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I HATE spiders with a passion. They're creepy and bug me out (no pun intended). Every time one of these eight-legged insects appear in my house, I immediately run to get the vacuum and suck up the little bastard with a 6 ft. extension wand (because, ya know, I'm scared). I always feel a small morsel of pity for the poor guy, but my fear of their kind compels me to wipe them out completely.
The following are all of the methods I've used to get rid of spiders already in the house and prevent new ones from coming into the house. There's also a section on how I kill spiders too, but I recommend taking measures to keep them out first so you won't have to do the dirty deed once they're inside.
Spiders come into the house through 3 entry ways:
The best way to prevent spiders in the first place is to seal up gaps with caulk. Gaps are commonly found in the corners and edges of the floor or ceiling, as well as where pipes enter the building.
Any caulk will work, but my personal favorite is the Phenoseal Translucent Caulk. I like it for two reasons: it dries quickly and you can squeeze it with your own hands (no gun needed). It comes out white, but dries completely clear, so don't freak out when you see white at first.
To prevent spiders entering through vents, use mesh screens.
Doors and windows should shut properly. If there is any space for insects to crawl through, replace the weather stripping and door sweep.
Close the chimney flue when it's not in use. This saves you money on utility bills as well.
Spiders are repelled by the strong scent of essential oils—peppermint oil and tea tree oil are two of the worse.
I will use about 20 drops of one of these oils mixed with some water, and spritz the fragrant concoction around windows and vents.
Many people enjoy the smell of essential oils, and if you are one of those people, I recommend using an essential oil distiller. You can choose either a steam diffuser or a nebulizing diffuser. I highly recommend a nebulizing one if you get a lot of spiders because it doesn't require water, which means you won't dilute the scent as much as using a steam diffuser. That said, a steam diffuser is much cheaper, and can easily be purchased at a Target or online, and does the job really well. I use the VicTsing Diffuser in addition to spraying the entry ways with peppermint or tea tree oil because I don't think the aroma is strong enough as a deterrence alone.
Other effective essential oils: Cedar, lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, citrus oils, neem oil
Like humans, spiders are also deterred by the smell of vinegar. Since we and our spider friends share that in common, it's hard to put up with the smell inside the home, so I recommend spraying distilled white vinegar around the parameters of your house, especially in nooks and crannies in the foundation or near pipe openings.
Many people prefer to use 1 part water and 1 part vinegar, but I use undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle. The stronger the smell, the stronger the deterrence power!
Inside your home: Spiders like to find cluttered places to hide and build their webs. Clear piles of books, clothes, old paper boxes, and other knick knacks from under your bed, under your sink, and in crawl spaces or sheds. Dust and vacuum regularly to remove webs.
Outside your home: Remove or move woodpiles, compost, grass clippings, and other organic matter from the exterior of your house. Spiders love dark places, so piles of things create perfect crawl spaces for them to hide. Wash away cob webs on the exterior of the house as well.
Just as essential oils from these plants repel spiders, so does planting the actual plant. Not only will these plants keep spiders at bay, but you will also have a very pretty and fragrant garden to be proud of.
Spiders feed on flies and gnats, so it is crucial to keep the fly and gnat population down.
If you have Brown Recluse spiders, then you're probably aware that they don't make webs. They like to climb all over walls and floors, so those are the best places to place the traps. I recommend this non-toxic glue trap because it doesn't contain any toxic chemicals. The spider gets stuck, and then you can dispose of the trap and the spider. I was able to attract a lot of spiders with this trap (I never knew I had so many until I placed these out. Ugh!) That's when I had to resort to a commercial spray to prevent them from coming in the house so I could sleep with my eyes closed at night.
This is my last resort because I only like using natural methods. Unfortunately, natural methods aren't effective if you have a spider infestation. I used to live in wooded area in Dallas where spiders ran rampant. I used the Miss Muffet's Revenge Spider Killer Spray, and it was the only thing that gave me immediate and lasting results. I recommend spraying it near entry ways. Note: If you're going to buy a spray, don't opt for an "organic" or "natural" one because it has the same effectiveness as using essential oil.
This is a great tool for those who don't want to harm any spiders. I have not used one myself, but my friend uses it and prefers it to squashing spiders or sucking them up with a vacuum.
The spider catcher is a long wand that grasps the spider. Then you can release it in the garden. You can find several types on Amazon. I've included a video to demonstrate how it works.
If I catch a lone ranger spider, I'll get a vacuum and use the wand to suck it up. They die immediately from the pressure because they have soft exoskeletons, so no need to worry about them crawling their way out of your vacuum cleaner!