How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House with Essential Oils

Spiders have their place in the world, and we can certainly appreciate them for keeping away pests like flies or mosquitos, but that doesn’t mean you want them setting up camp in your bedroom or hiding out in your closet. For a lot of people, the sight of an 8 legged critter scuttling down the wall is enough to send them into an all-out spider hunt until they can relax-or perhaps they just don’t find them pleasant company. Either way, there’s no need to turn to insecticides or pesticides, there’s plenty of natural deternets you can use to keep spiders away from your home. Trust us, there’s more to shudder at in a bottle of chemical pest control spray than at the spider you’re trying to get rid of.

How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House with Essential Oils

Ingredients: Pure essential oil-either peppermint, tea tree, citrus, or neem,-warm water, and dish soap (eco-friendly, please.)

peppermint oil

Why essential oil: It’s all about the oil here. EO’s like peppermint, tea tree, and citrus have intense smells that spiders, as much as we find them pleasant, find them unpleasant and overwhelming. This is just speculation on my part, but spiders use their two tiny front legs (called pedipalps) for a few reasons, one of which is to assist in feeding-really, they’re more like arms. I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to dunk my fingers in essential oil and then stick food in my mouth, which is what would happen if a spider marched all over essential oil. Whether or not that plays a part I don’t know, but spiders just don’t like them. This is one of our favorite brands of essential oils, and it’s affordable!

Why dish soap: The soap breaks apart the oil molecules in the water, making for a more consistant solution

Recipe for All Natural Spider-Stay-Away-Spray

You will need…

-5 to 7 drops of peppermint, tea tree, citrus, lavender, or neem essential oil
-a reusable spray bottle
-liquid dish soap
-warm water
-a dash of white vinegar* (optional)

spider spray

Directions

Put 5-7 drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle (about 16 ounces is good), and fill mostly to the top with warm water. Add a squirt of dish soap, place the top on, and give the mixture a good shake. Before using, use the hose attachment of your vacuum to suck up any egg sacs or old webs. Test on an inconspicuous area, and then spray in the corners of window frames, along door cracks, or in dark dingy places spiders may be hiding out. You can also add a dash of white vinegar to the mixture, but keep in mind this could affect some fabrics and surfaces.


chloe our pet tarantula

Rest easy: You don’t swallow spiders when you sleep

It probably won’t change your mind about having them in your house, but you can sleep soundly knowing that the idea behind “swallowing spiders” in your sleep is nothing but a complete and utter urban myth that has been besting us for decades. That’s not to say there haven’t been isolated cases of an unfortunate person who woke up with an insect in their ear, and at some point in time someone probably has swallowed a spider while asleep, but really. The poor little buggers aren’t on a suicide mission to get eaten (I mean first we call them ugly, and then we insult their intelligence? C’mon. jumping into the mouth of a giant isn’t on their agenda. ) If they do end up in an ear or mouth, the dude was just confused.

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By Claire Goodall

Claire is a lover of life, the natural world, and wild blueberries. On the weekend you can find her fiddling in the garden, playing with her dogs, and enjoying the great outdoors with her horse. Claire is very open-minded, ask her anything :) Meet Claire→

         

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We Want to Hear from You! Let us know which remedies work and do not work for you, ask a question or leave a comment:

88 Comments

  1. Judie says:

    Do you have a remedy for silverfish and other household pests?

    • Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

      Hi Judy,

      We sure do! I’ve been experiencing an invasion of silverfish myself recently… Keep an eye out, we’ll be posting the recipie within the next week or so.

      -Claire

      • Kat says:

        How about that info on getting rid of silverfish? Did I miss it? Help?!

      • rachel says:

        hi i was just wondering do you spray the peppermint all around your home everyday or just once and can you get peppermint candles and would they work too keep away mouse and spiders

      • Britny says:

        Claire and Kat,
        Silverfish are not bad!! They kill harmful spiders. Silverfish are your spider repellant!
        Once I knew how beneficial silverfish were I actually started naming them when I saw them around the house.
        Also fun fact, they can run up to two feet in one second :) Neat-o, don’t kill them :)

    • Arlene says:

