It might not be good to kill spiders in the wild—after all, they eat other, more annoying bugs—but you don’t want spiders in your home any more than you want other bugs invading your space. So how do you get rid of these pesky house guests? First, here’s a handy infographic about spider repellents:
Since this is a common problem across all cultures and places there are fortunately many different home remedies containing only natural ingredients. These home remedies will get rid of the spiders without bringing toxins into your home or endangering your children and pets.
Here are the five most effective home remedies to get rid of spiders:
1. Peppermint Spray
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Spiders actually hate peppermint (as do mice!). Dump a dozen drops of peppermint essential oil (make sure you get the really pure stuff for best effect) into a spray bottle full of water and spray the mixture around your home. This will kill spiders and make your house smell fantastic.
For best effect, spray this mixture anywhere spiders can enter your home as well as anywhere you might have seen them hanging out. If you can find a house cleaner with a strong peppermint smell and use it for regular house cleaning tasks this will help keep spiders away too.
If you don’t want to go out and buy peppermint essential oil the good news is that you probably already have this spider repellant in your home: Fill a spray bottle with mostly vinegar—white vinegar is always best for cleaning—and spray this in all the cracks and crevices around your home, as well as near all the entrances.
Vinegar is also an excellent cleaner, so use it to keep surfaces around your home clean and ensure that spiders won’t be able to get comfortable in your house.
3. Citrus Fruit
If you want to get rid of the spiders around your home and you love the smell of citrus fruit you’ll be thrilled to know that spiders hate citrus almost as much as they hate peppermint. Rubbing orange or lemon peels along baseboards and crevices where spiders like to hang out is a great way to keep them from coming back.
Lemon-scented furniture polish can also be an effective spider repellant.
You might love chestnuts, but spiders hate them. Leave a few chestnuts on your windowsills or along your baseboards to keep spiders from taking up residence there. If you arrange them properly they also make an excellent winter time decoration.
This might not be as effective as some of the other items on the list, but you can collect chestnuts for free and they last a long time, so it’s worth a shot.
5. Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous Earth is perhaps the best pet-friendly and planet-friendly way to get rid of any insects. From spiders to bedbugs, this powder will kill any insect trying to invade your home. When a bug crawls over the diatomaceous earth the powder causes several small cuts along the body, making fluid leak out and dehydrating the bug’s body.
For best effect, spread this along your baseboards and any crevices or corners where spiders are likely to hang out. You can also leave a thin layer along windowsills to keep spiders and other bugs from entering your home in the first place.
Carefully placed cedar mulch at your windows and anywhere else spiders are likely to enter your home will keep spiders from coming in. You can generally find a large bag of cedar mulch for under $10 and this solution will last you a long time.
Make sure you use the highest quality cedar available in your neighbourhood to keep the spiders away for a long period of time.
7. Hedge apple
Also known as the Osage Orange, this small fruit is particularly good for getting rid of spiders. It’s also a small enough shrub that you can actually grow it in a large pot in your home, depending on the size of your house. You can also grow it outside near the entrance of your home to deter spiders.
Bowls full of hedge apples will double as décor pieces and spider repellant, keeping your home vibrant and empty of spiders.
Of course, the best way to keep spiders out of your home is to keep it clean and make sure all your windows are sealed properly, but these remedies will help you kick any unwelcome spiders out of your home without endangering you, your children or your pets. Try using two or three of these remedies at the same time if you have a particularly bad spider infestation.