You want to know how to keep spiders away with the best spider repellents that are actually proven to work.
We get it.
Spiders may be helpful and pose no real harm to you but that doesn’t mean you want them as roommates.
You may not even mind one or two of them but when you consider that a single spider egg sac could hold over 200 eggs, it’s understandable you want to keep them away from your home before they overrun your sacred castle.
So let’s get into the nitty gritty of what keeps spiders away. But first, let’s start with the basics.
How Do Spiders Get in the House?
The first step to learning how to keep spiders away is understanding how they’re getting into the house in the first place.
Lucky for you, there are very clear routes by which spiders gain entry. Being so small and sneaky, it may seem like they magically appear but they definitely cannot teleport.
So if you can block their ways of entry, you’ll have taken the first step to preventing more spiders from getting in your home.
Here are the two most typical routes spiders use to get in the house.
Openings into your home
How do spiders get in the house? Usually, you let them walk right in.
Sure, you may not be rolling out the red carpet for these creepy crawlies but the fact is that every house is full of openings that are big enough for a spider to simply stroll right into your home.
We’re talking doors, windows, cracks in the foundation, holes and gaps around piping and cables, as well as air vents. Take a quick mental inventory of your home – how many little openings can you think of? Well, those are like a spider highway straight into your home.
Another way spiders get into the house is by hitching a ride in or on objects that you bring in. And being so small, silent and sneaky, spiders can easily stowaway on anything from plants, storage boxes, a delivery from Amazon, that beautiful vase you found at a yard sale, and pretty much anything else.
Unfortunately, you most likely won’t be able to check everything that comes into your home for the presence of spiders.
So what you can do? Vacuum regularly, especially dusty nooks and crannies. That way any hitchhiking spiders that do manage to get in won’t have a chance to do anything truly horrendous, like lay eggs around your home.
Why are There So Many Spiders In My House?
Now you know how spiders get in the house but when you’re dealing with a spider infestation, it’s not just a matter of how they’re gaining entry. Sure, a spider or two may choose to wander in but when you’re dealing with hordes of invading spiders, the question boils down to why.
You want to know why spiders insist on coming into your house to begin with. So what is it that attracts these eight-legged beasties to your home? Here are the most common reasons why you have so many spiders in your home.
It’s mating season
You may not actually have more spiders now than you did last season. The only difference may be that the spiders that have been lurking in your home are just less shy about being seen. Specifically, the male spiders.
Here’s what we mean. Spiders typically hatch in the spring time and enjoy a summer of snacking on insects and living their lives. Once the early days of autumn roll around, spiders are ready to mate.
This is when people tend to notice an influx of spiders in their home. But don’t worry – it may not be an infestation just yet.
It’s simply spider mating season, which means two things. One, male spiders who were already living – and hiding – in your home starting to move around more often to look for a mate. And two, other male spiders may move in, seeking warmth and female spiders to mate with.
You have another pest problem
Nobody wants this reason to be the culprit behind their spider infestation. But it is always a possibility because spiders eat insects.
So if your home also houses flies, moths, mosquitoes, roaches, ants and other yummy snacks for spiders, that makes your house a veritable buffet that spiders will want to live in.
Your home is their home too
Often, the reason there are so many spiders in your home is simply because that’s where they live.
Contrary to popular spider myth, house spiders don’t move in during the winter months because they’re seeking warm shelter – the fact is that house spiders typically live and die in the house they’re born in.
If you’re noticing more spiders than you usually do, it may simply be mating season and the spiders are making an effort to be more visible to one another.
But if the influx of spiders is happening outside of spider mating season – typically early September to around mid-October – the chances are that you may have an infestation on your hands. That means there are a lot of spiders in your home laying eggs to create more spiders.
And nobody wants thousands of spider roommates. So let’s learn how to keep spiders away, shall we?
How to Keep Spiders Away for Good
Now that you know how and why spiders are in your house, let’s get to the action plan: keeping them out. Here’s how to prevent spiders once and for all.
Turn the lights off
One very simple way to prevent spiders in the house and save on electricity bills is to make sure you keep the lights off.
The light itself doesn’t attract spiders but it does attract other insects, aka the spider’s food source, so turning off the lights means you attract less insects and less spiders. Win win.
Block them from coming in
The best way to keep spiders out of your house is to not let them in in the first place. And that means sealing off all entry points. Doors and windows are obvious entryways so you’d be smart to seal those first.
Make sure your doors have a tight-fitting door sweep installed. These are cheap and easy-to-install and they make sure spiders as well as ants, roaches, and other unwanted creepy crawlies can’t simply sneak in under the door.
