6 Ways of Discouraging Spiders from Your Home — Without Using Poisons or Chemicals

Is it a fascinating wonder of nature or a creepy nightmare on eight legs? Spiders can polarize opinion, but whether you love or loathe them, few people welcome large numbers of them taking up residence in their homes. House spiders are common, and most species are completely harmless, but if you find there are a few too many arachnid arrivals for your comfort, then you can fight back using these spider control tips — with no harsh chemicals or insecticides needed.

Get Minty Fresh

Your first line of attack is to mix a mild solution of mint and water and spray this around any cracks in floorboards, behind heaters, into high corners, and wherever your spider visitors congregate. You can use a diluted essential oil with peppermint, spearmint or eucalyptus, or make an infusion with fresh garden mint leaves. The smell will discourage new entries and can also persuade current residents to look for somewhere less odorous to live.

Vinegar Spray

Spiders dislike the smell of vinegar even more keenly than mint, but unfortunately, it's also off-putting to human noses. However, as an emergency clearance tactic to fight an infestation, it can be quite effective and worth a few hours of unpleasantness. Try to mitigate the unappealing odour by using an apple cider vinegar rather than a harsh malt or industrial product, but don't be tempted to minimize the smell by diluting the vinegar too far. You should be aiming for a short, sharp, acetic shock to leave the spiders in no doubt they'd be best moving on.


If the thought of fumigating your home with vinegar is too much to bear, how about combining several spider-repelling odours into a homemade potpourri? Cloves, bay leaves, dried citrus peel, cinnamon and even peppercorns all smell agreeable to humans, but less so to your eight-legged invaders. Place bowls of this aromatic mixture strategically around entry points, such as on windowsills, to discourage unplanned occupation.

Horse Chestnuts

The fruits of the horse chestnut tree are a traditional spider repellent, but opinion is divided on their effectiveness. While some people swear that spreading these nuts around your home will cure your spider ills, others find they make no discernible difference to the local arachnid population. Nonetheless, if you find a handy supply of buckeyes this autumn, it could be worth a try.

Feline Assistance

Cats love to snack on a juicy spider and will happily feast on all within reach, so unless you have an aversion to them, enlisting the help of a feline will quickly clear an area. Any spiders that think they can escape from Tom by moving upwards to the ceiling will make themselves visible and can be easily dispatched with a brush or a vacuum cleaner attachment.

Deny All Entry

Finally, no matter how many repellent tricks you try, if your home offers easy access, then the spiders will continue to reappear, so try to seal off their entry points. You're never going to make your house completely impregnable, but try and fix any obvious cracks in the walls, chinks in window frames and gaps between floorboards which can offer the enemy a way in. Spiders play a valuable role in nature, but for many people, the ideal stage for their performance is outdoors, not in the comers of the living room. Using these tips will help encourage even the most obstinate arachnid populations to reconsider their residential status.