With more than 35,000 spider species existing, it’s inevitable that at some point you’ll face a spider problem in your home. Most spiders are harmless and beneficial as they eat small pests like cockroaches, flies, and other household insects. But if you’re house is teeming with spiders, they can be such a nuisance.
It’s easy to identify spiders by their eight legs, the cobwebs they create, and the manner in which they crawl up and down walls. They normally settle in quiet places such as storage areas with plenty of clutter, attics, or garages. You can spot them on windows, fixtures, and ceilings.
If your home has quiet spaces and insects, spiders will quickly move in. In addition to being difficult to find, certain species of spiders are hazardous and can be lethal to people. The black widow and brown recluse spider are both extremely poisonous and their bites can even lead to death.
In this guide, we’ll discuss ways on how to get rid of spiders from your home. But before that, we’ll learn a little bit more about spiders, including what they are, the species that exist, what brings spiders to your home, and signs of spiders in your home.
What Are Spiders?
Contrary to popular belief, spiders aren’t really insects. They in fact belong to the Arachnid family, which also comprises ticks, mites, and scorpions.
Spiders can be tiny as other household insects, or as huge as your palm. There are around 35,000 spider species around the world, and about 3,000 of them are found in North America.
Spiders aren’t all that bad. They may be beneficial for reducing the population of some common household insects, including flies, mosquitos, ants, and other pests.
But since all spider species have fangs, they can cause a more serious bite than that of an ant or mosquito. Bites from venous spiders can result in health problems like nausea, fever, sores, and even death in severe cases.
Despite the tens of thousands of spider species that exist, all types of spiders have several things in common. They all have no wings or antennae, have eight legs, and two main body parts. While not all spiders spin webs, they all make silk.
Common Types of Spiders
American house spider
Also called the common household spider, this species of spider is commonly found inside your home. Although American house spiders are commonly seen in North America, you can find them anywhere in the world.
The American house spider is 0.125 in. to 0.312 in. long. It ranges from yellow-brown to black to off-white and also features dark spots around the legs and abdomen.
The American house spider is found inside and outside of homes, under furniture, in corners of rooms, or outside near leaves and windows. This spider isn’t venomous, so its bite will only cause common side effects like mild pain, swelling, and redness.
Brown Recluse Spider
This is another spider that’s infamous for its poisonous bite. It won’t bite unless it feels threatened, though. While the brown recluse tends to lead an isolated life, it can be particularly dangerous inside your home due to its habit of hiding under furniture, inside shoes, or in piles of clothes.
The brown recluse spider is 0.375 in. to 0.5 in. long. It can be light or dark brown and is found in the Western and Southern regions of the United States.
Due to its kind of poison, its bite can result in sores around the area of the bite, therefore causing higher infection rates. People can suffer different reactions but bites will often cause pain, soreness, and severe itching around the area of the bite, leading to fatigue and flu-like nausea. But in many cases, brown recluse bites do heal up naturally without requiring much of medical treatment.
Brown recluse spiders tend to make their webs outdoors on piles of rocks, leaves, wood and so on, but they’re also known to find their way indoors and hide in piles of clothes, closets, shoes, and areas with clutter.
Also called Daddy Longlegs, the cellar spider is another common household spider. While they have distinctly spindly and long legs, their jaws are too tiny to bite humans. Even though they’re poisonous, they’re harmless to humans.
The bodies of cellar spider can be 0.438 in. long, but their legs may extend three to four times that length. Their color ranges from light brown to dark brown. Cellar spiders are found all over the U.S. and Canada.
While they can’t bite people, cellar spiders are poisonous to their prey, which includes common household insects like flies and mosquitos.
Cellar spiders usually live in the unused spaces of your home, as their name suggests. Check every corner of your home, your attic and cellar, as well as beneath furniture and stairs to see if there are cellar spiders. Since they pose no threat, it’s quite easy to drive them out of your house.
This is one of the most dangerous spiders due to its poisonous bites. While males aren’t venomous and rarely bite, females carry venom that’s extremely poisonous and their bites call for medical attention.
Adult black widows can grow to 1.5 in. long. Their hairless black bodies can be identified by the red hourglass frame on their abdomens. The spiders are commonly seen in Southern United States, and other temperate areas around the globe.
A black widow’s bite will feel like a normal spider bite at first, almost like a bee sting. In around 8 hours, however, you’ll begin to experience cramps around the area of the bite, which will spread to your stomach and back. Other bite symptoms include flu-like fever, nausea, cold sweats, and headache.
The webs of black widow spiders are strong and large. Fortunately, they like to make their webs in places where there won’t be any disturbance, so it’s not common for humans to come across them.
This spider isn’t poisonous to people, but it can grow larger than most common spiders and tends to be more threatening for that reason. Fortunately, wolf spiders hunt at night and like to hide during daytime. It’s uncommon for people to notice wolf spiders in their homes.
Wolf spiders can be 0.125 to 1 in. long. Their color can range from brown to light tan. They’re widespread throughout the U.S., but can be found all over the world.
