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Natural Spider Repellents – 8 Ways to Get Rid of Spiders

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The kneejerk reaction to a spider might be to grab a can of Raid, but there are many less toxic ways to get rid of spiders. Instead, try one of these 8 Natural Spider Repellents listed below, such as the spider spray.

big spider

We also include tips to get rid of spiders in your home by making it a less welcoming habitat, and reasons to like spiders.

Finally, we wrap up with a quick discussion of standard repellents and more pest control tips.

Please note, eradication of all spiders from a home is difficult and unnecessary. It's better to catch them and put them outside, if possible. (Truly dangerous spiders like black widows or the brown recluse are the exception.)

Not every option will work with every spider. It may take extra encouragement to get the spiders to relocate.

Natural Spider Repellent #1 – Herbs and Essential Oils

Herbs have been used for centuries as a pest repellent and are still just as effective today. Essential oils in these plants act as nature’s bug repellent and insects tend to avoid them.

You can make up small sachets of the dried herbs and tuck them around your home, or mix up a spider repellent spray. (You can also purchase herbal pest repellent sachets online here.)

Spider Repelling Herbs and Essential Oils include: 

One drop of any of these essential oils will kill a spider.

Please note: Do not get undiluted essential oils on skin, clothes or wood. Keep essential oils out of reach of children and pets. Do not spray surfaces where pets or children play with essential oil spray.

See “Herbs or Essential Oils – Which is better?” for a discussion of herb and essential oil use.

Do spiders really not like peppermint oil?

I think everyone on the internet has seen images that say “spiders hate peppermint” or “use peppermint oil for spiders”.

It's true that spiders generally don't like peppermint oil, but you can also use any of the other oils listed above. It's your choice.

Use one or more of the essential oils above to make your own peppermint spider repellent spray or essential oil spider repellent spray. I demonstrate how to mix up a batch in the video below. (If the video doesn't display, please make sure your ad blocker is disabled.)

You can also get organic home pest control spray with geranium and peppermint oil here.

spider spray and spider repellent powder below large spider in home

DIY Spider Repellent Spray (Peppermint Spray for Spiders)

Ingredients

  • 5-10 Drops of any of the above essential oils, such as peppermint essential oil, or a combination of the oils
  • ¼ tsp Dish Soap
  • 12 oz of Distilled Water

Directions

Mix all the ingredients in a glass spray bottle and spray effected areas weekly until you no longer notice spider activity.

#2 – Diatomaceous Earth (DE)

Sprinkle diatomaceous earth along the areas where you see bugs or spiders crawling, such as window sills. Make sure that the DE is distributed evenly, like a thin layer of dust.

Remember, DE won't stop bugs in their tracks, it will slowly dehydrate and kill bugs after coating them. The idea is to get bugs to move through DE in order to get exposed. House spiders are prime targets for DE. They are in a dry environment and can be dehydrated by DE quickly.

If you live in a trailer or on a crawlspace, spread DE underneath your home. You can also add drops of peppermint essential oil to cotton balls and place them under your house.

#3 – Add Plants that Repel Spiders

Add spider-repelling plants around the perimeter of your home to deter spiders from taking up residency.

Spider repelling plants for your garden include:

Cedar mulch also helps deter spiders. You can also shake cinnamon around the exterior of your house. Cinnamon works as an ant repellent, too! See also “Plants that Repel Mosquitoes“.

#4 – Nuts

Place chestnuts around the outside of your home, under furniture or on windowsills. Horse chestnuts (Aesculus hippocastanum) or walnuts can also be used.

From Can you conker terrifying giant spiders with humble horse chestnut under the sofa?:

…scientists are divided over whether the saponin compound found in conkers is an effective spider repellent. Some describe it as ‘an old wives' tale'. 

Spider expert Jack Fenwick said:

The jury is out on whether it works. My cousin, who is very scared of spiders, tried conkers in her home and said it worked very well.'

Some experts say saponin gives the seeds a bitter taste and a smell that could act as a natural repellent. 

#5 – Sticky Traps

According to experts, glue traps are the single best way to get rid of your spider population and other insects. You can place them anywhere and they are non-toxic.

You can buy traps at most hardware stores, or you can get the family involved and make them yourselves.

For instructions on how to make your own sticky traps, go to Making Your Own Glue Traps. You can also buy sticky traps online.

