How to Get Rid of Spiders in the House

Spiders can be unwelcome guests in any home. While most spider species are harmless, and even helpful for controlling insect pests, their presence can be alarming and annoying. Fortunately, there are many effective methods to get rid of spiders and prevent them from coming back. This comprehensive guide covers all the proven techniques for safely and humanely removing spiders from your house.

Understanding Spider Behavior

Before getting into spider removal methods, it helps to understand what attracts spiders to homes and where they like to build their webs.

Why Spiders Enter Homes

  • Food sources – Spiders prey on insects and other small invertebrates. Houses provide shelter and food for their prey, so spiders follow. Cracks, crevices, basements, and garages attract insects.
  • Mating – Male spiders often venture into homes while searching for females, especially in late summer and fall.
  • Shelter – Spiders enter homes looking for protected areas to build webs and egg sacs. Corners, ceilings, attics and crawl spaces provide great web sites.
  • Accidental entry – Spiders can sneak indoors on boxes, plants, firewood, clothing and pets. Open windows and doors allow spiders to walk or balloon inside.

Where Spiders Build Webs

  • Corners of rooms – Where walls meet ceilings or floors, corners collect insects and provide anchor points for webs.
  • Ceilings – High, sheltered locations ideal for catching flying insects in webs.
  • Windows and window frames – Spiders build webs on windows to catch flies and near frames for shelter.
  • Storage areas – Attics, basements and garages with fly and insect activity will attract spiders.
  • Undisturbed areas – Cobwebs accumulate in unused guest rooms, closets, crawl spaces and sheds.
  • Porches and patios – Overhangs and corners protected from rain are prime real estate for webs.

Preventing Spiders From Entering Your Home

Taking steps to make your home less inviting to spiders will reduce the chances of infestations developing inside. Here are some tips for spider-proofing your house:

Seal Cracks and Crevices

  • Caulk cracks around windows, doors, pipes, vents, and exterior walls.
  • Weather strip doors and windows.
  • Repair holes in window screens.
  • Install door sweeps and draft blockers.

Reduce Food Sources

  • Install yellow bug lights to reduce attraction of night insects.
  • Remove trash, leaf litter, and debris from the home exterior.
  • Cut back vegetation touching the home.
  • Store pet food in sealed containers.
  • Minimize moisture leaks and standing water.

Manage Landscaping

  • Keep plants, shrubs, and mulch at least 1 foot away from home exterior.
  • Prune tree branches and shrubs so they do not touch the house.
  • Reduce exterior lighting which attracts night insects.
  • Remove wood and rock piles; inspect items before bringing them indoors.

Perform Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

  • Vacuum and sweep corners, window sills, and ceilings regularly to remove webs.
  • Clean gutters and clear exterior drains to eliminate standing water.
  • Fix leaks and moisture issues immediately to avoid mold and mildew.
  • Seal cracks in foundations, sidewalks, and driveways.
  • Replace weather stripping, door sweeps, and screens as needed.

Natural Spider Deterrents

Using natural scents and materials that spiders dislike can discourage them from building webs in and around your home. These natural options are safe for people, pets, and the environment.

Strong Smells

  • Place cotton balls soaked with peppermint, citrus, or eucalyptus oils in problem areas.
  • Use dried lavender sachets or plants to scent closets, windowsills, and entryways.
  • Sprinkle ground cinnamon, cloves, or cayenne pepper in garages, basements, attics.

Air Circulation

  • Use fans, open windows, and air conditioning to keep areas dry.
  • Place open containers of vinegar around infested areas to evaporate.


  • Spider plants release chemicals that repel spiders.
  • Grow mint, basil, and chrysanthemums around doors and windows.

Diatomaceous Earth

  • Apply food-grade diatomaceous earth along baseboards, windowsills, and anywhere spiders lurk. The powdery mineral cuts and absorbs wax on spider’s exoskeletons causing dehydration.
  • Reapply after cleaning or vacuuming up previous applications. Wear a mask to avoid breathing in the fine dust.

Physical Spider Removal Methods

For existing spider problems inside the home, the most direct removal methods involve physically catching, vacuuming, or trapping spiders and manually destroying their webs. Combine these tactics with preventive measures to stop spiders from rebuilding.

Catch Spiders by Hand

  • Use an empty jar or plastic container to cover and trap spiders against a surface, then slide lid or cardboard underneath to contain it.
  • Wear thick gloves to protect from bites when grabbing larger spiders.
  • Release spiders caught by hand outdoors away from your home. Or place the sealed container in the freezer overnight to kill spiders humanely.

Use a Vacuum

  • A regular household vacuum effectively sucks up spiders and webs.
  • Concentrate the suction nozzle on webs and areas where spiders lurk. Use attachments like crevice tools to reach corners and ceilings.
  • Empty the vacuum contents into a sealed bag and dispose of it outside immediately after use. This prevents live spiders from escaping back into your home.

Remove Webs with Tools

  • Web dusters or rubber gloves allow you to sweep down webs without direct contact.
  • Use a broom or mop to remove webs from high ceilings and corners.
  • Clean web remnants with soapy water to eliminate silk deposits that attract spiders.