Ditto for windows – these should have properly fitted screens in place so you can let fresh air in without allowing any pests entry at the same time.
It’s also a good idea to weather-strip doors and windows so there are tight seals around them that won’t allow even the smallest pest to creep through.
Next, you’ll want to grab some caulk and a caulking gun and seal up any cracks, holes, and gaps that may be serving as easy entryways for spiders.
Where should you start? Secure cracks in the foundation as well as gaps around any pipes, cables, or plumbing lines.
Any little openings are like a welcome mat for spiders so seal those up!
Last but not least, air vents are particularly vulnerable. A simple mesh screen will keep both spiders as well as other pests from using these vents to get into your house.
Lay out an unwelcome mat
An extra measure you can take to further fortify your home against spiders is to lay out some unwelcome mats for uninvited guests.
We’re talking spider traps, of course.
You can place these sinister mats anywhere that spiders may be likely to enter or take up residence. They’re a low-cost, low-effort method to keep spider away as well as trap other unwanted creepy crawlies.
Vacuum the cracks
Spiders like to lurk in the darker recesses of your home – think dark corners, hidden spaces like under and behind furniture, inside closets. Anywhere they are likely to be undisturbed.
Once you locate these little spider hiding places, fire up your vacuum and go to town. Your trusty vacuum won’t just suck up spiders, but their eggs and poop as well.
It’s helpful to also get a vacuum attachment, if you don’t have one already, so you can reach under furniture and deep into little cracks and crevices.
Pro tip: Before you vacuum, it’s a great idea to dust first. Start from the top and dust down. That will help you tear down cobwebs and remove dirt and debris as well as potential spider eggs and spider poop.
Take care of other pests
If there are a lot of spiders in your home, the chances are that there is a plentiful food supply that’s keeping them alive and nourished.
We mean: you’ve got other pests lurking in your home.
Once you know, you can start wiping them out. Result? You’ve killed off another unwanted pests and eliminated the spiders’ food source. Win win.
Use spider repellent
Last but not least, you can employ a spider repellent to keep these creepy crawlies out of your home for good.
So what keeps spiders away? Read on for the only spider repellents you need to really prevent spiders.
The Best Spider Repellents to Deter Spiders
Do a quick Internet search and you’ll find endless suggestions on how to keep spiders away. Everything from garlic to cinnamon to lemon rinds is cited as effective spider repellents. The only problem is that most of these claims aren’t validated by any studies.
Further more, do you really want to have your house reeking of garlic? Are you going to hang bulbs of garlic from your bedposts to keep spiders away? We think not.
As for rubbing citrus peels along windowsills or scattering cinnamon powder around your home, well, that’s just as silly and impractical.
So let’s skip the majority of these self-proclaimed spider deterrents and focus only on the ones that actually work. Here are your best spider repellents to use indoors and outdoors.
Indoor Spider Repellent
When it comes to spider repellent to use indoors, we look for two things: that it’s effective and preferably natural. That’s because spiders aren’t the worst pest to have and they’re probably less harmful for you and your loved ones than pesticides in the home are.
So if you can keep spiders away with natural spider repellent, well, then that’s the wise route to go, isn’t it? Here’s what works best.
When it comes to essential oils to keep spiders away, Peppermint oil tops the list. Why? It’s one of the few essential oils for spiders that’s actually been shown to work.
Plus, it’s an all-natural, smells pleasant and pet safe spider repellent.
How do you use it? You can get a ready-made spray, such as Mighty Mint Spider Repellent Peppermint Oil Spray or you can buy some peppermint oil and go the DIY route (we’ll give you a homemade spider repellent recipe below).
This all-natural powder is quite possibly the best indoor spider repellent simply because it’ll also kill off other hard-bodied creepy crawlies that are lurking around your home.
In that sense, it has a double whammy effect of cutting down on spiders as well as their food source.
The only downside is that diatomaceous earth doesn’t work right away. First, spiders must make contact with the powder, which then goes to work by slowly dehydrating the creepy crawlies to death.
The operative word here is: contact. Spiders must come into contact with the powder for it to have its desired effect.
How do you use it? Scatter diatomaceous earth in the areas most preferred by the spiders in your home – corners, under and beneath furniture, dark cracks and crevices.
More Natural Spider Repellent Options
The above indoor spider repellents are the best simply because are the most effective. But they are by no means the only options. Here are a couple more natural spider repellent options you can use indoors.
