Spiders have a strong sense of smell and taste. In fact, they have receptors on their legs and anything they walk through will stick to their smell and taste receptors. The great news is that you can use this to your advantage to keep them out of your home!
Coffee grounds, a common household item that many people have on hand, can be an effective natural spider repellant when used alongside other things. The best way to use coffee grounds for spiders and other insects is to place burnt coffee grounds in areas around the outside of windows and doors.
Read on to find out everything you need to know about using the right combination of smells and repellents that make your home the last place a spider wants to be!
Why Do I Need To Repel Spiders Anyways?
Seems like an obvious question, I mean, they’re spiders! But let’s talk about the real reasons spiders can be so problematic.
If You Have Spiders, You Also Have Other Bugs!
If you notice more than one spider, two things are probably going on. First, you probably have more spiders.
Believe it or not, it is not as common for a spider to just come in from the outside.
Spiders comes inside simply because your home is providing a better food source AND shelter than elsewhere. So if you’re seeing spiders you’ve also got other bugs!
Honestly, that’s not awful as the spiders are getting rid of the other bugs for you!
Common house spiders are likely to have a nest in your home already set up for several years. This leaves plenty of time for them to lay eggs! So if you notice spiderlings, you know their mama is close.
Spiders Leave Many Webs
Spider webs convey a dusty appearance. Even if you’re a clean house keeper, a spider’s web turns into a cobweb. Cobwebs attract dust and other bugs as well, especially if the spider is still using the web.
You Don’t Want To Get A Spider Bite
Many people naturally think a spider = bite but in reality, they don’t want to see you as much as you don’t want to see them! Personally, I try to leave as many spiders in my home as possible.
More or less, spiders actually don’t even really notice humans unless they get swatted at. Then, they view us as a predator.
You can learn more about why spiders aren’t scared of humans at first, but luckily most common house spiders are harmless (do some research on the species in your specific area to confirm!)
Reasons Not To Get Rid Of Spiders
Most folks reading this won’t want to hear this, but it’s important to look at the issue from both sides! Besides, it’s only fair to give the little misunderstood arachnid some airtime.
There are two main reasons not to get rid of spiders:
- They eat other pests to save you from their bothersome and sometimes unclean existence.
- Spiders will duke it out with other spiders and help you to control the spider population.
The pest one is huge, as spiders are natures natural insect repellers!
How To Use Burnt Coffee Grounds To Repel Spiders
If you do decide that the cons to having spiders around outweigh the pros, the main thing to understand is that while using coffee grounds is effective, it takes a bit more to eradicate the spider issue thoroughly.
Luckily for us, coffee grounds don’t actually harm spiders, it just de-attracts them from an area so they won’t want to visit it!
It’s important to note that spiders have scent receptors on their legs. So, when they walk through something like burnt coffee grounds and it gets stuck to their little hairs, they don’t like it! Understandably.
Additionally, the scent of coffee grounds will mask other attracting scents to them that signal food and shelter, so it’ll keep spiders from wanting to enter an area.
Place burnt Coffee Grounds For Spiders To Walk Through
Using burnt coffee grounds to repel spiders is different from using it for mosquito repellent. That is the most popular way to use them! They are meant, in that case, to smoke and repel mosquitos, fleas, and other flying insects.
Unlike flying insects, spiders need to walk through the coffee grounds in order to be deterred by them. The smell of the burnt coffee grounds will also be strong enough to help confuse the spiders senses.
What might be a great smell to you will be the bane of any spider hanging out in the home!
Here are some steps to take when burning coffee grounds (do this outside:)
- You may use new or used coffee grounds. If you use used ones you’ll have to dry them. Dry them on a piece of aluminum foil or heat proof pan. I prefer to use new coffee grounds as you can get a cheaper kind for this and the smell will be more pungent.
- Take a long-handled grille lighter or a butane lighter and light the coffee grounds outside.
- Take them indoors and place them on a heat proof surface. It should smell like burnt coffee now! The scent will last and slowly fade over the next few days (maybe sooner depending on temperature inside.)
- Take the burned coffee grounds and place them in a high up area out of reach of others. Then spread them on windowsills, or in corners of the home where spiders like to nest, and near water sources. You can also place the coffee grounds in cheesecloth bags to cut way down on the mess in tight to reach places.
The key here is to get them to walk through it. When they do, their little receptors will be full of a burned stinking mess. The smell will work to repel them as well, but if you know for certain spiders are in a certain area, really try to spread the grounds on the flat surface.
Below are suggestions for scents that spiders hate, which can be mixed in with the burned coffee grounds. The great thing is that the spiders will hate the smell of the concoctions you create, but they make your home smell beautiful!
Additional Scents That Spiders Hate
Essential oils are a great way to deter spiders and you can get Mighty Mint Peppermint oil along with the other scents that spiders hate below.
Here is a list of other scents that spiders hate:
You can mix these scents with one part water to three parts oil or spice (make a small amount.) Then simply pour or spray an even amount onto the coffee grounds! Just make sure you don’t drench them.
Because of their strong sense of smell, spiders dislike anything with a potent odor.
The smell of burnt coffee grounds and citrus (or any of the above scents) will certainly be hard for them to return to. Unlike mosquitoes, who can just fly away from the smoke, it’s hard for a spider to get rid of the sticky, smelly mess on their legs.
