How to Control or Kill Spiders Using Safe Methods
Even though the vast majority of the times spiders do far more good than harm, the occasional bite by one of the relatively few types of spiders that do attack humans keeps the arachnids in a negative light far beyond the reality.
Having said that, most people still prefer to not have spiders in their homes, and so look for natural, organic ways to control or exterminate the critters.
In North America the four most likely venomous spiders to bite someone are the brown recluse, black widow, the hobo, and the yellow sac, depending on where a person lives.
Of them all, the black widow spider is the most ubiquitous, and is found on all the continents in the world with the exception of Antarctica. The Yellow sac spider is also very common in North America, and may be accountable for the majority of bites coming from the spiders mentioned above.
Because spiders are difficult to identify by looking at them with the naked eye, even by those who study them, if you're not sure about what type of spider it is, it's best to not take any chances and do something about it if they're found in your house.
To that end we'll look at a number of ways to eradicate or control spiders invading your home and property. Since spiders are beneficial overall, it's best to concentrate on taking care of them that are inside the house.
I've had to take care of black widow spiders in the past because a number of them were located where the children played and had access to. But other than that, I usually focus my spider control efforts on the inside of the home.
There are two major areas to focus on for spider control. First, eliminating the environment in or around the home that they thrive in. And second, once they're in the home, how to get rid of them or prevent them from coming in in the first place.
Let's look at these four major venomous spiders located in North America, how they look, and some of their characteristics.
Yellow Sac Spiders
Interesting among these specific spiders is that contrary to what many people may thing, they're not very large in size (with an occasional exception), and that's the case with yellow sac spiders as well, which as adults are very small, being only about 1/4 inch to about 5/16 of an inch long.
That's referring to the body size and doesn't include the legs when they're stretched out.
Because the species is so small, the main characteristic to look for is the yellow body color of the spider, which is normally a lighter shade. Yellow sac, interestingly enough, can also have the color of a pale green, which of course would make it harder to identify by most.
Although not aggressive towards humans, if you accidentally make it feel threatened or nudge it when you're sleeping, it can bite you.
According to those that have been bitten by yellow sac spiders, if can feel like getting picked by a pin. Normally the consequences are some local pain that goes away fairly quickly. Sometimes a bite from this spider could look like a bite from a mosquito looks.
Yellow Sac Spider
Brown Recluse Spider
Brown recluse spiders, which are also known as violin spiders, among other names, is a venomous spider native to the U.S., but also dwells around the Gulf of Mexico area.
It is mostly located in the southeastern part of the United States, although it can be found in parts of the Midwest, including Illinois, Indiana and Iowa. The brown recluse is also native to parts of Georgia, Kentucky and central Texas. They live in other states, but these areas are where they're native to.
This spider, overall, can be anywhere from a 1/4 inch to 3/4 of an inch long, but is sometimes found even longer than that.
Usually the brown recluse is identified by its namesake, being a light to a medium brown color. but they also can have darker brown, grey or even a cream color. This is one of the reasons why it's so hard to identify some of these spiders exactly.
The reason it is sometimes called a violin spider is because of the way a black line pointing towards the rear of the spider that has the shape of a violin.
While there are a few exceptions, the hobo spider is relegate largely to the northwest part of the United States, specifically in parts of Washington, Oregon and Idaho. It is part of the funnel web spider genus.
The hobo spider isn't native to the United States, having its origins in Europe, so hasn't spread significantly beyond the region in the U.S., even though it is suspected to have arrived in the country via a ship at a port in Seattle in the early part of the 20th century. It was first discovered dwelling in the United States in 1936.
In Europe it's not too significant as a human threat because of other spiders that prey on them.
The reason for its being part of the funnel genus is the way it builds its silk structure in the shape of a narrow funnel, where it ways at one end of the tunnel for its prey to get stuck in its web.
Its weak eyesight makes it more aggressive when a human accidentally disturbs it. The bite of the hobo spider is known to be very painful.
Black Widow Spider
The black widow is probably the most widely known and recognized of venomous spiders in North America, as the female black widow, which has more venom and is much larger than the male black widow, has had its characteristics humanized by Hollywood in a number of films portraying killer women.
This comes from the cannibalistic practices of the female black widow after it mates with a male black widow. When translated to people, it of course provides a great story line to work from.