Like most other spider species, wolf spiders don’t bite unless they’re provoked. While they aren’t poisonous, their bite is more painful due to their size.
Wolf spiders like to burrow outside below rocks, fallen logs, or other quiet places. While they’re uncommon inside homes, it’s easy to bring one inside your home when you bring in wood or something else.
What Brings Spiders into Your Home?
Spiders can get into your home for various reasons and in various ways. Usually, they’re in search of basic needs like shelter and food. Spiders enjoy making webs and settling down in places with minimal activities such as ceilings, window seals, and light fixtures. They can enter your home through windows, doors, vents, or any unsealed cracks or holes.
Spiders will come into your home primarily because there’s a source of food for them there. For spiders found in your bathroom, this may mean that there are other pests roaming about that the spider feeds on.
Most spiders are harmless to people and will try to stay out of your way. Spiders living inside and outside your home will bite only when you threaten them. In fact, provided you’re out of each other’s way and the spider isn’t poisonous, it can actually be beneficial to live with spiders since they help to kill other small household pests and reduce your dependence on chemical insecticides.
Signs of Spiders in Your Home
Spiders like to settle in the low-trafficked parts of your home. You’ll find them in less-visited, cluttered spaces like the attic and garage. But don’t be shocked to find some creating webs on difficult to access light fixtures or in high ceilings.
To check for the presence of spiders, the best way is to declutter less-trafficked areas and make sure they’re organized. Spiders won’t have anywhere to live when the area is clutter-free and open. You can go a step further by spraying an insect repellent outside your house. It’s recommended that you spray around porches, under patio covers, and under decks.
How to Get Rid of Spiders Naturally
Given that pest control agents tend to be toxic chemicals that could harm your family’s health, ridding yourself of spiders through pesticides might not always be your go-to solution. So, this means that natural methods are the healthiest. Here are ways to do away with spiders naturally.
More often than not, spiders enter your home looking for food. Their meal of choice is other household insects. Spiders are most commonly drawn to light, so be sure to switch all lights outside after an hour or so. For indoor lights, opt for light yellow sodium vapor lights or opaque filters. This will repel most bugs and in turn repel spiders.
This is a battery-powered vacuum that allows you to gently pick up spiders and take them outside without hurting them. According to Lakeland.co.uk, it’s one of the best-selling spider control products.
When getting rid of spider webs from your home, cleanliness is of utmost importance. Much like the outdoors with leaves and plants, keeping the indoors clutter-free helps to get rid of hiding places for spiders.
Be sure to keep decluttering stray piles of newspaper, unwashed clothing, and other clutter-friendly items. This will give spiders no spot to hide. When you spot them, you can easily drive them out of your house.
Red Night Lights
While bright lights usually attract common household bugs, spiders prefer to live in darkness. They are allergic to light. So, a good way to drive them away is to install a red night light. This repels the prey and makes the place uninhabitable.
Apart from being useful as a snack dressing or for making juice, lime and lemon peels are known to keep spiders at bay. It’s believed that the citrus property of lime and lemon peels has the ability to repel spiders. So, place some lime or lemon peels around your home daily to drive away spiders.
Like placing lemon/lime peels around your home, growing citrus plants can keep spiders away from your home. While these plants can’t actually stop them from getting into the home altogether, they can cut their frequency of entry.
Spiders like to hide in stones, leaves, and plants. Removing these from the close proximity of your home entrances will leave them with nowhere to hide. Spiders aren’t the most forthcoming or bravest of household bugs.
They normally hide to trap and feed on their prey. Clearing the vegetation near your home’s windows and doors will ensure that they have no access to the interior of your home.
Tea Tree Oil
This essential oil not only scares spiders away, but it’s also amazing for your skin. Just apply some drops directly over your furniture, on yourself, or on your clothes. Moreover, you can add some tea tree oil to cotton balls and cover any cracks on doors or windows with them.
Vinegar can help keep spiders away since they detest it the most. The scent of vinegar is enough to drive them away for good. Dilute vinegar to 50% and spray the solution around your home. Spray on it spiders if you see them. You can also keep bowls of vinegar around your home to keep spiders away.
The classic way of removing spider webs works the best. Make sure to clean and dust your home on the regular. This won’t allow spiders to spin webs. This reduces their hunting methods and in turn drives them away from your home.
Dusting regularly not only gets rid of spider webs, it also ensures that other insects aren’t attracted to your home, keeping the spider’s prey away, too.
Clean the Dishes
Having dirty dishes inside your home will attract flies, mosquitos, and other bugs, which will in turn attract spiders. Wash those dishes right away and you’ll save yourself a load of trouble.
Throw Away Leftover Food
Having some leftover food could be another reason why your home is teeming with bugs. Eat to your fill and either keep the leftovers in the fridge or bin them outside.
Leftover food attracts various bugs that transmit infections and diseases, including spiders. In addition to general hygiene, ensuring that there’s no leftover food in your house also helps keep spiders away.