#6 – Tobacco Spray for the Yard

To make a natural spray repellent to use in your garden and in your yard:

  • Boil 1 gallon (4 l) of water.
  • Add 1 package of pipe or chewing tobacco to the water and let the tobacco soak until the water cools to room temperature.
  • Strain this mixture into a clean container.
  • Put 1 cup of the tobacco juice and 1/2 cup of mint into a hose-end sprayer.

Attach the hose sprayer to your garden hose and spray problem areas of your yard. This mixture also repels mosquitoes and other pests.

Be selective in your spraying! This mix will also kill all the many beneficial insects in your garden, like lady bugs and beetles. Spiders are beneficial in the garden as well – eating lots of mosquitoes and plant pests.

#7 – Spider Repelling Air Freshener

Citronella repels more than just mosquitoes – it also repels spiders! Add a couple of drops of citronella essential oil to your candles or air filters.

Spiders hate the smell of citronella and will avoid areas with this oil. Using lemon dust cleaner helps too. Buy citronella essential oil here.

#8 – Saltwater

Salt is a natural type of spider poison, so it makes an effective pest control. Dissolve an ounce of salt (1/8 cup) in a gallon of warm water. Use the saline mixture to fill a spray bottle.

Spray the salty solution directly onto a spider to kill it. Salt water is also effective at killing spider nests. This works best with thinner skinned spiders and immature spiders.

5 Tips to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Home

While spiders have many admirable qualities, not everyone likes to have them as house guest. The best way to get rid of spiders in the house is to eliminate their food and the places they like to hang out.

#1  Leave the Lights Off

Lights attract mosquitoes and other flying insects, and spiders feed on these insects. Reduce a spider’s food source, and you reduce the number of  spiders.

See Natural Mosquito Repellents That Work for more information on how to get rid of mosquitoes.

#2 Remove Their Home

Remove stacked flowerpots, wood piles, bricks, firewood, and other debris that may serve as homes to spiders. Store these items away from your home and at the farthest part of your property.

#3 Protect and Seal

Caulk or seal cracks or gaps around the foundation, doors, and ground level windows that spiders might enter through. This also makes it easier to keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

#4 Clean House

Do regular housecleaning, including vacuuming webs or spider sacks. Make sure you get around windows and baseboards.

See “DIY Natural Cleaners” for non-toxic cleaning recipes and Spring Cleaning – 6 Tips to a Clean and Organized Kitchen.

#5 Recycle and Declutter

Don’t let your recycling accumulate, otherwise you’ll be opening up a spider hotel with a neon vacancy sign. Remove newspaper stacks, cardboard, boxes or other clutter on a weekly basis.

Getting over a Fear of Spiders

According to statistics 30.5 % of the US population has a fear of spiders. This means that over 97 million people that have a fear of our eight-legged insect controlling friends. Many of these 97 million people are using some sort of toxic chemicals around their homes to get rid of spiders.

I’m not trying to make light of those with Arachnophobia – the fear is real and can be seriously debilitating. (Spiders are closely related to mites, ticks, and scorpions and are collectively known as arachnids. )

However, I hope to persuade you not to not use harsh or toxic chemicals, and opt for a more natural approach.

To learn more about overcoming your fear of spiders, see “Arachnophobia: Fear of Spiders and How to Overcome It“.

5 Reasons to Like Spiders

#1  Spiders Provide Insect Control

Spiders feast on mosquitoes and other bothersome insects. More spiders = less mosquitoes. Anything that eats mosquitoes is my ally.

#2  No Spiders = Less Food for Humans

“If spiders disappeared, we would face famine,” says Platnick, who studies arachnids at New York’s American Museum of Natural History.

Spiders eat bugs that eat our crops. They and other predators reduce or eliminate the need for chemical bug killers. Read more at The Case for Spider Conservation.

#3  Spiders are a Food Source for Many Other Species

Spiders serve as a tasty meal to several other species including other spiders, wasps, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. They're an important part of the food chain.

#4  Spiders Produce Valuable Resources

Spider silk has a higher strength-to-density ratio than steel. Think bullet proof vest, airplane products, medical supplies and more.

If lose a spider species, we may lose a cure to a disease or an ingredient for a life-saving material.

#5  Spiders are Survivors

Spiders have been around for 300 million years, and anything that lives that long deserves respect.

Home Spider Control – Conventional Pesticides vs Natural Spider Killers

How dangerous are conventional pesticides?  Insecticides have serious health and environmental risks.

At one time it was thought that pesticides only killed or injured spiders and insects. Now we know they can poison more than just the bugs.

