Unwanted spider infestations in the home, yard or garden can be eradicated with homemade repellents made from a few easy-to-find ingredients. In addition, a few simple steps may be taken to prevent spiders from making a home where they're not welcome.
Most varieties of spiders pose no threat to humans and are in fact beneficial, as they help keep the insect population under control. Despite this, many people dislike or fear spiders and consider their presence in the home an unwanted nuisance. Spiders can be exterminated or repelled without the use of pesticides or harsh chemicals. Spiders avoid a wide number of natural oils extracted from plants, herbs and fruits, including citrus fruits, lavender, peppermint, citronella, cinnamon, tea trees and cloves. Pure forms of these oils may be purchased at health food stores, and most are inexpensive.
Place a few drops of any of these oils, in any combination, into a spray bottle. Add a squirt of liquid detergent and fill the bottle with water. Spray the mixture on cobwebs, around doors and windows, around the lawn and garden and on any surfaces where spiders lurk. In addition to having a pleasant aroma, this mixture is nontoxic and safe to use around children and pets. The combination of coconut oil and white vinegar also makes an effective spray for repelling spiders. As oils may stain or cause spots, test the mixture on a small, hidden area of carpets, curtains or upholstered furniture before spraying the entire surface.
Another natural remedy for repelling spiders involves soaking pipe or chewing tobacco in boiling water, and then cooling and straining it. Combine two parts of the tobacco-infused solution with one part liquid soap and spray it on cobwebs. As the nicotine in tobacco is a toxin, this remedy is not child- or pet-safe.
Scattering whole chestnuts, sections of osage oranges or ground cloves around areas where spiders have been spotted may also be an effective deterrent.
Alternative Elimination Methods
Eliminate a household spider infestation through other simple, nonchemical means. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up spiders and cobwebs. Seal cracks in the foundation and close gaps in windows or beneath doorways to deny spiders access to the premises. Spiders thrive in dark, cluttered places, so keep stacks of debris, woodpiles and thick plant growth away from the sides of the house. The fewer places spiders can easily inhabit, the more effectively they can be repelled.