What Smells Do Spiders Not Like?

9 ways to spider-proof your home

It’s getting to that time of year when our eight-legged ‘friends’ try to come crawling into the house. Here’s a few ways to help prevent them.

While house spiders can bite but have no venom, the vast majority of spiders are perfectly happy avoiding contact with humans. But whether they bite or not, most people don’t want spiders sharing their home.

If you do see one in the house, just put a container over it, scoop it up with a postcard and gently put it outside. However, there are plenty of things you can do to prevent the pesky critters invading in the first place.

David Cross, head of the Technical Training Academy at Rentokil Pest Control, says: “Male house spiders leave their webs and enter homes in the late summer and autumn months to look for breeding partners. Recent spells of wet weather will have encouraged this behaviour, making it seem like there are more spiders than usual.

“As spiders are able to squeeze themselves through tiny gaps and holes, it’s impossible to completely proof your house against them, but of course, closing doors and windows will help keep them at bay.”

How to keep spiders out

Expert pest controller Cross suggests these nine tips:

1. Limit spider food

Clear away any dead flies, or other small crawling insects around doors, windowsills and in lofts or cellars.

2. Vacuum regularly

Always vacuum high and low, and make sure you target sheltered spots beneath worktops and behind cupboards and sofas.

3. Remove webs

Do this regularly, remembering to check the corners of the ceiling and in corners of picture frames and mirrors.

4. Fill gaps

Make sure you fill the gaps between walls, pipework and under doors where possible.

5. Remove sheltering sites

Spiders will look to tuck themselves away in firewood piles, garden bags and compost heaps, so get rid of them if you can.

6. Limit lighting

Insects are drawn to light, and flies and moths are ideal spider prey, so turn any outside lights off if you can.

7. Smelly stuff

Spiders don’t like the smell of citrus fruits like lemon, nor eucalyptus, tea tree and peppermint oils. Try rubbing lemon peel around windows and doors, or spray the other scents around them. Another smell they don’t like is vinegar – although you might not like that scent either!

8. Feline foe

A cat will try to catch a spider if it sees it – although owning a moggy won’t stop spiders coming indoors in the first place.

9. Conkers

An old wives tale says spiders don’t like conkers and placing them around the house will keep them at bay. While there’s no real evidence to back this up, it won’t hurt to try…


How To Get Rid Of Spiders (17 Easy Tips That REALLY WORK!)

  • Different types of spiders
  • Why do spiders come inside?
  • How to catch a spider
  • How to get rid of spiders

Wondering how to get rid of spiders? We know they don’t mean us any harm (most of the time), but it’s hard to be rational with their 8 legs dangling all over the place!

If you’re afraid of creepy crawlies, it can be really helpful to know how to keep them out of the home. Good news — today we’re sharing 17 effective home remedies that will help you to get rid of spiders in the house (and they’re surprisingly easy!)

Don’t forget to share this with other arachnophobes too!

Editor’s Note: This post was originally posted in May 2015 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness in April 2019.

Different types of spiders

We do have plenty of spiders in the UK, but one thing to be thankful for is that they rarely bite, and those that do won’t cause any prolonged symptoms.

Some of the most common spiders that you might find in your house include Giant House Spiders, Daddy Long Legs, Hobo Spiders, Zebra Jumping Spiders, Cupboard Spiders, Money Spiders, Lace Web Spiders, False Widow Spiders and Cardinal Spiders.

If you’re wondering how to get rid of Wolf Spiders or Brown Recluse Spiders, the methods are the same as with any other spider. You should take additional care when dealing with this species — their bite is venomous!

Why do spiders come inside?

Believe it or not, spiders don’t always come inside. In fact, only 5% of house spiders have ever been outside.

House spiders grow in numbers when egg sacs are carried in on furniture or building materials. From there they mate and generally live in or under the same house throughout their entire life.

You may be wondering why you see more spiders at certain times of the year, if they’re not coming from outside. There’s an explanation for that — male spiders come out in search of females during the mating season, which is usually late Summer, but it varies for each species.

How to catch a spider

If you do find a spider in your home, you might be wondering what the best way to remove it is. The most popular method for catching spiders in the home is to use a jar or a glass. This is a humane method that allows you to catch spiders without killing them. You can use any container, but the best spider catching tools are:

  • Transparent
  • Not too big and not too small
  • Not too heavy or fragile

You’ll need nerves of steel to get close enough to the spider, and quick reflexes to trap it under the container. Once you have the spider trapped, you will need to slip a piece of paper under the jar. Takeaway menus and thin card work particularly well, because they give you a more solid base than paper.

