Spiders are an important part of our food chain getting rid of nasty
insects and being food themselves for birds and other animals, so it is
important NOT to go around killing any spider that you see. The majority are
quite harmless and pose no threat to you if you leave them alone. However,
many people are very frightened by spiders and don't want them in their
homes, so I have done some Googling to find ways people have found to remove
spiders from their homes. I DON'T GIVE ANY GUARANTEES
THAT THESE WILL WORK, THEY ARE JUST SUGGESTIONS TO TRY AND TAKE NO
RESPONSIBILITY FOR ANY RESULTS!!!
are many commercial spider sprays but often the chemicals in them are more
dangerous to humans and the environment than the spiders so I won't include
them on here. Try them if you must but first give these suggestions a try. I
don't recommend "smashing" spiders either as that is cruel and unnecessary.
Here we go:
To Relocate a Spider:
Moving most spiders to a new location (outside the house?) is not difficult. You will need the following:
- a clear glass or cup; it should be clear so you can see where the spider is.
- a card, or stiff piece of paper
(1) Carefully place the cup over the spider (careful not to pin the legs under the rim of the cup).
(2) Gently and slowly slide the paper under the glass; as you push the paper under the glass, let the spider walk up onto the paper.
(3) Once the paper is completely underneath the cup, gently pick up the paper and glass, making sure not to create gaps between the paper and glass (the spider might escape, which means you have to start all over again... :) ).
(4) Turn the glass over while keeping the glass covered with the paper.
(5) Take the spider to the new location, while holding the paper over the glass.
(5a) This is a good time to look at your spider, examine its markings, and learn about it.
(6) Place the glass on its side on the ground and remove the paper.
The spider will walk out of the glass in a few moments. If it seems reluctant to exit the glass, gently tilt the opening the glass toward the ground, and gently shake. The spider will eventually wander out. :)
You can also try putting the container in front of the spider if its in a
web and touching it from behind with the lid. The spider will move away from
the perceived source of danger and into your container.
From Trish: I have found that if you take 2 cups of vinegar and 1
tspn of coconut oil (must be pure) mix it in a spray bottle and spray
around windows and doors you will be spider free. The vinegar smell
dissapates rather quickly, a lot quicker than moth balls. Can be used
inside or out and is safe and non-toxic for kids and pets.
Another way to relocate a spider from Robert:
I found your web site after searching Google for spider control. We have a rather large (ca. 2-inch) spider building a web near our front door, and I have plans to remove it from the premises. We also have plenty of house spiders in our basement, mostly females.
I've had success using a clear plastic food storage container and a thin piece of cardboard, first by placing the container over the spider and then sliding the cardboard underneath, letting the spider run onto the cardboard, and relocating, as you described. But there are cases where the spider will be in its web or in a corner and this method is rather difficult to use.. In these instances, the spider will naturally flee to its hiding place, which is typically towards the vertical wall structure supporting its web when its web is being ruined.
Here, I prefer also using a pencil technique that should be done in one fluid motion: with the pencil point facing the spider, quickly move the pencil next to the spider, between the spider and its closest web support. This is typically the floor or wall upon which its web is built. Then quickly "wrap" the spider in its web by encircling it with the pencil once or twice. Lift the pencil over your empty container and tap the pencil against the side or just let the spider fall down into the container. (If the spider is young, it may not attach a drag line to fall down into the container, so you'll need to tap it off the pencil.) Cover the container with your piece of stiff stock paper or cardboard, and drop it off outside, at least a few feet from the house. Reuse the pencil, as it will acquire web residue that will give you a larger time frame to get the spider into the container next time. If the spider is large, you can use a broomstick instead of a pencil. If you want to really make sure it doesn't come back to its former location, place it in a bush or near a plant further away, where it might build another web.
My main motivation for relocating spiders rather than killing them is not that they are part of the food chain, but that it is simply wrong to murder. It is generally unnecessary to kill spiders, for you would need only a minute of time and a modicum of patience to relocate them instead.
From Tami: We have window wells for our basement that collect a lot of spiders including black widows. We toss crushed or whole mothballs into the bottom and it will drive them out and keep them out until the
From Kathy: One of the things we recommend at the Pest Control Company I
work for is to
change the exterior lighting on the building. Spiders are smart and know
that other bugs are attracted to lights. They will hunt and build webs
in these areas. Try to limit unnecessary exterior lighting to reduce the
population so close to the home.
From Dawn from San Diego
California: I had read mint worked and I had a particular cabinet
drawer in my kitchen that always seemed to have spiders in it. I took a
sprig of mint I had dried and put it in the back of the drawer. After
that I didn't have any spiders in that particular drawer. Thank you for
you web site.
Before trying to get rid of them take a few steps to prevent them coming in
the first place!!
1. Excess vegetation against the home:
right up against the house and overhanging trees will harbour insects and
attract spiders. Keep your property maintained. Weeds should be kept mowed
and garden beds should n't be right up against the foundation.
