Home remedies to keep spiders out of your house

As summer ends I find myself confronting wildlife in my personal space more and more. First it was a mouse taking up residence in the back of my ATV. Now, it's spiders in the house. Nothing creeps me out more than spiders and seeing 3 in one week inside my house sends me into a panic! 

natural spider repellent

Unfortunately as temperatures turn cooler, spiders are looking for a warmer spot to hole up for awhile and a house seems like a good deal to them. Luckily there are several things I can do to keep spiders out of my house.

I'm well aware that most species of spiders are completely harmless, yet that gives me no peace of mind whatsoever! If I see a spider in my house I'm either squishing it, or sucking it up with the hose attachment on my vacuum. 

That actually works really well for spiders that have gotten themselves up to the ceiling. As a bonus you can vacuum up the web at the same time! Now is a good time to mention that I'm actually allergic to spider bites...so you can understand why I've tried so many methods of getting rid of them over the years.

Keep spiders off your house

First things first, you need to stop them from getting into the house! To keep spiders from getting into your house, make sure your window screens don't have any holes in them and the frames fit tightly in the windows. Make sure to clean out window tracks and use a broom to clean under the gutters or overhangs to remove old webs or debris.

Bugs hang out by windows because they are attracted to the light. Spiders like bugs, so it just makes sense that spiders are hanging out outside your windows. Make sure there are no holes they can slip through and no spaces between the frames so they stay on the outside of the window. 

Don't use more outdoor lights on your house than needed, and if you must use them mount them away from the house. Chose motion sensitive lights if possible so they spend the majority of the time off. The longer they are on, the more bugs they'll attract which attracts the spiders. 

Natural ways to keep spiders out of your house

Caulk any gaps and holes around doors and window frames where spiders can get into the house. Cracks let drafts in anyway, so they're best filled in before they start affecting your heat bill! 

Essential oils to keep spiders away

Make spider spray. Get a large spray bottle and add 1/2 cup of white vinegar and 1 1/2 cups of water. Add 10 drops of peppermint essential oil and 2 drops of dish liquid. Shake well. The dish liquid helps to break up the oils so they are distributed evenly throughout the liquid. 

Spray around the outside of windows, doors and other places that spiders might be getting into the house. 

Keeping spiders out of house

Dab a bit of peppermint oil on a cotton ball and place inside on window sills especially if there are trees, shrubs or other places for spiders to hide in right outside the window. 

Not fond of peppermint smell inside your home? Spiders don't like tea tree oil, eucalyptus essential oil or lavender essential oil much either so give one of those a try instead.

Plants to keep spiders away

Speaking of mint and lavender, many people plant these along the outside of their houses just to repel spiders. Pretty and functional! Just make sure you plant your mint in a container or it might take over! 

Lemongrass, lemon verbena and lemon balm also seem to keep spiders away as do other herbs like basil, rosemary, citronella and rosemary. If you're looking for spider repelling flowers then marigolds, mums (chrysanthemums) and lavender would be your best choices.

Other ways to keep spiders out

Citronella candles. It's said that spiders dislike citrus scents, so using lemon cleaners and burning citronella candles might keep spiders out of your home. I haven't tried the candles but it's worth a shot! I do use a lemon scented window cleaner on my glass doors and windows and haven't seen spiders around there. 

cedar wood for spider prevention

Spiders hate cedar. Using cedar mulch around the outside of your house will help keep spiders away. If your not the mulchy type you can buy cedar clothing balls (mine are heart shaped) and place them inside the house where spiders like to hang out. They dislike the smell. 

I also use these cedar clothing hang-ups in my closet and have never had a spider in there.

Keep the floors and counters free of crumbs. While it's highly unlikely that spiders will be inside your house looking for food crumbs, other insects will be. The more bugs inside the house, the more comfortable a spider will be inside if he has a ready food supply. 

Sweep the floors and wipe down the counters regularly to remove food particles.

Spiders dislike vinegar. Mix water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray near areas that spiders come in through, like the cracks under and around screen doors. I mix a 50/50 solution and it works to keep the spiders from coming inside!

Natural Spider spray recipe

You can also make a spider spray with water and vinegar plus peppermint and cedar essential oils. Mix your water and vinegar as mentioned above and add 12 drops of essential oils for every 4 oz of water/vinegar solution. 

Shake to mix every time you go to use it, otherwise the essential oils will just float on the surface. I shake in between every few sprays. I use this one inside the house and the one above outside...because of the dish soap content.

Old wives tales: hedge apples and chestnuts keep spiders away when placed inside the house. If you have hedge apples and chestnuts and want to try it, then give it a go! I've heard they work really well and hedge apples have an almost cult like following...but I've never tried them.

Want more posts on natural housekeeping? Click here for my other posts on green cleaning!


Related reading: 13 Most Common and Deadly Spiders in the US.

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  1. I knew about peppermint but not cedar. We get really big spiders outside our picture window and occasionally they make it inside. I can deal but my 5yr old is soooo not a fan. ;)

    1. My kids hate them too! The cedar is nice because they last so long. They say you can buff them with sandpaper if they lose their scent but I've never had to. Good luck!


  2. I agree with Julie; I can normally deal with them but my little one is terrified of spiders. I just love the smell of Peppermint; so I am definitely going to be trying this.

    1. My daughter is terrified of spiders too. (she's 22! lol) I have to put peppermint in her room every time she comes to visit because she knows it keeps spiders away. Give it a try, it works really well for us!


  3. Thanks for the tip as I'm sure we all hate spiders! I didn't know about Peppermint but I do love the fresh smell of it. Thank you for linking up at #overthemoon link party

  4. I'll have to try the cedar, I like the smell. Like a spider, I am not fond of the peppermint.

    1. I like the ceder for in my closets and such because it's not overwhelming, so my clothes don't smell like it. Plus, they seem to work!

      Good luck with them!

  5. Will a cheap peppermint oil work? I don't want to use my good Young Living oil!

    1. I use the NOW brand (in the picture) it's much cheaper then YL and it works great!


    2. Interesting post! I'm with you...I don't want a spider in my house at all! I was sitting in my usual place one night, and a spider dropped down from the ceiling on a single thread of web. GROSS.OUT. You should have seen my gyrations!
      I didn't realize there were remedies for them, other than bug spray. Lots of tips here I didn't know.

  6. Thank you for sharing this with us at the Homestead Blog Hop! We hope to see you again next week!

  7. My daughter hates spiders and makes me kill them all. This spray might be a good idea so I can stop stomping them all the time.

  8. Will peppermint mouthwash in a spray or Lemon Pine Sol in a spray work if I make them? Thanks for the article bro!

    1. I don't think peppermint mouthwash will work because the alcohol will cause the peppermint scent to dissipate too quickly. A bottle of peppermint oil is about $5 at walmart and it lasts quite a while. I'm not sure about the lemon pine sol, but as long as the surface your using it on won't be harmed give it a try! It should work.