Wooden sign outside of front stairs to house that says "Beware of spiders"

The Best Natural Spider Repellents that Actually Work

Last Updated: August 29, 2022

Spiders are great for the environment and even help keep other bug populations down – but why do they have to wander into our houses? Here are a few tips on how to keep them out of your indoor spaces naturally.

Spiders, amiright? You either love ‘em or you hate them — but most of us can agree that we don’t want them in our homes. Spider bites and webs aren’t our cup of tea.

That's why we’re looking at what spider repellents actually work to keep spiders away from your indoor spaces. Because we do want spiders around – just not quite so closely.

Are spiders in the house dangerous?

Spider bites are rare, because like bees, or mice, or raccoons, spiders won’t bother you if you don’t bother them. Although all spiders are venomous, the majority of spider bites that you could get in North America are even more harmless than a mosquito bite, because spiders aren’t disease vectors like mosquitoes are.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the two types of spiders that are “medically important” (i.e., really bad) in the United States are black widows and brown recluse spiders, and only some species of these types bite. Both stay well-hidden and will only bite you if you come into direct contact with them.

Want to see black widows and brown recluse spiders up close? Have a look.

What kinds of spiders are common in houses?

Many different types of spiders make themselves at home in your house — some temporarily, some permanently. They range from skinny little guys like American house spiders and hobo spiders to chonkin’ wolf spiders that you might mistake for a mouse scuttling across the room in the dark.

No matter how big or how small, they all do their best to steer clear of you — They don’t like you, either! And while they’re visiting, they snack on the insects you also don’t want in your house, including disease vectors like mosquitoes and flies.

Are these spider myths true or false?

Illustration of a pillow

You swallow eight spiders every year while you sleep

A popular myth, but demonstrably false. The most common spider species that live in North American homes probably don’t even get anywhere near your bed, because there’s nothing to eat there — right?

And if you’re in bed, they’re even less likely to approach, because your vibrations — heartbeat, breathing, snoring — are scary to them.

Illustration of a taxi

You’re never more than a few feet away from a spider

It depends entirely on where you are. If you’re in the garden, you’re probably much closer than three feet to lots and lots of spiders.

If you’re in your house, the grocery store, the mall, or your doctor’s office, you’re probably a lot farther away from spiders.

Illustration of a skull

An infestation of spiders requires pesticides

Completely false for two reasons: First, there’s no such thing as a spider problem or infestation. An increase in your household spider population is usually temporary and most often associated with their mating habits.

Secondly, an insecticide spider spray will only kill spiders it comes into direct contact with — and it won’t affect the spider’s egg sac at all.

What do spiders do for the environment?

Spiders may give many of us the collywobbles, but they’re much better than the apocalypse.

Here’s why we need spiders — and why spider conservation is important:

To prevent famine

If you weighed all of the insect pests eaten by spiders every year worldwide, they’d weigh as much as all of the humans on earth. If spiders didn’t eat them, these pests would consume all of the crops on the planet.

To advance medicine

All spiders have venom, which contains hundreds or thousands of chemical compounds. Researchers are looking into whether certain spider venoms can improve pain medications, treat muscular dystrophy, identify brain tumors, and more.

To keep us in silk

Silk is a purely natural, lightweight substance produced by spiders. It has a higher strength-to-density ratio than steel, and its potential for new, environmentally sustainable applications across industries increases as technology advances.

Grove Tip

Organic? Impossible without spiders!

Since organic farmers rely heavily on biological pest control, and spiders are the most abundant enemy of insect pests, organic farming operations rely heavily on spiders to keep their crops safe — without pesticides.

So do natural spider repellents work?

Short answer — yes. Longer answer — it depends on the spider and the repellent, but most spider species are inclined to be as revolted by some scents as we are by their very existence.

Natural spider repellents are generally based on the scent compounds below.

Essential oil dropper illustration

What scents will deter spiders?

In general, spiders are averse to a variety of scents, including:

  • Peppermint: Plant mint around the exterior of your home, especially under windows.
  • Cinnamon, tea tree, lavender, rose, eucalyptus, and peppermint essential oils: Add 20 drops of any of these oils to water in a spray bottle, and spritz it around the house where you see spiders.
  • Cedar: Place cedar chips, blocks, or balls in places where spiders congregate in the house.
  • Garlic: Crush a few garlic cloves, and drop them into a spray bottle with water. Let it sit for a day, then spray it in corners and along the baseboards.
  • Vinegar: Mix equal parts of vinegar and water in a spray bottle, and spray where spiders are spotted.

What is the best spider repellent?

The best spider repellent is one that is safe to use around pets and kids — and spiders. Experts from entomologists to horticulturists to pest control companies agree that we really shouldn’t kill these beneficial creatures, no matter how creepy we find them.

Image of a woman and child reading in a bed

The best spider repellent in the house

Although spiders will live in your home year-round if they wish, you may see more spiders inside during the fall months, when males go off in search of some sweet spider lovin’.

Since it’s very, very unlikely that they’ll hurt you, it’s best to just leave them alone and hope they’ll go away soon.

Image of Stay Away Spiders

Stay Away® Spiders

But if you can’t abide them in your abode for a single second, we recommend an indoor spider repellent like Earthkind Stay Away® Spiders, a biodegradable, compostable, essential oil-based product that comes in pouches you set around the house. All of Earthkind’s pest repellents are safe for dogs, cats, and kids.

Image of a garden in caddy

The best spider repellent in the garden

The best spider repellent in the garden is no spider repellent in the garden. Spiders in the garden are one of the best pest control solutions available to humankind. They’re free, they’re harmless — and they’re one of the few pest predators that won’t eat your plants.

Using an outdoor spider repellent to keep these guys away is about as useful as spritzing a delightful, natural room spray at the landfill. If anything, you should work to increase your spider population in the garden by adding mulch to provide cover and allowing your garden to go untilled over the winter.

The best pet-safe spider repellents

Pet-safe spider repellents are those that are completely natural and don’t contain toxic chemicals meant to kill spiders. Avoid conventional, store-bought pest repellents of any kind that have warnings pasted all over the label.

Our selection of pest control products will help you keep ants, moths, mosquitoes, and more out of your home without harming your pet. And speaking of pets, we have natural solutions for ticks and fleas, too!

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