Female black widow spiders are among the most lethal for humans when they're bit by them, and we should seek medical treatment for ourselves or others if we or they get bitten by one.
As for identifying a black widow spider, most of them, as far as the more venomous black widow female goes, include a red spot on it in the shape of an hourglass. It can appear different in some cases, but usually the red hourglass shape is the norm as to how she looks. The problem is it's located on the under part of the abdomen of the spider, so you could only see it when she's facing you with that part of her body showing.
Male black widow spiders are about half the size of the female, and she has approximately three times the venom as he has. The female is black in color, while the male is usually brown or grey.
Black Widow Photo
Managing Spiders Via Habitat Control
As mentioned earlier, there are a couple of ways to manage spiders, with one being the disruption and/or elimination of the type of habitat spiders thrive in. We'll look at that first.
If spider habitat control is successfully employed, most of the problems of spiders coming into the house are taken care of, as are the organic or natural ways of managing them once they're in the house are.
How to Control Environment to Lower Spider Population in Home
Like any other predator, spiders do things for specific reasons, most of which are related to eating, drinking, propagation and comfort. So when thinking of ways to manage the spider population in and out of our homes, we need to look at ways to disrupt these various activities and needs of the spider to successful. Let's start on the outside of the home and work our way in.
Cut Back on Vegetation
As for what you can do about spiders close to the outside of the house, the best practice there is to have a very tidy area around the house by cutting back or eliminating as much vegetation as possible. That would include trimming the grass against the house and other objects nearby.
Grass allowed to grow against the house, in my experience, probably attracts more spiders than any other element. That's because if not only gives them some relief from the weather, but also makes for great ambush points for its victims.
If you keep the grass against the house and/or patio trimmed short, that will do a lot towards the spider population seeking to invade your home.
Another part of your outdoor landscape to look at are shrubs and bushes. There it's important to keep the shrubs from laying against the exterior of the house. A consistent trim is all that is needed for that to be effective.
Just be sure not to wait till the bushes or shrugs get the size of miniature trees before taking care of them. A quick trim throughout the year as needed will take care of this. It frequency of trimming the shrubs will be determined by where one lives of course.
Another thing to look for is ivy climbing along the exterior walls of the house. This can quickly become a place for spiders to live in.
Finally, as far as things that grow goes, potted plants can become a place where spiders live, if you're having excessive spider problems in or out of the house, check out plants that are close to the walls to see if the spiders have made a home of them.
That doesn't mean potted plants need to be eliminated, just that they should be place a little away from the walls so they aren't an easily transferable abode for spiders in to the home.
Other Outdoor Spider Habitats to Watch For
Just about anything outside can be a place for spiders to take up residence, so watch for anything that indicates clutter.
For example, do you have plastic or weatherproof toys outside for your children or grandchildren that you never take inside, but they play with very seldom? If so, and if they're close to the house or patio, they can be a place for spiders to be attracted to.
Another thing to watch for is old mulch. That helps to keep the area cool outside during the summer time, and many spiders love to dwell in that cool, damp area while waiting for their unsuspecting meal.
Other things to watch for are wood or lumber piles stacked near the home. They really attract a lot of spiders, and that's something I found out recently by experience when stacking wood for a neighbor.
There were not only a lot of bugs dwelling in the wood, which had been left there for a couple of years, but it was full of spiders seeking that food source as well. Again, wood that is on the ground keep the area moist, and so shouldn't be close to the house.
You could say the same thing if you have anything like rocks or unused bricks, and similar items sitting close by. They all do the same thing, which provides the spiders a habitat they thrive in.
If you're wondering to yourself about if the spiders like it out there so well, why would they come into the house then. It's because they breed well in these types of environments and they expand out to look for other food sources.
For things like toys, all you would need to do there is put them in some type of covered storage that contains them.
Outdoor is something a lot of people may not consider when thinking on what they can do to disrupt the environment spiders like to dwell in close to the home. But it's very important, as it attracts a food source, and where a food source is the spiders will follow.
If you must have outdoor lighting near the house, you can use lights that are dimmer and emit different brightness. A second option could be motion lights, where only when someone is close by will they turn on. That eliminates those hovering insects that gather around any light at nighttime.
Vapor or yellow sodium lights are outdoor lighting options to also consider.
Windows and Spiders
Along with the outdoor lighting situation is windows that throw a lot of light outside during the dark, night hours.