Carefully slide the paper under the container and then lift up the jar and paper together, being careful to keep the spider trapped. Release the spider outside, leaving a good amount of distance from your home.

If you’re a bit more squeamish when it comes to spiders, this spider catcher might be the solution for you.

How to get rid of spiders

If you really dislike spiders, the above news may come as quite a shock. All is not lost, however. We’re sharing loads of easy ways to get rid of house spiders below.

See also:  What Does A Brown Widow Spider Look Like?

1. Move the bins

Unlike humans, spiders love flies. Bins are like food courts to spiders, as flies love to hang around rubbish.

Wheel your bins to new places as far away from your house as possible, and keep them closed at all times to keep spiders well away from your windows and doors.

2. Use Horse Chestnuts

This is a great tip for those that want to know how to get rid of spiders naturally. There’s little understanding as to why this method works, however it has been suggested that Horse Chestnuts — also known as conkers — contain certain chemicals that spiders find unpalatable.

Place horse chestnuts in the corners of your house where you experience high traffic levels of spiders. Cut a few holes in them if you can to further release any chemicals.

3. Turn off outdoor lights

It’s no secret that light attracts insects, and what’s a spider’s favourite thing to eat? You guessed it — insects. Luring bugs into your home is like setting out a banquet with an 8-legged dress code.

Prevent this potential buffet feast from happening by switching off those lights tonight.

4. Get a cat

Your four-legged friend, Fluffy, is an experienced hunter and will take care of any spiders that have the audacity to crawl around the floor or on the furniture.

This is one of the best ways to banish spiders without chemicals. If you haven’t already got a furry pal to help, what are you waiting for?

5. Grow eucalyptus

You might like the smell of eucalyptus, but spiders do not. Consider growing eucalyptus as a houseplant or outside to discourage them from setting up camp in your house.

This is a wonderful, natural way to get rid of spiders in the home.

6. Deter those creepy crawlies with cinnamon

That strong Christmas scent isn’t just for the holidays!

We’re all for using home remedies, and this is no exception. Cinnamon is perfect for keeping spiders away, so grab yourself a cinnamon candle to burn. You’ll be sending those spiders packing in no time.

7. Lemon Peel

Another great way to get rid of spiders naturally is to use lemon. Spiders hate citrus, so it’s the perfect weapon.

Rub lemon peel all over your windowsills, bookshelves and anywhere they might like to hide. This is an easy way to move them along, and out of your home! If you’re also looking for a way to get rid of spiders in the basement or garage, this could be an easy solution. Rubbing lemon around skirting boards and door frames should do the trick.

8. Vinegar

Want to make a natural spider repellent? Grab a spray bottle and mix white vinegar and water together. Go around the house and spray your mixture into all the little crevices around your home to deter spiders — it’ll work a treat.

Don’t worry about the smell, that will disappear as soon as it dries.

9. Peppermint

If you’re really worried about the smell of vinegar, try peppermint!

Fill up a spray bottle with water and add 20 drops of peppermint essential oils. Head to the cracks and corners of your house and spray the mixture into them to get rid of spiders without killing them.

Another option is using a peppermint tea bag. Once you’ve brewed the tea, leave the squeezed bag in the room that’s prone to spiders to deter them.

10. Clean up

The best way to get rid of spiders in the house is to dust, vacuum and de-clutter your home regularly.

It’s not the quickest method, but keeping your home cleaned regularly will mean those 8-legged friends don’t get a chance to build webs and set up shop in your home.

11. Clean the garden

What if you’re wondering how to get rid of spiders outside? We have the answer!

You might think there’s little you can do to keep your garden spider-free, but that’s where you’re wrong. The fuller your garden, the easier it is for spiders to build webs and set up camp.

If you’ve got lots of plant pots and foliage around your house that spiders love to build webs in, then it’s time to clear and prune. It’s also a good idea to keep plants away from the perimeter of your home. If you have large shrubs against the brick wall, you’ll only encourage them to head inside.

12. Seal up the cracks

How do those spiders get in anyway?

Spiders will gain entry to your home through cracks and openings around windows and doors.

Prevent them by sealing up the cracks with sealant.

13. Get rid of old drink vessels

Spiders are big fans of old bottle and cans so recycle them as quickly as possible before they move in.

14. Keep pet food covered

You know how much flies love to buzz around your Summer BBQs? They’ll find the same appeal in meaty pet food.

Grab some plastic boxes and place them over pet food to prevent it from attracting flies and other bugs, which will in turn, lure spiders into your home.

15. Bleach

Bleach is useful for many things — one of which is a homemade pesticide.

