5 DIY Spider Repellents to Keep Spiders at Bay

Spiders can be creepy, crawly, and downright terrifying for some. While most spider species are harmless to humans, no one wants cobwebs full of spiders taking over their home. Thankfully, there are many DIY spider repellents you can make with common household ingredients to keep these 8-legged pests at bay without using harsh chemicals.

Why Repel Spiders?

Before learning how to make spider repellents, it helps to understand why you may want to repel spiders in the first place. Here are some of the top reasons for keeping spiders out of your home:

  • Bites – While most spiders in the U.S. are not dangerous to humans, some species like brown recluses and black widows can inflict painful bites. Keeping them away reduces this risk.
  • Allergies – Spider and spider bite allergies, though uncommon, do exist. Repelling spiders can help those with arachnophobia or allergies avoid exposure.
  • Reducing cobwebs – Spiderwebs in corners of rooms or ceilings look messy and unclean. Repellents help discourage spiders from spinning webs in your home.
  • Prevent infestations – If left to their own devices, some species like brown recluse spiders can quickly multiply into infestations inside a home.
  • Fear/phobia – Many people simply fear or dislike spiders. Repellents provide peace of mind and reduce anxiety for those with extreme arachnophobia.

So whether for health, aesthetics, or peace of mind, spider repellents help maintain a spider-free home.

5 DIY Spider Repellents

The good news is, you don’t need to resort to harsh chemical pesticides to make your own effective spider repellents. There are many recipes using common household ingredients that naturally deter spiders and are safe for use around children and pets when applied properly.

1. Essential Oil Spray

Essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, lavender, citrus oils, eucalyptus, and clove oil have strong scents that spiders dislike. Mixing a few drops into water and spraying this natural repellent around your home creates an aroma boundary that keeps spiders away.

You’ll need:

  • 10-15 drops essential oil(s)
  • 1 cup water
  • Spray bottle

How to make:

  1. Choose one or more essential oils. Good options are peppermint, tea tree, lavender, lemon, orange, eucalyptus, and clove oil.
  2. Fill spray bottle with 1 cup water. Add several drops of your chosen essential oil(s), around 10-15 total.
  3. Shake well to disperse the oil. Mist spider-prone areas like windowsills, doorways, attics, basements, garages, etc.
  4. Reapply every few days as the scent diminishes. The oil residues should continue repelling spiders for weeks.

2. Vinegar Spray

Plain old white vinegar makes a simple DIY spider repellent. The strong acidic smell of vinegar masks other attractant odors that draw spiders in. Vinegar also damages spider’s delicate leg joints, making them avoid surfaces sprayed with it.

You’ll need:

  • 1 part white vinegar
  • 1 part water
  • Spray bottle

How to make:

  1. Fill your spray bottle halfway with standard white vinegar.
  2. Fill the remainder with water. Shake vigorously to mix.
  3. Lightly spray vinegar solution along baseboards, window frames, corners, walls, and anywhere else spiders may enter.
  4. Reapply every few days to refresh the vinegar odor. The lingering acidity continues working between applications.

3. Lemon Juice Spray

Like vinegar, lemon juice contains acidic citric compounds that spiders dislike. The fresh, zesty scent of lemons also helps mask other attractants without harsh chemicals.

You’ll need:

  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • Spray bottle

How to make:

  1. Squeeze enough lemons to make 1 cup fresh lemon juice. Strain out any pulp or seeds.
  2. Pour lemon juice and 1 cup water into a spray bottle. Shake well to combine.
  3. Spray along the edges of rooms, windows, doors, and other access points for spiders.
  4. Reapply every 3-4 days as the lemony scent fades.

4. Peppermint Castile Soap Spray

Natural peppermint castile soap makes an effective spider repellent spray. The minty aroma spiders detest mixes with the soap’s ability to break down spider silk webs, keeping them away long-term.

You’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1 cup water
  • 15 drops peppermint essential oil
  • Spray bottle

How to make:

  1. Add 1/2 cup liquid castile soap to a spray bottle. Peppermint or tea tree castile soap works best.
  2. Pour in 1 cup water and add 15 drops peppermint essential oil. Shake vigorously until well mixed.
  3. Lightly spray on window sills, door and window frames, walls, and foundation cracks.
  4. Reapply every 4-5 days to maintain the fresh minty scent.