      Claire We had a huge invasion of silverfish years ago. We finally found a forgotten box of milkbone biscuits in an upper cupboard. They had been eating tunnels through them the whole time. Once the food supply was removed & we cleaned up they were gone. The 2nd time we had them was harder to handle. They were always near an outside wall in one room & we were stumped. Chipmunks had gone into the attic & dropped dogfood pellets into the insulation of an outer wall. We had to remove the siding to discover the cause & clean up & seal the attic. Never had them again. Find the food source & you’ll win! Good luck! Arlene

  2. Michael says:

    How about centipedes? I have them in my home even this past winter and my basement is dry as a bone. They are in my living room and office!
    Thank you

    • Isharra Jamari says:

      Michael…
      I have them also and found information about natural remedies for centipedes…they said to remove all weeds and leaves around foundation. Then using DAWN and water spray around foundation and cracks. Since using this method, I have only seen one this year…and I think that one came because I didn’t redo this in time…so now I am doing this bi-weekly. I don’t have a sprayer or hose…so I just fill a big bucket with the solution and pour it around. It does help with the centipede and the stink bugs too!
      I started in April…BTW!
      Hope this helps!

      Isharra

  3. Tonya says:

    Do you have a remedy for scorpions?

    • Lyn says:

      I need a remedy for scorpions and those big flying cockroaches.. any one?

    • Trai says:

      scorpions are members of the arachnid family (aka: spider) treat them the same as spiders. Plus fill the weep holes around your home (if brick) with steel wool

  4. Nancy says:

    How about a safe natural way to get rid of mice. I have pets so can’t use anything poisonous.

    • Debby says:

      I put peppermint on cotton balls all over garage I have never seen a mouse again. good luck

    • Chris says:

      Kitties! Get a couple cats – at least two, to keep each other company. You’ll have no more problem with mice, snakes, and other chase-able bugs! Your local shelter will welcome you in, and you can save 4 lives (the two you adopt, and the two spaces left free for other rescues!) and end your mouse problem all at once!

      • Heather says:

        Ha ha until your cat gets old and lazy like mine!

      • Tammi says:

        Sounds like a great idea ;) especially since I did rescue 2 cats, but what about the mouse/rat poop on the front porch. How do indoor cats keep them away? I will try the peppermint/lavender spray out there and see what happens.

    • Tami says:

      I have used dryer sheets the really strong scented ones or a few moth balls. It worked for me to keep them away. Good luck!!!!

    • donna says:

      A friend of mine told me that you can use oil of peppermint to get rid of mice. You soak cotton balls in the oil and place them where you have seen evidence of mice.

    • Melinda says:

      We had a HUGE mouse problem. They were coming in our kitchen and got into the pantry. I was so frazzled with how to kindly get rid of them that I was ready to use the kill traps. Well, almost. We were using tip traps. So what worked for us? Clean every place they ever were thoroughly. Plug up any hole with steel wool. I used some Brillo pads someone bought for us. And the best part… rubber snakes. Lay those babies wherever you had mice coming in. Just remember to tell people you have them there. We have not seen mice in months. We know they got in the attic again, but they never got in our kitchen or other rooms where I used steel wool and have my slithering decoy. It has been since December. And this is May. Good luck!!

  5. Jeannette says:

    where do you get essential oils?

  6. Jeannette says:

    how often should you put them out( the balls for the mice)!! I live on a farm and they are taking over
    the place!

    • Naomi says:

      I was just speaking with a guy who used to be a natural pest exterminator. He used vitamin D3 which increases the heart rate of the mouse/rat causing them to want to breathe thus taking them outside for fresh air reducing the problem of death indoors. He specialized working in stables. I comment with this as you apparently have a rather large problem. The cotton ball idea may be a remedy thereafter.

  7. dawn says:

    will this work on snakes?

  8. liz says:

    I clicked on this site looking for a way to keep away my worst fear only to have a giant picture of one in front of my face. I hope you’ll consider replacing the picture of the spider with something less terrifying!

  9. Kathy says:

    actually it is a picture of a tarantula and they are not spiders. Going to try this since they seem to be coming out in full force.

    • Claire (Everyday Roots) says:

      Indeed, but a tarantula photographs much better than a little bitty house spider ;) those critters move fast!

