Spiders are some of the most fearsome, yet also misunderstood pests when it comes to in-home infestations. These arachnids are creepy, mysterious, and potentially dangerous when considering spider species with deadly venom. But spiders can also be beneficial to a home until infestations get out of control or they bite. With this in mind, how do you get rid of spiders?
The best way to get rid of spiders inside the home is to first eliminate other indoor insect pests supplying spiders with food. To eliminate spider infestations in your home, use spray pesticides to kill spiders, and use a residual spray insecticide to coat all cracks and crevices.
Getting rid of spiders is a bit different than getting rid of common household insects. This is because a spider does not exhibit typical insect behaviors, which means common methods do not work as well. In this guide, we will discuss the characteristics of spiders to find out why they infest homes. We will also offer steps and recommended products to eliminate spiders.
As you may know, a spider is from the arachnid family, which is distinct from insects. There are thousands of species of spiders and well over 3,000 species in the United States alone.
Spiders can range from aggressive to non-threatening, venomous, and non-venomous. Nearly all species of spiders eat insects, although some spiders may eat vegetation if they are starved. This trait is what leads many researchers to classify spiders as both beneficial and a nuisance pest since the arachnids can also keep insect populations down inside the home.
Nearly all species of spiders have 8 eyes, 8 walking legs, and 2 small front legs to use for feeding. Many spider species make webs to catch prey, although not all spider species, including some common North American spiders inside homes, make webs, preferring instead to hunt prey directly.
Although inherently creepy, spiders do not seek out people just to bite them. Nearly all spider bites occur when a person gets too close to a spider’s web or nest or provokes a spider to become aggressive. If bites do occur, it is always a good idea to visit a doctor due to possible venom poisoning, especially if you are not 100% sure what species bit you.
Common Household Spiders
In the United States, there are not as many spider species that live inside homes as you may think. However, it may shock you to know that nearly every home has anywhere from 20 to 60 of one or more of these spider types sharing space with you at all times.
Spiders will typically live in attics, basements, behind walls, behind structures like bookcases, the corners of walls and ceilings, or underneath furniture. The arachnids will generally stay out of your way and focus their efforts on trapping, killing, and eating a wide variety of insects.
This may sound okay (or not), but when left undisturbed for long periods of time, an infestation can grow and become difficult to eradicate.
Let’s take a brief look at some of the popular types of spiders homeowners look to get rid of from their home.
American House Spider
This species is very common inside homes across the US and is generally non-threatening to humans. The American House Spider grows to about 0.24 inches in length, has long, skinny legs, and typically has a yellowish-brown color with white spots on the abdomen.
The Daddy Longlegs is also common in all areas of the US and is popularly known for its very long legs that lead up to a small abdomen and head. This spider is known for not building webs, and although they possess venom, their ability to bite or pierce skin is virtually non-existent.
The Hobo Spider is dark orange or brown in color and is one of the most common house spiders in the western United States. This species has moderately high venom toxicity but bites are not very common despite the widespread area these spiders are found in.
The Black Widow is known for its black color all over the body except for red spots and a red hourglass-like symbol on the underside of the abdomen. This species is considered dangerous since the venom toxicity in humans can be very high.
The Black Widow can typically be found in the Southwest and Southeast United States, and they prefer quiet, hidden, dark, and dry areas to build their web.
Like the Black Widow, this is another dangerous species of spider that can often be found inside homes. A Brown Recluse is more likely to be found inside homes located in the American Midwest and the American Southeast and Southwest.
The Brown Recluse is purely nocturnal and prefers to hide and build webs deep inside of closets, attics, or basements. The further away from people, the better. This species has a violin-shaped abdomen, light to dark brown in color.
What Attracts Spiders to Your House?
These species of spiders are typically attracted to homes for a few different reasons.
Like most insects, spiders will also migrate to the inside of a home to seek warmth from the winter cold or even cooler temps during hot summers.
Many species, such as the black widow, may also choose to infest the inside of a home in search of moisture if the outside temperatures are too dry. This is why many spiders can be found in bathrooms and kitchens.
The primary attractant for any spider to the inside of a home is food sources. If you have a pre-existing insect infestation, this can draw spiders inside your home since catching prey will be much easier than being exposed to predators outdoors.
Also, there are many areas inside your home that are both dark and secluded. Basements, attics, closets, or dark corners behind large appliances and furniture are all attractive to spiders.
When there are numerous cracks and crevices in the foundation of your home, this provides easy access to spiders to enter and find a nest.
More often than not, the spiders that live inside your home are usually going to be reclusive and out of the way. You will rarely see spiders crawling out in the open, and for those that build webs, these spiders will stay on or near the web at all times.
Spider aggression and spider bites are rare, and this is only found when people walk near or sit too close to a spider web or directly provoke or disturb a spider, this is true of black widows and brown recluses as well. You should use caution when going through closets or moving around items in attics or basements.
Although indoor spiders do not live and die according to heat and warmth in the spring and summer like most insects, their behavior matches the insect season since this is when insects are active and reproducing. Indoor spiders will typically hide and hibernate inside the home during fall and winter.
