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What to do if you have spiders in your home

Just because phobias are irrational doesn’t make them any less real. If you take a glance at any list of phobias, fear of spiders is going to be right up there near the top, if it isn’t no.1. It doesn’t matter that the vast majority of spiders pose no threat or that they have human behaviors such as REM sleep. People are still afraid of them.

When you find spiders in your home, it is unsettling, especially if they are in the bedroom. But don’t worry, our DIY expert is here to help. Beth Allen, founder of HIP Chicks (Home Improvement Project Chicks), shared the best strategies to approach your spider problem.

In this article: Shark S2 Navigator Professional Upright Vacuum, Frost King Adjustable Window Screen and Real-Kill Household Pest Glue Boards

Are spiders bad?

Before talking about how to get rid of spiders, it is important to understand why you shouldn’t get rid of them. Yes, spiders are predators. And yes, almost all spiders have venom sacs. However, spiders are not aggressive creatures. They will not attack unless they are in danger or hungry (and people are far too large to be considered food). Also, most spider venom is relatively harmless. Allen said there are typically only two spiders that are a problem for humans in the U.S.: the black widow and the brown recluse.

On the flip side, the common house spider is actually beneficial to humans. Since a spider’s diet consists of insects, such as roaches, earwigs, fleas, mosquitoes, flies and more, they do an excellent job of keeping the population of nuisance insects and disease-spreading insects under control.

Spider control requires a two-pronged approach

For some people, their fear or dislike of spiders is strong enough to want them out of the house. To do that, Allen explained, you need a two-pronged approach. First, you must take preventative measures to keep them from coming in. Second, you must get the ones that are already inside out of your home.

How to keep spiders from entering your home

Clean up the interior

The first step to keeping spiders away is to clean up the interior. Allen said, “Vacuum often and sweep often. Don’t let cobwebs, dust balls and dog hair collect. Store food properly and make sure that you are cleaning up crumbs, wiping up spills and taking out trash because you don’t want to create a situation that attracts insects because the presence of the insects will then attract the spiders. The idea is to limit the insect population in your home as much as possible.”

Seal interior access points

Inspect the area around your windows, doors and baseboards. If you find any gaps or cracks, use painter’s caulk to repair the holes. Allen told us that many people neglect caulking their baseboards, which leaves a way for bugs to crawl into your home.

Clean up the exterior

Allen said to look at the area around your home to make sure there is no trash or debris accumulating. If you have a leaf pile or you keep firewood stacked outside, make sure it is away from the house. Insects love to hang out in leaf piles, so spiders will hang out there as well to get an easy meal.

At night, Allen reminded, “Turn off your exterior lights because that draws bugs. However, weigh your safety and security concerns. If people are coming and going from your house at night, you don’t want someone to fall. And you don’t want to make your home an easy target for burglars by keeping it dark.” She said to consider a light bulb with a built-in timer or a light bulb with a motion sensor, so the light is only on when you need it.

Allen also suggested using yellow bug lights to reduce the amount of insects a light at night will attract.

Seal exterior access points

Another task you want to perform is carefully inspecting the exterior of your home for bug-sized entryways.

“You’d be shocked at how many people have torn window screens,” Allen said. “They aren’t that difficult to repair. You can fix them with a new screen mesh and a spline tool. You can also get an adjustable, temporary window screen.”

Allen pointed out, “Many people don’t fully close and lock their double-hung windows. Not only does this let critters in, but it can mean higher energy bills in both the summer and the winter.”

You also need to seal up any gaps or cracks you find in the exterior of your home. “People often forget about caulking where the utility lines come into the house. You need to assess the electric, gas, water, HVAC and all of the utilities that are coming in, whether it is through stucco, siding, stone or whatever. Make sure that there aren’t any gaps or cracks,” she added.

If you find a hole, Allen said you can fill it using caulk, steel wool and expandable foam, depending on how wide the gap is.

Fortify your exterior

It is impossible to find every crack that is small enough for insects and spiders to get into your home. If you want to add a barrier of protection, Allen said there are three easy ways to do that.

Peppermint spray: Add one cup of water and three drops of essential oil and a drop of dish soap to a spray bottle. Use this to spray around the foundation and window wells, or wherever you find bugs in your house.

Vinegar spray: Alternatively, you can use half-strength vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Peppermint is only preferable because it smells better.

Diatomaceous earth: A third option is to run a line of diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your house. This will help keep all crawling bugs and insects from getting in.

How to get spiders out of your home

If you are reading this article, you’ve probably already found enough spiders in your home to feel uncomfortable. That means you are looking for a way to reduce the population. Besides the cup and cardboard method where you individually trap and relocate each spider that you find, there are two options that do not include using potentially harmful insecticides.

Glue traps

Glue traps are simply a small piece of cardboard or plastic that is covered with a strong adhesive. Some also contain pheromones to lure bugs to the board. These small items are placed in out-of-the-way areas along the wall or in corners. Any small critter that steps onto the glue board becomes trapped and cannot escape.

Ultrasonic devices

While Allen does not use ultrasonic devices herself, she knows other people who rely on them to solve insect and rodent problems. An ultrasonic (or subsonic) pest repeller emits a sound that is outside the range of human hearing, but is aggravating to the targeted pest. This makes your home an undesirable residency, causing the critters to leave.

Products you need to keep spiders out of your home

Best Shark S2 Navigator Professional Upright Vacuum

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Best DAP Dynaflex Ultra Advanced Exterior Sealant

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This expanding foam is not only good, but it’s also great for filling in cracks and gaps that let critters and cold into your home.

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For larger gaps, this steel wool is an ideal solution. It creates a barrier that deters not only insects but also rodents. 

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Without a doubt, this is the quickest and easiest way to fix or replace a damaged screen. It is hassle-free and can be installed without using tools.

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These convenient light bulbs have a timer built in so they automatically turn on and off at the same time each day. This can help reduce the interest that flying insects have in your home.

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A light bulb with a built-in motion sensor means you never have to worry about turning it on or off. It activates only when needed, keeping insect curiosity to a minimum.

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These glue boards are nontoxic. They can be placed anywhere that you suspect insect and spider activity to trap and reduce the population.

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The frequencies emitted from this device are aggravating to insects. It causes them to leave the area to find a more suitable place to live.

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