Most spiders are harmless and important members of our ecosystem. However, some spider bites are dangerous, like those of the black widow and brown recluse. Therefore, coming across a spider in your home can be a frightening experience.

For those spiders we don’t want in our homes, insecticides and repellents can be helpful solutions. Many store-bought sprays, powders, and traps can work wonders but contain toxic chemicals harmful to pets and children. Thankfully, there are plenty of more natural, homemade methods for killing spiders and keeping them away.

Homemade Spider Sprays and How to Make Them

Before we get into recipes, we should review common misconceptions about homemade bug sprays. Many articles espouse the “spider killer” abilities of many of the mixtures and ingredients on this list. Unfortunately, there are very few home remedies that outright kill spiders. Instead, these solutions act as deterrents, meaning they keep spiders from entering a home in the first place. While we have one recipe on this list that is an insecticide, the rest are effective and proven repellents. For example, spraying a spider with peppermint oil won’t kill it. Instead, if you have an active spider problem, you should use a vinegar spray, commercial insecticide, or contact a pest control professional.

Homemade Spider Insecticide With Vinegar

One of the few recipes we could find that is a pesticide and will kill spiders is a combination of vinegar and dishwashing soap. Combine 1 cup of water with 1 cup of white vinegar, and add 1 tablespoon of dish soap. Fill a small spray bottle with this mixture and apply directly to spiders and locations they frequent (cobwebs, cracks, wall corners, etc.) Vinegar is an all-around insecticide that uses acetic acid to kill bugs like ants or wasps. This mixture uses a higher-than-average amount of vinegar and can be irritating, so avoid getting it on your skin and in your nose or eyes.

Peppermint Oil Spider Repellent Spray

One of the most popular homemade spider sprays combines peppermint essential oil and water. While many may be skeptical about the validity and effectiveness of this spray, there is scientific evidence that it works wonders for repelling spiders. To create this deterrent:

  1. Mix about five to ten drops of peppermint oil into 2 cups of water.
    • When mixing, remember to wear gloves, as undiluted peppermint essential oil can burn and damage the skin.
  2. Add 1 tablespoon of dish soap.
  3. Add solution to any glass spray bottle, as peppermint oil degrades plastic over time.
  4. Apply this oil to any location spiders frequent, such as doorframes, windowsills, baseboards, crevices, closets, spiderwebs, and cracks.
  5. Reapply once every month for the best results.

One final note on this peppermint spray — it’s not pet friendly. Peppermint oil can make dogs and cats sick if it gets consumed or on their skin. Do not use this solution if you have four-legged friends running around.

Garlic Extract Spider Deterrent

When combined with water and soap, garlic extract makes for another effective DIY spider repellent.

  1. Start by adding four garlic cloves to a food processor or mortar and pestle.
  2. Puree into a rough paste.
  3. Add the garlic paste to a quart of water and let sit for one day.
  4. After the water has been infused with the garlic, strain through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
  5. Add your garlic concentrate to a large spray bottle along with an additional 2 cups of water and a tablespoon of dish soap.
  6. Spray areas spiders use to access your home.
    • While effective, this spray is not long-lasting and must be reapplied once every two weeks.

Like peppermint oil, garlic extract is poisonous to cats and dogs. Garlic contains chemicals called disulfides and thiosulphate, and these compounds damage your pet’s red blood cells when consumed. While garlic poisoning in pets is rarely fatal, and they would have to consume the spray, we still do not recommend using this mixture if you have pets.

Homemade Spider Traps

The difficulty with combating spiders is that most species are nocturnal, so you won’t come across any unless you discover their hiding places. One way around this is to construct some spider traps to ensnare them while they hunt and skitter around. There are plenty of effective store-bought spider traps you can use, but there are also some all-natural, DIY traps that work just as well.

Homemade Sticky Trap

A sticky trap is one of the most effective at-home traps you can construct for spider control. All you’ll need is a thin cardboard sheet (like the side of a shoebox or a cereal box), an adhesive, and a location where spiders frequent.

