Not everyone suffers from arachnophobia like Ronald Weasley in the Harry Potter series, still no one wants to share their abode with a thriving population of spiders. If spiders seem to be doing the tango in every corner of your house, read on to learn how to tackle those eight-legged creatures.
Spiders are not the freaky creatures that popular culture has made them out to be. On the contrary, there are many who understand and respect them for the role they play in nature and some even love to keep exotic spiders as pets. But like most bugs, uninvited spiders can breed like crazy and can swiftly overrun your house if ignored.
Depending on the species, spiders may love moisture or prefer dry and warm spaces, but almost all of them love dark areas. As a result, spiders usually dwell in dank basements, crawl spaces, subfloor air vents, ceiling corners and attics. Their diet is mainly made up of insects, smaller spiders and any other prey that they can subdue.
Spiders may venture into your house by themselves or end up hitchhiking indoors in boxes, firewood bundles and various other odds and ends brought into the house. Voluntary entry is usually due to the lure of prey and availability of shelter.
Spiders reproduce at a vast rate, with females laying up to hundreds of eggs at a time and depositing them in egg sacks. The eggs take two to three weeks to hatch and the spiderlings mature within the year and then reproduce themselves. This makes spider control and management a drawn out process. It needs to be an ongoing effort, especially with spider infestations.
Spiders are steadfast creatures and will put up a good fight. If you’re unwilling to use chemical insecticides due to the harm they can cause to children, elderly and house pets, there are natural ways to get rid of spiders without using chemicals.
Ridding your home of spiders is a continuous process and you’ll need patience to see you through to a satisfactory outcome. With just the two methods detailed below, you can bid adieu to the spider infestation in your house.
- Method 1: Use Cleaning Tactics
- Method 2: Use a DIY Spider Repellent Spray
- # Peppermint Spray
- # Peppermint, Dish Soap and Vinegar Spray
Method 1: Use Cleaning Tactics
A clean home is quite inhospitable to spiders. Not only are there fewer hiding places, a spick-and-span home won’t harbor bugs, which is the main diet of the spiders. Without the lure of a food source and desired shelter, spiders won’t find your house that attractive.
With some easy cleaning hacks, you can fight the first wave of a spider infestation in your house.
- Vacuuming is your first line of defense when it comes to spiders. Use the necessary attachments to vacuum every nook and cranny of your house – corners of the ceilings, undersides of the furniture and crawl spaces.
- Get all the visible cobwebs along with any live spiders and egg sacks with the vacuum. Seal the vacuum bag before disposing of it.
- Use a spider repellent spray to deal with all the spiders you encounter while cleaning. Don’t let even a single one scuttle away.
- Decluttering your home and surroundings can drastically reduce the hiding places for the spiders. Remove piles of debris, firewood and mulch near and around your house. Get rid of old furniture and other junk.
- Thick plant growth should not be in direct contact with your house walls.
Method 2: Use a DIY Spider Repellent Spray
If you’re not keen on using chemical laden pesticides but need to repel the spiders just the same, you can use a peppermint-based DIY spider repellent spray. Peppermint essential oil is a very effective spider repellent. You won’t find a more pleasant smelling solution to your pest problem.
While a blend of essential oils of your choice diluted in water makes for an efficient repellent, you can include dish soap and vinegar to add killing power to the mix. Soap also helps the essential oils to evenly disperse throughout the water instead of just floating over the surface.
Essential oil sprays deter a variety of other bugs like ants, flies and roaches as well. This reduces the spiders’ food source, making their extermination even easier. Once your abode is free of spiders, spray your house and surroundings once a week with the spray of your choice to stay spider-free year-round.
# Peppermint Spray
Things you’ll need:
- Peppermint essential oil (effective spider repellent) – 5 or 6 drops
- Neem essential oil – 5 or 6 drops
- Orange essential oil – 5 or 6 drops
Step 1. Mix peppermint, neem and orange oil with water
- Add 5 or 6 drops each of peppermint, neem and orange essential oils to 1 cup of water.
Step 2. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, as it makes for an easy application. You may use a funnel to avoid spills.
- Screw on the spray nozzle tightly.
Step 3. Shake and use the spray to repel spiders
- Give it a good shake to completely disperse the oils into the water.
- Spray the solution in the places likely to see spider activity as well as the entry points to your home.
- Also, fortify your bedrooms, kitchens, nurseries and kids’ play areas against these creatures with the spray.
# Peppermint, Dish Soap and Vinegar Spray
Things you’ll need:
- White vinegar (burns and kills spiders) – 1 tablespoon
- Liquid dish soap (helps the oils to evenly disperse throughout the water) – 1 tablespoon
- Peppermint essential oil (spider repellent) – 2 or 3 drops
- Lavender essential oil – 2 or 3 drops
- Tea tree essential oil – 2 or 3 drops
Step 1. Add essential oils to water
- Add 2 or 3 drops each of peppermint, tea tree and lavender essential oils to 1 cup of water.
Step 2. Mix in dish soap and vinegar
- Add 1 tablespoon of liquid dish soap to the water.
- Add in 1 tablespoon of white vinegar as well.
- Give the solution a stir to mix the ingredients.
Step 3. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle
- Pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
- You may use a funnel to prevent any spills.
- Screw on the spray nozzle.
Step 4. Mix well and spray the repellent to deter spiders
- Give the bottle a couple of shakes to mix the solution well.
- Spray this solution directly on spiders to kill them.
- Spray it in all the spider-friendly areas that you can think of to make them inhospitable for the spiders.
- You can keep this spray at hand when you’re dealing with scampering spiders that escape your vacuum.
- The peppermint, dish soap and vinegar spray should be used with caution around fabrics and delicate surfaces. It may cause discoloration and staining.
- Make the sprays in the quantity you’ll use up over a couple of months. Always shake the spray well before using.
- You can also use citronella, eucalyptus, lemongrass and cinnamon essential oils in the blend to make a spider deterrent spray.
- Sprinkle food-grade diatomaceous earth in hotspots frequented by the spiders.
- Sticky traps can also be used to trap spiders, as they can lure the bugs with their smell. Dead bugs stuck on the traps will also make it rather inviting to more spiders.
- Use caulk to seal the cracks and crevices of your house that may serve as an entrance for spiders to prevent them from returning.