In this case simply close the curtain and shades so the light attraction is minimized as much as possible. Keep in mind that all of these things done together are what does the job of reducing the spider population, not just one or two.
Another thing to do with windows if they appear to be a major place where the spiders may be coming in, is to take ammonia and add it to water and then wash the windows with it. Do that inside and outside for the most effective results.
After the windows dry, apply some kerosene, which while evaporating almost right away, still leaves a film which spiders and other unwanted pests don't like.
Finally concerning windows, be sure to check your screens to be certain they are all in good shape; both near the sides of the frame and the screen itself.
Caulking Doors and Windows
Spiders and other bugs, if there is any opening at all, will find a way into your house. So it's well worth the effort to look for any openings and start a caulking program until they're all filled. This one thing alone may do more than the rest of the steps taken, when combined with the elimination of vegetation close to the house, as mentioned above.
Areas around doors, windows and vents should be all checked for to be sure they're tight and solid. Think about putting insect screening over your vents.
If you're not sure, look for those areas where during the winter you feel some cool breezes coming through the house. If that is part of your experience, somewhere there are openings that the spiders can easily maneuver through.
Door sweeps are another option for those that may not have a tight fit when the door closes. Foundational cracks are another place to look to be sure there aren't openings for unwanted spider guests.
Garbage and Eves
Another couple of tips for cutting back on the amount of spiders in your home are your outdoor garbage and the eves of your home.
Concerning your garbage all that needs to be done there is to move the container further away from the house. That not only helps cut back on spiders, but on other critters like ants and flies.
Remember, if a spider will eat something, whatever attracts those insects to the area, will also attract spiders. Food source is the primary motivator of spiders. If there is no food, it won't matter what the rest of the habitat looks like. But as you can tell, the habitat and food source work together to make optimum spider conditions. Eliminate the majority of the food source and you won't have many spiders.
For the eves, if you can reach them with a broom, all that needs to be done is clean them out by hand. Another easier method, if you have one, is to employ the use of a power washer to do the job.
Porch and Patio Spider Prevention
For the porch or patio, the same thing applies as we've been talking about. It's all about having a relatively clutter-free area to drive down the food source.
Here a grill may be important. And while most people don't wait long to clean their grill after using it, you may want to check a little closer to be sure it's really clean. As any extra food that is missed will be a huge attractant for insects.
The same thing applies to potted plants as mentioned earlier in the article. Keep them away from directly touching the exterior wall of the house.
Also keep on top of the patio or porch getting build up from the winds whipping around leaves and other debris that can quickly fill up corners and attract insects.
Indoor Spider Control and Eradication
Interestingly, some of the same methods and strategies used to control the spider population outdoors is the same used indoors.
For example, the cleaner a house is kept and the less clutter around the home, the less places spiders have to inhabit the dwelling.
So management of toys, just like with outside, is a big part of the picture. All that has to be done there is to have plastic tubs you can close and secure with a lid as a place to store toys at the end of the day, and that problem is solved.
It's not that the house has be be spotless, just that leaving things out over a period of time allows spiders to settle. This includes anything, not just toys in the house.
Clothing that may be stacked and not used often is another example. It would be a good idea for those times to be put in containers as well.
Spiders and Food Remains
Food is one of the major attractants for spiders, not because they will necessarily eat it, but they are searching for the bugs that are attracted to that food.
Again, if you only remember one thing about eradicating or managing spiders in and around your home, it's that they are primarily motivated by food and water. If you minimize both, the end result will be you eliminate the spider problem. It's that simple.
So cleaning up rather quickly after meals, or at least not letting things sit around for a long period of time without cleaning it up is essential. That includes cleaning the floors especially, as that will attract a large percentage of bugs looking for a snack.
Flies and other winged creatures of course will eat anything they find, but they will be primarily attracted to places higher up such as tables and counter tops. A quick cleaning will take care of most of that, as well as getting the dishes consistently done on a regular basis.
Don't feel pressured by this. It's not as if you can't take a break after meals before cleaning up. But get it done soon enough where it doesn't continually attract insects over time. Where the insects are, there will be the spiders.
Leftovers can and should easily be covered up with minimal effort after a meal, so it's a good idea to get into that practice before settling down after eating.
