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Why you have spiders, and how to control them around the house

Updated on: June 7, 2023

Spiders are often considered beneficial insects as they help control other insect populations, but their presence can be unsettling. There are several reasons why you may have spiders; so lets review a few housekeeping concepts so we can both understand why spiders are present and how to mitigate their numbers in and around your home.

  1. Insects as a food source: Spiders are predators that primarily feed on insects. If there is an abundance of insects around or inside the house, spiders are attracted to these areas in search of prey.
  2. Shelter and hiding spots: Spiders seek shelter and hiding places to build their webs and lay their eggs. Cluttered or undisturbed areas, such as basements, attics, and storage spaces, provide favorable environments for spiders to thrive.
  3. Outdoor conditions: Spiders may enter houses through cracks, gaps, or open doors and windows. They often enter dwellings searching for refuge from harsh weather conditions, such as heat or cold.
  4. Vegetation and landscaping: If the house is surrounded by dense vegetation, shrubs, or tall grass, spiders may be more prevalent as these environments provide suitable habitats.
  5. Light sources: Certain species of spiders are attracted to light sources, especially at night. Outdoor lights near the house may attract insects, which, in turn, attract spiders.
  6. Structural conditions: Some houses may have structural features or design elements that unintentionally create suitable habitats for spiders. For example, gaps in window screens or cracks in the foundation can allow spiders to enter.

Now that we reviewed what attracts spiders lets review the steps to help keep them away.

  1. Keep your home clean: Spiders are attracted to clutter and areas with abundant insect prey. Regularly clean your home, especially areas where spiders tend to hide, such as basements, attics, and storage spaces. Remove cobwebs, vacuum corners, crevices, and declutter to eliminate potential hiding spots.
  2. Seal entry points: Inspect your home for any gaps, cracks, or openings that spiders can use to enter. Seal these openings with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent spiders from getting inside. Pay attention to gaps around windows, doors, utility lines, and vents.
  3. Reduce outdoor lighting: Bright outdoor lights can attract insects, which draw spiders. Consider using less intense or yellow insect-resistant bulbs for outdoor lighting to minimize the insect population near your home.
  4. Remove outdoor debris: Clear away piles of leaves, wood, and other debris near your home's foundation. Spiders can hide in these areas, so keeping them clear reduces potential habitats.
  5. Trim vegetation: Trim tree branches, shrubs, and other vegetation away from the exterior of your home. Spiders can use these as pathways to access your house. Trimming them creates a barrier that makes it harder for spiders to enter.
  6. Install screens: Use window screens and door sweeps to prevent spiders from entering your home through openings. Repair or replace damaged screens to maintain their effectiveness.
  7. Use natural repellents: Some natural substances are known to repel spiders. Examples include essential oils like peppermint, citrus, or tea tree oil. Dilute these oils with water and spray them around entry points, windows, and other areas where spiders are likely to present. Spiders typically avoid areas with strong scents from these oils.
  8. Remove other pests: Spiders often feed on other insects, so controlling other pest populations can help reduce the spider population. Implement measures to control flies, ants, and insects around your home through proper sanitation, sealing entry points, and appropriate pest control methods.
  9. Consult a professional: If you have a severe spider infestation or if you are uncomfortable dealing with spiders on your own, consider contacting a professional pest control service. They can assess the situation, provide effective treatments, and offer ongoing prevention strategies.

Here are 6 natural methods to keep spiders out of your house:

1. White Vinegar: Create a vinegar spray by mixing equal parts vinegar and water. Spray it around your home, especially in the kitchen and entry points, as spiders are sensitive to the sour taste and odor of vinegar. Do not use vinegar on 

  • ·        Marble, Granite, & Natural Stone, Grout
  • ·        Stainless Steel
  • ·        Waxed or Unfinished Wood
  • ·        Cast Iron
  • ·        Electronics
  • ·        Rubber Gaskets & Hoses

2. Citrus: Spiders dislike citrus. Keep citrus fruits in a bowl on the counter and rub leftover citrus peels along windowsills and doorways. You can also soak orange peels in vinegar overnight and use the infused vinegar as a cleaning agent or spray.

3. Mint: Spiders hate mint. Spray peppermint essential oil mixed with water all over your home, or crush dried mint leaves and place them in sachets in your kitchen cupboard. Planting mint near entryways can also deter bugs from entering.

4. Diatomaceous Earth (DE): Sprinkle DE, a non-toxic powder made from fossilized algae, in areas where you notice spiders. It absorbs moisture from pests, causing them to dehydrate. You can also mix DE with water in a spray bottle and apply it around the outside of your home or in your garden.

5. Cedar: Use cedar blocks or chips sprinkled around your home to repel spiders and other bugs while adding a pleasant woody scent.

6. Horse Chestnuts: Place horse chestnuts on windowsills or along baseboards to drive spiders away. These nuts last a long time and can be an effective deterrent.

By implementing these ideas and using some of these natural methods you can make your home less inviting to spiders, greatly reduce their presence, and keep them outside where they belong.


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