Spiders are inherently wonderful creatures. They’re heralded because they eat mosquitoes, house flies, roaches, and all sorts of pesky insects. Plus, spiders themselves are a tasty meal for birds, frogs, lizards,and other larger animals. Their role in the food chain and in the circle of life is a significant one, that’s for sure.
Still having spiders inside of your home is an uncomfortable proposition. Yeah, they may eat a lot of household pests, but for many people, spiders are also household pests. We don’t want flies and mosquitoes inside our homes, but we don’t want spiders in them either.
As for getting rid of spiders in your home, you can certainly call an expensive exterminator, who will use potentially harmful chemicals to kill spiders in your home and prevent new ones from coming in. But really, this is an instance where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: if you can prevent spiders from coming in your home in the first place, you won’t have to worry about getting them out. If you’d rather save money, skip the poisonous fumes, and keep the spiders away from your house altogether. Here are ten tips to keep spiders outside of your home.
1. Get yourself a pet cat.
Cats love to hunt. They’re partial to mice, chipmunks, and other small rodents of course, but even the most vicious feline can’t resist chasing a spider if one should cross its path. Your pet kitty will not only go after any spiders inside your home, but after a while, its scent may deter other spiders from getting inside.
2. Create barriers.
You won’t have spiders inside your home if they’re physically blockaded from entering. This means putting in lots of heavy duty weather stripping around windows and doors, installing door sweeps on exterior doors, and making sure windows have screens that are tight fitting. Additionally, screens on exterior vents will keep spiders from getting in as well. Put up as many barriers as you can, and you’ll keep the spiders on the outside.
3. Plant a eucalyptus tree.
Eucalyptus trees are easy to grow, they smell lovely, and they act as a natural repellent to not only spiders but to mosquitoes and many other insects. They’re native to Australia, but they can grow in other places too. If you live in a part of the US that is hospitable to eucalyptus trees, such as the Pacific Northwest or California, planting one near your home can help keep spiders away. If you can’t grow one, though, or if you simply don’t have any place on your property for another tree, you can use eucalyptus oil in your home. It’s a natural insecticide, and it does a great job of keeping the creepy crawlies away.
4. Repel them with peppermint.
Unlike most humans, spiders absolutely, positively hate the smell of peppermint. If you mix a dozen or so drops of peppermint oil with some water in a spray bottle and spray it where you see spiders coming in, they’ll stop. Similarly, you can purchase a can of peppermint bug repellent spray at your local hardware store, and it does exactly the same thing. Your home may smell like Christmas after you spray, but the spiders will stay out of your home.
5. Or repel them with lemon.
If you don’t like peppermint (or if you just don’t want your home smelling like a winter wonderland), lemon repels spiders and other insects in much the same way — and it smells fresh and summery to boot. The most powerful lemon scent is in its peel (chefs call it zest), so take some lemon peels and rub them on the windows, the baseboards, or wherever you’ve seen spiders coming in. Once those eight-legged pests get a whiff of that sour citrus, they’ll turn and run.
6. Or repel them with cinnamon.
Making your home smell like cinnamon is also a great way to keep spiders away. If peppermint is for winter and lemon is for summer, then cinnamon is ideal for the fall. You can use it in a few ways. First, you can burn cinnamon candles to get the scent out. Or, you can use cinnamon oil in an essential oil diffuser. Finally, you can use the same approach as we’ve suggested with peppermint oil: put some drops in a spray bottle with water and spritz the spider-infested area.
7. Bring in the ladybugs.
We’re not telling you to bring ladybugs inside your home, as that would just be replacing one problem with another. However, if you know that spiders are hanging out in an area just outside your home and coming in, bringing some ladybugs to the area can help to chase the spiders away. These are two species that generally avoid one another, and the ladybugs may even eat spider eggs.
8. Use cedar mulch.
Much like peppermint, lemon, and cinnamon, cedar has an odor that spiders just don’t like. While bringing lots of cedar inside your home really isn’t a practical solution, using cedar mulch on the outside of your home most certainly is. Used around the exterior of your home, close to the perimeter, cedar mulch will encourage spiders to set up shop elsewhere.
9. Seal the cracks.
If you’ve got spiders in your home, they’re getting in somewhere. After you’ve created all the barriers we recommended in our second tip, you’ll need to check for other entry points. Specifically, you’ll want to check your basement and the foundation of your home for any cracks, and seal any you do find with a high quality caulk. (As an added bonus, caulking the cracks will help to keep water and moisture out as well.)
10. Keep your home clean.
Cleaning your house and keeping it clean is easier said than done, of course, but here’s some motivation for you: spiders love dust, cobwebs, and clutter. If you can keep your stuff from piling up too much, and if you can clean your home on a regular basis (once a week is ideal), you’ll be rewarded with a home that’s spider free.