From the McDaniel College Pesticides Risk page:

USA: Based on extrapolation of hospital surveys, an estimated 20,000 people receive emergency care annually for actual or suspected pesticide poisoning. Approximately 10% are admitted to the hospital.

Each year, 20-40 people die of acute pesticide poisoning in the United States. We don't know how many affected workers in the United States never see a doctor.

Neurotoxicity of pesticides: a brief review” notes:

“The effects of pesticides on the nervous system may be involved in their acute toxicity, as in case of most insecticides. They may contribute to chronic neurodegenerative disorders, most notably Parkinson's disease.”

These natural spider repellents and deterrents for the home won't kill every spider, but they won't get you sick, either.

I'd love to read your spider control tips and spider stories. Please leave a comment below.

More Pest Control Tips

You may also find these other posts from our Green Home Series useful:

Amber Bradshaw

This post is by Amber Bradshaw of My Homestead Life.

Amber's family moved from their tiny homestead in South Carolina to the Smoky Mountains in East Tennessee.

They cook without electricity, collect water from the creek and raise chickens, goats, pigs, turkeys, bees, and guineas.

They were featured on the TV show “Building Off The Grid: The Smokey Mountain Homestead”.

Originally posted in 2016, last updated in 2020.

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127 Comments

  1. We use hedge apples (the fruit of the osage orange or bois d’arc tree). They also repel crickets. I can’t smell them but it sure works for repelling creepy critters.

    1. I have used bois d’arc (Osage orange, hedge) apples to repel insects. I cut them into quarters then throw them under or around the perimeter of the house. Living in the country, I noticed an immediate reduction in roaches, ants, spiders, etc., but also mice and voles. Works great when used in conjunction with creosote soaked old railroad ties, used as a barrier perimeter. All natural, and no killing the critters. Just made my home less attractive to those critters, which is all I wanted.

      1. @Kerrie Wester –You ma’am are an idiot. And your creosote rail road ties are poisoning the ground water around them. This post is for NATURAL repellents, not your horrid and shameful landscaping. You are a prime example of the kind of people KILLING OUR PLANET. rethink your logic, please. So that maybe my grandchildren won’t inherit a barren chemical laden world.

        1. I think you could have found a more polite way to phrase your disagreement, especially given that signed in as “serenity”.

          People do what they do for a variety of reasons. The goal of this post is provide more options, not to scold people so they turn away in anger.

        2. You are the idiot. Look at how you addressed this person. Don’t you think your information would have been better accepted had you started out with something like” oh my goodness , I’m sure you’re unaware that using creosote barriers create a danger to the earth and water sources. People like you are every bit as toxic as chemicals. Shame on you

  2. I second the comment about hedge apples (also known as horse apples and monkey brains). I hired a bug man to come look at my house and he recommended cutting them in half and putting them anywhere you don’t want spiders. I’m not sure how long they repel spiders typically, but we put several under our house and in our barn about four months ago and still have no spiders.

  3. I have a question about the spider repellent spray. I am trying to get rid of spiders in my basement and am wondering why I cannot spray my wood joists. According to the recipe you are not supposed to get essential oils on wood.

  4. Question: WHERE can I get hedge apples, and do you think they would work under my house to get rid of ants? I have been fighting ants for 3 years, now, with them coming in from under the house….can’t really SEE where from exactly, so I thought I could put the HA under the house to get rid of them there???

    1. I don’t know if someone sells hedge apples. The only place I’ve seen them is when people have them growing on their property. I don’t think they’ll be effective on the ants.

    2. I used a natural (Terro brand) substitute. I don’t have the exact directions but you boil water and add sugar then borax and mix until dissolved. After 3 to 4 days, my ants disappeared. Remember to Google the exact recipe.

    3. This is a reply from a year old thread about getting rid of ants under your house. I had ants coming into my house and put diatomaceous earth at their entrance point. Stopped them cold. I also put diatomaceous earth close to the foundation of my house, and especially in the dark crevices where there are lots of crawlies. I repeat this any time it gets wet or blows away. My older house is now insect free and even in the bathtub, I don’t get any surprises. I repeat this treatment often, and as soon as it warms up, I make sure I have diatomaceous on hand all summer.

        1. Weilko Home Defence Ant Stop Granules attracts ants and they carry it into nest where the natural ingredients kill the nest, I have used it for years in garden but less and less each year, in fact this summer did not need any – it works, all the neighbours use it as well.

