Homemade "Spider Spray" to the Rescue! | Seventh Generation
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Homemade "Spider Spray" to the Rescue!

Author: greenwrite

The blood-curdling scream from my daughter's room at 6 this morning was no surprise. It happens every spring. Roused by my digging in the garden, a small army of 8-legged  crawlers was making its way indoors. My daughter had opened her eyes to a member of the scouting party, rappelling its way from the ceiling to her bed. I grabbed the harmless little creature with a tissue, shook it out the window and went in search of my homemade "spider spray."

Despite the fact that most varieties of spider pose no threat to humans (and given the way they keep the insect population under control we should view them as allies) many people dislike, and even fear them.

In looking for a  natural spider repellent, I discovered that all spiders have their taste buds on the tips of their legs. There are certain natural oils they hate, including  citrus, lavender, peppermint, citronella, cinnamon, tea tree and cloves. This natural spider deterrent does wonders to combat an arachnid invasion, and with repeated use will help repel spiders year round:

  • Add up to 5 drops of essential oil (lemon is my favorite and spiders detest it) and up to 5 drops of dish washing liquid to 1 qt. of water. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and shake well.
  • Spray the mixture on cobwebs, around doors and windows, around the lawn and garden and on any surfaces where spiders lurk. In addition to having a pleasant aroma, this mixture is nontoxic.
  • Oils may stain or cause spots, so be sure to test the mixture on a small section of carpet or upholstery before spraying an entire surface.
  • Reapply the spray once a week during peak "spider seasons."

Natural spider repellents have to be applied more often than pesticides, but they are safer for to use in your home and have a pleasant smell. Pots of mint and lavender inside your home on a sunny windowsill will also help deter indoor spiders. Or you can dust your window sills and furniture weekly with a lemon-scented cleaner to help deter spiders.

Last, but certainly not least, you can stop a household spider infestation through simple, nonchemical means. Use a vacuum cleaner to suck up spiders and cobwebs. Seal cracks in the foundation and close gaps in windows or beneath doorways to deny spiders access to your homes. Spiders thrive in dark, cluttered places, so keep stacks of debris, woodpiles and thick plant growth away from the sides of the house. The fewer places spiders can easily inhabit, the more effectively they can be repelled.

