Hands up if your first instinct when you see a spider is to grab the insect spray.
If your local spider population is starting to show up at your front door, it can feel tempting to reach for spider repellents – except they might contain toxic chemicals which are bad for the spider, you, and your environment.
Instead of insect spray, here are some natural spider repellents! Some essential oils (such as peppermint oil) work to deter spiders. If you have pets, consider using vinegar or saltwater instead. You could also grow spider-repelling plants. Lastly, citrus scents are great for repelling spiders!
No one wants to risk spider bites (although it’s important to know – spiders are still good for the environment!). Need to repel spiders? Here’s a guide to creating your own natural spider repellent.
Spider Species in Australia
Alright, we admit it – spiders give us the heebie-jeebies. But there are few truly dangerous spiders. Most bites from spiders are less harmful than a bee sting (although you’ll still need to receive treatment immediately).
In Australia, some eight-legged crawlies you do need to look out for are the following:
- Funnel-web spiders
- Redback spider
- Mouse spider
- Trap door spider
- Recluse spider
Most other common house spiders in Australia, like wolf spiders or daddy long legs, are fairly harmless. They may cause a problem if these spiders congregate, but their bites are rarely fatal. Spider venom is naturally designed for smaller prey (such as other insects) and usually isn’t fatal for humans.
Moreover, these spiders can be beneficial to your home and garden. Spiders eat bugs, so they’re actually natural repellents for other bugs such as mosquitos and flies.
How to Repel Spiders Naturally
Set the Raid aside and go with these organic spider repellent methods instead! They’ll be safer for you and the environment (although double-check first if you have pets).
1. Essential Oils
You can make your own DIY spider-repellent spray using certain essential oils and a little dish soap. Peppermint essential oil is a go-to for most people, but other spider-repelling scents include:
- Tea tree
(Just note – only lavender is pet-safe.)
Mix up water plus a few drops of your chosen essential oil and some detergent in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture in affected areas to get rid of spiders.
2. Spider-Repelling Herbs and Plants
Besides being a natural way to repel houseflies, having a mint, lavender, eucalyptus, lemon balm, or lemon grass plant repels spiders! You can plant some of these herbs along or under window sills to prevent a spider problem from happening in your home.
Spiders also hate the scent of cinnamon, so set up some incense or cinnamon sticks in problem areas. The strong scent will repel insects using natural ingredients.
3. Sticky Traps
If the essential oil trick doesn’t work, you can use glue traps! Simply purchase one from any home improvement or hardware store (or make your own). Then lay them out where spiders frequently pass.
4. Salt Spray
Salt is hazardous for spiders, so you can use it as natural pest control. Just like you would make peppermint spray, mix a quarter-cup of salt in 3 litres of water. Fill a spray bottle, then spray any affected areas.
You can also use a saltwater spray to target spider nests, or to spritz directly onto a creepy-crawly in your home.
This works the same way as saltwater and essential oils – spiders hate the scent of vinegar. Fill a spray bottle with equal parts white vinegar and water, and spray affected areas.
Avoid using vinegar on varnished surfaces since this could damage the finish on floors and furniture.
Allegedly, spiders hate citrus scents, so you can rub the peels on skirting boards, window sills, and wall corners. You can also use lemon-scented cleaners or light up citronella candles in problem areas.
7. Diatomaceous Earth (DE)
Lastly, diatomaceous earth can cause spiders to dry out. Sprinkle a fine, even layer of DE under window sills or in corners. The spiders will walk through the DE layer, then become dehydrated later on.
Tips for Preventing Spiders
Clean your home regularly – or have it professionally cleaned regularly! You’ll have fewer spiders inside if your house is neat and tidy. This includes keeping fruit bowls clear of insects, which will likely bring more spiders. Vacuum up webs and egg sacs as you see them.
Light sources attract insects, so leave lights off where possible. This means fewer insects that attract predators like spiders. It’ll lower your electricity bill as well!
Check your home in case you need to seal cracks and gaps where spiders could enter.
Keep rubbish bins and recycling clear of your home – these can attract flies, which bring spiders.
Got a couple of eight-legged arachnids bugging you? (Hehe!) Choose one of these spider repellent methods to repel spiders naturally and give yourself peace of mind. Although our knee-jerk reactions to a giant wolf spider will still be to eradicate the whole house – those things are huge!