How To Keep Spiders Away – 19 Natural Methods

Finding a spider inside your home is never a pleasant experience. Finding three or four or ten?! That’s not just unpleasant; that’s a serious problem.

When I first moved into my new home—a tri-level with a garden level and a basement—we had a serious spider problem. I’m talking about the spider-in-every-corner type of problem. Because we had pets, using chemical sprays was just not an option. Instead, we turned to natural methods to keep these creepy crawlers away.

If you’re wondering how to keep spiders away from your home, keep reading to see the 19 natural methods that worked best for me, including a simple device every soft-hearted arachnophobe needs in their life. 

With these natural methods, I was able to drop our spider population from horror-movie levels to near zero in a matter of months. And they can help you do the same.

Spider on a bathroom countertop

Disclosure:It is important you understand that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own we pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.

Why Do Spiders Enter Your House?

Before we get into how to keep spiders out of your house, we need to take a moment to understand why they come inside in the first place. There are two main reasons why spiders will come inside your house.

The first reason spiders get into your house is to look for shelter from inclement weather. When the temperatures drop in the fall, spiders instinctually seek warmer spaces to survive the winter months. 

In a natural environment, spiders will use leaf litter and other vegetation to hibernate beneath. 

When you clean your yard up in the fall and remove these types of hiding spaces, you leave the spiders no choice but to seek out other accommodations. And your home is easily the warmest, most inviting place around. 

By cleaning up only leaf and vegetation debris around your foundation and leaving it in place throughout the rest of your yard, you give spiders another place to refuge over the cold months.

The second reason spiders come inside is to search for food.

If you have many food crumbs, rotting fruit, and clutter inside your home, insects of all kinds will come inside. These bugs will, in turn attract spiders that like to eat them. 

To avoid attracting insects and spiders into your home, be sure to keep ripe fruit in the fridge and keep your kitchen and eating spaces clean. Keeping clutter-like storage boxes and clothes off the floor will also help make your living space look less attractive to spiders.

How to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home: 19 Natural Methods

Once you have your home cleaned and free of spider attractants and your yard well littered for spider hibernation, you are ready to implement some natural methods to keep spiders out further away from your residence.

Here are 19 natural methods that are especially effective for keeping spiders away.

Use a Spider Catcher to Get Rid of Spiders

spider catcher

Our first tip is less about repelling spiders and more about removing the spiders that have already moved in.

Now you could use a traditional method for this, like a spider trap or sticky paper. But these products only work if the spiders cooperate and hang out in the places you put them. They don’t do anything to help you with that surprise spider that greets you in the shower.

For these types of situations, you want a spider catcher. These ingenious devices have lightweight bristles that open and close when you depress the trigger on the long handle. With one of these, you can pick up a spider and toss it back into your garden without having to get too close to it.

What you’ll need:

Move Them By Hand

If you don’t have a spider catcher, you can always move spiders by hand using a cup or piece of paper. Just make sure you release the spiders far from your home, so they don’t turn right around and come back inside.

What you’ll need:

  • A cup or wide-mouthed container
  • Stiff paper or cardboard to cover the top

Peppermint Essential Oil Spray

peppermint essential oil for removing spiders

Spiders don’t have tongues or noses, but they have powerful taste and scent receptors on their legs and feet. Because of this, spiders are more sensitive to strong odors and tastes than other kinds of animals.

One substance with a powerful odor and taste that has long been used to get rid of spiders is peppermint oil. Scientific studies have found that peppermint oil is one natural spider solution that does hold up during experiments. 

You can use a mix of peppermint oil and water to spray your door thresholds and around your windows and foundation. It will help in keeping spiders away. You can even spray this mix inside your home to help get rid of those that have already come inside.

What you’ll need:

Use Spanish Chestnuts

chestnuts inside a container

In the same experiment cited above, Spanish chestnuts were found to be effective for more species of spiders than peppermint oil.

The skin of these fruits contains an odorous chemical called saponin that spiders don’t like. While the old adage says to use whole chestnuts on window sills and in front of doorways to repel spiders, we recommend using the oil extract similar to how you would apply peppermint oil. It can be used to get rid of spiders inside the house or to keep them away in the first place.

What you’ll need:

  • A spray bottle
  • About 15 drops of Spanish chestnut oil
  • 1 cup of water
  • OR whole Spanish chestnuts

Use Vinegar To Keep Spiders Away

woman using diluted vinegar solution to get rid of spider

Vinegar may have a strong odor and a strong taste, but what makes it an effective spider repellent is actually its acidic nature. Even when diluted, vinegar is strong enough to damage the exoskeleton of spiders. Their sensitive feet will pick up on any traces of strong acidic substances and tell them to get away from that area.

