Spiders can be a worry. Most of them have venom — although very few will actually bite you as they are more afraid of you than you are of them. Spider webs are unsightly, but they do catch flies so that can be useful. And then there is arachnophobia — an intense and irrational fear of spiders —which to those affected is not fun and causes extreme stress and anxiety. Still, many people still prefer to get rid of spiders without using chemicals — using more natural, more humane methods or to be more environmentally friendly. But how do you get rid of spiders without using chemicals?
Get rid of spiders without using chemicals
There are some natural products that can serve as alternatives to chemicals, such as vinegar, peppermint essential oil, garlic cloves, diatomaceous earth, and citrus.
1. Use a vinegar spray
Vinegar has always been used as a natural pest controller. But there are many misconceptions about it. The biggest misconception is that vinegar repels pests because of its smell. This can’t get any further from the truth. Vinegar is harmful to spiders and other pests because it contains acetic acid.
To use vinegar for spiders, simply mix white vinegar and water in equal ratios. And then put the resulting mixture in a spray bottle. Spray around your home, giving particular attention to potential spider hiding spots, like clutter and often undisturbed areas like dark corners. Also give attention to passageways, such as the edges of doors and windows.
2. Mix peppermint oil and water
The problem with many natural methods online is that they are not very effective. But vinegar and peppermint essential oil have always been known to actually do something about pests. Vinegar can smell unpleasant to some, so spraying it around their home is not ideal. A good alternative is peppermint essential oil, especially because of how refreshing it smells.
The idea is the same — mix peppermint essential oil and water and put the resulting mixture in a spray bottle. Only mix a few drops of the essential oil because they are already concentrated. And then spray away.
3. Mixing garlic with water
Put garlic cloves in a spray bottle with water. You can use whole cloves or crushed ones, depending on your odor tolerance. Like the vinegar mixture, the garlic mixture can be overpowering to the nose, so try to gauge what you can tolerate. Like the other mixtures, spray the mixture on hiding spots and passageways.
Garlic works as a pest repellent because of its repulsive and strong smell. Take note that they won’t necessarily kill the spiders in your home. They are more likely to just drive them away. If you have a severe spider infestation, you may want to try something else because repellents can only do so much for your pest problem.
4. Try diatomaceous earth
You can also use diatomaceous earth to get rid of spiders without using chemicals. Diatomaceous earth is made of diatoms, fossilized remains of algae. This white powder is very effective against spiders and other pests because it absorbs moisture. It can dehydrate tiny creatures upon contact. This can be great for a variety of pests, like ants, cockroaches, and even the fleas from your pets.
On top of that, diatomaceous earth is also considered generally safe by the Food and Drug Administration. There are also food-grade variants that are even safer.
There are two ways to use diatomaceous earth for spiders. You can either sprinkle the diatomaceous earth directly on the spiders to dehydrate and kill them or mix it with water. Put the resulting mixture in a spray bottle, like the other mixtures in this list.
5. Complement your natural methods with citrus
Spiders also don’t like the smell of citrus. Like garlic, citrus is just a repellent, so it won’t kill the spiders infesting your home. But you can make the other methods in this list more effective by giving them a hint of citrus. For instance, you can drop a few citrus peels inside your spray bottle to make the vinegar mixture less unpleasant to the nose.
You can also rub citrus peels on passageways, particularly on the edges of doors and windows. The smell may be enough to make spiders turn the other way instead of going inside your home.
More ways to get rid of spiders naturally
1. Clean your home
Yes, you can get rid of spiders without using chemicals. But this doesn’t mean that you are only going to rely on chemical alternatives like vinegar and peppermint essential oil mixtures. There are other ways to get rid of spiders naturally.
One of the most basic things you can do is to clean your home, prioritizing the following:
- Make food inaccessible. Clean up immediately after eating and always empty your garbage cans. Spiders are not necessarily attracted to the leftovers themselves. They are attracted to the other pests that the leftovers attract. Spiders are known hunters of ants, cockroaches, and other foragers.
- Get rid of clutter. Spiders like to stay in clutter and in the dark and undisturbed parts of your home. For example, brown recluse spiders like to stay in deep closets. They may get into your clothes.
- Clean high humidity and moisture areas. Different spiders have different environmental preferences. But many of them, like cellar spiders, prefer high humidity and moisture areas like attics, basements, and crawlspaces.
2. Seal all passageways
Spiders can thrive outside your home. And that’s perfectly okay because they can actually act as a natural pest controller for your home’s exterior. But you want them to stay outside. To accomplish this, seal all potential passageways.
Remember that spiders are small creatures. They can get through the smallest of gaps. Seal all cracks and holes in your walls. Put weatherstrips on the edges of your doors and windows. And cut all tree branches that may be touching your home.
3. Introduce spider-repelling plants in your garden
If you don’t want spiders even outside your home, you can use plants that naturally repel spiders. Such plants include basil, eucalyptus, citronella, lavender, marigold, mint, and rosemary. These will not just repel spiders. They will also beautify and freshen up your home’s exterior.
You can get rid of spiders without using chemicals
It’s possible to get rid of spiders without using chemicals. You can create alternative mixtures with white vinegar, peppermint essential oil, garlic, or diatomaceous earth. And you can complement your chosen mixture with a citrus peel or two.
But take note that natural methods can be also ineffective, especially if the ingredients you use are only considered repellents or are not known to get rid of spiders at all. Get help from pest control professionals if you feel like your spider problem is already beyond your amateur control.