19 Pet-Safe Spider-Repelling Methods

A close-up shot of a giant house spider on a wooden floor
© iStock.com/George Inguanez

Written by Matthew Emma

Published: November 10, 2023

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Many people both respect and fear the spider. This creature hails from the class Arachnida, comes in countless different forms, and is seen the world over. In many instances, spiders strike spine-tingling fright in those encountering them. Unfortunately, however, certain types prove far more dangerous. Spider bites are capable of causing pain and, in some cases, serious illness. Learn 19 pet-safe spider-repelling methods.

Vinegar Solution

An apple cider vinegar trap filled with dead fruit flies

Vinegar’s acidic quality disrupts a spider’s senses.

©Joseph Creamer/Shutterstock.com

One who has smelled or tasted vinegar knows just how powerful it is to those senses. Vinegar’s particular aroma and strong acidic content also disrupt a spider’s sense of smell and make it far more difficult for them to hunt for insects.

Moreover, vinegar is readily affordable and usually found at every local supermarket. Additionally, creating a simple solution mixed with water and applied using a spray bottle often proves effective in combating spiders.

Essential Oils

dried herbs and essential oils

Essential oils produce powerful scents spiders hate.

©botamochi/iStock via Getty Images

Oils are created from natural products such as citrus fruits like oranges and lemons, in addition to plant products like lavender, eucalyptus, rosemary, and frankincense. These products produce unique aromas capable of irritating a spider’s senses. Furthermore, they are available in liquid formulas or created using devices like diffusers.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth( Kieselgur) powder in jar for non-toxic organic insect repellent. Using diatomite in garden concept.

Diatomaceous earth causes physical injury to spiders.

©FotoHelin/Shutterstock.com

Though it has a fancy name, diatomaceous earth is merely rock dissolved into powder. That said, the material contains particles sharp enough to injure a spider’s skeleton and outer body. Pest control professionals recommend placing the product in gardens and under a home or office building’s doors and windows.

Cedar

Mulching the garden with red cedar wood chip

Chips made of cedar wood make it difficult for spiders to walk and hunt.

©OzCameraman/Shutterstock.com

When chopped into chips and blocks, cedar wood disrupts a spider’s ability to walk properly. Over time, they lose their capacity to hunt and gather insects. Home and business owners are encouraged to place this material in gardens and spaces commonly visited by spiders such as basements, attics, and crawl spaces.

Cinnamon

closeup saigon cinnamon sticks

The aroma of cinnamon proves toxic to spiders.

©iStock.com/Marat Musabirov

Cinnamon gives off a unique but powerful aroma. To spiders, the odor often proves toxic. The common cooking spice comes in several spider-eliminating forms such as powder, sticks, scented candles, and oils.

Darkness

Storm by the sea. Thunder sky. Rain. Heavy dark clouds - Catatumbo lightning, Lake Maracaibo

Limiting light cuts down on attracting other insects.

©User9637786_380/ via Getty Images

By itself, limiting the amount of light entering a home or business does nothing to discourage spiders from visiting. However, other insects are often drawn to light like ants and gnats. Spiders prey on these critters. Therefore, property owners stand a better chance of getting rid of spiders if they create an uncomfortable environment for the insects they feed on. Two effective light-reducing efforts include the installation of window shades or blinds and turning lights off when not absolutely necessary.

Discarding Old Produce Products

Fresh market produce at an outdoor farmer's market

Old or rotting produce attracts insects that spiders feed on.

©Alexandra Lande/Shutterstock.com

Though healthy and filled with nutrients, produce products like fruits and vegetables hold a notorious reputation for aging and going bad fast. Rotting produce attracts pests like fruit flies. Aside from being annoying, these tiny winged insects provide a significant food source for many spiders. Therefore, old or rotten produce should be discarded as soon as possible.

Keeping Pet Food Covered at All Times

Theme of dog's feed

Spider prey like ants and flies are drawn to open pet food containers.

©alex_ugalek/iStock via Getty Images

Pet food attracts insects. Spiders feed on these life forms. Ergo, dog, cat, or any other pet food must stay covered at all times. Pet owners storing food in plastic containers need to ensure the tightness of lids or covers. Pet food bags must be secured using twist ties, zippers, or other strong fastening devices.

Addressing Unwanted Open Spaces

Exterior and interior open spaces like cracks and crevices require immediate repair.

©Harvey Harrison / CC BY-SA 3.0 - Original / License

Unwanted open spaces inside or outside a home or office need fixing fast. Cracks or holes appearing on external structures like a roof or foundation or internal features such as walls, ceilings, or floors offer spiders and other insects an open invitation to come in and make themselves comfortable.

Caulking and other sealing materials commonly found in home improvement retail chains often fix minor openings. However, widespread or large cracks may require a professional construction contractor’s services.

Removing Trash Frequently

Garbage pile in trash dump or landfill. Pollution concept.

Old, rotting, or smelly trash provides a breeding ground for insects.

©vchal/Shutterstock.com

A home’s residents or a business’s staffers must throw out trash often. Garbage sitting around for any length of time will likely draw bugs like flies, ants, and even cockroaches. Where these critters go, prey like spiders surely follow.

Trash should be taken out at least twice daily in the morning and again during the evening. In addition, position garbage receptacles as far away from a residence or business as humanly possible. Furthermore, a home’s residents or a business’s employees should consider bringing garbage to a dump site if professional trash haulers do not collect refuse at least twice per week.

Removing Recyclable Products Often

Trash and Recycling Bins in Arizona Desert in Saguaro National Park

Though sometimes overlooked, recyclable materials often attract as many insects as garbage does.

