Spiders certainly get a bad rap: although there are plenty of benefits to having them scurrying around our houses — such as controlling other destructive pests like flies and cockroaches — many of us would still rather have them out of sight, out of mind.
According to a 2021 study from the British Psychological Society, an estimated six percent of the general population admits to a deep-seated fear of spiders. But whether you suffer from arachnophobia or not, you still might not want these eight-legged companions in your home.
But how can you eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, the amount of arachnids in your home without resorting to toxic chemicals? We’ve compiled some of the best all-natural ways.
Peppermint or Eucalyptus Essential Oil
According to the Home Depot website, spiders loathe the smell of peppermint and eucalyptus.
Simply mix 15 to 20 drops of essential oil into a spray bottle filled with water. Spray it on the affected areas where you’ve spotted spiders (or even just noticed their webs) and watch how quickly those arachnids will avoid the space moving forward.
It doesn’t stop with peppermint or eucalyptus — spiders will also scurry in the opposite direction if they detect the smell of cinnamon. (Honestly, why do they hate the best-smelling things?)
You’ve got a few options here: you can use anything from dried cinnamon sticks and essential oils to soy candles. Bonus: your house will smell incredible.
Keep Cats and Frogs as Pets
Some household pets are known to help control the spider population.
So, if you’re a pet person, consider investing in a cat or even a frog — both are more than happy to eat any spiders that cross their paths. Although, if you’re not too keen on a frog hopping around your house (we don’t blame you), a cat is probably a better option.
Spider catchers are one of the most humane ways to free a spider you spot in your house — if you’re not too squeamish about getting up close to them, that is.
This eco-friendly option from Amazon won’t squish the spider, so you can catch and release it with ease. Simply squeeze the handle to open the bristles, place over the spider and set it free outdoors.
Check Your Countertop Fruit Bowls
A common culprit for an influx of the spider population in your home could be all the fruit flies making a beeline for the fresh fruit resting on your counter. As it turns out, fruit flies make a tasty snack for spiders.
To avoid accidentally offering up a feast to spiders, check your countertop fruit bowls frequently and remove any rotten or overly ripe items immediately to avoid attracting fruit flies.
Keep a Clean House
At the end of the day you can also just take preventative measures, such as vacuuming up spiderwebs, keeping food stored in tightly sealed containers and picking up any clutter ASAP (to avoid dark, dusty spots under all that clutter) to help keep the spider population under control.