  10. Sue says:

    OK here is a sure fire killer of anything. Mix equal parts Alum powder and sugar. Get a picnic type ketchup bottle and cut the toip off where is a not giant hole. Go around the baseboards in the house and foundation outside the house or building. NOTE: VERY IMPORTANT – DO NOT LET PETS AND/ OR CHILDREN AROUND THIS STUFF!!!! Leave preferable overnight – critters are out more then and be prepared to clean!! You’ll see creatures you didn’t know you had! I would leave the house overnight and start with a Vacuum Cleaner, gloves, and a garbage bags. This has never ever failed.

  11. A'me Arthurr says:

    What is a natural remedy to get rid of fleas when you have an infant in the house?

    • Cindy says:

      You can use baking soda mixed with borax(20 20) mule team. Dust house,pets and yard! Kills fleas a,nod eggs! Repeat in seven day then seven more! Safe and natural this is all I use on my pets and have no problem with fleas! Safe for kids to!

      • Lisa Horan says:

        I’ve used 2 Mule Team Borax for years and it does work. I was infested with them and just threw it all over, on top and under my furniture, rugs and even under my mattress pads. I no longer have an issue with fleas and it’s been about 15 years since I last saw one.

      • Amanda says:

        How much baking soda to how much borax??

    • Becky Seling says:

      @Aimee Arthurr… I have heard that using food-grade diatomaceous earth powder directly on animals, their bedding as well as in pet’s food is a natural way to rid the pets of pests in your home. Make sure it is from a reliable source and has to be food grade. Although it is a great, natural product make sure that when you put it on animal, on bedding or in their food that you don’t (and they don’t) inhale a big cloud the DE into lungs. I purchased some online from a company called morethanalive.com (company located in TN) and they have a big write-up on DE. I found a tick yesterday (and I never go bare-footed) between my big toe and the 2nd toe (we have 2 mastiffs and 2 cats). We put a little DE on it to slow it down and seemed to be easier to pluck off with a special “tick spoon” we have on hand. Hope this helps you. Double check on if this is safe to have around infants but I know it isn’t poisonous like some products (again, just don’t inhale into the lungs).

      • Jan says:

        A lot of feed stores have food grade DE, too, because a lot of people use it on their livestock. (Dusting chickens and putting it in their feed, etc.) There are websites that give instructions on humans consuming it, too, and how helpful it can be to our health.

    • Ada Mae says:

      I have used Diatamatious Earth for all kinds of Bugs, anything with an exoskeleton. Food grade is what I read and have used. They use it on farms for livestock so its safe around pets and kids.
      It drys out the bugs by dehydration.
      I have used it on ant hills and found great results. I haven’t had fleas or anyother creepy crawly bugs in the house in awhile.

  12. Aimee says:

    Do you have solutions for ants?

    • Jan says:

      Inside the house, a mixture of powdered sugar and borax works for the ants that like sweets. Planting mint around the house helps with keeping mice away, as well as ants and other unwanted critters.

  13. Kay says:

    Any chance you have a solution for millipedes, I am plagued by them :(

  14. Eddio says:

    Yikes, using the 2 pictures with GIANT spiders to illustrate a post about keeping spiders away? ::shudder::

    Thanks for the tips, though!

  15. Leslie says:

    LOL. Found spider hanging out among my essential oils. Must be one touch arachnid.

  16. Rhonda says:

    Any ideas for stinkbugs? They are horrible, nasty, and have invaded Southwest Virginia! And if you disturb them, they let off a stink as protection. So far, we grab them quickly and toss in a can with a plastic lid. The key is to do it fast, so you don’t get sprayed or whatever they do. With the warmer weather, they are all over the windowscreens, sills, and coming out in full force!

  17. Julie says:

    We are plagued with rabbits! Any suggestion that won’t affect my sweet poochie?

  18. Jenny says:

    How long will the “potion” stay good in my spray bottle? I’d like to keep it and reapply when necessary. Also, how often would you recommend reapplying? We have spiders lately. Big ones. In the shower. Unacceptable. lol

  19. Gladys says:

    Any solutions for rolly polly’s…I’ve been invaded by them. I have puppies too, don’t want t hurt them in the process.

  20. Marie says:

    Good article! I just want to add that pennyroyal essential oil would be good to add, too. It is in the mint family and spiders seem especially adverse to it. It has a funny smell, though, and too much gives me a headache, so I don’t put more than three or four drops of it in the spray bottle solution–a little goes a long way! It also repels ants; I spray the pennyroyal solution where I see ants in the house. Pennyroyal can also be planted outside where ants are a problem. As mentioned above, Borax works to deter a lot of insects, including ants.

