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If the mere mention of spiders gets your skin crawling, you’ve come to the right place. Though most spiders are harmless, these eight-legged intruders and their sticky webs can be nuisances. To help you reclaim your space and preserve your peace of mind, we rounded up DIY and professional solutions for getting rid of spiders. We also cover how to prevent future incursions and maintain a spider-free sanctuary.
In order to effectively combat a spider infestation, you need a basic understanding of how spiders behave.
Characteristics of Spiders
Spiders are in the arachnid family, which consists of joint-legged invertebrate animals. They have eight legs, multiple pairs of eyes, and two main body segments: the cephalothorax and the abdomen. Spider species can vary widely in their size, coloring, and physical appearance. Some measure only a few millimeters, while others have a leg span of several inches.
Common spiders found in North American households include cellar spiders, wolf spiders, and house spiders. Although all spiders are technically venomous, most are harmless to humans. However, black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders do pose a danger to humans. Spider bites from these species require swift medical attention.
Black widow spiders are typically black with a reddish hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomen, while brown recluse spiders are light brown with a darker violin-shaped mark behind their eyes. Both spin loose cobwebs rather than the intricate, symmetrical webs that many spiders are known for.
The Life Cycle of Spiders
After mating, female spiders lay eggs inside protective sacs. Females can produce multiple egg sacs each containing numerous spider eggs. This high reproductive capacity is behind most spider infestations. Plus, egg sacs are often hidden in secluded areas, which makes them difficult to spot.
Spider eggs hatch into spiderlings, which look like miniature versions of adult spiders. Spiderlings go through several molts before reaching their full adult size and laying eggs of their own.
Why Do Spiders Invade Homes?
Spiders invade homes in search of shelter, food, and a suitable breeding environment. If your home has an abundant insect population, spiders may be attracted to the available food sources. They may also seek shelter in cluttered spaces, dark crevices, undisturbed areas, and neglected corners.
How to Prevent Spider Infestations
By implementing a few simple but effective strategies, you can significantly reduce the chances of a spider infestation.
Your first defense against spiders is a thorough cleaning routine. Dust and vacuum your home regularly to remove debris and food sources that might attract spiders or their prey. Pay close attention to baseboards, windowsills, and other spider hotspots. Be diligent about decluttering and cleaning up messes, too. Less clutter means fewer hiding places for spiders.
Regularly inspect the corners and ceilings of your home and remove any cobwebs you find. Eliminating existing webs will discourage spiders from reestablishing themselves later.
Perform Exterior Maintenance
Lights attract bugs, and bugs attract spiders. Minimize your use of outdoor lights to reduce the number of spiders lurking around your home. Replace existing lights with yellow bulbs.
You should also declutter your home’s exterior. Clean your gutters regularly and move wood piles, leaves, or other debris away from your home. Use a vacuum cleaner or broom to clear away spider webs and destroy any egg sacs you see.
Seal Entry Points
Spiders can enter your home through gaps and cracks. Inspect windows, doors, and walls for any openings that may serve as entry points for spiders.
Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal gaps around windows and repair any damaged screens. Install door sweeps on exterior doors to prevent spiders from crawling underneath. Fill in cracks in your home’s foundation and walls, paying special attention to the areas near pipes, vents, and utility openings.
DIY Solutions for Spider Infestations
For most spider infestations, taking matters into your own hands can be both empowering and cost-effective. Here are a few simple steps you can take to regain control of your space.
DIY Spider Traps
Glue traps are typically the best option for dealing with spiders. You can buy premade sticky traps or make your own with cardboard and double-sided tape. Place traps near windows and doors, in cabinets, behind furniture, along baseboards, and in the corners of rooms.
For maximum effectiveness, place a bottle cap filled with water on the trap and sprinkle a little diatomaceous earth on the trap to kill any spiders that try to escape.
In addition to setting a few traps, make or buy a spray that will kill spiders on contact. DIY options include salt water or a mixture of water and white vinegar.
