How to get rid of spiders with homemade spider repellents

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If you live in a rural area, you know only too well that you have to share your home with a range of insects but there are deterrents you can use which will make your house less attractive to spiders.

Spiders are not everyone’s favorite house guests, especially if they bite but most people would prefer to deter them from visiting in the first place rather than end up either destroying them or using toxic chemicals within the home to get rid of them.

Autumn is the time that spiders tend to migrate from the garden into the home purely as a result of the cooler temperatures outdoors but spiders can be present all year round.

How to repel spiders, naturally

There are lots of different recipes commonly made with oils, herbs and products you may already have in your kitchen or bathroom cabinet, here are just a few to try. 

How to get rid of spiders in your house

A curious little spider – identified as a running crab spider by the British Arachnological Society (BAS)

All of these are designed to be dispensed via a spray bottle like a plant spray and can easily be made in just a few minutes:

  • Five cloves of garlic crushed up in two cups of water. Let the mixture sit and distill for a few hours before using
  • Ten drops of peppermint oil to two cups of water, spiders hate peppermint
  • Ten drops of citrus oil to two cups of water, they also hate citrus, you can use either orange or lemon oil
  • A small handful of tomato leaves chopped and blended in two cups of water, add a teaspoon of cornstarch
  • Tea tree, lavender, rose, neem and cinnamon are some of the other oils that you can use to repel spiders
  • Some spiders don’t seem to respond to essential oils or they start to become tolerant to the fragrance after a few weeks so a stronger alternative is a vinegar spray.  Fill a spray bottle half full with white vinegar and then top up with water.  If spiders are persistent then you can spray this in corners and crevices where they like to lurk but be careful to avoid varnished or polished surfaces as vinegar can have a caustic effect
  • Stronger still is an ammonia spray that you can use around windows and doorways which is where the spiders enter. Combine one-part ammonia with one-part water in a spray bottle, shake and then spray around the doorways and windows.  If you dislike the smell of ammonia in the house then you can use it outside.  For a more concentrated effect, create the blend and then use it to wipe over window sills and doorsteps with a cloth
  • Try any of our recommended solutions below – spiders are repelled by peppermint oil sprayed on their usual surfaces:

Household tips to help keep spiders at bay

As with many other unwanted insects in the home, if you are going to avoid using proprietary commercial products that contain chemicals that are harmful to your home and the environment then you will need to take a range of steps to persuade spiders not to visit you. This is more time-consuming but persistence will have its rewards.

  • Spritz your essential oil mix or other homemade potion around the house
  • Change the recipe fairly regularly for maximum effect
  • Spray in doorways and around windows to deter spiders and into dark crevices and corners where they may already be hiding. If you are spraying fabrics like carpet or rugs then always patch test first as essentials oils may leave a stain or mark
  • Essential oil sprays and other homemade recipes will need to be applied more frequently than branded chemical-based products so use them two or three times a week
  • Use an essential oil diffuser in the spider’s most popular rooms and fill the atmosphere with a pleasant fragrance, to you anyway
  • Work hard in the autumn to keep your home dirt and dust-free. Remove spider webs as soon as they appear and this can be with alarming frequency.  De-clutter and tidy up and pay particular attention to dark corners.  If you are storing items then opt for plastic boxes over cardboard as these are virtually impenetrable for spiders
  • Keep compost, grass clippings, and log piles away from the house. Check your doors and windows for cracks that may have appeared over the summer, likewise repair any torn mesh window screens
  • If you can, plant a eucalyptus tree near the house, or if this is not possible then mint or lavender is a much easier and space-saving alternative. Plant near the windows and this will deter spiders as well as fill your home with a pleasant scent when you do open the windows
  • Use lemon-scented household cleaners
  • Rub citrus peel along skirting boards and window sills and bookshelves
  • Burn Citronella candles both inside the home and outside, this will help deter other biting insects as well
  • Be aware of how might light you have in the house in the late afternoon and evening, keeping light levels low will put off other insects as well as spiders like moths
  • Cedar is another fragrance spiders dislike, use cedar balls or special hanging pieces in drawers and cupboards, this will also help to deter clothes moths.  Use sandpaper to rub them down a little and refresh the fragrance after a few weeks. Cedar shavings and cedar blocks can work well around windows and doors outside
  • Baking soda sprinkled around doorways and on window sills
  • Some people swear by using conkers around the home to repel spiders but remember, they can be poisonous to pets so might not be suitable for all of your household occupants

With a little targeted effort, you can slot spider-repelling tasks into your normal weekly household cleaning routine. 

You can’t ever guarantee completely ridding your home of spiders but you will certainly be able to minimize their visits as the season changes.

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