How do you get rid of spiders? Most species of spiders are harmless, with a few exceptions (e.g., Black Widows, Brown Recluse, Yellow Sac, and Hobo Spiders). And spiders are actually beneficial because they feed on other types of bugs that can become a nuisance. Though they are sneaky, you can learn how to get rid of spiders naturally.
But spiders freak you out! Just because they’re not dangerous doesn’t mean they don’t bite! So whether or not you want to kill them, you’d rather they live elsewhere than in your home. You might immediately want to grab some spider killer spray or spider dust to fight them back.
So back to getting rid of spiders. There are so many different species of spiders (around 3,000 different species in the United States) that it makes it difficult to come up with any sort of “silver bullet” remedy to keep them ALL out, but there are certainly things you can do to help minimize their presence indoors.
What Causes Spiders in Your Home?
As with all bugs, ideal conditions (food, water, shelter), will make unwanted spiders feel at home in your house. The tidier and cleaner you keep your home, the fewer bugs there will be, and the fewer food sources there will be for spiders to feel welcome.
How Do I Know What Type of Spider I am Dealing With?
See if you can get a photo, then Google “Common spiders in [my state].” See if you can match what you find in your search results with your image. If not, just email it to us (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we’ll be happy to see if we can identify it for you!
What Attracts House Spiders?
First, you should understand what draws them into your house to begin with. Here are some prime reasons spiders want to invite themselves in.
- Food and water. If there might be food or water/moisture (for spiders, the food usually comes in the form of other bugs), spiders will come inside your house in search of it.
- Dark, quiet privacy. Some spider species prefer dark, out-of-the-way areas, and will head for your basement, attic, crawl spaces, garages, etc.
- Weather. If it gets too hot, cold, or wet outside, spiders will head indoors for shelter.
- Hideouts. Spiders will often seek out shelter in the form of woodpiles, sheds, leaves, and even clutter piles. Then they might try to hitchhike their way indoors.
- Entrances. Spiders are master stealth artists, and can easily find ways into your home and other unnoticed corners of the structure through cracks, crevices, holes, wall voids, open doors, windows, etc.
How to Get Rid of Spiders
Before you reach for the spider killer spray or spider dust, here are some things you can do to reduce the spider population in your home. Many of the same control methods effective for reducing ant and cockroach populations in your home will also work against spiders.
- Mow your lawn, and trim your trees, bushes, and shrubs. Keep vegetation in your yard cut back away from your house exterior to deny easy access to spiders and other unwanted bug visitors. Do NOT stack firewood or refuse along the side of your home.
- Keep your house and kitchen clean, swept, vacuumed, and wiped down. Also, repair pipes and faucets to eliminate water/moisture sources. Remember to sweep ALL corners of your home, including the ceilings. You’re not just trying to make conditions unlivable for spiders, you’re first trying to make other bugs (which spiders feed on) feel unwelcome.
- Eliminate entry points. Patch up any holes in foundations, caulk gaps in walls and around doors, windows, the foundation, and utility entry points. Keep screens and weatherproofing in good repair each year.
- Keep your chimney flue closed. Close your chimney flue when you’re not using your fireplace. This will help keep spiders out and will also help lower your utility costs.
- Get rid of clutter. Along with keeping your home clean, you want to remove clutter, like empty cardboard boxes, things stored and crowded under beds, under sinks, and in closets, and piles of magazines/newspapers. You’ll not only get rid of hideouts for spiders, but also for cockroaches, scorpions, mice, and other pesky bugs.
- Vacuum thoroughly. Regular vacuuming alone won’t disrupt spiders and their ways of life. They hide and they build webs.
- Vacuum behind and under furniture, and in corners.
- Use a vacuum extension to clean ceilings, ceiling corners, and light fixtures.
- Once per season, or at least twice per year, clean your air ducts.
- Fabric grocery bags. Spiders and other bugs often sneak into your home via paper grocery bags. Use fabric grocery bags and keep them washed regularly.
- Wash your bananas (and other fruit). Fruits, particularly bananas, are favorite ways for some spider species to slip into your home unnoticed.
- Spider traps. Place spider traps in areas where you often see spiders, such as behind the water heater, thermostat, under utility sinks, and even along baseboards at home.
What Is the Best Spider Repellent?
The best spider repellents are those which not only effectively kill visible spiders crawling around the house or building webs, but they also keep them out of normal traffic ways at home (residual protection).
Common household pesticides using synthetic chemicals may be effective, but you might not want to expose yourself, your family, or your pets to those chemicals. Naturally derived pesticides can be just as effective, and are more earth-, family-, and pet-friendly. They can also offer the kind of residual protection you need from spiders and other bugs.
How Do I Know When to Use Dust vs Spray?
Sprays are best for visible spiders and other bugs. Spray them when you see them.
For preventive, residual protection, you can apply Maggie’s Farm Spider & Insect Dust (lightly dust along baseboards around the house using a craft paintbrush), or Maggie’s Farm Bed Bug Killer. Spider & Insect Dust and Bed Bug Killer can also be applied using the puff bottle into cracks, crevices, wall voids, etc. as a preventive measure against hiding spiders and other bugs.
How Much Maggie’s Farm Spider & Insect Dust Should I Apply to my Home?
That depends on your home. If you have an older home, chances are you’ll need to use more of our dust. Newer homes may not need as much.
Indoors, apply to wall cracks, crevices, wall voids (see above), basement/attic/baseboards/garage corners, etc.
You can “think like a spider,” and see if you can identify any way spiders might be able to get into your home from outside (windows, through the attic, through weep holes, etc.).
How Do I Apply the Spider Dust on the Exterior of My House?
Use the puffer bottle and squeeze a few puffs into exterior cracks, crevices, weep holes, utility entry points, etc. You don’t need to use a brush to apply outdoors as you would use to apply to baseboards inside.
If you are needing to use a lot, you can apply more efficiently where needed using an inexpensive handheld insecticide duster. The duster will distribute the dust more evenly in those out-of-the-way places where spiders and other bugs hide and travel.
Should I Apply an Additional Product for Controlling Spiders in Conjunction with Maggie’s Farm Spider & Insect Dust?
Between spraying spiders indoors with Maggie’s Farm Home Bug Spray as you see them, and applying Maggie’s Farm Spider & Insect Dust as a preventive measure indoors and out, you can also spray Maggie’s Farm Yard Bug Spray around the foundation of your home to create a barrier, and you can also apply Maggie’s Farm Wasp & Hornet Killer to spray spiders that might be out of reach (W&H Killer streams a powerful foam up to 18 feet away). Now that you're an expert on how to get rid of spiders naturally, you should have all your bases well covered!
Finally, you might need to call in a professional. Bad infestations, as seen in homes near wooded areas or in older homes, may call for the services of a pest control professional. Be sure to ask him or her what kinds of pesticides are being used. Many such services offer greener service options.
You can help prevent future infestations by following the above steps regularly.
For more information on preventing spiders, check out our blogs:
- Spider Facts
- Types of Spiders
- Keeping Spiders Away
- Fact or Fiction: Spider Edition
- Two Spiders to Avoid: Black Widows and Brown Recluse
- What Makes a Good Spider Repellent?
For scientifically-proven, effective pest control that is family-friendly and healthier for the environment, try Maggie’s Farm pest control products. Our plant and mineral-based products are developed by scientists and seasoned pest control professionals to be the most effective family of green pest control products available. Find out why “Life’s Better On The Farm!”