  21. Paddy Barr says:

    If you live on a farm plant mint around your barns rodents do not like the smell on their fir so wont go in the barn,also you can use the mint for lots of things

  22. Donna says:

    Know how to get rid of earwig. My yard in infested with them

  23. Maria Adkisson says:

    How do you get rid of raccoons?

  24. Tami says:

    You can rid of spiders with mixing coconut oil & vinegar.

    For killing earwigs fill a bottle with water and some dish soap. Not a lot of soap just enough to make the bottle soap up.

  25. Rachele says:

    I want to make this mixture 2 gallons at a time. I have 7, 4 story buildings and we are located near a lake. Spider webs are our worst enemy! I’m hoping this will cut down the time we spend sweeping away spider webs.

    I’ll try anything. I bought a two gallon commercial sprayer. I’m ready to spray!!! I just need the recipe proportions! Thanks!

    • Arlene says:

      Rachael An old southern trick for spiders on porch ceilings is to paint them a light blue. The spiders think it’s the sky & don’t go there. It works! Arlene

  26. Jesse says:

    Being a christian witch the natural order of things is important to me. And so it getting spiders out of my house!! LOL I will try what you suggest with the oils and let you know the outcome, thanks,
    jesse

  27. Steph says:

    Does this work to deter tarantulas too??

  28. Peggy says:

    What can get rid of mosquitos? and Rolly pollys?

  29. ShellyDawn says:

    Thanks for all the great tips. I love the smell of lavender and peppermint. I also suggest adding a drop or two of cedar oil. It works wonders in the apartment complex I help maintain. The place was crawling with spiders, and when I spray all the corners and lights, and other hiding places those spiders like to be, I see a lot less the following week. This has been a noticeably intense spider year…

  30. John Kenji says:

    I would not believe it if it didn’t happen to me, but while i was sleeping i felt something crawling along my cheek but i was way too tired to do anything about it till it went into my mouth. I woke up really quick at that point, spit out a slightly soggy spider and hurled it against a wall where it made a slight smacking noise on impact. it bothered me that a spider would even do that, what the heck was it thinking??

    Also, a very long time ago i woke up with a massive ear ache, i thought it was the onset of an ear infection but found it strange that if i slept with my ear facing upward, the pain would go away. throughout the next few days, the ear ache would come and go and i didn’t have any insurance to see a doctor. While i was running to my college class, something that felt like liquid was leaking out my ear so i put my finger to it and a big silverfish crawled on my finger!! WTF!!!! I ran straight to the school’s medical office and had a nurse check out my ear just in case i had eggs of something in my head.

    so yeah… it’s not a myth lol.

    • Dell says:

      OMG! John!!! Your story just creeped me out BIG TIME!! Worse than the tarantula picture!! I’ll be lucky if I’m ever able to go to sleep again!!! I’ve been through the experience of having a bug fly into my ear without realizing it….until… I started feeling something walking around in my ear canal…I just kept running to the mirror..not sure what i was expecting except maybe to see the bug crawl across the front of my eyeballs like something you’d see in a cartoon…A friend told us to pore a little peroxide in my ear if anything was in there..it would get rid of it..OMG, I came a foot off of my husbands lap when he pored it in my ear! I got out of the shower one day and I felt the same thing John did..a liquid coming out of my ear..and found a leg of a bug..then another part the next day and the 3rd day..a yellow jacket body came out!!! I tell you nothing takes away a favorite spot to be kissed like having a critter running around in there for almost 3 MONTHS will. I can’t even stand to touch my own ears, much less let someone get close enough to kiss my neck anywhere near my ear!!!

  31. Vicki says:

    For roaches, equal parts sugar and baking soda sprinkled around the baseboards. BUT it IS toxic to cats, not sure about any other animals. I used this last year and it worked great, especially on those big flying ones…GROSS!

    I just used EO peppermint mixed with water in a spray bottle, I think I used around 20 drops, this past Sat around my steps where the spiders congregate and there are none tonight still.

  32. Vicki says:

    I forgot to add…ALL EO’s are toxic to cats, so be careful.