If you buy a premade insecticide, look for one that is safe for indoor use and specifically targets spiders. Read and follow the instructions on the label carefully. Apply the pesticide to areas where spiders travel or hide. Consider supplementing this indoor spider treatment with a perimeter spray to prevent them from getting inside in the first place.
You can create a natural spider repellent by diluting 20 drops of peppermint essential oil with water in a 32-ounce spray bottle. The repellent will wear off over time, so be sure to reapply it regularly. Don’t forget to treat your attic, basement, closets, garage, crawl space, and other out-of-the-way places around your home.
If you have pets or small children, remember that “natural” does not always mean safe. Make sure that any essential oils you use are safe for everyone in your home, and avoid direct contact with your skin and eyes.
Professional Solutions for Spider Infestations
For a severe spider infestation, consider hiring an exterminator or purchasing commercial insecticides. Although professional pest control services cost more than DIY methods, they can provide swift and reliable solutions.
Professional-grade insecticide sprays are often formulated to target spiders. You can find them on sites such as Amazon or at your local home improvement, hardware, or garden store.
Before using an insecticide spray, read the instructions carefully. Wear protective clothing, including gloves and a face mask, and apply the spray to areas where spiders are commonly found, including potential entry points. Keep pets and children away from treated areas until the spray has dried.
Professional Pest Control Services
A reputable pest control company will have the expert knowledge and equipment to address even the most severe spider infestation. They will conduct a thorough inspection of your home, assess your pest problems, and develop a customized treatment plan.
Ensure that any pest control company you hire is properly licensed and certified. Ask friends and family members for referrals, or browse online customer reviews. Look for a company that offers transparent pricing and service guarantees.
Spider baits are traps designed to attract and eliminate spiders. Not all baits are alike, so it’s important to identify the type of spider you need to catch. Place them in spots where you have seen spiders before. Monitor the baits and empty, replace, or refill them as needed.
DIY and natural methods of spider control, such as peppermint oil and homemade sticky traps, can be effective in many situations. Regular cleaning, decluttering, and outdoor maintenance can deter spiders from settling, and you can deny them entry by sealing any gaps or cracks in your home’s exterior.
If a spider infestation persists or becomes too severe, consider hiring an exterminator. Orkin, Terminix, and other pest control companies can help you banish spiders and other household pests from your home. Enlisting professional help is especially important if you have spotted venomous spiders, such as the brown recluse or black widow.
How do I get rid of spiders permanently?
Because spiders can squeeze into your home through the smallest cracks, you may not be able to get rid of spiders permanently. However, you can reduce the likelihood of an infestation by sealing potential entry points, keeping your home clean, and applying natural or commercial spider repellents.
What smells will keep spiders away?
Strong smells, such as peppermint oil and citrus, will help keep spiders away. Spiders also dislike cinnamon, tea tree oil, lavender, rose, eucalyptus, vinegar, cedar, and chestnuts.
What keeps spiders out of your house?
Sealing entry points and applying a perimeter spray or natural repellent will help keep spiders out of your house.
How do I get rid of spiders without killing them?
If you prefer to get rid of spiders without killing them, place a jar or cup over the spider, then carefully slide a stiff piece of paper underneath. Take the spider outside and release it in a suitable habitat away from your home.
How We Chose the Top Pest Control Companies
Our pest control research process starts with analyzing customer reviews on third-party websites such as the Better Business Bureau (BBB), Trustpilot, and Google Reviews. We then do a deep dive into each company’s website, service plans, and available cost information. We also secret shop the companies we review, reach out to representatives, and request quotes.
From there, we compile the information we’ve gathered and compare each company using our in-depth pest control methodology and review criteria. This process uses a series of factors that are important to our readers, and we score each company depending on how well they perform in each factor. For instance, companies that offer more guarantees for their service earned more points than others, and pest control plans with a larger range of covered pests earned more points than ones with fewer.
After analyzing dozens of residential and commercial pest control businesses through this process, we were able to determine the best pest control companies on the market.