Peppermint essential oil is a spider’s worst enemy. Add more than 20 drops of peppermint oil to a bottle of water and spray this throughout your home, as well as on your curtains and furniture. This will drive spiders out of your house.
Certified Spider Control Methods
While natural treatments are the safest way to get rid of spiders, you might need certified methods if natural methods don’t work. Here are some of the tried-and-tested methods to help you do away with spiders for good.
This is a mixture of pesticides that physically eliminates all insects and bugs, which of course includes spiders! This in turn prevents spiders from re-entering your house. While non-herbal pesticides are known to be more effective, herbal options are safer for you.
Regular vacuuming will remove spiders and their webs from your home. It’s an effective method for minimizing the presence of spiders in your home while keeping it clean. This also deters web spinning, keeping spiders away.
Sometimes it’s recommended that you seek professional assistance. If you have more than a few spiders in your home, it might be time to bring in a professional exterminator to destroy all of the spiders in your home.
While spiders are largely harmless, it’s common knowledge that only a few species like the black widow or tarantula are usually venomous. Like geckos, sometimes spiders can be beneficial to have as they prey on other insects which carry serious diseases and infections.
When getting rid of spiders from your home, consider non-lethal ways if the spiders are few or they’re not poisonous.
How to Keep Spiders Away from Your Home
In an ideal world, you’d do away with spiders once and for all. But in reality, more can still find their way into your home. That’s where prevention plays a key role.
As with loose screens, you should eliminate any possible routes for spiders to enter your home. Seal up any small openings or cracks around windows, vents, or utility boxes using foam sealant or caulk. You can also use stoppers or a door sweep on entrances that lead outdoors.
Fix Loose Screens
Loose screens, or ones with holes, can be a potential route for spiders to enter your house. Fix loose or broken screens to keep spiders off your property. Moreover, you can place screens over crawl spaces and vents.
Check the Levels of Moisture Inside and Outside Your Home
Too much moisture attracts lots of insects, which will in turn attract spiders. Fix any leaks that can occur and consider getting a humidifier for your basement.
Do Away with Other Insects
Having other insects and bugs in your home is likely to attract spiders. So, make sure to get rid of all the insects in your home, including ants, cockroaches, stink bugs, houseflies, fruit flies, bed bugs, ticks and so on.
Carry Out Some General Lawn Maintenance
Spiders are attracted to hiding places outside your home as well. Make sure to trim the lawn near the foundation, rake away leaves, and keep firewood far away.
Call in a Professional Pest Exterminator
The do-it-yourself treatment methods we’ve discussed above are great for getting rid of a few spiders around your home, but they won’t be able to control the masses hiding in your house and breeding.
Also keep in mind that spiders are usually found near their food source: common household insects. If there’s already a serious insect problem in your home—chances are that you’ll get spiders. A pest control expert can arrive at your home ready with the exact repellents and poisons for all the bugs living in your home.
If spiders keep appearing around your home regardless of how often you can clean it up, you almost certainly have an infestation. If you’ve already identified poisonous spiders, that means your family could be in danger.
A reputable pest control service knows how to quickly rid your home of spiders and get an infestation under control so that you and your family can stay safe.
Question: What Will Repel Spiders?
Answer: Spiders can’t stand the scent of peppermint oil and keep off areas where its applied. Eucalyptus oil can also have the same effect. Spiders also hate vinegar. Add white vinegar to the same amount of water and spray the mixture directly on the spiders you see.
Question: What’s a Natural Method to Kill Spiders?
Answer: Although safe for humans, vinegar contains acetic acid, which is highly toxic to spiders. Mix 1 part water with 1 part vinegar and spray the solution on spiders. Natural scented oils like peppermint oil, rose oil, and eucalyptus oil not only get rid of spiders effectively but also prevent them from coming back.
Question: What Attracts Spiders to Your Home?
Answer: Moisture attracts some spiders to your home, so they take cover in crawl spaces, basements, and other damp places inside your home. Other spiders like drier environments like attics, vents, and higher corners of rooms. Most common household spiders spend their whole lives indoors.
Question: How Do I Remove Tiny Spiders from My House?
Answer: To remove tiny spiders from your home, keep it neat and tidy, seal all cracks, remove all vegetation near your house, switch off outdoor lights, apply a residual insecticide, use vinegar and essential oils, and sprinkle diatomaceous earth around your house.
Question: Why am I Having Plenty of Spiders in My Home?
Answer: The spider population is growing in your house because there are many pests that spiders feed on, and you’ve got the shelter they need to live in and lay eggs. If you have an infestation, you’re likely experiencing other pest-related troubles.
The Bottom Line
If ridding your home of spiders naturally doesn’t work for you, you can also try out the various spider sprays and traps that are available on the market. Be sure to read labels carefully and steer clear of products that might be harmful to humans and pets.
If you’re worried that you could be having a severe, out-of-control infestation of spiders in your house, call in a professional pest control service to perform an inspection.
Having a spider issue can be scary. The fear of spiders (arachnophobia) is real and it’s normal to dislike spiders. No matter what people say about leaving spiders alone—if you can’t stand them, do away with them!