2. Open water near your home:
Open water on the property provides a breeding source
for many insects, including
mosquitoes and midges,
which in turn attracts spiders. Homes built right near a lake are prime
candidates for spider infestations. Houses next to open fields are also
common sites of spider infestations. In these areas winds carry spiderlings
into the area, where they end up on the sides of the house. Once spiders
build up outdoors on structures, they naturally filter indoors through
cracks and crevices around windows, doors, attics, and crawls spaces.
3. Gaps around windows, doors, and
Large gaps in siding, unsealed openings around pipe
penetrations, unscreened vents and windows will allow spiders to enter
the home. A tube of silicone will do wonders for pest prevention. If you can
keep them out you don't need to use other methods.
4. Over use of chemical fertilizers:
Avoid using chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc., on your property. Excess
nitrogen attracts many insects, such as
aphids. The stress attracts insects, which
in turn attracts the spiders. Once spiders over flow on your property, they
will naturally over flow into your home.
5. Over use of pesticides:
Broad spectrum pesticides may kill off beneficial insects and, without the
good guys to control them pest populations may explode. Pesticide
applications in time also kill off beneficial bacteria which in turn causes
stress in the plants. All stressed plants attract insects. Indoor plants
that are stressed will especially attract insects, and spiders.
6. Readily available supply of food and
Spiders are opportunists and are attracted to areas where food (insects) and
moisture are abundant. Eliminate insect breeding areas, reduce moisture,
repair leaking pipes, and free standing moisture on your property.
(Ideas by Rocco
Moschetti, IPM of
1. Try chestnuts. People have recommended placing chestnuts in their
walls, on window sills and under sliding doors. Of course you need to live
where chestnuts are available!!
2. Get a package of pipe or chewing tobacco, soak it in a gallon of
boiling water until it cools. Strain the liquid into a clean container.
Put a cup of tobacco juice and 1/2 cup lemon dish soap into a hose-end
sprayer and spray. This one sounds like a better use for tobacco than
smoking it but don't know what it would smell like!!
3. Dust your windowsills and door frames with Lemon Pledge.
Spiders apparently don't like the taste of it.
4. Try an electronic bug device. These are supposed to rid your
home of many creepy crawlies. Make sure you get one specifically for spiders
and take care if you have pet mice or guinea pigs, pet spiders or snakes as
they will be affected too.
5. I have often seen horse apples recommended. They are the fruit from
the bois d'arc tree or also known as osage orange tree. Quarter the apples
and place one quarter in each corner of a room. The spiders are supposed to
just disappear. However more research came up with this information:
"The story that the fruit of the Osage orange tree (also called hedge apple,
monkey ball, or spider ball) can repel or ward off spiders turns out to be
extremely widespread in Midwestern states, where the trees are common.
Details vary, but in general it seems that people put these aromatic fruits
around their walls in fall to "keep spiders from coming in." Since house
spiders don't actually come in from outside, of course this works just fine,
but there is no evidence that spiders are repelled by osage-oranges. They
live on the trees and even make webs on the fallen fruit. What's more,
spiders seldom show any sign of being able to detect airborne odors!
In some versions of the story, the repellent effect has been transferred
from spiders to cockroaches, mosquitoes, chicken mites, or mice. Since
squirrels regularly chew through these fruits to get the tasty seeds inside,
a rodent repellent effect seems pretty unlikely.
In the Pacific Northwest, where Osage oranges are seldom seen, the legend
has been transferred to horse chestnuts. I like horse chestnuts and usually
have some around, but still have plenty of spiders, so I know of my own
experience that this doesn't work.
A correspondent in British Columbia has heard a version of the myth in which
the spiders are repelled by copper pennies!"
The Spider Myths Site
6. I found a couple of natural sprays so will mention them.
- Victor brand of spray in an aerosal can contains mint oil and a
little bit of detergent.
- Another one called
Spider Away contains scent of chestnut and cloves.
- I found a
Cobweb Eliminator which may help keep the cobwebs down. Of course a
good broom will do the same thing.
7. A natural spray to make yourself -
Add 5 tablespoons of the soap per quart water.
Add one ounce of the Neem oil to the water which you have added the soap and
label it. Shake well and spray inside house where spiders are seen. Test for
strength. May be done as often as needed. This is not a long term solution
but will provide you immediate help. Oils may stain some fabrics or light
coloured furnishings, test first.
Peppermint, Lavender or any natural soap.
1 ounce of Neem Oil
1 to 5 drops of any Essential Plant Oils to 1 Quart of
Lavender Oil, Cinnamon Oil, Peppermint Oil, Citrus Oil,
Tea Tree Oil, or other essential
Spray outside the house: Use the same
formula to spray the foundation, eaves and soffits, and the areas around
doors, windows and crawls space, or attic vents, or any area where you see
spiders congregating. You can also use any citrus based cleaner like Citra
Solv at 1 oz per quart water. Spray around the outside of the house or where
(Recipe by Rocco
Moschetti, IPM of
Please send any ideas to me and
I'll include them here.