Spraying diluted bleach onto areas where spiders are lurking will soon get rid of them.

16. Lavender

Lavender might smell lovely to us, but spiders aren’t such fans!

Fill a spray bottle almost full with warm water, then add 7 drops of lavender essential oils and 1 tbsp washing up liquid. Shake to combine, then spray into areas spiders are a problem (windows, doors and the base of walls are usually a good place to start).

This is a nice one for the bedroom, as it will make the whole room smell gorgeous!

17. Wash fruit

Fruit attracts flies, which attract spiders. Grapes are particularly appealing to insects, so spiders are more likely to make their web amongst and around them.

Although most farmers now used pesticides which should prevent this, organically-grown produce may be more likely to house the odd four-legged friend or two.

To be on the safe side, always give fruit a clean when you bring them home from the supermarket.


How do you get rid of spiders in the car?

Spiders love to hide in cars, and they can be tricky to keep out. The first step is to keep doors and windows shut as much as possible, and to make sure that there aren’t any gaps for them to sneak through. Next, you’ll want to vacuum your car regularly to remove crumbs and spider webs.

Give your car a thorough clean with a general purpose spray and then use one of the natural remedies above to deter them from coming back. Natural ingredients such as cinnamon, vinegar and citrus can be used to scent your car.

What do spiders eat?

Spiders do have one advantage — they’ll trap and eat pests in your home. Insects like cockroaches, earwigs, mosquitoes, flies, and moths will be no match for their sticky webs!

Why do spiders bite?

Spiders will bite if they feel threatened. Spiders don’t feed on human blood in the same way as bed bugs or mosquitos, so you don’t need to be scared if you have them in your home.

How do you get rid of spider eggs?

You might have discovered a small egg sack near your windows or doorframes. This could be full of hundreds, if not thousands, of baby spiders that can hatch at any moment. If not dealt with, you’ll have to handle a full-blown spider infestation. If you’re removing the egg sack yourself, take care not to damage the sack, as you could disturb the baby spiders.

See also:  All About Sun Spiders and Best Ways To get Rid Of Them

Take a piece of kitchen roll and carefully dislodge the egg sack. Place the kitchen roll and the egg sack into a bin bag and tie the handles securely. Dispose of the bin bag in your general waste. You could also use a vacuum to dislodge and suck up the egg sack, but the sack might burst inside of your vacuum.

Do spiders come up the plug hole?

If you’ve found a spider in your bath, you might think it’s crawled up the plug hole in true Incy-Wincy style. There’s no need to leave your plug blocking the drain 24/7, as this simply isn’t true! The U-bend in your plumbing will prevent any spiders from getting into your bath.

We hope you’ve enjoyed the tips!

Please share this article with your arachnophobic friends and let us know your tips in the comments below.

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Colleen B


Lifelong biscuit addict. Obsessed with recipes, cooking & eating. Slightly lazier than the average bear, so likes writing about life hacks & discovering the quickest / easiest way to do things.

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57 Add your comment

I had two cats the female did get spiders i always knew as i would find just the legs the next day yuk but she passed away her brother now about 20 however is useless and has been fired apprentice style on many occasions when i have put spiders right in front of him and he looks at me with a gormless expression as if to say «AND» he wont even chase moths useless lol

Ha ha Liza — I like that he has been fired ‘Apprentice-style’ — maybe you need to a get a kitten now — (any excuse!)

I have four cats and one of the girls loves finding spiders and in the porchway where the webs and woodlice creap from, she will literally lick the corners clean and eat whatever comes out. Lol it’s not that we don’t feed her but she just loves spiders and woodlice and webs in the corners of the porch.

Hi Michelle! Sounds like the best cat ever — can we borrow her?

Our cat is a wonderful huntress. Hardly seen any spiders since we got her and those we do aren’t alive for long 😛

Hi Phillip! What are cats for, eh?

I know many of us don’t like spiders in the house but you really should leave them be. They pose us no harm whatsoever (unless you have venomous ones in your Country). They should be thought of as friends as they do a fantastic job eating all the nasty little bugs, cockroaches and flies that lurk in our homes that DO carry health risks such as typhoid, gastroenteritis, salmonella and many parasites including intestinal worms. Spiders are spooky but not dirty. You will rarely have ant or insect invasions if they are predated on by a resident spider! I leave them be and it irks me that my cat’s hobby is rolling them into little dead spider balls! Save your efforts and remedies for dealing with insects that DO pose health risks but if you leave the spiders alone you probably won’t have to. I have one living just inside my backdoor in the skirting, a quick inspection shows he has stopped many little bugs getting much further into my house this week!