    4. I put white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray the area and ant hill. After a moment or two they are gone and do not return.

  5. I have tried hedge balls but I can’t say that I have really noticed if they work, I never made it a point to document the results. I usually try to sweep the walls tops where the ceiling meets the wall at least weekly through the whole house. My daughter can spot a spider on a wall from 8 feet away, no matter how small; it is uncanny so I try to stay ahead of them. Spiders will not stay where there is constant disturbance. There is an old adage about neglected corners that I remember hearing but can’t quote.

  6. Between Black and Brown Widows, Texas also has lots of Brown Recluse. I’m not in the capture first and identify it later club. So not into spiders, unless it’s a pretty green garden spider who. spins awesome webs.

    1. If You suffer from arachnophobia then there is absolutly NO JUSTIFICATION for letting arachnids live when found in your residence or on your property. Kill them all by any means necessary… Let the lord sort them out: yours truly F-bomb Tom!

        1. Rofl!! Omgosh. I’m always joking about using a flamethrower to get rid of spiders inside and outside my home!! This is hilarious! Though I didn’t watch the video and hope to God no one actually did this! Lol

    2. Me either they kill cats with one bit in 2 hours Black Widows suck and are very smart. My poor kittys have been locked upstairs for a week as i try to get rid of these home invaders.

  7. We live among oaks and have lots of spiders inside – frequently majestic but enormous wolf spiders. I keep a couple of butterfly nets in the house so when a spider of any type shows up we can remove it to the outside quickly, easily and most importantly without drama!

    1. It’s a good thing wolf spiders are harmless, because they certainly look impressive. Good tip on the net. We often scoop them up in a soft cloth. I’m glad it’s warming up outside so I can give them the boot without feeling guilty.

      1. Actually Wolf spiders are’nt harmless. They can inflict a massive bite and make the area puff up dramatically. In fact my sister in law got bit by one and her hand was so bad that she had to go to the emergency room.

  8. I spray my front porch, mat and chairs with lavender oil and water mixed to keep a male spraying cat away from the porch. Works really well!

        1. You can click on any of the linked essential oil names in the text to purchase them on Amazon.com. Can may also be able to find essential oils locally at natural health stores, and you can purchase them from other online sources.

          1. I was in Wal-Mart in the vitamin section and noticed they sell essential oils there. Hope it helps????

          2. I don’t want to kiill the spiders just want them out of my crockery cupboard, what do you suggest?.

          3. Herbal sachets (or even the tea bags that you mentioned) tucked around in the areas that you want to keep them out of should help. Use any of the spider repellent plants listed in the post. Take dried leaves of the plants and tuck a handful in a cotton hankie or washcloth or cheesecloth. Fold up the corners and secure your bundle with a string, ribbon or rubber band. Tuck several packets of herbs here and there in your cupboards.

            Alternatively, you could also make up a potpourri of the herbs and display it openly in some of your crockery.

        2. they are easily made in your own kitchen/ there are loads of sites that tell you how step by step. all ir requires are some of the plant you want to use, water, and heat for simmering .

  9. Tried the spray with essential oil, even put straight up peppermint oil on a spider and nothing happened except maybe I angered the spider. Sprayed it directly onto a spider and its web, did so several times a day for several days with no results. Dang.

    1. OH NO! I was hoping it worked well!????
      Maybe I will try peppermint teabags. I have EXTREME FEAR of the huge ones , especially living in Florida ????

  10. Thanks for the share Amber! I’ve found that peppermint works extremely well with spiders. I’d recommend it to anyone! Garlic also works pretty good from my experience, but I think peppermint outperforms it a little.

  11. Please do let your readers know that essential oils can be toxic to cats, especially peppermint & eucalyptus.

        1. What about a mixture of white vinegar and water? I just read about that and sprayed my windowsill and the baseboards around my whole apartment. I just did it so too soon to tell. What’s you thought on this please?

          1. I don’t think it would have much impact unless sprayed directly on the spider. Depending on the amount of vinegar, it could damage the surfaces you sprayed it on.

        2. Yes bit what if you don’t want to kill the spider’s, mine are Daddy Long Legs, I just want them out of my cupboard.

  12. I tried the salt water on spiders … nothing happened unfortunately – even when I had numerous hits to the pesky critters. Disappointed and going to find chemicals for my infestation.

