Natural Methods To Get Rid of Spiders Inexpensively

by Reader Contributors

DIY Landscaping for Less photo

You don’t need expensive harsh chemicals to eliminate spiders. Try these natural methods to get rid of spiders inexpensively instead.

Dear Dollar Stretcher,
I have spiders in the house and would like to find a way to get rid of them without calling an exterminator and being talked into a monthly service that locks me into chemicals that kills everything.

Is there something else I can do? Do any of your readers know of some natural methods to get rid of spiders inexpensively?

Professional Advice on Spiders

After having a bunch of spiders for about a year, I did call an exterminator since our renter was getting large spiders. After careful inspection we discussed the spiders living in the house, including some brown recluse which can be deadly. Lovely thought with a toddler around.

He first told me to get rid of all the cardboard boxes around. Spiders love cardboard since it is a wood product and they also love wood. We did go ahead and have the apartments treated and it worked. The guarantee was if any more showed up in the following month, they would retreat for free. Sure enough a couple did and they did retreat for free.

He also mentioned that the spiders don’t enjoy heat, which is why more come in during the summer trying to find a nice cool place to stay. They prefer bathrooms and kitchens since there is a water source nearby. I later discovered through some herbal sites that spiders do not like eucalyptus leaves. Not too hard to put some in closets and things and helps things smell good as well.

After getting rid of the cardboard boxes and going to plastic bins, we didn’t have near the problems and did not need to retreat the house the next summer.

Chestnuts Work for Spider Control

I live in a wooded area with what I call “man-eating” spiders. Some of those wolf spiders get pretty big! I put chestnuts around the exterior walls of every room in the house as well as on all the windowsills. Friends, who live in the city and share a balcony with a neighboring apartment, put chestnuts under the sliding door to their balcony. They have had no spiders while their neighbors continued to be infested.

I’ve read a couple of newspaper articles about the use of chestnuts to repel spiders, too so it seems to be a proven method.

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The Natural Solution for Getting Rid of Spiders

Adopt a cat from a local shelter! Seriously, when we had cats they were wonderful for pest control.

Window Treatment Eliminates Spiders

Wash windows inside and out with a combo of ammonia and water. When windows dry (almost automatically outdoors), go over the entire window (metal frame too, if necessary) with newspaper and kerosene. The kerosene also evaporates immediately but leaves a residue that repels spiders, flies and mosquitoes.

Ideas From a Spider Lover

In general, spiders are safe and organic insect control for your house. Except for black widow and brown recluse spiders, they pose no danger at all. Besides providing natural insect control, spiders are an important part of the diet of insect-eating birds.

We live with and love our spiders except for the occasional black widow. We consider them an integral and important part of our immediate environment. Indoor spiders are generally shy and reclusive and just want to be left alone. Wolf spiders are active hunters that are like miniature tigers. They are fun and interesting to watch. Their main enemy is mice, and their main defense is being really ugly. Dogs and cats react to their appearance like we do.

If I haven’t convinced you to live with your spiders, you can control them in the house safely using Victor brand safe insecticide for crawling insects. It comes in an aerosol can. The only active ingredients in Victor insecticide are mint oil (safe and smells nice), a little bit of detergent to penetrate the victim’s chitin exoskeleton, and a bit of oil to make the ingredients last longer in the environment. I have seen Victor insecticides at Home Depot before.

Get Rid of Spiders With Lady Bugs

The best way to get rid of spiders if you have a lot is to get the voracious bug and insect eater – the ladybug beetle. These small creatures eat close to 50 bugs a day. I have several of these small beetles in my house. I used to get rid of them, but then I discovered that I did not have any other insects or bugs. The beetles got rid of them.

I also use them in my garden. They make short work of garden pests. Also remember that once you introduce ladybug beetles in your house, they will keep on coming every year. This has been my personal experience.

Environmental Answers

A chemical-free way to chase away, (not kill) spiders is to place Hedge Apples or pieces of Hedge Apples wherever you see spiders. Spiders hate these things. You cannot find the Hedge Apples until late summer/early fall but that is when the spiders are at their worst.

Also, do not kill the Granddaddy Long Legs, they are lethal to other spiders and bugs but not to humans.

A Good Use for Tobacco

Get a package of pipe or chewing tobacco, soak it in a gallon of boiling water until it cools. Strain the liquid into a clean container. Put a cup of tobacco juice and 1/2 cup lemon dish soap into a hose-end sprayer and spray. I did this at our house two years ago and have been practically spider free since.

This works on all kinds of bugs. I thank Jerry Baker, the Master Gardener, for the tip since we were literally being taken over by spiders.

Spiders and Lemons

This is part of an article that I copied on repelling spiders:

“I learned this from the man who trained the spiders for the movie Arachnophobia. Spiders have their taste buds on the tips of their legs. They also hate the taste of lemon pledge. Dust your windowsills and doorframes with the lemon Pledge, both inside and out, and any areas where they accumulate. The spiders will find that they don’t want to live with you.”

High Tech Answer

There are plug-in devices that create a “barrier” in your walls and emit a high-pitched tone that bugs run from. They work! I hate spiders and our new house was loaded with them until I got these. It took about a month to get rid of them all, but I saw an improvement almost immediately.

Or, you could buy a few frogs.

Speaking From Experience

Living in Kansas, we have a horrific brown recluse spider problem and we have lots of tips for you on how to reduce the amount of spiders you see in your home.

First of all, get yourself some sticky boards (a.k.a. mouse boards or glue traps). Get as many glue traps as you can and place them all around the inside walls of your home. Don’t forget attic, garage, and basement areas. Be sure to avoid high traffic areas or areas where pets like to lay. We had a hilarious incident where our cat got one stuck on his nose! Not only will these glue boards trap spiders (and any other pests), but also they will help you to track where the numbers are higher.

Secondly, be sure your home is not attracting spiders in any way. Clear out unwanted vegetation away from the outside walls of your house. Ivy is a haven for spiders. Seal cracks that may be bringing them into your home. If you have a brown recluse problem, be sure and get rid of all clutter, especially paper sacks and cardboard boxes. We went to tightly covered Rubbermaid storage containers for all of our supplies stored in the basement. Do not leave bedding, towels, or clothing on the floor where spiders can crawl into them. Remember that brown recluse spiders are not web spinners; they are hunters, and they are always on the move for food.

Also, don’t get too alarmed if you are seeing web-spinning spiders. If the spiders you are seeing are not black widow spiders or brown recluse spiders, they cannot harm you. A few web spinners in your home are actually beneficial in ridding you of bugs that you don’t want!

Lastly, don’t be afraid to call the pros in if the problem is getting worse. We didn’t want to use chemicals either, but spotting and killing 7-8 brown recluse spiders each day forced us to call in the big dogs. After two years of bi-monthly visits, our problem has gone from infestation to almost non-existent. You will never rid your house of all spiders forever, but you can at least keep them in check.

Reviewed July 2023

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