You can use vinegar as a repellent or a spider killer. Mix equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle and spray in corners of your house, along window sills and doorways, and anywhere else spiders like to hang out.

What you’ll need:

Clove or Cinnamon

Two more potent essential oils with some spider repelling potential, and have always worked very well for me, are clove and cinnamon oil. In high enough concentrations, clove oil can even kill spiders and their egg sacs.

While there haven’t been many scientific experiments looking at the repelling power of clove and cinnamon oil for spiders, there have been plenty, including this one, looking at clove’s effects on mites. These tiny eight-legged bugs are also members of the arachnid family and are closely related to spiders.

As with peppermint oil, you can mix clove and cinnamon oil with water to create an effective spider spray. This spray is perfect for keeping spiders away from your home and can be enough to get rid of current (insects) residents already in your house.

What you’ll need:

Citrus

Citrus, specifically lemon oil, is another compound that is often cited as beneficial if you want to rid your house of spiders. The thought is that either its acidic qualities or its strong odor help get rid of spiders. Most often, citrus oil is applied as a spray around entry points.

Personally, I haven’t found the citrus spray to be overly effective in keeping spiders out of the house when used on its own. However, when mixed with clove or peppermint oil, it does seem to exaggerate their effects. Plus, it adds a lovely fresh scent, which is excellent if you use the spray inside your house.

What you’ll need:

Garlic

Garlic extract is another essential oil type that has been tested extensively against mites with positive results. However, it does seem that its effects are more potent on certain species of spiders over others and that it takes a high concentration to repel and kill these bugs. We can assume the same would be true for spiders.

Since garlic’s strong odor is also very obvious to humans, spraying high concentrations in your house is not a great option. However, planting garlic around your foundation can help reduce the number of spiders hanging out near your home, which will, in turn, reduce how many get inside your house.

What you’ll need:

  • A spray bottle
  • Multiple crushed garlic cloves
  • Water
  • OR sprouting garlic cloves to plant

Keeping Spiders Away with Mint

Garlic isn’t the only plant you can place around your house to repel spiders. Mint will also turn the areas around your foundation, doorways, and below your windows into places spiders do not want to hang out. And, unlike garlic, mint is prolific and easy to grow.

You can even keep mint in pots around the inside of your house to get rid of the spiders you have or to control their movements to keep them out of your living spaces.

What you’ll need:

  • Mint to plant – peppermint and spearmint work well, but any variety will do

Clean Up Inside The Home

woman using a vacuum to clean the house

As we mentioned in the first section, cleaning up your house is a crucial step to avoid attracting the bugs that spiders eat. But clutter can also attract spiders themselves.

Spiders naturally search out dark spaces to build their webs and hibernate during cold months. If you have a lot of boxes, decorations, clothes, and other debris on your floors, you can bet some spiders will move in. Even over-cluttered shelves can provide habitat for these skilled climbers, so be sure to clean your house top to bottom if you wish to get rid of spiders and keep them from coming back.

What you’ll need:

  • Vacuum
  • Broom
  • Organizers to move clutter off the floor

Clean Up Outside

woman cleaning the backyard

One tip you will often hear to help keep spiders away is to clean your yard up. But this is a double-edged sword. If you don’t have many spiders in your home and yard, cleaning these areas can help avoid attracting more to your local area. But if you are already struggling with spiders in the house, then you most likely have a booming population in your yard as well.

If you remove the natural spider habitat in your yard, then all those creepy crawlers will have nowhere to hide and are more likely to seek out refuge in your home.

Instead of focusing on cleaning up your entire yard, focus on cleaning the areas around your foundation. Remove leaves, cut back bushes, trim trees, and move woodpiles away from your house. By doing this, you will effectively block the spider highways that lead into your house without displacing the spiders that already call your yard home.

What you’ll need:

Check Your Fruit Bowl

We mentioned earlier that spiders would often come inside looking for bugs to eat. And one of the biggest attractors of bugs, especially gnats, is rotting fruit. For this reason, it is a good idea to check your fruit bowl often and remove any fruits that have soft spots or mold growing.

You can store most bug-attracting fruits (except for bananas) in the fridge where their sweet smell won’t entice bugs into your home. With fewer bugs swarming your kitchen, spiders will have to get their meal elsewhere.