Last but not least concerning food is how you manage your indoor garbage. Cleaning the garbage container, as well as shutting the bag after you put food remains in it, but before the bag is full enough to throw into the outside garbage container, is important to manage pests of all sorts. Just open it up when you need to throw more food and garbage in it.
Spiders and Water or Moisture Management
Along with the numerous problems the excess moisture in a house can contribute to, among them is a water source for a number of critters, including spiders.
If you've ever had mouse problems, think of what floor of the house they were usually always found on. For me, when I moved from one place to another, where there was no upstairs bathroom or water source, I found there were never mice to be found; especially where they built a nest.
That's the same with spiders. So think through where there is standing water or moisture in your house, and then eliminate or manage it in a way that the spiders will struggle to have a water source. No water source means there won't be many spiders you'll have to deal with. Spiders, as with the majority of creatures, much have water in order to live.
A general fix for this is to be sure your house is well ventilated. Allow for all the moist air that needs to escape from an area to do so.
Some specific things to look at would be pipes and how much, if any, condensation is on them. You also want to be sure none of your faucets or pipes are leaking. You can also look around the area of your hot water heater to see if it's throwing up moisture around it. Insulating water pipes and using a dehumidifier is one way to manage moisture.
Two of the most obvious rooms to watch are the kitchen and bathrooms, as they will have the majority of water in them, outside of possibly a basement or crawl space. Occasionally checking under the sinks in the kitchen and bathrooms is a good idea to be sure there isn't any water available for spiders to drink. Any little drip would be enough, so deal with it in a manner where it is completely eliminated.
Other things that could be water sources are fish bowls or tanks, and the bowls you use to hold water for your pets. The pet bowls are especially vulnerable because it's one of those things we don't think of.
That is easy to take care of. Simply cover up the bowl in a way that wouldn't allow anything small to get into it.
Cardboard boxes are one of the favorite places for spiders to hang out in. So all those boxes laying around collecting not much more than dust should be tossed out.
In areas where there is typically moisture challenges in a home or basement, cardboard will absorb and hold moisture, while providing a cool environment for a spider to live in. Get rid of that and you'll get rid of a big potential source for spider infestation.
Wood in the house has the same effect. If you're able to, just take enough in at a time to keep the fire going if you heat with wood. Firewood sitting around for a period of time will attract spiders, as other bugs will hide among the wood too.
It's not that cardboard boxes can't be used to store things in, just that they are easier for spiders to get into unless you completely seal them. If you are able and willing to do that, cardboard isn't a problem. The exception are those boxes, as mentioned above, that may be in high-moisture areas where the cardboard will absorb the surrounding water in the air.
Killing Spiders Naturally
So far we've been talking about the important part of spider management by focusing on the taking away the environment spiders prefer to live in, as well as minimizing the insects that may come into your home which the spider will follow in to feed on.
Now we'll take a look at how to deal with those spiders that do end up in the house. If the steps mentioned so far in this article are followed, there won't be a very big problem whatsoever with spiders. But even if it's an anomaly, there are ways to deal with spiders if you happen to find some in your home from time to time.
I know it'll sound funny because usually when one talks about organic bug or spider control, the immediate thought is making up some type of concoction to spray the house or the spiders with.
While that can be part of the solution if you choose to go that route, there is a far more effective one if you are only dealing with an occasional spider intruder, and that is simply by stepping on it or hitting it with a fly swatter, paper, or some other flat object. It's organic, does no harm to anyone or anything but the spider, and there is no waiting to see if it works.
If you're dealing with only a few spiders once in a while, this will probably be the best way to handle it.
Now for those who find spiders like the wolf spider, for instance, which they may want to capture and release outside, taking a jar and a piece of paper, all you have to do is place the jar over the spider and slightly lift the edge of the jar and push the piece of paper across the bottom with the spider on top of the paper.
From there just turn the jar over, holding the paper on top, and bring it outside and let it go. You can do this with any type of spider you want to release if you can easily catch them.
There are two basic types of spiders the majority of people will encounter in their homes. One, are those that spin a web and are easy to find, and the second are those that will seek out their prey by stalking them.
For those that spin their webs and are easily to find, another great way to deal with the problem is to vacuum the spiders up.
Some people think this doesn't work too well because of the belief the spider may just crawl out of the vacuum and get right back into the house. But the vast majority of the time the body of a spider can not take the suction of the vacuum and survive. Usually its body breaks up from the force of the air.
