As I write this post, Halloween is only a few weeks away. Whilst I don't mind decorating the house with a few fake cobwebs and scary spiders with beady eyes, I'm not such a fan of the real thing!
It's this time of year, when it starts to get a little chilly, that I tend to find more spiders in the house.
To be perfectly honest, I don't really mind spiders at all. But what I don't like are the webs and the spider poo they leave behind. So, I do my best to keep them out of the house.
Where necessary, I use this natural spider killer spray:
If you want to kill spiders naturally without using nasty chemicals, add some vinegar, essential oils, dish soap, and water to a spray bottle and spray the areas that spiders like to hang out. The vinegar will kill them and the essential oils will deter their friends from coming back.
Read on for the full recipe.
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What attracts spiders into the house?
- Dust. Spiders love dusty areas. Where there is dust, there tends to be more insects around for them to feed on.
- Clutter. The more clutter in your house, the more little spaces there are for them to hide and set up home. They love old cardboard boxes, and firewood for example.
- The weather outside. Spiders head inside when the weather is too hot or cold for them, or when the humidity is too extreme.
- Other spiders. One spider will attract others for mating, so it's important to deal with any you find quickly to avoid the population rising.
How to kill spiders naturally
So, what kills spiders and keeps them away for good?
Here are the two most effective and natural spider killers:
Diatomaceous Earth is a natural substance made from the remains of algae found in the bottom of rivers and lakes. It is non-toxic to humans, but deadly for insects. It kills spiders and other insects by absorbing the moisture out of them, causing dehydration and eventually death.
To deal with your spider problem, simply sprinkle some in the areas where you tend to find them. You can also use it in a spray bottle. Mix it with some water and spray it around problem areas like bathrooms and spots where you see spiders lurking.
Always make sure the powder you buy is food grade, as that is the safest.
The acid in vinegar can kill spiders when you spray it directly on them.
Make up a spray bottle of distilled white vinegar and water and spray the spider.
If you want to deter spiders too, add some essential oils because they hate the strong smell. Vinegar has a strong smell too of course, but it dissipates rapidly. Essential oil smells will last longer.
What smells do spiders hate?
If you don't want to kill your house spiders, there are plenty of effective deterrents you can use instead.
Fortunately, the smells spiders hate, humans often like or even love (I adore the smell of cinnamon). So, as well as deterring spiders, you can have a fragrant home too. It's a win-win!
Here's a round up of all the smells spiders hate:
Spiders hate the strong smells of essential oils such as citronella, lemongrass, cloves, peppermint, rosemary, and thyme. Make up a spray bottle of some water and essential oils and spray it around your house where spiders like to hang out.
You can use the cinnamon quills or cinnamon powder for this, whichever is most suitable for the spot where your spider colony likes to hang out.
Simply lay a cinnamon quill or some powder in the spot spiders tend to frequent, and you should stop them from coming back. Quills lose their scent after a while, so do keep an eye out for any new visitors.
Pro tip: Keep in mind that cinnamon powder can stain white surfaces, so avoid putting it in places like white window sills.
When choosing plants for your home, the Eucalyptus plant should be top of your list. Spiders hate the strong odor of the Eucalyptus plant.
When it gets big, cut off branches and allow them to dry out around your house.
A natural homemade spider repellent recipe that works
Here is my favorite natural spider killer recipe from Jillee at Onegoodthing.
Simply add these ingredients to a spray bottle:
- 1 Tbsp dish soap
- 1/3 cup white vinegar
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 10 drops peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops lavender essential oil
Jillee says that due to the vinegar, this spray will actually kill the spiders as well as deter any new ones from coming back. If you only want to deter them, leave the vinegar out.
How to deter spiders from entering your home
If you don't want to kill any spiders, but don't want them to set up camp in your home, there are several things you can do to help keep them away:
- Seal up gaps and holes. Check window and door frames, making sure all holes are sealed up.
- Turn off lights at night. Lights attract insects into your house, which spiders like to feed on. Keep the bugs out and there will be fewer spiders around.
- Install bug screens. Another thing you can do to keep insects and spiders out of your house is to install bug screens on your windows.
- Keep your house dusted and vacuumed. Keep your house regularly dusted and vacuumed so that cobwebs and egg sacs are eliminated.
How to get rid of house spiders without killing them
I prefer not to kill spiders. However, when I find a web complete with egg sacs or baby spiders, I'm afraid, I vacuum them up. I don't mind seeing a lone spider in a corner. I might well leave it alone, or if I can be bothered, I will trap it in a glass and take it outside.
Here are some methods to help rid your house of your arachnid friend in a kinder way:
Trap it under a glass
If you are quick, you can easily trap a spider under a glass. The tricky thing is getting the glass outside before it escapes.
When you have your spider trapped, slide some paper underneath to keep it there, and then release it quickly outside.
Use a spider catcher
If you want to stay as far away as possible from your eight legged friend, then one of these insect catchers is what you need.
Simply squeeze the handle to open the bristles, position it over the spider, and then close. You can safely release the spider outside without harming it.
Have kids? Make it a game
If you have kids. It can be fun to catch bugs and observe them safely at the same time. This bug catcher toy is the perfect gift. Your kids will have lots of fun, and you get to rid the house of spiders at the same time.
If you don't have kids to entertain, here is a more adult version:
How to get rid of spiders in the bathroom
Your spider probably found your bathroom because it is a warm, moist place. It's the perfect environment to find other spiders to mate with and prey to feed on. They also like damp environments because it helps them to shed their skin. Don't forget it is mostly dark there. So don't be surprised if you find one in your bathroom.
When spiders fall into a bath, they can't get out due to the smooth surface. It's a myth that they come up through the drain.
If you find a spider in your bathroom, it's best to get it out as soon as you can. You don't want it to mate and then spread baby spiders all over your house.
The best way to remove spiders and to kill them is to spray with equal parts vinegar and water.
If you don't want to kill the spider, trap it under a glass and release it away from your house.
Frequently asked questions
Does vinegar kill spiders?
Yes, vinegar is composed of 5% acetic acid, and it can kill spiders when you spray it on them.
What kills spiders instantly?
Spraying spiders with equal parts vinegar and water will kill spiders instantly. If you want to go the chemical route, this spray will kill them immediately, plus it doesn't smell too bad either.