  1. Get your cardboard: For the cardboard sheet, take a thin cardboard box and cut out a 2-inch by 4-inch section (or as many sections as you want for multiple traps). Set these aside.
  2. Prepare your adhesive: For this trap, any double-sided tape will work, but the thinner, the better. Alternatively, you can make an adhesive by following this recipe:
    1. Combine 1 cup of water and 1 cup of corn syrup into a saucepan.
    2. Stir on medium-high heat until the mixture comes to a boil.
    3. Reduce heat to a simmer.
    4. Stir until the mixture is reduced to a thick, spreadable paste.
    5. Once thickened, remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Apply adhesive: Once you have your adhesive, you must completely coat one side of the cardboard. If you went with the double-sided tape, apply it to the cardboard, peeling off the protective paper once the trap is placed. If you opted for the homemade remedy, you need to wait for the mixture to cool, then spread it with a spoon over most of the cardboard. Be sure to leave two clean sections on each side for gripping.
  4. Setting the trap: Once the trap is made, place it where you have seen spiders or suspect spider activity. Locations with warm water, such as under kitchen sinks or inside bathrooms, are likely your best bet. Place these traps along the baseboard and, if possible, behind furniture. By hiding the trap this way, you’ll be placing it in a location where spiders are more likely to frequent while also putting it out of the way of your pets and children.
  5. Disposing of the trap: Once your trap is placed, you’ll want to check it every few days and dispose of it once it begins to get full. If you don’t see anything right away, don’t get discouraged. Most spiders are ambush predators, staying in one spot for extended periods, so it may take a bit before they wander into your trap. If you feel the trap isn’t working, try adding a water source to it by placing a bottle cap filled with water in the center. Otherwise, carefully pick it up by the corners, fold it in half, and place it into the garbage.

Natural Spider Repellents

Beyond sprays and traps, plenty of natural plants and objects repel spiders. What follows are some of your best options.

Diatomaceous Earth

This natural mineral repels and kills many pests. If you sprinkle a small line along the outside of your home or any other outdoor location spiders love, like woodpiles, it will kill and repel them. On the plus side, it’s safe to use around pets, children, and humans.


Basil, a delicious herb in cooking, is also an effective spider repellent. You can grow basil plants along the sides of your doorways or in flower beds under your windows to help deter spiders. Basil is also non-toxic to dogs and cats.


Speaking of wonderful herbs, if you’re looking for one that is both beautiful and spider-stopping, look no further than English lavender. This plant fills the air with a scent that naturally repels spiders and smells great to boot. Be sure to watch your pets with this plant, as lavender contains a chemical called linalool, which can be toxic to dogs and cats if eaten in large amounts.


Instead of using mint oil or extract, why not tap into the source? Mint plants work well as a natural spider stopper. Your best bet is to go with peppermint, which produces the strongest scent. Spiders hate peppermint, and its smell will keep them at a distance. Remember that all parts of the mint plant are toxic to cats and dogs, so keep your furry friends away from them.

Final Thoughts

Few homeowners enjoy sharing their spaces with creepy-crawlies. While these eight-legged arachnids are valuable members of our ecosystem, they’re unwelcome guests in most homes. There are plenty of excellent DIY spider sprays and natural repellents to keep these pests outside and eliminate them if they find their way indoors. However, if you keep seeing spiders, you may have an infestation on your hands. In these situations, especially with highly venomous spiders, your best bet is to contact a pest control company to assess the danger and provide professional help.

Editorial Contributors
Sam Wasson

Sam Wasson

Staff Writer

Sam Wasson graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Film and Media Arts with an Emphasis in Entertainment Arts and Engineering. Sam brings over four years of content writing and media production experience to the Today’s Homeowner content team. He specializes in the pest control, landscaping, and moving categories. Sam aims to answer homeowners’ difficult questions by providing well-researched, accurate, transparent, and entertaining content to Today’s Homeowner readers.

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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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