What you’ll need:

  • Sealed containers to keep ripe fruit in if placing them in the fridge is not an option

Seal Gaps

man adding silicone caulk to a window

Regardless of which of the above ideas you put into practice, you will never see the complete eradication of spiders from your home without sealing the gaps that allow spiders to get in.

Check your doors for areas where light can get through and install weather stripping and bottom sweeps to seal them up. You should caulk foundation cracks and gaps in your siding as often as needed so spiders can’t crawl through. Getting a new, well-fitting screen is also a good idea to keep spiders from creeping into your house while your windows are open.

What you’ll need:

Get a Bug Zapper

Bug zappers may seem like an obvious solution for your spider overpopulation problem, but the truth is, these gadgets don’t do a ton to eradicate spiders since they can’t fly. If you do want to try a bug zapper to kill spiders, you should place it on the ground in an area where spiders are known to frequent. Spiders aren’t attracted to light but may climb into the zapper following other bugs that are.

Some bug zappers are rated for use inside the house. If your spider problem is mainly with spiders inside, make sure you purchase one of these kinds of units. 

What you’ll need:

A bug zapper – we recommend this one by Pestaxo

Change The Porch Light

man removing old porch light

Spiders may not be attracted to light, but they are smart enough to know that their favorite food sources spend a lot of time fluttering around exterior bulbs. To help keep spiders away from your front door and from crawling under it into your house, try changing your porch light.

Insects can’t see light in the yellow spectrum, which means they can’t be attracted to it. By replacing your exterior lights with special yellow bug bulbs, you’ll avoid attracting bugs and the spiders that prey on them.

What you’ll need:

Diatomaceous Earth

diatomaceous earth

Diatomaceous earth is a fine powder made from the fossilized remains of diatoms, hard-shelled creatures that lived millions of years ago. This fine powder has two essential properties that make it great for fighting spider infestations and general pest control.

First, it has a very abrasive texture, which is sharp enough to penetrate the exoskeleton of spiders. Second, it is naturally physico-sorptive, which means it actively absorbs lipids from the surrounding environment. Because insects and spiders rely on a protective layer of lipids to avoid water loss, contact with diatomaceous earth can dehydrate and kill them.

Sprinkling diatomaceous earth around your doorways, foundation, and below your window sills will help repel spiders and other insects so they can’t get into your house.

What you’ll need:

Learn more: How to use diatomaceous earth to kill spiders

Glue Traps

Spider glue trap

If there is an area of your home that spiders frequent or a spot in your foundation that you are having trouble sealing, get a glue trap. These sticky pads trap the spiders and don’t let go. They are instrumental in cramped spaces that spiders like to hide, such as under the washing machine, fridge, and below shelving.

Just be careful if you have pets. These sticky traps don’t just catch spiders. They are strong enough to attach themselves to cats and dogs who stray too close, as well.

What you’ll need:

Use Ultrasonic Pest Repellers

ultrasonic pest control

There isn’t much scientific backing for the use of ultrasonic pest repellers to keep spiders away from your home. But there are plenty of people out there who swear by them for general pest control.

The idea is that ultrasonic noise—frequencies too high for humans to hear—can deter spiders and other pests from setting up shop in your home. If you have a major spider problem, it doesn’t hurt to try these. They are relatively inexpensive and harmless to humans and larger pets.

What you’ll need:

  • Ultrasonic pest repeller – these TOMPOL repellers seem the most promising for use against spiders

Get a Cat

Are you dealing with some, especially gargantuan wolf spiders? Your best bet may be to get a cat. Everyone knows cats love hunting mice, but most fierce felines are equally interested in chasing down giant spiders. If you are already considering adding a pet to the family, choosing a frisky cat could help solve two problems at once.

What you’ll need:

  • One feisty feline willing to hunt spiders to earn their keep

Are All Spiders Bad?

There is no question; spiders are creepy creatures and not the kind of thing most people like to see in their homes. But are they as bad as we make them out to be?

The truth is, of the 400,000 or so spider species that exist in the world, only about a dozen pose any real risk to humans. And most of those spiders do not live in the United States. So that terrifying spider in your bathroom? She is very, very unlikely to cause you any harm.

Spiders do much more good than bad. They eat other bugs that like to invade our homes, like flies, mites, and cockroaches. Spiders are even more beneficial in the garden, keeping insect populations down so your flowers and veggies can grow to their full potential.

So next time you see a spider making her way through your home, try to remember that they are friends, not foes. Then grab your spider catcher, toss them back into the garden where they belong, and employ any one of the methods listed above to keep them away from your house for good.

About The Author

Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.