How to get rid of spiders in the home

Whether you see them as welcome guests or creepy crawlies, we all need to know how to get rid of spiders kindly and humanely. Learn how to gently evict spiders here

24 June 2019

Crayon drawing of spider web for how to get rid of spiders in the home
In the home

Key steps:

  1. Vacuum and dust regularly – this will give spiders fewer places to hide around your house, as well as discouraging the insects they feed on.
  2. Seal up any exterior cracks around your home.
  3. Use white vinegar or essential oils to repel spiders – they hate smells like peppermint and lavender.
  4. If you do find a spider, trap it under a glass (or cup if you don’t want to look at it) and use a sturdy piece of paper to cover the mouth of the glass or cup so you can carry it outside safely.

There’s a spider in your bath – how do you feel? You might be happy (or broadly indifferent) at seeing signs of benign, eight-legged, insect-eating life around your home, but reluctant to leave them at such obvious risk of drowning. It’s equally possible, though, that the sight of the little beastie makes you sick to your stomach.

Either way, we’re here for you. There are plenty of simple, natural methods to deter spiders from your home, and ways to gently evict any unwanted houseguests. If you’re wondering how to get rid of spiders without harming these important members of our ecosystem, read on!

Autumn is spider season, so around the end of August is a good time to give your home’s exterior a once-over and check for cracks or openings that need to be sealed off. Make sure any piles of leaves or grass clippings are as far away from exterior walls, windows and doors as possible, as these are prime spider hideouts!

How to get rid of spiders in the house

Whether you like spiders or not, there’s no denying that they don’t always choose the best places in the house to camp out. They’re definitely not going to be safe in the bathtub once you turn the water on, for one thing, and not everybody wants to share their bedroom with an eight-legged lodger, even if it does eat flies.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of spiders in your room, bathroom or anywhere else in your home, here are a couple of humane methods you can try:

  1. The glass and card method. It’s a classic for a reason! This works best if your target is sitting on a flat surface such as a wooden floor or a wall, although you might be able to swing it on carpet as well. Get a clear glass or plastic tumbler, turn it upside down and place it over the spider, being careful not to crush its legs. Slip a sturdy piece of card underneath the cup, lift it carefully away from the surface and turn it right side up again (it’s a good idea to keep the card in place in case you have a jumping spider on your hands). Then just take your new friend outside and set them free.
  2. Use a dustpan and brush. If you don’t want to get up close and personal with your arachnid invader, you could try gently sweeping in into a dustpan and carrying the dustpan outside to set it free. Tapping gently on the underside of the dustpan as you carry it is supposed to frighten the spider and keep it from running away before you can get it outside. If a dustpan’s length is still too close for you, use a vacuum cleaner to suck the spider up before emptying the bag outside – just don’t forget that second part, or the spider will just crawl out of the vacuum later on!
  3. Usher it out of the window or door. If the spider is just minding its own business by an open door or window, you can just use a piece of paper or card to guide it towards the opening and push it outside.

How to keep spiders away from your house

If you’re an arachnophobe, you probably don’t want to deal with spiders at all. While there’s no 100% fool-proof way to keep these creepy crawlies from crossing your path, there are certainly things you can do to help keep them at bay.

Here’s how to keep spiders away:

  1. Keep a tidy, dust-free home. There are lots of reasons why this is a good idea for spider control. Spiders prefer dark, quiet corners, so checking hard-to-reach cracks and crannies for dust, dirt and webs regularly makes it less likely that anyone eight-legged will try to make a home in them. Keeping a clean kitchen, with food scraps swept up regularly and any perishables stored in the fridge, is also a great way to keep flies away – which eliminates a major food source for spiders.
  2. Seal up any cracks. Fill in any cracks in your floors, roof or exterior walls that spiders could creep in through. This is recommended for keeping rodents away and a good strategy for keeping ants out of your house, too, so do make sure your home is as watertight as possible!
  3. Clean with white vinegar. Mix up a solution of half white vinegar, half water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Use this to spray hard-to-reach corners as a spider deterrent – they hate the smell, and white vinegar is a great cleaning tool in any case. Just be careful with using vinegar on painted or varnished surfaces, as it may damage them. Test the solution in a small area first if you’re not sure if it’s safe.
  4. Use essential oils. This is a nice one, as it combines a solution to the problem of how to keep spiders away from household surfaces with some natural ways to scent your rooms! Spiders are thought to hate smells like peppermint, tea tree, lavender and eucalyptus, so add a few drops of these essential oils to some water and spray your house down with it. Spiders also hate citrus smells, so you could try rubbing a piece of orange or lemon peel on furniture or skirting boards and using citrus-scented cleaners such as Cif Cream Lemon.
  5. As a last resort, try conkers. There’s not a great deal of proof to this, but many people swear by conkers as a spider repellent, so if you’re really worried it can’t hurt to leave a few around the darker corners of your home. Be careful if you have pets, though – conkers can be poisonous to animals, so don’t leave them in reach of anyone who might be tempted to go for a nibble!

There you have it – how to get rid of spiders in your house and keep them from returning! Whether you’re an arachnophobe or an arachnophile, these tips will help you keep the spider level in your home just the way you like it.