Spiders can be a nuisance in and around your home. While they may not do as much damage to your property as some pests do, they can certainly be annoying and even dangerous. Certain spiders are venomous, and their bites can cause severe reactions. These reactions are usually most severe in children or the elderly, or people with compromised immune systems. It’s no wonder many people are looking for natural ways to keep spiders away from their homes.
There are chemicals and pesticides that can kill spiders, but these are often dangerous for your family and pets; and not environmentally-friendly since these pests are actually important. Here are the different methods we will explore to keep them from making their home in YOUR home:
- Keep these pests out to begin with
- Get rid of their food source and shelters
- Pay special attention to your basement
- Prepare ahead of spider season
- Use a spider repellant
More information on each of these below.
1) Keep Spiders Out to Begin With
A good way to prevent spiders from getting into your home is to make sure you don’t have an environment around your house that attracts them. They often make their homes outside in plants, piles of leaves or wood, or dark undisturbed places like old tires or buckets. Having these things right next to your house makes it more likely that one of these critters will wander in. Create distance between these things and your house.
Identifying and sealing possible entry points is also important to keeping spiders out. This could involve sealing small holes, baseboards, or cracks with caulk, and making sure doors and windows close tightly without any gaps. Consider cleaning up and using a repellent before you seal up any cracks, to make sure any unwanted guests make their exit first!
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2) Get Rid of Their Food Source and Shelters
Making sure that your house is clean is generally a good way to decrease the number of pests in your home. In the case of spiders, not only will a clean home provide fewer places for them to hide, but it will also make it less likely that small insects will be around for them to eat. Without a reliable food source, and with fewer hiding spots, it will be harder for them to stay.
Some web-building spiders tend to make their home high up in the corners of the ceiling. Take a look around, often these webs can be sucked up in a vacuum cleaner or at least knocked down with an extending duster.
3) Spiders Like Basements So Pay Special Attention To This Area
Your basement is the perfect hiding place for the most common house spiders.
They would much rather live outside in an ideal environment. But, in most circumstances, they find their way to your basement in search of food and shelter. They like cool, dark areas, and feel most at home in places that contain dust and clutter, where they can easily take shelter from predators. They are also attracted to living conditions that contain moisture, like water heaters, windows, and drains, so don’t be surprised if you see webs around openings. Insects are also fond of basements — offering spiders an abundant food supply.
Your main living quarters aren’t as attractive to these eight-legged uninvited guests, because they don’t like noise and movement.
4) Prepare for Spider Season
In general, spider season is actually fairly short. This is the time of year when most species are mating. And while you might not be able to tell by looking at one crawling across the ceiling, nearly 80% of the ones you see are male. This is because male spiders are actively seeking mates while female spiders tend to stay where they are, typically for their entire lives, and usually in the safe dark spaces inside your home.
Wherever you live, mating season usually starts in Autumn. So for most places in the United States, it starts in the first couple of weeks in September and ends around the beginning of October. Then, they hunker down for the cold weather ahead.
The season isn’t entirely over yet though. After they mate, the baby spiders will begin to come out of their egg sacs. This will take a few months after mating season so you can expect to see babies as the weather gets warmer near the beginning of spring. Luckily, when they hatch, they wander away and usually leave your home. But a few stragglers might stick around, so keep an eye out!
The best thing you can do during this season is to be more vigilant about keeping your house clean and vacuuming often. Clean in the corners, crevices, the basement, the garage, in your windows, behind cardboard boxes, junk rooms, and anywhere else they might think they’re safe.
Cleaning the outside of your home is just as important. These pests around the perimeter of your home are likely to make their way inside eventually. If not them, their mates! Clean and check places outside such as outdoor lights, windowsills, woodpiles, and all entry points.
5) Use a Spider Repellent
Spider infestations are often less obvious than other pest problems. Many species are nocturnal, so they don’t move around much during the day, making it hard to locate them. They prefer to hide out in dark, undisturbed places so a little searching might be required to locate them. The best way to keep them out is to make your home as unappealing to them as possible.
Repellents (like Stay Away® Spiders) deter them from staying in your home by emitting a scent that spiders dislike, but is pleasant to humans. This can be an important step in prevention.
There are also many DIY home remedies for getting rid of spiders such as using essential oils. Place a few drops of peppermint oil, eucalyptus, or tea tree (though take caution with tea tree oil as it can be toxic to pets) on cotton around your home. You can also use a mix of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle in areas like the garage or outdoors. These remedies can work but require frequent reapplication.
Other Common Methods We Don’t Recommend
There are other methods often used for spider removal, however, we do not recommend them.
Spider traps are only effective if you place them in areas where they are traveling. Only the unlucky one that walks across a glue trap will be caught and the others that avoid it will remain. Traps are not usually the most effective method of pest control.
Setting traps around your home lures spiders using an aroma that is pleasant to them but may not be nice for humans or pets. You also need to dispose of the traps when they are spent, an often unpleasant task as they can be full of dead spiders.
Traps usually won’t completely eradicate your problem, either, as they don’t contain any insecticide or repellent.
We do not recommend this method for effective spider control.
Some people may be inclined to look for chemical pesticides and insecticides to get rid of pests. These methods are rarely effective when it comes to spiders. Most foggers are not designed to get rid of spiders. Residual insecticides can be used, but these usually only work if they walk directly through the chemicals after they have been sprayed. If they walk around the sprayed area, the insecticide will not affect it at all.
While spider poisons sometimes use an aroma to attract them, it is often necessary to remove their food source before this method is effective. Once they do take the poison, they often don’t die immediately but instead return to their shelter, leaving numerous dead spiders around your home.
Insecticides are often harmful to kids and pets. It is not unheard of for a curious dog to ingest a poison and need immediate medical assistance.
We do not recommend this method.
The most effective strategy for preventing a spider infestation would involve removing inviting habitats from around your home, cleaning thoroughly, placing natural repellents, and then making sure the house is well sealed.
If you take these steps, they will quickly identify your home as an impossible place to live, and you can enjoy a spider-free home!