What Are the Signs of a Spider Infestation in Your House?
As mentioned, it is very common to have and even expect some spiders in your home. But when you start seeing spiders daily or discovering new spiders or webs day in and day out, this is a strong sign that you may have a spider infestation.
Spiders that choose to live indoors will typically also mate indoors, and if you ever find small, round balls of silky substances around your home, these are likely spider egg sacs containing hundreds of baby spiders.
Also, if you notice spider webs developing all over your home, this too can be a sign of a possible spider infestation.
3 Steps to Prevent Spiders
To prevent spider infestations inside your home to the best of your ability, follow these three steps.
Step 1: Clean Your Home and Reduce Clutter
Spiders like clutter inside the home because it creates dark and undisturbed areas to nest within. Always make sure you eliminate clutter as much as you can. Get rid of old items you no longer need in attics, basements, and closets.
Knockdown and wipe away any webs you find. Sweep along the ceilings in your home and remove webs in corners. Always inspect behind and underneath furniture for webs and remove them.
Step 3: Eliminate Insect Infestations
The more insects inside the home, the more likely you are to attract spiders indoors. Spiders have to have these food sources to survive, so be sure to immediately eliminate any insect infestation you have inside your home.
During spring and summer, always control fly or mosquito populations around your home and those that fly indoors.
Step 4: Apply Residual Insecticides to All Cracks and Crevices
Finally, the use of a strong and effective residual pesticide applied to areas that spiders enter and dwell near inside the home goes a long way to eliminate spiders.
Treatments for Spiders
Now that you know what to do to prevent spiders inside your home, let’s take a look at some of the best product treatments you can apply to kill and also to prevent spiders inside.
A residual pesticide that is labeled to kill spiders can be used to directly kill spiders and to be applied in corners, closets, attics, basements, entry cracks, and crevices, as well as kitchens and bathrooms, to kill spiders that crawl through it.
Cyzmic CS Controlled Release Insecticide (Contact Kill and Residual)
This powerful, controlled-release residual pesticide is labeled to kill spiders on contact and continue killing the arachnids for up to 3 weeks.
This product uses droplets of Lambda-cyhalothrin that are encased in a protective microscopic capsule, providing a long residual, even in direct sunlight or other harsh weather conditions, which means you can apply the product outside of windows or crawl spaces.
The droplet formulation also means the insecticide can be picked up more easily by the tiny hairs on spider legs, which means the chemical can destroy a spider’s central nervous system shortly after contact.
- 3-week residual effect
- Encapsulation of the active ingredient preserves the efficacy of the chemical much longer compared to other residuals
- Kills spiders shortly after contact
- Not a direct contact kill and takes between 15 minutes to one hour to kill spiders
Delta Dust Insecticide (Long Term Residual)
What makes Delta Dust such a great product is that it is both safe and highly effective at killing pests, including spiders.
This product will not kill spiders directly upon contact, especially larger spiders, but this is a perfect product to apply to spider dwelling areas and cracks and crevices with a dust applicator.
The residual component of the product can last up to 8 months if left undisturbed, which shouldn’t be a problem since spiders typically live in undisturbed places inside the home.
- 8-month residual
- Well-tolerated by pets and small children
- Can keep your house spider-free for most of the year
- Doesn’t kill spiders immediately
Natural Methods to Get Rid of Spiders
Natural methods to get rid of spiders can be beneficial if your home is not infested with spiders.
The first natural method to take would be to seal up all cracks and crevices completely to prevent spiders from entering the home.
Essential oils are also a great application treatment to apply to all these areas, in addition to areas that spiders commonly prefer to build their webs or nests. Pay attention to all corners inside rooms and ceiling corners.
White vinegar mixed with water is also a great repellent to use.
How long do spiders live?
Most of the spiders that have been found to infest homes typically live between one and two years. However, if indoor conditions are ideal for spiders like the American House Spider or the Daddy Longlegs, these species have been known to live up to 7 years in ideal conditions.
You can usually expect any spider you see inside your home to have at least a 2-year lifespan on average.
Where do spiders go in the winter?
During winter, spiders that live outdoors usually burrow underneath outdoor structures such as trees, but some spiders can also choose to enter homes to survive the cold.
All indoor spiders will usually burrow deep into clutter or find dark and undisturbed places to hibernate during the winter months. Since there are typically no insects to feed on during winter, indoor spiders will hide even more so than they do during insect season.
What do spiders eat? And what eats spiders?
As mentioned, spiders primarily eat insects, but larger spiders may even attempt to eat small lizards or frogs if no insects are easily available.
Inside the home, there are typically not many things that can eat a spider. Cats will attempt to attack and possibly eat spiders if they discover the arachnids. House centipedes have also been known to eat smaller spiders indoors. Outdoors, spiders have many predators including adult frogs and lizards, birds, scorpions, and even other spiders.
Why are there so many spiders in my house?
If you have what seems like an overload of spiders inside your home, this is likely an infestation. If your home has a large number of insects, spiders will migrate indoors in large numbers to find easy prey.