Did you know that in addition to the scents mentioned above, there are more scents that deter spiders? You can view our full list of the scents that spiders hate here!
How To Repel Spiders Using Habitat Modification
Spiders like to nest outside when it’s not too cold and only prefer to come inside under very specific conditions. They are an outdoor creature by nature.
If you have the right atmosphere to make them cozy, they’ll nest. And if they’re close enough to the door, a window or a crack, they’ll wander in.
You can read more about why spiders are in your home’s walls here!
Now onto the good stuff, here are some ways you can modify your own habitat to make it less enticing for spiders.
Remove High Plants and Bushes That Attract Spiders
Spiders need places to hide. You’ll often find spider webs inside the cups of certain flowers like Bromeliads.
They collect water and that’s the best space to be for a water source. Bugs fall into them and drown or when the flower is dry they’re trapped.
The spider hardly has to put out an effort to eat. Spiders love high grasses and bushes that provide a dark space for them to hide.
Just make sure that high grass is away from your house, as it could be one of the different ways that spiders are getting inside your home.
Remove the Spider’s Food Source
Make sure that any pet bowls that you use to feed pets and livestock are sealed after a certain hour or removed completely and relocated if possible. While this won’t attract spiders, it’ll attract other bugs which will THEN attract spiders.
If there are any other plants that collect bugs, that’s a food source too.
We realize that it may be too destructive to mangle your entire garden to repel spiders. However, just know that spiders are actually great for your garden!
Additional Ways To Deter Spiders
In addition to the aforementioned natural spider repellents, there are things you do to make a habit of dealing with your home to make it less interesting to a spider.
Keep the House Clean And Free of Spider Hide outs
Make a daily habit of cleaning. A dust-free and cobweb-free house means spiders won’t have too many places to hide.
Wipe down your countertops with citrus cleaner and the smell will repel a strolling spider looking for food and water.
Spiders are pretty smart and will avoid those strong scented areas.
Remove Food and Water Sources That Attract Spiders
A spider has one thing on their mind and it’s food and water. Warmth and places to hide are up there too, but food and water are at the forefront. Without those, they have no real incentive to shack up in your home.
Do a quick sweep of the house at night and once in the day just to check for food and water sources.
For example, what do you have in the kitchen? Any food laying around? Stow it away and use the citrus cleaner to wipe crumbs off the counter. Then pick up the pet food dishes and wipe the sinks out with a dry cloth.
Do the same in the bathrooms and any space where water is stored. Close the toilet covers as well. Spiders can actually go inside your shower drain too!
In case you’re wondering, the spider won’t want your cookie crumbs. The bugs will and that will bring the bug eaters–the arachnids.
You can also read our guide on keeping spiders out of your shower and bathroom for more on dealing with those heavy water places.
Move Plants Away From Your House To Make it Harder For Spiders to Get Inside
Don’t plant any type of vegetation up against the home. In fact, planting several feet away from walls and windows is recommended.
Remember, plants = bugs and bugs = spiders. It’s just nature!
Vacuum Or Sweep Away Cobwebs And Spiderwebs That May Be Active
Add this to your maintenance and do a weekly inspection in corners where the ceiling meets the wall and the floor meets the wall too.
Also look around and inside cupboards and in corners of window and door frames. If there are cobwebs, there’s probably spiders!
Spiders are nocturnal, so they’re more likely to enter your homer and be active during the night.
Seal Cracks Around The House That Spiders May want to Dwell in
If you make a thorough sweep a few times a year when the house may have settled, you’ll naturally find cracks and fissures.
These small crevices are likely places that certain spiders will enter in an attempt to find food and water and warmth.
Store Firewood Away From The House As It can Harbor Spiders
Your firewood stash can harbor a lot of creatures and the friendly arachnid is no exception. Make sure you have it stored at least 6 feet or more from the house.
The key to keeping arachnids of any sort out of the home is to eradicate their food and water source and nesting.
Firewood is one of the most common places that spiders live around the home
That’s A Wrap!
At this point, you realize that using coffee grounds to repel spiders isn’t a cure all to the problem. It takes a few sticky, smelly substances to take care of the issue. Let’s recap to make it easier for you to follow what we’ve covered.
First, remember to identify where the spiders are coming from. If you have seen them, make note of where. Are there any good food and water sources nearby the sighting? Make note of them.
Do a fair sweep around the house to take up any crumbs or food that is left out— pet food included. That’s because bugs will be drawn to the food, not the spider. Spiders do not eat what you and your pets eat. But the juicy bugs that do will be there to feed the spider.
Do a sweep of the kitchen sinks and bathrooms. Wipe out water in the drain with a dry cloth. Wipe down the counters with citrus cleaner. Take away any of the old cobwebs and remove any active webs. Make sure you dust the whole house regularly and get rid of the clutter. Any dark and dry places will attract them for nesting and they can be there spawning new babies for between 2 and 10 years in a lifecycle.
Remember we said that the spider you notice may have been there for a while and any babies mean mama is nearby–and more babies!
On the outside of the home, make sure you have no plants that have waxy flower cups like Bromeliads. Anything that collects water or that is a foot or more, is a great atmosphere for them to breed and eat.
Finally, we suggest calling a pest control company that can come and keep your yard and home free of spiders without having to give up the natural beauty you’ve worked hard to keep.
We hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and found it valuable. Let us know how you found the solutions suggested!
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Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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