As someone who’s spent years dealing with pests of all kinds, I understand that spiders often send a shiver down many folks’ spines. The mere sight of an eight-legged arachnid skittering across your living room floor can trigger panic mode, with the nearest can of bug spray as your only ally. But, here’s the real deal — most of the spiders you encounter in North America are pretty harmless. In fact, only a tiny fraction, less than 1%, poses any real threat to humans or pets with their bites, namely the brown recluse and the notorious black widow.

Now, unlike some other common household pests — think fleas, moths, or termites — spiders are a different breed. They won’t bite unless provoked. They won’t contaminate your pantry staples, and they certainly won’t start chewing on your house’s foundation. In fact, having a few resident spiders can be a bonus. They’re like nature’s pest control squad, feasting on other bothersome critters like roaches, flies, and moths. But if your house starts resembling a spider metropolis, or if you’ve got a dangerous species as an uninvited guest, that’s when you might consider acting.

    How To Keep Spiders Out of Your Home

    Spiders like houses for the same reasons people do — they are warm and sheltered from the elements.

    That means, to keep these creepy crawlies out of your living space, you need to start outside of your home. Start by looking for natural indicators of a spider infestation such as cobwebs in dark corners and other natural hiding places like woodpiles, cracks, and crevices.

    Apply spider repellent and pesticides to problem areas outside, and use caulk to close cracks and crevices. Installing outdoor lights also helps keep most spider species from getting comfortable around your house.

    After you’ve taken care of the outside, try the rest of these prevention tips to keep spiders outside of your home where they belong:

    • Seal windows and doors—One way to keep spiders from getting into your house is to make sure all windows and doors are sealed tightly. Spiders can squeeze through tiny cracks and screens, so sealing up cracks and making sure windows are closed—especially in the fall when spiders are seeking refuge from the cold—is the best way to make sure they don’t get in your house in the first place.
    • Lessen light—You may also want to turn off your porch light and use dark curtains to block the light from your windows and doors. While spiders are not attracted to light, they are attracted to bugs that are attracted to light and will follow them.
    • Clean up—Keeping a tidy house will also help keep spiders away. While spiders don’t eat food left out by humans, it does attract other bugs which spiders will show up to eat.
    • Spray—To actively repel spiders from a house, spray the perimeter and the outside windowsills with a few drops of peppermint oil or some chopped garlic mixed with water. Spiders do not like the smell of garlic or peppermint and will avoid houses with these strong scents. Cedar chips placed around a house will also help to repel spiders—consider using cedar chips in your landscaping.

    Buy online: Peppermint pest spray

    How To Kill Spiders With Natural Methods

    If you want to avoid chemical sprays, but still want to effectively get rid of spiders in your home, there are several natural options to try.

    Let’s take a look at some of my favorite methods:

    Diatomaceous Earth

    To kill spiders naturally before they enter your house, sprinkle diatomaceous earth in places where you suspect spiders are entering. Diatomaceous earth is a soft sedimentary rock made up of fossilized remains of diatoms. It comes as a fine powder and is non-toxic to humans and pets. However, when a spider walks over diatomaceous earth, it covers its sticky body and dehydrates it, eventually killing it.

    Buy online: Diatomaceous earth

    Mixed Oil Spray

    To kill spiders on the spot naturally, spray them with water mixed with a few drops of essential oils in a spray bottle with water. Lavender, citronella, cinnamon, eucalyptus, citrus, peppermint, or tea tree oil, in my experience work best for natural spider repellent sprays.

    Once you have sprayed all the spiders you can find, vacuum up any webs or egg sacks they have left behind. An egg sack can hatch and the babies can survive without the mother spider, so it is important to be sure they are disposed of. Empty the vacuum immediately.

    Buy online: Pest prevention oil blend

    Sticky Traps

    Another way to kill spiders naturally is to catch them with sticky traps. You can purchase sticky traps at a hardware store or make homemade sticky traps yourself. To make homemade sticky glue traps boil equal parts water and corn syrup together and spread the mixture on index cards.

    Set the traps around your home where spiders live (near spiderwebs, and in closets, attics, and other places with dark corners or food sources). Keep in mind that many common house spiders don’t spend much time moving around or on the ground—they usually live on the ceiling or in corners—so the traps will only be helpful if you have a large infestation.

    Buy online: Sticky traps

    Alternative Methods for Getting Rid of Spiders

    If you aren’t looking for natural ways to get rid of spiders, there are some great alternative methods, such as strong DIY insecticide treatments or hiring an exterminator or pest control company.

    Le’s take a look at these options, below:


    It is not recommended that anyone use a chemical insecticide to kill spiders. Spiders are usually harmless and removing them can easily be done by hand or with a vacuum. Releasing chemicals into your home to kill spiders is usually more dangerous than the spiders themselves.

    That said, it’s wise to learn a bit about spider species if you do have pest problems, because unlike wolf spiders, banana spiders, and grand daddy long legs, some species, such as black widow spiders and brown recluse spiders are extremely dangerous (in rare cases fatal).

    However, if the spider infestation is beyond the point of relocating or killing individual spiders on the spot, you can spray a residual insecticide treatment such as D-fense SC around the perimeter of your house. Inside your house, use an insecticide aerosol like Zenprox Aerosol and spray it around all baseboards, windows and corners. Always keep children and pets away from chemical insecticides and areas where they have been sprayed.

    Buy online: D-fense SC or Zenprox Aerosol

    Hire a Professional

    If you’d rather leave the insecticides to the professionals, most pest control companies offer safe treatments that can rid your home of spiders. A trained technician may also be the right call if you’re seeing a large number of spiders or if the type of spider is dangerous.