5. Cedarwood Cotton Balls

The natural aroma of cedarwood repels spiders who don’t like its strong woodsy scent. Placing cotton balls with cedarwood oil around your home creates ongoing passive fumigation.

You’ll need:

  • Cotton balls
  • Cedarwood essential oil
  • Small bowls or jars

How to make:

  1. Add a few drops of cedarwood essential oil onto each cotton ball so it absorbs well.
  2. Place cotton balls around in small bowls or jars. Good spots are windowsills, bathroom and kitchen corners, attics, basements, etc.
  3. Refresh the cedarwood oil every 4-5 days as the aroma fades. The cotton balls can be reused for months.

How Do Spider Repellents Work?

Understanding how homemade spider repellents work makes them more effective. Here are the key ways common household spider deterrents make your home less welcoming:

  • Strong scents – Pungent smells from things like essential oils, vinegar, and cedarwood mask other attractants like food odors that draw spiders in. The strong odors irritate and overwhelm spider’s senses.
  • Taste deterrents – Substances like vinegar, lemon juice, and soap contain acids, citrus oils, and other things spiders dislike tasting and touching. This alters your home’s chemistry.
  • Physical disruption – Soap sprays help break down the silk spider webs are made of. Oils create a slick residue. These make it physically harder for spiders to nest.
  • Ongoing repellency – Unlike killing spiders directly, deterrent sprays have residual effects between applications, making your home inhospitable over time.

Using several DIY spider repellent methods together maximizes these effects for the best ongoing results.

When and Where to Use DIY Spider Repellents

Timing and location are important when deploying your homemade spider repellents. Here are some tips on when and where to focus your efforts:

  • Spring and fall – Repellents are most important during spider mating season in the spring and fall when they are most active entering homes.
  • Attics and basements – Spray dust-prone attics and unfinished basements where spiders like making cobwebs. These are common problem areas.
  • Garages and sheds – Detached buildings are prone to spiders. Don’t forget your garage, shed, or outbuildings.
  • Doors and windows – Frames, thresholds, and windowsills are prime access points for spiders. Spray these areas well.
  • Cracks and crevices – Pay special attention to small cracks in your foundation or gaps around pipes where spiders can enter.
  • Corners and ceilings – Spiderwebs commonly accumulate in room corners and ceiling edges. Target repellents there.

Reapplying repellents every few days to a week maintains effectiveness in these spider-prone areas over time.

Tips for Using Natural Spider Repellents

Follow these tips when deploying homemade spider deterrents for best results:

  • Ventilate – When possible, open windows or run fans when spraying indoors to circulate fresh air and allow scents to disperse.
  • Focus outward – Concentrate more heavily on exterior entry points like windows and doors. Lightly mist interior spaces.
  • Get up high – Stand on a sturdy stool or ladder when spraying ceilings, attics, upper walls and windows.
  • Use a broad sprayer – Opt for spray bottles with an adjustable nozzle for wide spray coverage.
  • Wear gloves and eye protection – Essential oils, acids, and soap sprays can irritate skin and eyes. Take precautions.
  • Keep children/pets away – Only spray when kids and animals are out of the room and ventilate before allowing them back in.
  • Store repellents safely – Keep spray bottles clearly labeled and out of reach of children when not in use.

Following these best practices helps maximize spider repellent effectiveness while safely using these DIY methods in your home.

5 Spider Repellent Recipe Variations

Don’t limit yourself to the recipes above. Try out some of these variations using alternate ingredient substitutions and essential oil blends:

Vinegar spray:

  • White wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar for a different aroma
  • Add 10 drops citrus essential oil like lemon or orange
  • Mix with equal parts vodka for added chemical potency

Lemon juice spray:

  • Lime, grapefruit, or other citrus juice variations
  • Extra lemon juice for more acidity
  • Add cloves or citronella oil for enhanced scent

Essential oil spray:

  • Eucalyptus, citronella, clove, and tea tree oil blends
  • Extra oils for a more concentrated aroma blast
  • Mix in a tablespoon of vinegar for added bite