Cedar wood and oils are very effective when it comes to repelling a variety of pests. Ants hate it. And flies, ticks and mosquitoes find it lethal.
Whereas there are no specific studies showing how effective cedar is as a natural spider repellent, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence that it works.
How do you use it? You can get cedar chips, cedar sachet bags, cedar hangers and even cedar oil. There is an endless array of cedar products. But our favorites are in the form of a read-made spray like Wondercide’s Indoor Pest Control Spray which contains both cedarwood oil and peppermint oil as well as cedar balls that you can scatter pretty much anywhere spiders like to live.
Other Essential Oils to Keep Spiders Away
The best essential oil to repel spiders is peppermint oil. But there are also a couple other scents that spiders dislike, namely rosemary essential, which has been shown to effectively repel spider mites.
Another good essential oils for spiders is citronella, which hasn’t been specifically tested against spiders but has been shown to be an effective repellent for other pests such as mosquitoes.
How do you use them? You can always whip up a homemade spider repellent (recipe below). There’s also a lovely ready-made spider repellent that combine these effective oils into a convenient pouch.
There are times when an old wives tale will turn out to be true, which is the case when it comes to chestnuts repelling spiders. In this study, chestnuts were found to strongly repel two common species of spiders.
So if you have ready access to some chestnuts, feel free to scatter them around the house.
We wanted to mention vinegar because it’s an all-natural product that most people already have in their kitchen cabinets. But to be frank, there is very little evidence that vinegar acts as an effective spider repellent.
It’s also not the scent that most of us want lingering in our homes so whereas it is an option, it’s certainly not the best one.
Spider Repellent DIY
Of course, no list of natural spider repellent would be complete without a DIY option or two. Especially since homemade spider repellent is so easy to make, can save you loads of money in the long-run, and is just as effective as store-bought options.
Here are the best spider repellent DIY recipes you can try for yourself.
Simple Peppermint Spray for Spiders
What you’ll need:
This is a super simple peppermint spray for spiders. Because you won’t be applying it on yourself, you don’t need to get the peppermint spray dilution just right.
To make it, fill up your spray bottle with water and pour about 10 to 15 drops of peppermint oil. You can also add a couple drops of lavender just to mellow out the strong peppermint scent. Shake well and spray.
Essential Oil Spider Repellent Spray
What you’ll need:
If you want to get a little fancier and add more creepy crawlie repellents to the mix, fill up your spray bottle with water and then add 7 to 8 drops of peppermint oil and 7 to 8 drop of rosemary oil. Shake well and spray.
Spider Repellent DIY Spray
If you don’t have any essential oils on hand and don’t want to wait until your Amazon order arrives, here’s an easy spider repellent spray to get you started.
What you’ll need:
- Spray bottle – get it here
- Dish soap
Fill up your spray bottle with equal parts water and vinegar – white vinegar is best since it contains the highest concentration of acetic acid. Add a couple drop of dish soap. Shake well and spray.
Outdoor Spider Repellent
The above natural spider repellents are perfect to use indoors but if you’re really looking to keep spiders out completely, there is a very effective outdoor spider repellent you can use to prevent spiders from ever getting near your premises.
Keep in mind that this is a pesticide option. If you don’t feel comfortable using it inside the house, you can simply use them as a perimeter spray to block spiders from getting into your house alive.
Miss Muffet’s Revenge Spider Killer
The cleverly named Miss Muffet’s Revenge uses bifenthrin, a potent pesticide to kill spiders for up to a year with a single application.
This residual protection is great because it allows you to spray it around the perimeter of your home once a year and then rest easy in the knowledge that no more spiders will be crawling into your home.
Which Spider Repellents Don’t Work?
The Internet is full of both helpful advice and utter rubbish when it come to the world of pest control. Which is why there are a ton of articles out there spouting mythical home remedies that allegedly repel spiders.
And whereas these solutions might sound very creative and natural, there is one problem – they just don’t work.
So here are the spider repellents you’ll want to skip.
Ultrasonic Spider Repellent
An electronic spider repellent sounds too good to be true, right? Simply plug it in and it goes to work emitting high-frequency sounds that naturally repel spiders while leaving you completely undisturbed.
The only issue is that it really is too good to be true – they simply don’t work.
Citrus scents and oils are popular home remedies when it comes to pests. Unfortunately, lemon oil simply does not cut muster when it comes to spiders.
A study found that lemon oil had no significant repellent effects on at least three common varieties of spiders. So skip this one.
Alright, now you’re armed with the best spider repellents known to man. Go forth and get busy keeping spiders away from you, your loved one and your home.