Hi Amanda! Thanks for sharing this view. It’s great to hear that you’re able to cohabit with your spiders. I think most people would be too spooked, but maybe if they read this they might change their minds!

I agree with Amanda and Judith. If you get rid of all spiders you’ll have bigger problems later on. It’s OK to get rid of a few — like that one that sitting there looking at you — but generally let them get on with the great job they do.

Help! I’m allergic to cats, so that’s out. My house and basement are overrun with spiders. I can vacuum away dozens one day, and find a dozen more 2 days later. I look at the webs; and they rarely have other insects caught in them. I vacuumed the dense hanging webs and spiders in our 225 year old dirt basement. I have sprayed the basement and entire house (walls, holes, cracks, baseboards, with the peppermint oil spray, multiple times in the last few weeks. The entire duct work system was professionally cleaned 2 weeks ago. My house is immaculate as it is minimally furnished as an Air bnb. Still, the spiders return. I’m on the verge of using spray poisons. Has anyone out there actually used a natural deterrent and found it truly effective? Which one(s)? HELP!

Hi Amy! Do you have a lot of vegetation (shrubs, plants, etc) around the perimeter of your home? This could be attracting spiders.

Why would you want o rid your home of spiders? They keep flies and other bugs away. It’s a shame that fear is and ignorance is responsible for the way the majority of people react to things they don’t understand. Please don’t publish articles like this as it does nothing to help teach people about the creatures that will help us. We humans don;t own this planet, we share it, and we have to learn how to share.

Thanks for sharing your view, Judith.

can you use essential oils? if I put in a spray eucalyptus essential oil and levander with water and spray it all over the house (I know it is good when you got cold and flu) would that be better than grow the tree in your house?

Hi Lilach! It’s well worth a try. Peppermint oil also works great for deterring spiders. Good luck!

Hi Joanne — Re #17: You mentioned spiders being attracted to grapes. I always keep mine (the grapes!) in the fridge. They taste better colder, too. I’m always finding huge spiders in the bath. Do they come up through the plug hole? Would wiping the inlets with eucalyptus oil, lemon peel, vinegar, peppermint or bleach, as you suggested, keep them away? I don’t have a cat but a dog who loves to chase flies and moths, etc. I’ll have to introduce her to a spider and see what happens.

Hi Sandy! Thanks for commenting. Apparently, spiders can’t get in through plugholes, because the U bend stops them. There’s no concrete evidence to confirm this anywhere so I would wipe the inlets, as you said, to keep them away.

Thank you so much really appreciate this spider article. Iv tryed conkers but the spiders are every where. Will be trying these

Hey Raz! We’re so glad you found it useful!

I have a spider and a fly problem.

Hi Jan. Could you please tell us a little bit more about the problem?

Thanks for the article. it was so useful! But eating spiders make our cats sick so maybe we won’t do that hack

You’re welcome, Jennifer!

good choices to do and i dont like spiders tbh

Neither do we, Eva!

My new apartment is like that movie «Arachnaphobia» I find a couple of Daddy long legs spiders every day. Im pretty sure they are living in the heating ducts, and Im eager to try to get rid of them. I’ll try the peppermint and lavender. Thanks.

That sounds like a nightmare, Greg! Good luck — please let us know how you get on.

i hate spiders.when i see tgem i alwats get nervouse and feel like goint to die .thnks for ur guidance ill try

I use the spider stop spray, I bought at Lakeland.co.uk, coupled with putting a dish of conkers on the window ledge, in every room. I use the spray every 3 mths, and go out into my local neighbourhood, to collect the conkers, as they come down. People who have conker trees in their front garden, are only too happy, to let you have them, because it saves them a job! ☺

I️ already know spiders are suppose to be a help but I️ have severe Arachnophobia. It’s so bad that I️ will leave the premises if me and the spider is in the same space. I’ve tried the vinegar thing. It sort of works. I️ also moo my floors with vinegar, spray my vents, windows and door and carpet. I️ still spotted 4 spiders within less than 24 hrs. I️ don’t know if it’s drawing them out as well. I️ also think my vinegar/water solution might be too Diluted. I️ am going to add a few more methods to my routine. I️ heard mothballs work too. So I’m going to get peppermint/ eucalyptus oil and put it in my oil warmer. Also, my house is very clean and not much clutter. We don’t keep things near or in the corners. I️ spray vinegar everyday/ twice a day. In the morning and before bed. I’m going to add more things to my vinegar solution like orange peels because I️ heard that works with cinnamon, black pepper and dish soap. With less water and see how that works. I️ don’t want to fogg or call an exterminator because that work require killing up dead bugs and finding them everywhere or them coming out and ending up in my clothes and etc. hopefully this works. It feels like I️ have an infestation and I’m hoping I️ can rid of it before my baby is born.

