There are almost 50,000 species of spiders on the planet. They range from the 12-inch giant huntsman spider to the tiny Patu digual spider that’s only .014 inches long. They might be interesting, but only when they’re far away – so what should you do if you see spiders in your house?
If you see non-venomous spiders in your house, get rid of them by relocating them outside and using a vacuum, trap, insecticide, or squashing object. For unseen spiders, get rid of them by sprinkling diatomaceous earth and clearing away dust and debris from walls, houseplants, and unused areas.
The rest of this article will tell you all you need to know about why spiders like our homes, how they affect us, and what to do to get rid of them. Let’s get to it!
Why We Like Spiders To Be Outside
According to Texas A&M University, many times spiders are the most important pest controllers on your property. Simply put, the world would be overrun with insects if spiders weren’t around.
If you see one outside and it’s not venomous, you’ll be doing yourself a favor by leaving it alone.
Spiders will eat insects like flies, cockroaches, mosquitos, moths, and bees. Depending on their size, they will also eat snails, worms, frogs, and lizards. If there are enough spiders present, infestations of these pests can be controlled.
Spiders themselves can also become pests if there are too many, but luckily animals like lizards, fish, birds, scorpions, and toads eat them and keep their populations in check.
In your home, however, there might not be any animals to eat the spiders, leaving them free to multiply. And if you have an animal that eats spiders in your home, that’s an even bigger problem.
So, we like them in our gardens and landscaping (as long as they don’t get too close to us), why is it a different story when they get inside?
Why We Don’t Like Spiders To Be Inside
Unless it’s a black widow or brown recluse spider, most American spiders are virtually harmless to humans. Black widows and brown recluses should be exterminated immediately, but most common house spiders aren’t terrible to have in your home.
If it’s not a venomous spider, you’re better off leaving it alone to keep your insect populations in check. The only damage these spiders can do is speed up the process of cracks and deteriorating areas that they use to get in and out.
I’ve recently even adopted the practice of leaving all spiders where they are in my home!
At some point, I do recommend taking a look at our guide on the 20 most common places where spiders live in your home, it ties in nicely with the rest of this article!
What To Do If You Find Spiders Inside Your House
I’ve compiled a list of things to do if you find spiders in the house. If they’re not a brown recluse or black widow, you can use any of these options. Venomous spiders should only be left to professionals.
1. Vacuum Up The Spiders
Using a vacuum is a simple way to get rid of a spider. All you have to do is suck it up and dispose of it outside or somewhere that’s sealed off.
If you’re not sure where the spiders are in your house, vacuum every corner and crevice you can. Pay special attention to the toilet, furniture, storage containers, and appliances. The more cobwebs you suck up, the more you’ll drive them away.
You can also wash spiders down the drain if they’re in your sink.
2. Relocate Them
No matter how creepy they are, spiders are essential parts of their ecosystems. You may not realize it, but a spider could be ridding your house of pests like flies, cockroaches, and mosquitos.
If you still want it out of your house, relocate it using a cup or jar and a piece of paper. If the spider is on a flat surface, cover it with the container and slide the paper underneath. It’ll now be trapped and ready to set outside.
If the spider isn’t on a flat surface, guide it to one using the paper. You can also guide it into the cup or jar with paper and cover it once it crawls in there.
Some people catch spiders using a paper towel, but it’s really easy to injure them this way if you aren’t gentle enough.
Set the spider free somewhere far enough away from the house to discourage it from coming back; somewhere it can find a hiding spot quickly, like a bush.
3. Use Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth works the same for spiders as it does for insects by damaging and dehydrating their exoskeletons.
Before using it, cover your nose and mouth so the particles don’t cling to the sides of your lungs and cause irritation.
Use a food-grade version like HARRIS Diatomaceous Earth to make a spray with a ratio of 1 cup of water and two tablespoons of diatomaceous earth.
Spray this solution everywhere a spider might live in your house like along corners of walls, on windowsills, around crawlspaces, and under and beneath furniture and appliances.
You can also spray spiders directly, but it won’t kill them on contact. It takes a couple of hours to a couple of days to fully work.
4. Keep Your Plants Clear Of Spiderwebs
Your houseplants are oases for spiders because they can provide food, water, and shelter. Insects are drawn to plants and spiders find perfect hiding spots among the foliage to weave their webs and trap prey.
Plants like peace lilies and monsteras need lots of water, so their constantly damp soil will attract insects and spiders alike.
Plants with lots of leaves and structures like fig trees are also attractive to spiders because they have so many hiding spots and openings for bugs to fly through.
To keep spiders away from your plants, let the soil dry out completely in between waterings. Move plants around every so often and keep the area around them clean and free of clutter. Dust off leaves or clear away spiderwebs from the plant with a damp cloth.
As for deterrents, lavender, citrus trees, basil, and mint work well because they smell bad to spiders. Keep them around the house to discourage them from those areas.
You can take a look at our piece on the scents spiders hate for more information on using those natural deterrents.
5. Use A Natural Spider Insecticide
There are many spider killers and repellents on the market that work great and can kill on contact. NATURAL OUST Peppermint Oil Spray in particular works great to eliminate spiders and is safe for indoor use. After you apply it, it will deter spiders for up to 12 months.
