sure it dies.
You can also use chemicals such as bug spray. However, this is harmful to humans and also animals if you have any in your home, so it may not be your first option. You can also use hairspray. Although hairspray is not exactly a way to kill spiders, it can help. Once you spray the spider, and the spray hardens, the spider will lose most or all of its mobility. After that, you can simply remove the spider.
Benefits of Spiders
Spiders may be terrifying, but they still have their benefits. Of course, this isn’t going to help with your arachnophobia, but unlike most other creepy crawlies, spiders are a lot less work to deal with and are also much less dangerous if they are not venomous. The venom in most species is moderate and has short-lived effects.
In particular, house spiders have no venom, and also have no incentive to bite anything that they are unable to eat unless it is a matter of life or death. House spiders also prey on insects and other small creatures. They can provide defense against agricultural pests like aphids, moths, and beetles, and house spiders suppress a wide variety of insects without you having to resort to synthetic insecticides.
By keeping the population of these creatures in control, spiders can help limit spreading diseases that insects like mosquitoes and cockroaches may carry.