      1. I tried salt water and it worked on the nest of baby spiders that I just knoticed. They moved a oil bit but after do using them with the salt water they stopped moving n I was able to remove that nasty egg sac

  13. I lightly sprinkle straight drops of mint oils around inside windows & doors & base boards in every room after cleaning to prevent bugs of any kind coming into my home! Smells wonderful & clean!
    No bugs yea!!!!

  14. We live in the country among a great deal of Oak trees and field mice can be a real problem. I had made a VERY strong peppermint Essential Oil recipe to discourage the little buggers. Came in handy for chasing off a rather large spider in my kitchen the other day.. Actually, the ratio for peppermint spray to spiders is about 10:1. He/she must have been really upset at the aroma, but boy could he run…

  15. We bought an older mobile home to remodel a year ago. It had been empty for a few years and cellar spiders had taken up residence. I really like the garden spiders that make their home around the windows (still don’t have screens), the wolf spiders that move around like they own the property. They don’t seem to stay in the house much. I really like the way the jumping spiders take the time to wave as they scurry by. The cellar spiders would be fine if there wasn’t so many of them! I’m going to clean out the cabinets and try the peppermint oil. I sweep the ceiling and walls to get rid of their webs once a week. I move them outside but I don’t think they like the country life!

    1. We get a ton of cellar spiders, too. I think many of them come in with the wood. Thankfully they’re quiet neighbors, but as you mentioned, the webbing all over the place gets to be a bit much. I’m a bad host and take the vacuum to them every once in a while.

  16. Okay ive read all the comments and abit confused on essential oils i have citronella oil and ive been searching for weeks to come up with a easy mix spray to get rid of spiders in my basement and outside around the cement walls can anyone here give me an idea …

      1. I have also been makeing a spray with
        10 drops of lavender
        10 drop is peppermint
        And 30 drops of eucalyptus (I find this smell lasts the longest, peppermint only lasts about a day or so). I put in 1/4 teaspoon of all natural dish soap and fill the rest of the spray bottle with water. It has been working quite well. But as soon as the smell leaves the spiders come back.

  17. We live in woods up in the Ozarks , there are a lot of different kinds of spiders from little tiny spiders to big hairy Tranulets. i use a peppermint clove & Cinnamon oil mixture alot as it seems to work for spider, ticks& fleas and we also keep diatomaceous earth around the house as it also helps with snakes.

    the funniest thing happen yesterday. i had been spraying my window sills and doorways . and was walking through the kitchen door when as a wolf spider was trying to get out the bottom of the storm door . it went on down the porch out long the drive way.

      1. No I meant the fumes, I’m thinking I’ll spray in morning and keep him out until bed time?? Thank you for the recipe & your reply.

        1. Hi Cathy, My name is Amber and I am the author of this article.
          I agree with Laurie about EO’s and children.
          In addition to keeping out of reach, other cautions should be used when dealing with eo’s and children.
          Essential oils have been known to cause seizures in children (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/?term=21907890).
          Topical or vaporized essential oils can be safe and very effective in children when used correctly but never applied directly or taken internally.
          Vaporizers or misters (commonly associated with essential oils) should not be used around children with asthma or respiratory issues.
          When using EO’s with children (or adults) keep in mind they are medicinal strength and should always be treated with the same respect as medicine.
          With my children, I opted for the herb itself (when available) over the oils because the risk factor pretty much diminishes when using the plant.

          If you would like to learn more about using essential oils for children, please read this article:
          When to NOT use essential oils by Naturopathic Pediatrics.com Dr. Erika Krumbeck, ND
          http://naturopathicpediatrics.com/2014/09/08/essential-oil-safety-danger-essential-oils-seizures-children/

          I hope this helps answer your question, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have further questions and thanks for your comment!

          ~Amber

          1. Thank you for the information, I may just use sticky traps for spiders and research more.

          2. Hi Amber do you think a peppermint tea bag in my crockedry cupboard will moove my Daddy Long Legs/, I don’t want to kill them or maybe peppermint essence on a cottonwool swab, what do you think/, I have lots of cats and don’t want to use the essential oils unless no other options.

  18. What really works well with spiders my grandmother told me years ago. And it does work rather well. Is bay leaves put around the perimeter of the basement, garage, cellar, attic. Anywhere spiders congregate. Dry bay leaves work, but if you can use fresh and let them dry, you will see improvement. My grandmother put them in all the rooms she used as storage and in the rooms she lived in and frequented. It would be a good idea to change the leaves with greasy ones often. They do lose their aroma when left out in the air for a while.