So even if there is an occasional spider that survives, it's very effective and quick, and it also gets rid of the spider web and resultant cob webs as they age (if it isn't found quickly, or is in a hard to see place.)
Vacuuming is a terrific way to manage spiders in the home, and when checking for the little critters, it's a good idea to have the handy machine around to clean things up quickly.
Using Water to Stun Spider
If you want to be sure a spider is killed, one way to do that is when you find one to have a spray water container of some sort readily available, which you know where it is and can quickly grab. You want it to have a good, strong spray.
What you do here is simply spray the spider in order to knock it down and stun it. From there you hit it with whatever you have ready just for that purpose. If it's a spider that falls to the floor stunned, all you have to do in that case is stomp on it with your foot or hit it with a fly swatter or something flat that will be sure to kill it.
Another unique item some people use to kill spiders from a distance is a gripper of some sort, which can be used to pick up things in the yard. I'm talking about the type that are long and you squeeze the handle and it grabs the intended object.
With spiders, this would be very effective, especially if it's a little bigger than the tiny spiders we sometimes find.
Diatomaceous earth is a great way to manage spiders, and if they walk across it, similar to ant control, it's like walking on razor blades to humans.
You can use this indoors or outdoors, although if you have pets you have to be careful because it's not good to breath it in if they curiously sniff at it. If you know where the spiders are getting into your house, or suspect it's where they're coming in, then spreading or sprinkling some diatomaceous earth across or around that area will keep them out. It'll also kill them.
It kills them by dehydration from the absorption of its lipids into its external skeleton, which ultimately leads to their skeletal structure breaking apart. The lipids of a spider help to hold in its moisture, and when they are absorbed, the result is dehydration. Spiders and insects immediately start to suffer from the effects.
One thing to be aware of is not to buy the type of diatomaceous earth used in pools. That's a different type of product, and it will include chemicals, which would defeat the purpose of organic, natural spider control.
Using a duster of some sort to hold the diatomaceous earth, you can simply shake it onto a spider when you find it, or you can strategically sprinkle outside in areas you suspect spiders are entering the house, or in places in your home where they seem to always appear.
You can also shake it on spider webs if you don't like to vacuum the webs and spiders up.
Pet Spider Killers
Okay, I know this will also sound funny, but one of the best spider killers you can have is a cat. How many times have you seen a cat in the house swatting at a spider as it tries to get away.
While the cat may not see or find all of them, they do take care of a significant number of them. They're not to be underestimated. And if you're thinking about getting a cat, it's a nice additional benefit.
And if the cat doesn't see a specific spider and you do, all you have to do is point it out to the cat and it'll be right on it.
A Hedge Apple Spider Solution
Spiders and hedge apples do not mix, and while they're not available for some parts of the year, in the fall when spiders can be more numerous in a house, they work fantastic.
Also called horse apples, all you have to do with them is put them close to a web or where spiders dwell, and they'll leave the area.
This only works for the time of year when they're available, but while they are, they're a good choice for those deciding on that as an option.
Essential Oils as Spider Repellant
First, essential oils are oils that are extracted from various parts of plants. In the case of citrus essential oils, they are of course extracted from the peels of fruit.
And even though they are called oils, they aren't oily in the sense that most of us think of when handling oil of any type, but rather feel similar to water when you touch it.
Because essential oils can stain fabric, you need to be careful if spraying it around the house to drive out the pests.
A better way when using around furniture or places where you have clothing, is to take a cotton ball and dip it in the oil, and then place the soaked cotton ball where you want to get rid of the spiders.
Spraying works fine on hard floor areas like most bathrooms and kitchens are, so there should be no problems there. You can then use the cotton ball technique for the other areas. Essential oils don't stain all fabric, but to be sure using the above method is best.
If you're considering essential oils as an option, do keep in mind that you shouldn't buy the synthetic type, as they don't include the type of taste that drive spiders away. Essential oils also kill spiders that come into contact with it, as it is absorbed into the spider and damages the nervous system of the arachnid.
Even more effective is when you mix essential oils with rubbing alcohol, as the alcohol helps to dissolve the oil, making it even more effective for breaking through the exoskeleton.
While I personally haven't used essential oils, those that have say that lemon is best for the very effective citrus types, although many us orange effectively, and it doesn't have such a strong odor. If you don't mind lemon smell, it's no problem.