    Get Free Pest Control Estimates
    Connect with local pest control professionals near you.

    DIY Vs. Professional Pest Control: Tackling Spider Infestations

    When it comes to addressing a spider infestation in your home, you face a critical decision: should you take matters into your own hands with DIY methods, or should you call upon the services of a professional pest control expert?

    Each approach has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and making the right choice hinges on several factors, including the extent of the infestation, your familiarity with spider behavior, and your budget.

    Below, I take a deeper look into the pros and cons of each option, specifically tailored to the challenge of combating spiders:

    DIY Spider Control

    The most popular way to get rid of spiders from in and around your home is DIY spider control. These methods include everything I discussed above.

    Below, we take a look at the most significant pros and cons of using DIY spider control for your eight-legged pest problem:


    • Cost-Effective: DIY methods are generally more budget-friendly, as you won’t incur the expense of hiring a professional.
    • Immediate Action: With DIY solutions, you can take swift action without waiting for a scheduled pest control appointment.
    • Control Over Methods: You have the autonomy to select and implement specific products and techniques, aligning them with your preferences, such as opting for environmentally friendly or pet-safe options.
    • Learning Opportunity: Managing spider infestations on your own can serve as an educational experience, enhancing your understanding of spider habits and biology.


    • Limited Effectiveness: DIY spider control may not be as potent when dealing with extensive or recurring infestations. Certain spider species, like brown recluses or black widows, often require specialized treatment.
    • Safety Risks: Mishandling chemicals or traps without the requisite knowledge can pose health hazards to you, your pets, or your family members. You also want to avoid bites when dealing with brown recluses and black widows.
    • Time and Dedication: Effective DIY spider control usually requires regular maintenance and vigilant monitoring, which can be time-intensive.

    Professional Spider Control

    For those who aren’t into DIY tactics, or don’t have the time, professional spider control, or extermination, is the sure way to get rid of spiders.

    Here are some of the most significant pros and cons associated with professional spider control rather than DIY methods:


    • Expertise: Pest control professionals possess specialized training to identify and address various spider species, along with an understanding of their distinctive behaviors.
    • Effective Solutions: Professionals have access to advanced pest control products and techniques, some of which may not be readily available to consumers.
    • Tailored Approaches: They can create a customized treatment plan designed to suit the specific spider infestation you’re facing, significantly enhancing the likelihood of success.
    • Safety Assurance: Pest control experts are well-versed in the safe handling of chemicals and can minimize risks to your family and pets.


    • Cost: Professional spider control services often entail a higher upfront cost compared to DIY methods.
    • Scheduling Constraints: You’ll need to coordinate with the pest control company and wait for an available appointment slot.
    • Possible Repeat Visits: Some spider infestations may require multiple treatments, incurring additional expenses.

    Selecting the Appropriate Approach to Get Rid of Spiders

    Choosing between DIY and professional spider control hinges on your comfort level, the severity of the spider infestation, and your financial considerations. For small, manageable infestations or occasional spider encounters, DIY methods can yield satisfactory results.

    However, when grappling with extensive or recurring spider issues, or when dealing with potentially dangerous spider species, it’s often wiser and more efficient to enlist the expertise of a professional pest control service.

    Ultimately, the paramount consideration is to take prompt action. Ignoring a spider infestation can lead to a more pronounced problem in the future. Therefore, assess the situation diligently, weigh your options carefully, and opt for the approach that best aligns with your unique needs and circumstances.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why do I have so many spiders in my home?

    Spiders are attracted to your home for various reasons, including the presence of insects they prey upon and favorable living conditions. If you have a lot of spiders, it may be an indicator of an insect infestation.

    How can I identify a venomous spider?

    Venomous spiders often have distinctive markings. For example, black widows are known for their glossy black bodies with a red hourglass shape on the underside. Brown recluses have a violin-shaped mark on their cephalothorax (the front part of their body). If unsure, consult a pest control professional.

    What is the best way to keep spiders out of my home?

    To prevent spiders from entering your home, seal cracks and gaps around doors and windows, keep doors closed, and install weather stripping. Regularly clean and declutter your home to remove potential spider hiding spots.

    Can I use natural remedies to repel spiders?

    Yes, several natural remedies like peppermint oil, vinegar, and citrus can help deter spiders. However, their effectiveness can vary. Professional pest control may be necessary for severe infestations.

    Do spider traps and baits work?

    Spider traps and baits can be effective for catching and eliminating spiders, especially non-venomous species. Place them in areas where you’ve noticed spider activity.

    When should I consider hiring a professional pest control service?

    Consider professional pest control if you have a severe or recurring spider infestation, if you’ve identified venomous spiders, or if DIY methods haven’t yielded results. Professionals can safely and effectively address the issue.

    Editorial Contributors
    avatar for Jordan Tyler Quinn Farkas

    Jordan Tyler Quinn Farkas

    Expert Writer & Reviewer

    Jordan Tyler Quinn Farkas is a globetrotting content writer hailing from the USA. With a passion for pest control, he brings a unique perspective to his writing from his early years working for one of the largest pest control companies in America. Throughout his early 20s, Jordan gained valuable experience and knowledge in the field, tackling pest infestations head-on and ensuring the well-being of countless homes.

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    Lora Novak

    Senior Editor

    Lora Novak meticulously proofreads and edits all commercial content for Today’s Homeowner to guarantee that it contains the most up-to-date information. Lora brings over 12 years of writing, editing, and digital marketing expertise. She’s worked on thousands of articles related to heating, air conditioning, ventilation, roofing, plumbing, lawn/garden, pest control, insurance, and other general homeownership topics.

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