My partner is allergic to spiders and spotting one by either of us, puts me on a mission to destroy, however as much as she is allergic to spiders she would rather I catch it and let is loose out in the yard.

You see, we don’t use spider pesticides to kill them. Since we use to have a dog and were told it wasn't good for them, we just figured if it was bad for them to be around it, it must be bad for humans to be around it as well. Instead, I have a few preventative tips to help us cut down on spiders that we do find crawling around.

1. Make sure your house is clean

a) Clean room’s corners
b) Clean window sills
c) Clean door sills
d) Vacuum where you found spiders
e) Put food in containers
f) Take the trash out regularly
g) Prune back bushes and branches from your home
h) Get rid of cardboard, as spiders like to munch on it

2. If you find a specific location where they seem to come in, close up the hole or notify the landlord to have that fixed.

3. An organic alternative: Osage Orange or Hedgeapple

In Iowa State University studies, they have not been proven to repel spiders or insects in houses or other buildings. However, they extracted several compounds from the osage orange that may have repellent properties. The benefit from osage orange may be better described as repellent to insects, thereby by not having any prey around (the insects), the spiders will leave or starve.

Current Studies are underway to confirm the repellent properties of compounds from the plants that may lead to the development of effective natural repellents. Hedge apples are very popular as a spider and insect repellent in the midwest, where they grow. So I would encourage giving hedge apples a try, they obviously work for some people. See:

Put one on waxed paper and put in a corner where you’ve seen spiders- generally two per room at most. Leave down for about 2 months and throw away.

4. Some other organic alternatives to spider pesticide:

Chestnuts around the exterior walls of every room you found spiders in
Spray tobacco juice and lemon dish soap around the outside base of your house
Dust window sills and doorways with Lemon scented pledge
Sprinkle lemon scented essential oil around to deter spiders (I'm noticing a trend)

What other ways have you repelled spiders?

updates via email: Kathleen suggests using "eucalyptus or white clover. I put white clover in my basement and eucalyptus in the window sills in fall so they don't come inside."

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  1. Condo Blues // Monday, April 20, 2009 5:14:00 PM  

    I used EcoSmart Bug Repellent. It's enviornmentally friendly as well as pet and kid safe. My first "test subject" was a small spider on an open windowsill. The EcoSmart made it very very dead.

  2. Dawn C // Monday, April 20, 2009 5:16:00 PM  

    @Condo BluesHaha! "very dead" I like that kind of review on a product.

  3. Deb // Monday, April 20, 2009 8:22:00 PM  

    Awesome tips! My sister once got a spider bite on her forehead and it blew up like a beach ball! She had to go to the doctor to get antibiotics. But, I'm glad you brought up the areas that people need to clean and maintain because it is so important. It's where the little critters usually enter our homes!


  4. Clair of Frugal Living Freedom // Tuesday, April 21, 2009 5:59:00 PM  

    I've used onion juice, cayenne pepper and a mild soap solution to kill all kinds of insects in my greenhouses. I don't know if this works on spiders, but it makes short work of web worms, aphids and many other pests.


  5. Dawn C // Tuesday, April 21, 2009 6:05:00 PM  

    Thanks for stopping by - cleaning is great for when the guests arrive but it is also a good idea to keep some guests OUT!

    Thanks for the additional organic ideas!