Spiders have a bad rep. Despite the fact that they are very useful to the planet and very handy to have in the home (as they eat smaller insects, including invasive species like cockroaches), most of us hate spiders. In fact, arachnophobia is one of the most common phobias that people report worldwide.
If you are one of the millions of people who hate the eight-legged beasts, never fear. Here are 11 clever, inexpensive ways to get rid of spiders that don’t involve calling pest control.
1. Essential Oils
Essential oils offer a number of benefits (for example, a few drops of peppermint oil could help treat headaches), but what you might not know is that they can also keep bugs at bay. Take 2–3 drops of rose, lemon, tea tree or eucalyptus oil and put it in a spray bottle with a little water. Spritz any areas where you’ve seen lots of spider activity, such as in cracks, crevices or corners and baseboards.
2. Used Teabags
Do you love tea? If so, you can easily use your old teabags as a way to keep creepy-crawlies out of your home. Brew a pot of peppermint tea. Then, take the old teabags, squeeze out the excess water and place 2–3 bags in each location where you’ve seen spiders. Bonus: These teabags are said to keep mice away as well!
3. Ultrasonic Pest Control
Did you know you can use ultrasonic electromagnetic waves to keep spiders out of your home? These devices are cruelty-free, eco-friendly and chemical-free, so you don’t have to worry about kids or pets getting into any nasty chemicals. Just plug the electronic pest repellent into the outlet (one per average-sized room), and the ultrasonic frequency (which is inaudible to humans and household pets like cats and dogs) will keep bugs away.
4. Clean Up Your Yard
Spiders love warm, cozy and dark places. That pile of firewood by your garage or the leaves scattered all over your garden make the perfect places for spiders to nest. Keep spiders out of your yard (and home) by cleaning your yard litter regularly. Store firewood, paper bags and any other clutter as far from your home as possible, such as at an unattached shed if possible.
5. Seal Any Openings
Spiders don’t just walk right in your front door. They have many sneaky ways of skittering into your home, so you need to get on their level and find out exactly how they’re getting in. Could it be cracks underneath the patio door, or a tear in the window screen? Taking care of these holes will not only be good for keeping out bugs, but it will make your home run more efficiently, saving money and energy.
6. Change Your Lighting
Bugs are attracted to light, which means that spiders are attracted to light, as they follow their food source wherever it goes. Consider keeping your outdoor lights off as much as possible during the night, or swap out your standard lights for yellow sodium vapor lights, as it cuts down on light pollution and hence creepy-crawlies.
7. Consider Cedar
Spiders don’t like the scent of cedar, and neither do other bugs like moths. Use cedar hangers and cedar blocks in your closet. It’s a natural and chemical-free way to evict spiders from your closet.
8. Vacuum, Vacuum, Vacuum
Spider egg sacs can often be difficult to see, but if you regularly vacuum the cracks and crevices of your home, you can prevent infestations. Use your vacuum’s attachments to get into the narrow corners and tucked-away places in your home. Don’t forget to reach up and vacuum the ceiling corners and crevices.
9. White Vinegar
Make a spray bottle with one part white vinegar and one part water. Spritz areas like your front door and outdoor windows and patios. The smell is unpleasant to spiders and other bugs, but it won’t be harmful to any pets or humans.
10. Bug Mattress Protectors
Concerned about spiders creeping and crawling into your bed at night? Consider bug-proof mattresses such as this one from Amazon. It will keep bed bugs, dust mites and other nasty critters from making a nest in your bed, which in turn will keep spiders away, as they are only interested in bugs…not you!
Chestnuts are not only a seasonal treat, but they can also keep spiders away. Place them along your windowsills or alongside your side door, anywhere spiders tend to congregate. Spiders do not like chestnuts, and they are also decorative and don’t become rotten for a very long time.
[h/t: Home Remedy Hacks]