  19. My mother kept bars of Caress soap under the furniture, in all the drawers and multiple bars in the closets as well as little sachets of cloves. It was very rare to see a spider in her house and she was a bit of a hoarder with fabric and paper. I use lavender soap in closets, drawers and under furniture – not to the extent that she did but seldom see spiders in the house. I also have the sticky traps under the large hard to move furniture that only gets moved once or twice a year for thorough cleaning and find no spiders on them.

  20. My problem is spiders outdoors. I try not to use any pesticides, but sometimes I pick up a spider while I garden (like yesterday) and get bit. Can I spray my legs and arms and neck with the essential oils? I had (apparently) a spider go up my capris and I have 7 bites on my upper leg. Not dangerous, just pink bumps, but they itch like crazy!

  21. What will work for the basement as its cement and wood on the roof and drywall for walls i hate spiders when i go down to the basement to dolaundry.

    1. The spider repellent spray and bundles of herbs would probably be easiest to use. Clean frequently to disturb their habitat and make sure they don’t have other bugs around to eat.

  22. The side door entrance to the church, where I enter frequently, as I am the pastor, has lots of spiders hanging out. They drop down from the door handle to greet me, they crawl along the porch railing, they web up between the railing and the entrance walkway, they wait until I open the door and drop down to greet me as I walk inside. I’m making myself braver, because I have to, but I really truly hate walking the gauntlet of spiders just to get to my office. Does this essential oil/water spray work outdoors, if I spray the door and surrounding walkway entrance?

    1. It should make them feel less welcome, although it will likely need to be applied fairly frequently because outside is more well-ventilated and exposed to sunlight, both of which disperse the oils. Is there a spot where you could keep a broom handy to do a sweepdown before you run the gauntlet to make sure they’re clear?

  23. Not long ago, my mom gave a citronella grass to my brother to plant on his new department, to repell insects like spiders and mosquitoes and it worked wonderfully but, after some weeks he happened to find some spiders who weren’t afraid and were a little bit bigger and darker than the usual one, he got to kill one and it happened to be a black widow, so after asking on some places, they told him it was because of the citronella, since he let it grow crazy and somehow the black spiders are attracted to that plants kind of bushes.

    So to make it short, at the end he had to cut it all. And the mosquitoes came back, of course. Do you know if the citronella as essential oil happens to make the same effect?

    I’m asking because I do really want a natural effective repellent that is also safe, so I can give it to my brother who is the usual target for these mosquitoes and be assured that something like the before told doesn’t happen again.

    Thank you!

    1. I can’t find anything online that indicates that citronella attracts black widow spiders. There are plenty of things that indicate that they like areas with good hiding spaces, so maybe the bushes provided extra cover?

      The citronella essential oil is very concentrated, and unlike a bush, wouldn’t provide any habitat area, so if there is a chance that black widows are attracted to citronella bushes, I wouldn’t expect the same issues with the oils.

      I did have a reader comment on Facebook, saying, “We have tons of black widows here, but never near the citronella, lemon grass, or lemon balm. They like dark crevices, tunnels, corners, and cracks.”

      1. Another reader also commented on Facebook “I have scented geraniums. We have black widows in the damp areas around the back of the house but I have never seen them in the scented geraniums (which have the same citronella smell).”

  24. Perfect! Thank you for an article about something not everyone else (other blogs) is talking about! I’ll be spraying the eves of my house soon. Nice to learn something new.

