How to Get Rid of Spiders

black widow spider on twig

How do you get rid of spiders in and around your home? Single spiders can be squished, vacuumed or caught and released. To keep spiders outside your home, barrier sprays can help. For spider infestations, you may need a pest control expert to rid your home of these eight-legged invaders.

Some spiders are more dangerous than others, of course. Daddy longlegs are harmless, but black widow and brown recluse spiders aren’t just creepy but dangerous — their spider bites can land you in the hospital or worse.

Spiders never purposely prey on people, but they can cause these problems in and around your home:

Fright: Whether spiders are itsy-bitsy or Arachnophobia-movie huge, going up a waterspout or building a web in a corner of your bedroom, they have the tendency to give people the creepy-crawlies. It can be unsettling to turn on a light and find a spider perched on the wall, and it can be startling to have one suddenly parachute from the sky.

Webs: Web-building spiders create unsightly nests in corners, along baseboards, and in other spaces. How to get rid of spider webs? Vacuum spider webs or use a “webby” duster that can be extended to reach ceiling corners.

Bites: If you unintentionally sit on top of a spider or step on one barefoot, that sting is a spider bite and it could send you to the emergency room.

How to tell the difference between good spiders (which eat insects) and bad spiders? It helps to be familiar with some of the different types of spiders that may occasionally invade your home, yard and life.

How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Home

Unless you’re dealing with a full-on infestation, handling a few spiders here and there doesn’t pose much difficulty — if they are a harmless variety. Just stomp or smush them and clean up the remains, or catch and release them back into the wild.

If those tactics don’t suffice — or you’d rather control them from more of a distance — try these other methods:

Natural, DIY ways to keep spiders away

To keep your spider population to a minimum, prevention is the best technique. The University of Minnesota Extension recommends:

Keep your house clean

  1. Extinguish the spider food supply by getting rid of other insects in your home. One way to do this is to put down baits formulated to kill insect nests.
  2. Clear away clutter, such as cardboard boxes, papers, and bags. Spiders find these to be good hiding places.
  3. Set sticky traps to catch spiders as they crawl along baseboards and under furniture or appliances.

Barrier sprays

The use of pesticides should always be a last resort and should never be used on spiders that remain outdoors. The exception to this is barrier sprays, which are not misted directly onto spiders but along potential entry points.

Even when used inside, pesticides really work only when sprayed directly on a spider you see. Simply crawling over a treated space is not likely to affect the spider.

Spider repellents

Spider repellants come in natural and synthetic formulations, and, instead of killing spiders, are meant to deter them from entering certain areas.

Homemade, natural spider repellants are often made of lemon or peppermint oils and must be applied weekly to be most effective. Retailer varieties contain similar ingredients.

One example, EarthKind’s plant-based repellent uses a blend of citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary. Something to stay away from, though, is the hedge apple — its spider repelling properties are just a myth.

How to Get Rid of Spiders Outside

To get rid of spiders around your house, the University of Minnesota Extension recommends:

  • Cut down on outdoor lighting near entryways.
  • Seal all cracks and gaps in the foundation and in windows and doors.
  • Trim plant growth.

When to Call a Pest Control Pro

While your house, apartment, mobile home or RV will never be home to an estimated 107 million spiders, you may find yourself sharing your home with so many spiders you may need professional help.

If you have exhausted all of your homemade and store bought sprays and traps options, it’s time to call a pest control specialist near you.

Bottom line: As Jim Stafford sang, “I don’t like spiders and snakes.” I’m sure you don’t either. Adding a few steps to your household cleaning routine will keep spiders out of your home, and when you see do see one in a corner, point your vacuum at it and suck it away.

Main Photo Credit: Black widow spider on a tree limb / James Gathany / Public Domain

Andréa Butler

Andréa Butler has a passion for writing and editing — but a phobia of bees and wasps. Living near the woods, she's dealt with her fair share of mice, skinks, and other outside critters that sometimes find their way inside. Besides learning new ways to keep homes pest-free, she also enjoys singing, reading, and binge-watching just about every show that ever existed.