How to get rid of spiders in the house, according to pest control experts

7 natural, fail-safe methods to keep eight-legged guests at bay.

It is that time of year when creepy crawlies are pretty active and spiders like to find refuge indoors. And while some of us may not mind the occasional evening interrupted with a spot of ‘catch and release’, others may not. If you would rather not have to go near these eight-legged uninvited guests, rest assured that there are some kind and clever ways to stop spiders coming inside the house.  

Saga Exceptional caught up with pest-control experts who know a thing or two about how to get rid of spiders humanely and efficiently. Even if they don’t necessarily mind spiders in their own spaces. “Personally, I tend to leave spiders alone in my home,” says Zack DeAngelis of Pest Pointers. “I don’t have many but when I do spot them, they’re generally off in the corner of the room not being a bother. They’re nature’s natural pest controllers.”

Spider on a white floor in a houseCredit: Shutterstock/Christine Bird

As with all pest control, you don’t have to be cruel to be kind. Here are some clever spider prevention techniques to try, courtesy of DeAngelis, as well as pest control specialist, Georgios Liakopoulos, of Fantastic Services

1. Start by sealing off entry points

Blocking cracks and gaps will minimise unwanted visitors

Ensuring your home’s exterior is sealed will help stop spiders from coming in through cracks and gaps. DeAngelis says that sealing off entry points might be one of the most effective ways of keeping spiders out. “The absolute best thing you can do to naturally keep spiders out is to fill in every little nook, cranny and crack that a spider could enter from the outside of your home,” he says. “Since spiders can fit into such small spaces, try to find the areas they most frequent in your home and look for potential cracks and gaps around that area.”  

So if you’ve been putting off repairing the odd crack here and there but always seem to have one too many spiders around, now is the time to DIY. Focus on areas around windows, doors and anywhere else that might need it, like a chimney for example. It’s easily done using caulk or weatherstripping, both of which are readily available on Amazon.  

Featured product

Decorators Caulk, EVO-STIK

RRP: £6.61

Decorators Caulk, EVO-STIK

“You can also get a door sweep to cover the large gap from the bottom of your door that’s leading outside,” adds DeAngelis. 

“If you have spiders inside, they’re feeding on some other bug or insect as a food source,” notes DeAngelis. “So, sealing external gaps and cracks won’t just keep spiders out, it will also help keep other insects out as well.”

2. Keep your home and garden clean and clutter-free

Stay on top of the dusting and vacuuming

This should come as no surprise, since spiders lurking in dusty spots is a common scenario. If more critters are coming in than usual, consider ramping up your cleaning routine. “Clutter, dampness and humidity are extremely attractive to almost any insect, especially spiders. You should frequently vacuum and clean using a product with peppermint or vinegar to help keep spiders out of your home. These scents help to mask other smells that spiders would otherwise find attractive and thus, help keep them away,” notes DeAngelis. 

Grab your duster, tend to those cobwebs and take a moment to spring clean your home and  declutter specific rooms if you’ve noticed that they are particularly prone to spiders.  

“Cluttered or undisturbed areas are the preferred hiding places of spiders. Keeping your home clean and clutter-free will make your space less attractive to them by simply eliminating potential hiding places. Make sure you regularly dust and vacuum, including hiding places and spider webs,” adds Liakopoulos.  

To complement your cleaning routine, consider buying natural repellent products where you can. “Try natural repellents containing essential oils such as citronella, lemongrass, or rosemary. Place these strategically around your home to discourage spiders from entering,” adds Liakopoulos. 

What scents attract spiders?

Spiders are attracted to human food scents, so clear away uneaten food and keep your food waste away from the house.

3. Choose scents that you will love, but that spiders will hate

Lavender, mint, eucalyptus and citronella will help fend off spiders

The power of nature never fails to impress, and much like citronella is a mosquito deterrent, it will also help get rid of spiders.  

“Some plants emit unpleasant odours that spiders dislike,” says Liakopoulos, “such as lavender, mint, eucalyptus, and citronella. You can plant these around the perimeter of your house to discourage spiders from entering.” 

So if lavender, mint, eucalyptus and citronella only feature on your patio, consider bringing them closer to the perimeters of your home, particularly close to easy entrance points for spiders.   

4. Make a natural spider-repellent spray

Try essential oils and white vinegar for quick and fresh-smelling spider prevention

If pots and window boxes aren’t an option, you can still target spiders looking to come in through cracks in windowsills and around your home by making a DIY natural spider-repellent spray. “You can combine water with peppermint, tea tree, or citrus essential oils to make your own natural spider repellent spray,” Liakopoulos says.   

Simply add a few drops of essential oils to water in a spray bottle and keep it on hand. “This can be sprayed on windowsills, doorways, and other entry points to deter intruders,” he says.

While white vinegar might not be quite as desirable a scent as peppermint, it can also be effective at keeping spiders at bay. Mix equal parts water with white vinegar in a spray bottle and apply liberally to areas where spiders are prone to coming in. 

Whichever DIY spray you use, try to repeat spraying the areas every few weeks to mask smells that would otherwise attract spiders. 

However, if you’d prefer to buy a product off-the-shelf, there are natural products available.

Featured product

Natural Spider Repellant Spray

RRP: £12.99

Natural Spider Repellant Spray

5. Use cedarwood

Get both spider and moth levels to a minimum

If you already use cedarwood balls for moth prevention, the good news is that they can also help with spiders. “The natural repellent properties of cedar can be utilised in storage areas, wardrobes and other areas where spiders may congregate,” says Liakopoulos.Keep stocked up cedar wood balls or blocks are inexpensive on Amazon.

Featured product

Natural Moth and Insect Repellent Cedar Wood Balls

RRP: £4.75

Natural Moth and Insect Repellent Cedar Wood Balls

6. Rethink your outdoor lighting

Keep them to a minimum or change the type of lighting

Spiders feed on insects that are attracted to the light, so removing their bait can in turn help reduce their numbers. Liakopoulos shares that you can also swap the type of lighting you are using to help.

“Insects that are drawn to outdoor lights are often the reason for spiders’ presence. You can reduce the number of insects that could become their prey by choosing yellow or sodium-vapour lights,” he says. 

7. Get a cat

Keep spiders and other pests at bay with a new family member…

Anyone who already owns a cat may have spotted them taking unfortunate spiders as easy victims. But these should, in theory, be few and far between according to Liakopoulos. “Cats are natural hunters and are often helpful at keeping pests, such as spiders, at bay,” he says. “Spiders are sensitive to the scent of cats, so their presence alone can deter them from entering your home.” 

What is the most humane way to remove spiders from your home?

Show these eight-legged darlings the door with the fail-safe trap-and-release method.

If you’re only just starting to employ natural spider-repellent methods around your home, Liakopoulos shares the best way to show them the door without doing any harm. 

“When dealing with spiders indoors, use a glass and some paper to trap them gently, and then release them. It is possible to relocate the spider in a humane manner without harming it by using this method,” he says.

Making just a few changes to your home might not stop every uninvited guest, but eight-legged ones will be few and far between. 

Camille Dubuis-Welch

Written by Camille Dubuis-Welch she/her

Published:

Camille is a freelance writer based in north London with her cat and two friends. She has been writing on lots of interesting subjects over the past few years, starting out with a travel blog and online fashion column when she was studying English Language and Italian at the University of Manchester. Cam has been in love with everything interior design and garden-related since before she can remember. She previously worked for Yankee Candle, as well as Groupon, and is the former deputy editor of realhomes.com where she got to collaborate with some very inspiring DIYers and focus on small-space improvements.