Not all spiders are bad, but that doesn’t mean we want them crawling into our homes. Rather than reaching for products with harmful chemicals to eliminate spiders, insects, and other pests, try these five natural methods for getting them out of the house.
1. Keep your home clean and clutter free.
Spiders love hiding in piles of clutter and crowded storage spaces—think underneath the kitchen sink, behind boxes in the attic, and stacks of old newspapers or magazines. Another way to prevent spiders from moving in is to block their web building. Vacuum regularly underneath beds, sofas, side tables, and large pieces of furniture to keep dark, out-of-the-way crannies clean. Keep ceiling fans, light fixtures, and corners of rooms (prime spots for webs) dusted. Sweep up crumbs in the kitchen and dining room. While spiders aren’t necessarily attracted to the little pieces of food, they do enjoy snacking on the ants and insects that are.
2. Tidy up landscaping.
Keep piles of leaves, wood, or trash (popular insect hangouts) away from entry points. Trim shrubs and trees away from exterior walls so spiders won’t use the branches as bridges to your house.
3. Prevent spiders from coming indoors.
Seal possible entry points to keep spiders out. Ensure there are no openings in windowsills or doorways large enough for the arachnids to crawl through. Fill cracks or holes in windowsills, floors, ceilings, or foundation.
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4. Use natural repellents.
Spiders will sprint away from certain odors such as white vinegar, garlic, peppermint oil, citrus, and cedar. Keep a bowl of citrus fruits on the kitchen table, or rub windowsills and doorways with the rinds. Combine equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spray the mixture strategically on windowsills, doorways, and other precarious spots spiders might be eyeing. You can do the same with garlic (adding garlic cloves to a spray bottle filled with water) and peppermint oil (adding 10 or so drops to a spray bottle filled with water). Use cedar hangers in your closet, or put cedar blocks in drawers or the backs of cabinets.
5. When all else fails, call a professional.
There’s no shame in calling for backup.