  25. Back in mid June a Terminex guy visited 3 neighbors for service calls, & then surveyed the neighborhood based on their situations. Apparently my neighborhood in No. Colorado is having a horrific run of Wolf spiders this year. I usually have them anyway & refer to them as the “little f*in’ Tarantulas ” & am quite terrified of them as they are Aggressive. No fear of humans, Very Fast, & frequently run directly at my feet even when I stomp my foot to surprise/deter them from where I am.
    I’ve basically established the garage as my art studio for a variety of reasons, and these are really the only issue I have with the situation. They used to be Huge by September but Winter, Spring and early Summer this year were rather unseasonably warm & dry this year, which seems to have contributed to their tremendous growth due to Lots of other food-source insects also present (‘sketters, rollie-pollies, earwigs, etc. according to Terminex report.) They were Abundant & huge by mid-June! 🙁 I’ve created an “Arachnid-ator” tool, a fly swatter with a paint stick duct-taped to the back. It’s the only thing that kills them immediately as the fly swatter itself isn’t sturdy enough, it just seems to slightly harm/anger them.
    I do have a smallish woodpile in here, as that is one of the materials I use for my creative projects.
    In 2017 Home Depot sold a spray solution for spiders & ants that worked *MAGIC*! Killed on contact with directly spraying them. It had Peppermint & Rosemary essential oils… ONLY. But this year they don’t have it for some reason. (Grrrr…) But I am at my wits end. I kill a average of 5-10 spiders a day, & there seems to be no end to their numbers, or limit to their size. Interestingly enough, though the spiders are listed as a top predator or the r.pollies, I’ve caught & relocated more then 450 of them. I’ve watched them stroll right by large spiders all hours of day & night, & never once seen them get taken by a spider!
    *MANY THANKS* for your wonderful article! Today I sprinkled Cinnamon powder on the ground where I stand when I work, & it seems to help a little bit. But as it gets rather warm in here in the day, the warmed powder scent got rather strong, & gave me a bit of nausea/head-ache. Burning a ctronella candle works to keep the skeeters down also, though I get similar side effects. I haven’t been able to ascertain if it keeps the spiders away yet, though I have seen them hanging out under the lip of the tiki torch can that the oil is in! 😉
    I’m wondering if the cinnamon powder is safe for a dog to walk “through” a small bit of it as its directly in the same path he uses to get to the backyard.

    1. Thanks for sharing the reinforced swatter tip. petMD says cinnamon is non-toxic to dogs, so it shouldn’t be a problem for your four legged friend to wander through the spider deterrent cinnamon path and lick his paws later.

  26. RE: #2 No Spiders = Less Food for Humans
    “If spiders disappeared, we would face famine,” says Platnick,
    I have no real issue with spiders OUTSIDE. It is when they come inside that I mind. I will leave them alone in their territory, but once they enter MINE, we are going to have problems! Which is why I like the idea of solutions that help them choose to stay outside.

    1. Ha, you make me laugh. “Your” territory? LOL. Spiders don’t care about your silly notions of property. And why should they?! They know how to co-exist, but you apparently don’t…

      1. Actually, I DO know how to co-exist: they stay outside, where they are supposed to live, and I’ll leave them alone. I will leave them alone even in my house, unless they are the ones that can do damage in my part of the country: black widow, brown recluse; but if I see them in my house, they don’t live. Sorry if you have so much compassion for them. I don’t believe in just seeking them out to “destroy” them, but, unlike your comment, I really do try to co-exist. Only when they invade and I see them will I take steps to remove them. Nice slap to my face, though.

  27. Hello! I’m so glad to have found this very comprehensive and well-thought out resource! My main issue is getting rid of spiders in our backyard because our little one plays out there a lot. While he’s supervised, I’m not hanging over his head every second. I’m most interested in the tobacco solution, but I’m wondering how safe that will be for my little one. We have a wooden fence that separates a cement patch and the actual yard, and that’s our biggest spider hotel. He touches that fence sometimes. Should I do an essential oil route instead?

    Thank you!

    1. It’s impossible to make an outside area spider free without making it toxic to everything else – including your child. Spiders are mobile, so more can always move back in as deterrents fade.

      I don’t recommend use of essential oils on surfaces that children contact. (“Keep essential oils out of reach of children.”)

      If you’re concerned about contact with the tobacco (I have no idea how much your little one touches the fence), the simplest solution to clear that area would be to brush the fence down with a broom or spray it down with a hose before they play in the area. Most of the time spiders want to avoid trouble, so if they are disturbed, they tend to run and hide.

  28. I envy those who have success with essential oils! I wish it were that easy for me. Sadly I’ve tried 10+ different essential oils alone or combined and none have worked to deter spiders around my home. Vinegar (half strength) also did not work. Windex killed one rather large spider (I just happened to be cleaning at the time), but I’d rather use something natural and/or garden-friendly. Thank you for sharing other options. I will keep trying!

    1. Anything you can do to reduce food sources and disturb their hide outs may also make them less likely to move in, but some areas do naturally attract larger numbers of spiders.

      1. My house is next to a large forested area. An abundance of spiders make their homes near a dusk-to-dawn light – which attracts numerous food sources. My house is next to the light, so I completely understand why they are all around me. I definitely don’t want to eradicate them or even harm them, but it’s excessive around my outside doors. However, my arachnophobia is weaker now compared to when I first moved here. Being near so many spiders has proved they are mostly harmless, and I do notice less mosquitos, etc. since there’s a spider in every corner. I just can’t stand walking through webs every time I open my door. And although it’s unlikely, there’s still the slight chance my toddler and I could be bitten if we accidentally scare one of our eight-legged neighbors. Other than that, I don’t mind them! I just want them to stay away from a few small areas.