Photo: Cliff1066


Tami C  picture
Tami C
I just read peppermint oil isn't safe for children to breathe in. They say never use it around children because it activates the cold receptors and causes children's breathing to slow down. I just sprayed my house with it and have 2 young children, have you ever heard of this?
ManuelaAlegria  picture
Will this work with Eucalyptus oil??
Sandra Davenport picture
Sandra Davenport
Fabulous! Terrific! I am an herbalist and have the majority on hand. Jut liked my first 'ally' of the season. Gonna make spray rite now and being's I didn't sleep well at all last nite, I'm look ding forward to the lavener! LiveWell/drink tea!(
Echessa picture
Thank you for this effective natural method of spider control, was tired of squizing dead spiders using a piece of news paper.
Heather  picture
Awesome! Thanks :)
Aeltie picture
Thank you so much!!!! I really hate killing the little guys so I let them be but I'm sick of them showing up in my bed. Long live the little things!
Cheryl  picture
Spiders are natural, hand made by God...They don't bother you unless bothered and then they will run but my daughter too is afraid of them. I'm glad to see you realize that they can be beneficial too. I at first thought this article was about killing them but I see it's not. :-) I am terrified of ticks, but won't spray my yard because it would kill other things. I did it once unknowingly, and have felt bad ever since.
Betty Gainer-doyle picture
Betty Gainer-doyle
Thank you. I'm one of those with irration fear of spiders. They are just so sneaky. And all joking aside, the ones around my house know I'm afraid of them, 'cause when they come inside they will chase me around, especially in the laundry room. Anyway, I chose to keep the mini forest cause I love the wildlife. Just want to keep the spiders at least 6foot from the house. Thank you and the birds thank you.
Fay L picture
Fay L
Thanks for this email. I have a problem with these pesty critters...they seem to like my bathroom a lot. I will make this recipe and surely use it as I can't stand the creepy things.
christine waddell picture
christine waddell
Thank you so much! I found a spider (alive) in my bed last year and it completely unnerved me. I have an autoimmune disease and can NOT use chemical pesticides of any sort. I have all these oils on hand, but who knew? Now I can literally rest in peace!
CallmeWillow picture
Even though i'm highly allergic to most insect venom, I'd rather deter them than kill. I will be trying your advice this evening. My legs are stripes of welts from something walking on me and it really has to stop. My cat used keep our home bug free, or at least show me where to find the bad guys, but she's gotten too old for the game. Thanks for the recipe. Oh. By the way, for the little black ants, try using baby powder where ever you saw them. Just sprinkle it really generouslly on the floor or window sills or what-ever. After three or four days, they don't come back again.
Aaron Fowler picture
Aaron Fowler
Sweet idea. Thanks :)
D.N. picture
Thanks for this article I have a bad spider problem at home and I plan to try this.
bootsartemis picture
This is wonderful information! I am extremely allergic to spider bites and need to clean my basement that has loads of webs and no doubt some eensy teensy spiders in the water spout. And I love all the essential oils you mention. (I guess that proves I'm not a spider.)
Babe picture
Love the thought of using this. I have many animals, and I don't like to use over the counter sprays because of my animals. Will give this a try tonight
Emmelyn Hill picture
Emmelyn Hill
Does this stuff really work? I have a huge pest problem and I really don't want to put harmful chemicals in the house especially when kids are running around.
annette bailey picture
annette bailey
great advice
DMT picture
There is a better, longer lasting way to do this. Use one part vinegar to two parts water. Wipe down the areas most vulnerable to spider infestation. Actually, I wiped down the walls, floors and ceilings. Not only did my house sparkle, but I had no spiders for two years. None. And until then, I had at least half a dozen in every room. Best of all, I didn't have to kill a single one. They all left of their own accord.
lilmissdisney picture
Very valuable information! I'm glad i'm not the only bug rescuer out there. :o)
CaroleGuthrieBonnell picture
I've been using a spray like this in Washington (state) with Tea Tree Oil to get rid of spiders in my sunroom under my wicker furniture and above my door outside where bugs and spiders seem to unite. I used this spray in TN at my sons house where tiny black ants were invading his kitchen. After 5-days of spraying they are gone for the first time in years, and have been gone for 3 yrs! And it's safe.
MasayoH picture
I just made the concoction. The Lemon oil is so dilute. Unless I open the bottle and sniff it, I can't even smell the lemon. If this works, it's miracle. I hope it does. Thank you.
hedgewitch3 picture
Among most of my friends and acquaintances, I'm the 'weird' one who generally doesn't go screaming at the sight of a spider. In fact, I've actually "kept" one in the house from time to time. I had one build her web behind my washer (in the kitchen) and let her stay the entire summer. NO mosquitoes or gnats! But there is the occasional visitor I'd rather not have and I usually try my best to return them to the great outdoors. Thanks for sharing the repellant recipe. I'll definitely give this a try. And for those who hate invasions indoors of ants - try spraying old coffee or sprinkling used coffee grounds around the outside of the home. Ants apparently don't like caffeine, or at least coffee, as much as humans and will actually find another way out of an anthill if you circle one entrance/exit with coffee grounds!
amyshilohbergmann picture
Good until the last paragraph... I opened this article expecting to find some article on how to kill spiders and was pleasantly surprised to see that the author appreciates spiders and his spider spray is merely a deterrent, not a poison. That's great! Spiders (and all other insects) can easily just be moved outdoors. I simply grab two magazines or whatever else is handy--encourage the spider or other insect to crawl on the first and use the other as a backup when the spider inevitably crawls along the edge, just keep moving the insect from one to the other while you are walking to your door, then just open the door and allow them to crawl off outside. With "thousand-leggers," they move faster, but this is still possible. However, I was disappointed by the article's last paragraph, where he suggests sucking up spiders or other insects with the household vacuum cleaner. This surely kills them and is not humane. If you cannot stomach my method above, Peta sells a contraption that is similar to a vacuum in that it is a clear tube, but the bug is not sucked permanently into a vacuum cleaner bag. Instead, you just move to the door and let them out. Simple and humane.
qwkslvr picture
Be aware, however, that essential oils can be toxic to cats.
Gretchen Olszewski picture
Gretchen Olszewski
Do you have any ideas for thousand leggers? This are everywhere around our house this time of year! They are my worst nightmare! After many different attempts we still have not found any solution to get them out of our house! Thanks so much, Gretchen