You can make your spider killer using a spray bottle filled with 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/3 cup white vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dish soap, and 15-20 drops of essential oil. Use cinnamon, citrus, or peppermint oil.
Apply store-bought or homemade insecticide everywhere a spider might hide to deter them and spray one directly to kill it.
6. Use An Ultrasonic Repellent
Although there isn’t enough research to prove it works, people have reported success with ultrasonic repellents in their homes for pests like rodents and spiders. They’re cost-effective and quite easy to use.
Neatmaster Ultrasonic Plug in Indoor Pest Repeller is a highly rated choice for homes because all you have to do is plug it in and turn it on. Please be advised, this isn’t my favorite method as there has been some contradiction within the ultrasonic pest repelling industry in recent years.
Generally, though, spiders will get annoyed by the high frequencies and leave the area. As a bonus, other pests may leave, too.
On the downside, these repellents won’t reduce any of the population of spiders or pests in your house. They’re only sending them away from that area.
On top of that, the soundwaves could get blocked by other objects which makes them much less effective. You should only use these repellents when they can reach out in every direction without anything in the way.
And even if ultrasonic repellents do work, some animals might get used to the sound after a while and return to the area.
Many people are are interested in the science behind ultrasonic pest repellents, as they are a new technology that seems far-fetched. However, the jury is out to whether or not ultrasonic repellers are effective against spiders.
Personally, I would recommend other methods than this.
7. Trap The Spiders
Insect and spider traps are really easy to use and people love them because they’re cheap and very effective. They also let you identify the type of spider you’re dealing with.
Catchmaster Brown Recluse Spider Traps are perfect for the job. Place these traps all over the usual locations of spider lairs. They have an adhesive backing so you can put them along walls and windowsills.
As insects get stuck to it, the trap becomes more and more attractive to spiders. Using a non-toxic trap like the Catchmaster means more places you can put the traps, raising your chances of success.
Of course, the trap will work for various types of house spiders as well.
8. Call in Experts
Whether there’s one spider or a thousand, calling a professional will give you peace of mind. They have the tools and expertise to get rid of them completely and keep them from coming back.
You should also call the exterminator if there’s an insect problem as it will dramatically raise the chances of a spider infestation too. Then can multiply insanely fast and become a serious problem in no time.
Head over to our pest control finder service to get in touch with a local exterminator today!
Why Am I Seeing Spiders Everywhere In My House?
A spider is after the same thing every other animal is: food, water, and shelter. Your house might be the perfect place for a steady supply of each.
If you’re noticing a lot more spiders than usual, the first thing you should do is check for a pest problem. There’s no reason for spiders to infest an area without a significant food source.
You might not even notice a pest problem until spiders have invaded. Follow the three steps below to check for them.
- Check the perimeter – Common breeding grounds for pests are blocked gutters, wood and leaf piles, overgrown landscaping, unsealed trash, and standing water. Remove these things from around the house as soon as you can.
- Check problem areas – The different ways pests can get inside are through torn window screens, cracks, gaps, and vents. Check wires, pipes, windows, and doors for gaps between them and the walls.
- Check for signs – Look for droppings, strange noises or smells, damaged or soiled items, chewed-up wires, holes, and tracks. Pest sightings might mean there are around.
If you have spiders outside your home, take a look at our guide on the best outdoor sprays for spiders here!
How Did Spiders Get Inside?
Spiders get into the house through cracks and gaps in siding, walls, windows, and doors. Check the structure of your house often to seal them before they figure out they can get in that way.
They also like to hitch rides on firewood, plants, and cardboard boxes you are bringing inside. Check these items thoroughly (with gloves!) before you do.
There are many different ways that spiders get into your home, and each type of spider requires a different level of caution and care.
Spiders are not as fearful of humans as other creatures are and will attack if they feel threatened, especially if they are guarding eggs. Often it seems that spiders aren’t scared of humans, which can be a very alarming thing.
Despite their lack of fear, spiders still want to avoid danger at all costs, so if they’re not safeguarding eggs then they might flee the scene.
You Can Get Rid of Spiders!
Spiders might be the ultimate pest controllers, but that doesn’t mean we want them in our house. A lot of us might agree that the best type of house is a spider-free one.
They also might be crafty and elusive, but that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to get rid of. Using things like strong scents, insecticide, traps, diatomaceous earth, and vacuums is a surefire way to do so.
I hope you feel ready to take on these unnerving visitors so you can live and sleep in peace!
Hawkinson, Candice. “Beneficial Spiders in the Landscape.” Galveston County Master Gardeners, Texas A&M University, 2006.
Vetter, Rick. “How to Identify and Misidentify a Brown Recluse Spider.” Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside, Jan. 2005.
Grishin, E. V. “Black widow spider toxins: the present and the future.” Toxicon 36.11, 1998.: 1693-1701.
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.
Download My Free E-Book!
Take a look at my guide on Pest Proofing Your Home In Under a Day! I get into the nitty-gritty on the most common types of pests you’ll see on your property including BOTH insects and wildlife, along with the specific signs to look for regarding any pest you have questions about.