  29. I’m having a rather tough time locating a spider inside my car. And I know it’s inside the car because after getting it washed, I’ll return hours later to a fresh web on my side-view mirror and along the running-boards of the car doors. I thought I had rid myself of this creature when I noticed a strange looking one (I had never seen before) perched on the trunk of my car. Incredibly hairy, white fuzzy legs with black spots, and an orange back. Terrifying. I’d Google it to see what type of spider it was, but I genuinely can’t bring myself to do it. I, admittedly scrolled fast past the spider images on this page lol. Anyway, after getting rid of it, sure enough, I came back to another fresh web on the mirror of my car. And webs connecting my car doors to the curb. I’m legitimately scared to drive the car now lol. I refuse to move it at night.

    I’ve been trying so many different remedies but nothing has worked. I’m going to give these essential oils a try next. I don’t necessarily want to kill the spider, I just want it out of my car (where ever it may be hiding). I’ve seen different comments saying, “Yes, peppermint works.” or “Nope, peppermint didn’t work.” So I’m confused. I want something with a strong enough scent that’ll send the spider bolting from its hiding place, and find somewhere else to nest. I’m open to any and all suggestions, tips, and tricks. Because this paralyzing fear is rather annoying. I’d like to rid myself of it and the phantom spider.

    1. I think it depends on the peppermint, the spider and the area they’re in. The stronger smelling herbs and oils (whether you try peppermint or other options), the more likely the spider will find them unpleasant. If you try the essential oils route, they will likely do their best to avoid stepping on the oils – BUT the oils may damage the finishes on the car, and the spider could still hide in an out of the way corner.

      No doubt some spiders are tougher than others, and more tolerant of disturbances and odors. Rotating scents may also be a help.

      In a closer space, the mint may be more effective, whereas in a wind open area with significant air circulation, the odor would dissipate quickly.

      I don’t know how long you’ve been at odds with your new driving companion, but most spiders only live for a year or two. If you live in an area that gets cold weather, leaving the car parked outside in the cold instead of in a garage may help your passenger move on its way.

  30. PLEASE remove the spider photos from this post, I have debilitating arachnophobia and the suggestions are great, but the photos create a fear response as if they were real. Obviously people looking for these solutions don’t like spiders – so why include photos of massive ones??

    1. I include big photos of spiders because to get the post to ran in search engines and get attention on social media so people actually see the post, there need to be spiders, because it’s about spiders.

      If I can’t get reach through search or social media, no one sees the article, so it doesn’t help anyone.

      I did reduce the number of images in the post, but I can’t eliminate them.

      I also recommend that you check out the article, “Arachnophobia: Fear of Spiders and How to Overcome It“.

      1. Just FYI- I also have this program and looked at the article you suggested. They use photos of TOY non-realistic spiders for their pictures and it doesn’t trigger the phobia symptoms as badly 🙂

        Thanks for the info on peppermint and cats.

  31. A few of these essential oils are toxic to pets, in particular cats and dogs. I think this information would be beneficial to include somewhere on this page. Or just add a check mark or smiley cat emoji next to ones that are safe for cats and/or dogs. For example, Peppermint is extremely toxic to cats, even in scent.

  32. So we also have spiders apparently… all over the yard in south Texas. And that’s fine … except that we also have all these tarantula hawk wasps flying low over the yard for the first half of the day in summer. They hate the heat, so disappear by mid-day. I’m reading that if you have many of these wasps, you have a spider problem. We don’t see any tarantulas, however, we obviously have them in large enough numbers. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to balance out the spider population? Or better yet, how to get rid of these wasps?? They aren’t aggressive, however IF you happen to accidentally step on one, its sting is extremely painful. They don’t seem to have any natural predators since every animal except roadrunners steers clear of them because their sting is so awful.

    1. No tarantulas or tarantula hawk wasps here in Wisconsin, but I can see why you’d be nervous having them in the yard.

      I’d just do my best to reduce spider habitat and use practices and plantings that discourage too many spiders as noted in the posts, but it looks like the only way to truly get rid of the wasps are hardcore insecticides, as they are tough critters. Sorry I don’t have a “one cool trick” option, but they are built to be survivors. Still, no spidey snacks, and they are likely to find a new home.

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