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The Best Ways to Kill Spiders

A close-up of a spider in its web.
Minh Hoang Cong / 500px/500px/GettyImages

First Consider Leaving Them Alone

Let’s start off by debunking a myth. Why would anyone want to kill Charlotte, the heroine of E.B. White’s classic story ‌Charlotte’s Web‌? Spiders are good to have around the home.

Want to get rid of mosquitoes? Keep a few spiders around. Other pests? Spiders are your most-effective pest control. They feed on insects and bugs and, other than black widows or brown recluse spiders, they don’t feed on humans. And even then, their bite may be troublesome but not necessarily life-threatening.

But if you insist on finding the best way to kill spiders, be ecological and use non-toxic means to rid the wooden beams and window corners from the arachnids that have become comfortable in your home.

Cobweb spiders and cellar spiders are the most prevalent species of spiders found indoors, according to The Washington Post. As natural predators, they are known to leave their webs to go hunting, but not for humans. They are more afraid of us than we are of them.

Spiders as Allies in the Garden

Categorized as “beneficial species,” spiders are doing you the favor of providing natural pest control when they show up in your garden.

Spiders eat nearly everything we hate in the garden: flies, wasps, ants, etc. They keep pests away from your flowers, fruit and vegetables, getting full tummies in the process.

Getting Rid of Garden Spiders Naturally

  • Clean and Tidy:‌ Keeping your garden neat and tidy is the first step in controlling the spider population. Spiders like nooks and crannies, and an organized garden doesn’t give them that option. Clearing away webs forces them to look for new homes, preferably away from your garden.
  • Fragrant Plants:‌ Plant mint, basil, lemon, lavender or other plants that give off a strong smell. Spiders are repelled by smells.
  • Homemade Spray:‌ Make your own natural spray to kill spiders by combining water and vinegar and spraying it around the garden. Add a dash of lavender oil for added assurance.

How to Effectively Kill Spiders Around Your Home

As the temperatures start to drop, spiders begin looking for a warm place to roost as they flee the garden. Inside a home offers the best advantage.

  • Essential Oil Spray:‌ Since spiders don’t like strong scents, combine some peppermint oil or lavender oil with water and spray around wooden beams, windows and dark corners, recommends. Change the combination frequently to avoid the spiders from becoming familiar with your eradication effort.
  • Vinegar and Water Spray:‌ Using a solution comprising half vinegar and half water is a safe bet to kill spiders. Spray along windowsills and entryways, high and low, and keep a spray bottle on hand for those one-off sightings.
  • Clean and Organized:‌ Like the garden, keep your home clean and clear of clutter. Don’t invite the spiders in.

  • Strong Scents:‌ Plant mint or lavender just outside the windows and rub citrus along the sills and floorboards. Spiders won’t go past the strong scents.

A western black widow (Latrodectus hesperus) in its web.
Ken-ichi Ueda, CC 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

How to Take Care of Black Widow Spiders

If you encounter a black widow spider, a spider with black or brown coloring that features a red hourglass figure on its bottom, be cautious and grab that spray bottle you’ve kept in reserve. Or create a fresh spray by combining five drops of a strongly scented essential oil, water and three drops of dish soap.

To create an even simpler concoction, simply combine water and vinegar. The vinegar kills the black widow instantly.

Since black widows rarely leave their webs, it is essential that you clear away all visible webs from around the house.

Tip

Wear gloves and thick fabrics such as denim when dealing with black widows or brown recluse spiders.

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