Peppermint soap spray:

  • Other castile soap scents like lavender, citrus, or eucalyptus
  • Extra peppermint oil for an intense minty kick
  • Add vinegar or lemon juice for more spider-unfriendly acidity

Cedarwood cotton balls:

  • Other woodsy essential oils like pine, cypress, fir, or patchouli
  • Place jars around doors, in window tracks, or under sinks & furniture
  • Use dried cedar chips or tie cedarwood sticks in cheesecloth bundles

Feel free to experiment with your own ingredient variations. Just avoid harsh chemical pesticides and use natural repellents safely. With some clever homemade spider deterrents in place, you’ll give spiders the boot and enjoy a pest-free home.

Frequently Asked Questions About DIY Spider Repellents

Still have questions about making and using homemade spider repellents? Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Are DIY spider repellents effective?

Yes, homemade spider repellents made with natural essential oils, acids, woodsy aromas, and castile soaps have proven very effective for deterring spiders from entering and nesting in homes. They may not work as instantly as harsh chemicals, but deployed consistently they provide ongoing repellency.

What’s the best essential oil for repelling spiders?

Peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, citrus, cedarwood, and clove oils have the strongest spider-repelling effects. Use oils spiders find most offensive and vary the smell profile regularly.

How long do homemade spider repellents last?

DIY spider sprays tend to lose potency after 3-5 days as scents fade. Oils leave minute residues that continue working between applications. Reapplying every few days maintains effectiveness. Passive repellents like cedarwood last 4-6 weeks or until scent dissipates.

Are natural spider repellents safe for kids and pets?

When used properly by keeping kids and animals away during application, allowing time for ventilation, and storing out of reach, natural DIY spider repellents are safe. Always follow precautions and test small patches first.

What’s the most effective placement for natural spider repellents?

Focus heavily on exterior entry points like windows, doors, and gaps in your home’s outer structure where spiders enter. Interior corners, walls, and ceilings are secondary targets if spiders penetrate inside.

Will spider repellents harm other beneficial insects?

DIY spider deterrents are formulated to target spiders specifically. Used properly indoors, they generally won’t harm beneficial insects like bees and ladybugs outdoors. Avoid over-applying exterior treatments.

Can I use spider repellents if I have small children or pets?

Yes, just take safety precautions by applying when children/pets are away, ventilating rooms before re-entry, storing bottles securely, and monitoring treated areas until sprays dry. Never spray directly on people/animals.

What time of year should I use natural spider repellents?

Spring and fall are prime seasons when spiders seek indoor nesting spots for mating and to escape cold. Maintain repellents during warmer months when spiders are most active entering buildings.

How often should DIY spider repellents be reapplied?

Expect to reapply natural spider repellents every 3-7 days in order to maintain potency. Fading scents, dissipating residues, and ongoing pest pressures mean regular treatments are needed for lasting results.

Using natural DIY spider repellents regularly and properly allows you to proactively and safely keep these pesky arachnids out of your home for good. Test different recipes and ingredient combinations to find the optimal solutions for your spider deterrence needs.


If the creepy crawlies are getting out of control in your home, try these DIY spider repellents first before resorting to harsh chemical pesticides. Natural essential oils, acids, botanical scents, and soap solutions create a pungent aroma boundary that keeps spiders away without doing harm to you, your children, or helpful pollinators outdoors.

The key is deploying these homemade spider deterrents consistently, focusing on exterior entry points and interior spider-prone areas. Reapply every several days to maintain potency as scents fade. Use caution when spraying and ventilate spaces afterwards.

Along with sealing cracks and keeping clutter clear, natural spider repellents help discourage spiders from spinning webs and nesting where you don’t want them. As seasons and pest pressures change, try different recipes or alternate ingredients to find your optimal spider solutions. Soon you’ll have the crawling and creeping under control.

So feel empowered to ward off those spiders naturally and reclaim your home. For the best results, pair these proactive repellent remedies with integrated pest management techniques. And if all else fails, be sure to vacuum and sweep away any lingering spiders or webs that still find their way inside. With a little diligence, your personalized spider deterrent plan will keep those scurrying spiders at bay for good.