Install Physical Barriers

  • Apply double-sided tape or petroleum jelly to windows, door frames, and other surfaces to prevent spiders from building webs.
  • Install door sweeps, draft blockers, and screen covers to block entry points.
  • Seal boxes and totes containing infested items with tape before moving them to prevent escape. Inspect carefully before opening.
  • Place live spiders collected indoors into soapy water to disable them before disposal.

Chemical Spider Treatments

Pesticide sprays and dusts provide a more thorough and lasting solution for severe spider infestations inside the home. Use caution when handling these chemicals and carefully follow all label directions.

Insecticide Sprays

  • Residual spider sprays contain synthetic pyrethroids, a neurotoxin that kills spiders on contact and leaves a residue to kill returning spiders.
  • Apply as a crack and crevice treatment to undisturbed areas where spiders hide and build webs.
  • Reapply outdoors every 2-3 months; indoors every 6 months or as needed.

Insecticide Dusts

  • Silica gel and diatomaceous earth dusts also kill spiders through desiccation when they crawl through treated areas.
  • Use a hand duster to apply a light coating into cracks, crevices, and wall voids where spiders lurk.
  • Reapply if the dust gets wet or disturbed through cleaning or vacuuming.

Professional Chemical Treatments

For severe infestations, hire a licensed pest control company to treat your home:

  • Professionals have access to stronger synthetic pyrethroid concentrates and can apply them in difficult to reach areas like attics, crawlspaces and ductwork.
  • Treatments typically involve a combination of liquid sprays and dusts for maximum coverage indoors and outdoors.
  • Initial treatment followed by quarterly or biannual preventative applications provide the best long term control.

Getting Rid of Specific Spider Species

Certain types of spiders like black widows, brown recluses, and hobo spiders warrant extra precautions due to the potency of their venom. Use these tips to safely remove dangerous spider species.

Venomous Spiders

Black widow spiders

  • Use extreme caution and wear thick gloves and eye protection when handling.
  • Apply aerosol or powder insecticide directly into their thick webs; this avoids provoking them.
  • Trap spiders inside dense webs and place the entire web into a plastic bag for disposal.

Brown recluse spiders

  • Vacuum up any spiders you see.
  • Treat undisturbed areas like attics and crawlspaces where they reside with residual sprays or dusts.
  • Seal boxes and surfaces in infested areas with sticky tape to entrap emerging spiders.

Hobo spider

  • Vacuum vigilantly to remove spiders and funnel-shaped webs from corners, windows, and walls.
  • Inspect children’s toys and playground equipment thoroughly.
  • Treat home exteriors around foundations, vents, utility entrances, etc. to block their entry.

House Spiders and Cobweb Spiders

Common small spider species can build extensive webs throughout homes but are not considered dangerous. Control methods include:

Cellar spiders

  • Use a broom to sweep down large delicate webs in basements and garages.
  • Clean windows and sills thoroughly to remove all silk deposits.
  • Install insect sticky traps in problem areas to catch prey and reduce food sources.

Cobweb spiders

  • Use a duster on a long pole or a broom to remove webs in high corners.
  • Vacuum ceilings, walls, and floors thoroughly and frequently.
  • Apply insecticides to entry points and corners to prevent reinfestation.

Jumping spiders

  • Wipe down infested surfaces with vinegar or essential oils diluted in water.
  • Set out sticky traps or tape around appliances, plants, and windows to trap spiders.
  • Carefully shake out clothing, towels, curtains before use to dislodge hidden spiders.

FAQs About Eliminating Spiders

How often should I vacuum and clean to help get rid of spiders?

  • Vacuum carpets, corners, baseboards, and ceilings at least once per week.
  • Use dusters or brooms daily to remove webs on walls, windows, and hard to reach areas.
  • Clean windows, windowsills, and screens regularly with vinegar or soap and water.

What chemicals are best for killing spiders?

  • Pyrethroid sprays and dusts such as cypermethrin, deltamethrin, and permethrin are highly effective and long-lasting.
  • Boric acid and diatomaceous dusts also kill spiders through desiccation.
  • Peppermint, citrus, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender oils deter spiders when used diluted in sprays.

Where should I apply pesticides for spiders?

  • Focus on entry points like windows, doors, and foundation gaps.
  • Treat undisturbed areas like attics, crawlspaces, garages, and storage closets.
  • Apply crack and crevice sprays inside wall voids, under cabinets, into corner joints.
  • Apply dusts into wall outlets, switch plates, plumbing penetrations, electrical boxes.

Are spiders attracted to light?

  • Most spiders are not attracted to lights. Outdoor lights draw insects which spiders prey upon.
  • Some nocturnal species like Yellow sac spiders hunt near lights.
  • Black widow spiders avoid light and hide in dark undisturbed places.

Will weather stripping and caulk keep spiders out?

  • Yes, sealing cracks and gaps in the home’s exterior prevents entry of spiders, insects, and other invaders.
  • Pay special attention around windows, doors, pipes, vents, and utilities.
  • Maintain seals with regular inspections and upgrades.


Controlling spiders effectively requires an integrated approach including prevention, exclusion, removal, and targeted chemical treatments. By understanding spider behavior patterns, removing conducive conditions inside the home, and leveraging natural deterrents and mechanical methods, heavy pesticide usage can be avoided in most cases. When confronted by venomous spiders or severe infestations, limited and careful applications of residual chemicals may become necessary. With diligence and persistence, you can gain the upper hand and get rid of spiders in the house for good.


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