Anyone who knows me knows that I’m terribly frightened of bugs and arachnids. Even drawings of ants can make me squeamish! When my family moved into our new house, I was very concerned about the presence of bugs. With a ravine and forest bordering our backyard, we knew it was going to be tough to make sure we were bug-free. As the weeks passed by, we kept vigilant. As it turns out, what I had expected would be ants were something far worse… Spiders! Yikes!
Thankfully, the rest of my family is more courageous when it comes to creepy crawlies. If you’ve got a spider problem, this arachnophobia-friendly guide is for you!
Natural Repellents for Spiders
While I may dislike spiders with a passion, the last thing you want to do is use toxic chemicals in and around your home. Instead, here are some natural ways to keep these pests out of your house for good.
Keep it clean!
Keeping your house clean is the best way to keep spiders from calling it home. It’s certainly a bit of work to make sure floors are swept and vacuumed, but if you’re as scared of spiders as I am, it’s well worth the effort! I recommend doing a seasonal de-clutter; it doesn’t have to be spring to do a full house cleaning! You’ll be surprised by how much spider-free space you can make throwing out those old VHS tapes you’ve been holding onto.
When the inside of your house is clean, it’s time to move to the exterior. If you’ve got a lawn, make sure to rake out any lawn clippings, leaves, and sticks. If you’ve got a bit of a handy side to you, check your windowsills and doors for gaps and apply some caulking if needed. If you live in an apartment, keep your windows and balcony clutter-free and clean.
Vinegar is one of the most versatile things to keep around the home. Among many other uses, I like to use it as part of a homemade cleaning solution for my windows. But I’m sure you know that vinegar has a uniquely sharp and pungent smell. It’s this very smell that repels not only spiders but ants and even mosquitoes. To make a repellent spray, in a spray bottle combine 1-part vinegar with 2 parts water. Spray this mixture around your house focusing on spots where they can enter like windows, vents and doors. Keep in mind that vinegar may affect certain surfaces so make sure to test It on surfaces before applying fully.
Peppermint Essential Oil
While we may like peppermint (especially around Christmas time), spiders absolutely hate the smell! Similar to the vinegar repellent, take a spray bottle and fill it with water. Add a squirt of liquid dish soap (to help spread the oil molecules in the water) and about 8 drops of essential oil. Check to see if the mixture smells minty enough. If not, add up to 8 more drops. Give the bottle a good shake and apply this spray as you would the vinegar mixture.
You can also mix peppermint and vinegar together too. These two very different smelling (and tasting!) substances come together really nicely when making a natural spider repellent. You can optionally add a dash of vinegar to your spray too. These two very different smelling (and tasting!) substances come together really nicely when making a natural spider repellent. Just keep in mind that vinegar doesn’t always play nice with the surfaces we spray them on.
The last thing I want you to do is grab a container of peppermint essential oil and only use it for repelling spiders. Try using peppermint essential oil to treat headaches and curbing sugar cravings.
The last thing you want to do is find spiders hanging around the inside of your closets. To remedy this, I like to use cedar! Growing up, my childhood lakeside neighborhood had a serious moth problem. To combat this, we placed cedar blocks in closets and cupboards and used cedar mulch in our gardens. Alongside some of the other remedies in this guide, I like to use cedar hangers for all my clothes to keep my home not only spider-free but also moth-free.
Do you like to make smoothies or juices regularly? You may already have just the thing that can repel spiders. If you’ve got lemon essential oil, use it like you would use peppermint oil above. Take any peels leftover from citrus fruits like oranges and lemons and rub them on areas prone to spiders like baseboards. You can use orange peels for much more than just repelling spiders, try some of these tips and tricks.
Chestnuts (and other tree nuts)
It’s not certain what it is about chestnuts, walnuts and horse chestnuts that spiders don’t like but these tree nuts have been used to repel and kill spiders in the U.K. to treat a concerning spider outbreak. It’s been suggested that the scent of these nuts contain a chemical that spiders can’t tolerate. Place a few in your windowsills and let us know how well it works for you!
If you’ve got a spider problem, doing a combination of these natural treatments are a sure step towards keeping your home free of these pests.