  33. Lynn says:

    I need something for cockroaches. I have kids and small pets so it must be pet and kid friendly. Anyone have any suggestions? I know there was that show on TV about the exterminator who use a natural oil and it worked. Just don’t know the name and if it really works. Thanks

  34. Leah says:

    Hi. The past week, I have been spotting a spider almost every day. I am trying this natural remedy and I hope it helps. I am still a little worried. Now that I have sprayed all the places spiders like to hide, does this mean they are going to come out of their hiding spots into my house instead of going outside?

  35. Patricia says:

    HELP :) I want to make sure I keep insects out of my home this Spring —what all can I use as far as Oils ect ??

  36. Kara says:

    How often do you respray the peppermint oil to keep spiders away?

  37. Dina Sorensen says:

    Centipedes don’t like Borax. Sprinkle Borax along the area between the wall and carpet. Also, have your house gutters cleaned out. That’s where they congregate.

  38. roxyn says:

    Is peppermint really effective? ? I had tried it but I still saw a spider in the cr. I sprayed it directly to it but it didnt even budged or moved a bit. Please help :’(

  39. Amy says:

    A tarantula? Really? Did you want me to die? I’m on your page because I’m terrified of them! lol I’m really really hoping this works.

  40. Hennie says:

    Fleas don’t like cedar.
    We once inherited an albino rabbit and I noticed fleas in its fur when we first got it. I had purchased cedar chips for its cage and they simply disappeared.
    You could stuff your pet’s pillow with cedar chips to keep them away as well.

  41. jackie says:

    i see you said citrus oil, does that mean orange oil?
    grapefruit oil? thanks

  42. Alzina Kress says:

    IDK about the rest of you, but, I did have a spider in my mouth when I was 12, woke up to the sensation of something crawling but out of my mouth, didn’t connect it, decided I needed to go to the bathroom and did, looked at the mirror as I passed and a nickel sized spider was setting on my forehead. Scared me and that spider half to death. Hate spiders!! Gonna try this!!!

  43. Jessica Cruz says:

    I just saw a daddy long legs or a huge spider black and it looked like it had a tail or weird looking end how do I get rid of it or home remedies to kill it or where do I buy something that will kill it?

  44. Shannon says:

    In an effort to save money and cancel my spider control company, I made this spider solution in a larger garden sprayer so I could spray around the outside of the house, around the windows, the dock and boat, and the kids’ play slide. It stormed and rained last night. Do you think this washed right away? Perhaps it is like the company and stays for a while? Thanks for any related answers!

    • Claire Goodall says:

      To be totally honest, I haven’t been in this situation, as I haven’t needed to apply it to a large area outside of the home (or if it was used outside, there simply has been a storm right afterwards.) Essential oil, being literally an oil, doesn’t get rinsed away by water, so I would think that you should still be in the clear. Keep an eye on it and see if you notice any difference-let me know how it turns out!

  45. Brandon says:

    It should be known, peppermint oil can be toxic to cats, so tread carefully.

  46. marianne says:

    I have alot medipedes when it rains in my carport and i also noticed them coming inside.what can i use to get rid of them.i have tried raid fly spray which has a picture of medipedes on the can i have used it and it does not work

  47. Sally says:

    I just moved in a basement apartment. To my dismay, mice poops and spiders were found in several places. I cleaned them up using a brand new Miele vacuum (later I learned I shouldn’t use vacuum but too late.) I told my landlord my concerns. He said he can use a mouse trap. To me, I don’t want it and prefer to use natural way. So I found information this morning about peppermint oil with cotton balls. I zoomed to buy one from health food store and came back home to do it right away. I dropped 6 or 7 times peppermint oil on each cotton ball and place it on several areas. The smell is nice. I wonder how long I should leave cotton balls. I read all this dialogues but questions like mine haven’t been answered. We would appreciate it very much if you can let us know how long should we leave cotton balls with peppermint oil and how often should we replace it? Thanks!!!

  48. Candace says:

    how often do you need to spray the house with the peppermint oil to keep the spiders away?

  49. bunny says:

    This sounds really weird but it 100% works. I prefer to repel spiders or catch-and-release, but if you find one huge nasty spider and you just want to kill it, get a bottle of hot sauce. Tapatio is good. Pour a single drop right onto the spider. It will die INSTANTLY. I’m serious! (obviously works best if the spider is on or near the ground and not on the ceiling…)

  50. Candace says:

    How often should you spray your house with the peppermint??

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