You can spray the outside with essential oils as well, although the rain will wash it away and you'll have to reapply it as necessary.
For the outside, spray essential oils around the window sills and doorsteps, or any other area you think they could come in through. Spiders hate the taste of essential oils, and after eating it they won't cross the barrier you spray.
Other essential oils that have been tried and work are citronella, peppermint, rose, cinnamon and lavender, among others. If you already have some at home, use what you have and observe how effective it is. If it works, continue using it, if not, go with the orange or lemon for certain results, as well as peppermint.
As for mixtures, you can have a teaspoon of essential oils for a quart of water. If it's a smaller bottle, adjust accordingly. You don't need a lot of oils to be effective.
Finally, one last oil you can use to really effectively drive out spiders is catnip oil. According to some university studies, catnip oil is actually more effective than DEET in driving insects away.
Catnip oil is for the purpose of driving away other insects, which would leave no food source for spiders to access.
Most at this time would wonder about pets when talking of catnip, and as with all essential oils, usually pets won't like them, so you have to take that into consideration when deciding on your personal strategy for dealing with spiders.
If you have not pet, it's not a problem, and if you do, you could still apply it indoors if your pets are outside pets, or the opposite, you could apply it outdoors if your pets are kept inside the home.
Although not toxic, it can cause skin or eye irritation to your pets if they come into direct contact with it.
Spiders seem to always shy away from citrus, and so many people have placed peels in certain places around the house to drive them away.
This could be a good solution for a day or two, and if it works that's great. The problem is of course is that citrus will attract other insects, and so that would defeat the purpose if it's used over a longer period of time.
But for temporarily driving away spiders, and if not too many are used in each location, and can do a good job or getting rid of spiders. It can also be used outside in the same way, but again, don't put too many in any one location to eliminate the attraction to other pests they could become.
In the house some prefer to take the peels and wipe them on the desired areas, and leave the physical peels for outdoor use.
Other will create a fruit juice mixture and wipe it on their counters, cabinets and pantry areas. The positive side is you also get a nice aroma in the house as an extra benefit.
Vinegar is very effective in spider control because of the acetic acid that comes with it. Spiders are very vulnerable to it, and a simple mix of vinegar and water sprayed around the home does a good job of managing them.
Of course it is more of a problem indoors because of the strong smell that accompanies vinegar, but if you don't mind it or it's the time of year you can have your windows opened, it's not as challenging. For outdoor use it's terrific, and the smell will quickly leave as it sits.
Hot, Spicy Liquids
Mixtures of hot peppers or chilies are great to drive out spiders. Blend together the hot elements with water and just start to spray where and as needed. I've done this for years on plants as well, and it works very well.
To increase the effectiveness of the mixture, just add hotter peppers or chiles to get even better results.
Boric Acid or Borax
Boric acid is a fantastic way to kill bugs of any type, as well as spiders. Even though it is very potent and you need to use it carefully and keep it away from pets and children if that's a factor, it does the job as good as anything, and it's friendly to the environment.
If boric acid or borax comes into contact with a spider, it'll kill them, otherwise, like other procedures and tools used, it will drive them out of the area.
If you have access to chestnuts, some people have found out that if you place them around you home on the outside they will keep spiders out. It's not known at this time why that works, but it appears to, according to those that have tried it.
The weakness of this method is you either have to have access to chestnuts in your yard or area, or have to buy a good amount of them to place around the home.
As long as you don't disturb them it could work, as they will remain in place for some time before breaking down.
If you have a lot of squirrels or children playing over them, it could result in them being taken from the area for other uses.
This would be a very good choice for those harvesting walnuts from a tree, as they can eat the good ones and strategically place those less attractive or developed around the home.
What people normally do is crush the chestnuts into pieces so they are less apt to be disturbed, rather than leave them whole. They can be placed in key places to help keep the spiders out of house. As mentioned, some people place them all around the house, but I would think places where the spiders are sure to enter would be the best practice, rather than indiscriminately spreading them around the yard.
Plants and Spiders
Some plants are used as spider deterrents, and it makes sense when thinking of essential oils and the plants they are extracted from.
So if you're growing plants like lavender or mint, you could place them near doorways and other potential spider entry points to keep them out.