Good luck! I hope it helps you.

That spider in your main pic is actually venomous to the big black house spiders, so I leave them alone in my house. And yes, I am an arachnophobe

Thanks for sharing!

I must agree with several of the comments above, spiders are our FRIENDS, in that they prey on potentially disease-carrying insects, however, that’s not much consolation to those who are arachnophobic, even mildly so (remember that a phobia is an IRRATIONAL fear). A couple of stories, it’s not just cats that will hunt spiders, one of my dogs, a Chihuahua spotted a rather large House Spider scuttling across the floor and pounced on it, then wondered why it didn’t move any more! Also, my grandson, when young, was afraid of spiders until he watched “Charlotte’s Web”, after that we called them “Charlottes” instead of spiders, so whenever he saw one he was no longer afraid of them! Finally, please note that if you put a House Spider outside it will die, so even a humane method of catching them is not so humane after all.

Thanks for sharing! It’s very true — an irrational fear is just that.

I can cope with most spiders, but those giant house spiders are something else.. I’ve caught 5 just this week and 3 of those were found in my bedroom. One of them I actually found this morning because my cat woke me up with her grumbling and there it was, just sitting in her cat bed in the corner. There is no way I’m getting any sleep if I know there’s one loose in my bedroom! And my cat apparently feels the same way so she’s not helping me out much!

Sorry to hear that, Charlotte! I hope one of these methods works for you.

My cat chloe only goes after them when she wants to i have 5 spiders in my house and i dont like them one bit. And i am a clean freak if one has to ask.

Cats have a mind of their own, that’s for sure!

I have to agree with all those who say «Spiders are our Friends». Hasn’t man done enough damage to our plant? which will take millions of years to rectify. Don’t understand how someone can be frightened of something that is a million times smaller than man, but do understand people do have these «irrational» fears, which if you wanted to you could seek help for. If it really so bad get a friend who isn’t scared to remove them humanely, put things down to stop them coming into your home but Please Please do not kill them. EHT I also agree with Judith’s comment above why do you publish articles like this one, Some of your articles are very useful but you need to be more careful in your choice(s) of what you put into print.

Hi Mary! Thanks for your feedback. We will take it into consideration. It’s always interesting to hear our readers views on these topics.

I agree wholeheartedly with people say leave them be and if you must remove a house spider try to move to shed to give better chance to survive.I may be bias as I keep large predatory spiders as pets but the spiders we have in UK are harmless and will keep house clear of bugs that can cause us harm.I recently found egg sac and due to my daughters dislike I gently moved outside ( it’s really in attic )

I don’t think I could sleep at night knowing there was an egg sac in the loft! You’re braver than me.

i’ve just found a bunch of baby huntsmans everywhere so i don’t know what to do i am petrified of spiders and i understand that they’re good and all but they’re everywhere

Would they be easy to collect and release?

I have 2 cats, both of whom will just sit and watch as a spider wanders past them, leaving mugging here to catch it and put it outside (the spider, nkt the cats. My cats do, however, catch and eat flies, though they are quite happy to let me swat it first then eat it off the fly swat! So, if you don’t want flies in your house get a cat and if you don’t want spiders in your house get a lizard!

That’s a funny story. Unfortunately, we can’t guarantee the effectiveness of having a feline friend around the house. A lizard could be a great alternative!

Hopefully some of these things work I have so many spiders in my room! I saw 7 today and I let them out in my front yard

That’s a lot of spiders, Alesha!

I wake up in the morning sometimes with a very itchy red spot. I have assumed it was from a spider but perhaps it is from some bug. I do not want to use a bug spray because it will leave an odor in my mattress and carpet.

Hi there! Have you checked for any other signs of bed bugs?

I will be trying the lemon peel and peppermint oil. I understand that some on here are saying that we should let the spiders be. But it’s very hard when u r absolutely petrified and my 2 daughters are worse than me. I have got so bad that when I enter a room.. I’m almost immediately looking in the corners.. Its become normal for me to be so scared.. Im too scared to even hoover behind furniture. So I get my husband to do those areas. So I’ll be trying the tips on here.. Thanks

That’s very true. Everyone has different fears!

Plz help! There is a spider in my ceiling fan and I cannot get it out. And I have no idea how! Plz help meeeeeeee

Hi there! Whereabouts in the ceiling fan? If it is already dead, you could try using a can of compressed air to force it out.

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