I wouldn't grow them just for that purpose, but if you love and grow these aromatic and tasty plants, it's not much trouble to think of places to put them where they would do a good job of keeping the spiders out.
Placing them close to windows is another option. We do have to keep in mind that these plants themselves have needs, and so they would have to placed in an areas that coincides with those needs and with where you believe the spiders are coming in to survive and thrive themselves.
Using Salt to Kill Spiders
If you are caught off guard by spiders, or want to really keep things simple, using regular table salt in a mixture of warm water is a good way to deal with spiders.
Just mix about an ounce of table salt in a gallon of water and you're ready to go. If you want something quick and temporary, you can go smaller than that. To work well you do want to be sure the salt is dissolved before spraying the spider. That means you must shake the container well in order to get that result.
All you do with salt water is spray it directly on a spider and it'll kill them. The one downside to it is you need to be careful not to spray it on plants, or consider where the spider is and if salt could harm and type of flooring you may have.
In other words, would the salt harm fabric of any type on the floor, or any other thing the spider is near.
Mixing salt and water, in the vast majority of cases, won't harm anything, but just think of where you've found the spider and if there are any chances of doing damage to things around it. If not, go for it, as it works very well, and it's readily available for those times you stumble across a new spider and spider web.
One of the surprisingly effective means of killing spiders is through the use of sticky traps; you know, those traps used around the house to catch mice. Okay, I'm joking there, but the principle is the same for sticky traps made for insects.
If you've ever used sticky traps for mice but not for insects, you know how many times you've checked them and found spiders and bugs in them. One thing about them, when they catch something, they simply don't get away. Period! That's the same with sticky traps used for spiders as well.
These are pretty inexpensive to buy, and can be bought in bulk during the times when spiders are at their worst. You can place them all over the house to catch the majority of the spiders that slip through your other methods.
For some of you this may sound odd because you don't want any spiders in your home. But there are actually many spiders that will kill other spiders, and many times the spiders that are killed are the venomous types we've talked about in this article.
An example of that is what most of us call the daddy long legs spider. That spider, if it doesn't bother you having them around, is terrific for killing other spiders, as it has some of the most potent venom, and they can really control the house for other spiders.
If you find daddy long leg spiders inside or outside, whatever you do, don't kill them if you can help it, as they're great spider controllers themselves.
The wolf spider could also be beneficial in this way, so I never harm them unless there are more of them in the house than I want. Usually I just get a jar and catch them and throw them outside.
I know most people aren't going to heed these ideas, but for those that don't mind some spiders in the home, these two are among the best, and they help with bug and spider control.
The Value of Spiders
While most of this article has explored ways to kill or manage spiders, especially venomous spiders, it is worth being reminded that spiders, overall, are a great benefit to the yard, and they do a good job of helping manage the insect population around the area.
So if we eliminate them outside especially, we could be harming ourselves, specifically if we are growing flowers and vegetables that are susceptible to insect attack.
With that in mind, I wouldn't try to kill spiders that are outside unless you're certain they're a danger. Most of us would know that with the easily identifiable black widow, but most other spiders aren't so easily identifiable.
In the house is another matter, and most people simply won't stand for a spider infestation, as it's not just about being bit, but being crawled on or it interfering with enjoying your own home.
Those cases are warranted for the elimination of spiders, and if the strategies for changing the environment around and in the home are used, spiders shouldn't be too much of a problem, and the occasional one you find can be killed or removed quickly and easily, using organic and natural methods.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
FullOfLoveSites from United States on October 17, 2012:
Hi, very good hub... they're very, very useful. I'm not terrified of spiders as long as they're small. hehehehe. Thank you. :)
Joe Poniatowskis from Mid-Michigan on October 16, 2012:
Wow, there is a great deal of information here. Sharing this with my wife, who is terrified of spiders.
Ebonny from UK on October 16, 2012:
Although I couldn't look at the photos(!), very useful information here.
Janelle from Houston on October 16, 2012:
Thanks for sharing!
ivanmarginal from Jakarta on October 16, 2012:
Stunning description about spiders... I haven't known it yet. Thanks for sharing this!
Kate McBride from Donegal Ireland on October 16, 2012:
There is a wealth of well-researched information in this hub which I really enjoyed reading.The tips and advice are so practical and easy to use. Voted this up, interesting and useful. Thanks for sharing.