©Kelly vanDellen/Shutterstock.com

Recyclable materials hold the ability to attract spiders and their insect food sources. For example, collections of papers often draw termites. Cans and bottles once housing soda or beer attract flies. Therefore, such products must be recycled frequently. If they need to be stored for any length of time, these products must be kept in tightly secured containers instead of open trash bags.

Practicing Good Property Maintenance

Drought tolerant landscaping in Southern California

Well-maintained properties limit places spiders have to hide out.

©Simone Hogan/Shutterstock.com

Property owners must trim shrubs, rake leaves, keep lawns short, remove weeds, and cut down aging or ailing trees. Failure to do so gives spiders places to hide out and nest. Moreover, shrubs should be planted as far away from the home or office as possible.

Keeping the Indoors Neat and Tidy

Open door of built-in dishwasher. Kitchen with integrated appliances. Plates and dishes in the dishwasher.

Clean dwellings are less likely to attract insects.

©Stanislav Sorokin/iStock via Getty Images

Tossing garbage is not enough to prevent spider prey from accumulating. Property owners must perform other cleanliness-promoting actions such as dusting, washing dishes and eating utensils soon after using them, as well as washing and drying clothes after one or two fittings. Anything dirty or unkempt stands at greater risk of producing foul odors capable of drawing attention from insects.

Avoiding Dampness and Humidity

Named after Queen Victoria, Lake Victoria is the largest tropical fresh water lake in the world. Taken at sunrise this photo is looking out onto the lake with Islands in the distance and a boat.

Excess water and humid conditions carry the potential to attract spiders directly and indirectly.

©Alexwilko/Shutterstock.com

Property managers and homeowners must keep their dwellings as dry as possible. Standing water or leaks from damaged roofs or aging pipes, in addition to excessively humid conditions, often cause extensive damage and weaken structures enabling spiders and other bugs an entry point.

Therefore, a home’s residents and businesspeople should be on the lookout for signs of water damage such as stains on walls and ceilings, buckling paint and wallpaper, and wind drafts coming from unidentifiable locations. Additionally, air conditioning should be run during the summer months to avoid humidity buildup.

Limiting Clutter

Neatly organized and labeled baking ingredients in BPA-free plastic storage containers

Open space is good when it comes to organization and decreases a home or business’s risk of attracting spiders.

©Kristen Prahl/Shutterstock.com

A residence or office must be free of clutter. Environments filled with boxes, papers, clothing, and other items give spiders and their insect brethren a suitable place to hide out and provide a haven for insect-attracting pitfalls like dirt and dust to thrive. Suggested decluttering methods include throwing away all items one no longer needs and placing belongings in large, tightly sealed plastic containers.

Using Dish Soap

tomato soap body skin care

Common cleansing items like soap often prove effective in eradicating spiders.

©studio kacha/Shutterstock.com

Sometimes, simple concoctions made out of water and common household cleansing items like dish or bath soap produce favorable outcomes. Many soaps contain citrusy or flowery fragrances spiders do not like. Home and business owners might reduce the appearance of spiders by placing soap and water concoctions into spray bottles and applying the mixture in areas the creepy crawlers often frequent.

Playing Music

a group of musical instruments including a guitar, drum, keyboard, tambourine.

The vibrations music produces interfere with a spider’s movement rhythms.

©Brian Goodman/Shutterstock.com

Spiders typically hunt in conjunction with specific movement patterns. Loud music disrupts these patterns and confuses the critters. Over time, these disruptions make hunting difficult and inspire spiders to search for food elsewhere.

Adopting a Cat

Funny cat sticking out his tongue

Cats are natural predators of spiders.

©Georges Hanna/Shutterstock.com

Homeowners dealing with spiders who do not own a cat should strongly consider adopting a furry feline friend. Cats are one of a spider’s natural predators. Therefore, a residence or business is often well-served by letting a cat roam and allowing nature to take its course.

Introducing Frogs Into a Garden

Frogs. Two common garden frogs (Scientific name: Rana Temporaria) mating in a garden pond, surrounded by frogspawn. First signs of Spring. Facing left. Blurred background. Horizontal.

Like cats, frogs naturally prey on spiders.

©Anne Coatesy/Shutterstock.com

One might prevent spiders from entering their home or business by introducing frogs into their gardens or shrubbery. The little green hoppers feast on spiders and other insects.

Summary of Pet-Friendly Spider-Repelling Methods

MethodImpact on Spiders
Vinegar SolutionSense Disruption
Essential OilsSense Disruption
Diatomaceous EarthPhysical Injury
CedarSense Disruption
CinnamonSense Disruption
DarknessFood Source Elimination
Discarding Old ProduceFood Source Elimination
Covering Pet FoodFood Source Elimination
Addressing Unwanted Open SpacesEliminating Entry Points
Removing Trash FrequentlyFood Source Elimination
Removing Recyclable Goods OftenFood Source and Hiding Place Elimination
Practicing Good Property MaintenanceHiding Place Elimination
Keeping Indoors Neat and TidyFood Source Elimination
Avoiding Dampness and HumidityFood Source and Hiding Place Elimination
Limiting ClutterFood Source and Hiding Place Elimination
Using Dish SoapSense Disruption
Playing MusicSense Disruption
Adopting a CatIntroducing a Natural Predator
Releasing Frogs Into Gardens and ShrubberyIntroducing a Natural Predator


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About the Author

I have been in the writing field for more than 20 years. During my career's first half, I served as print and online journalist for various local publications. Over the latter half, my interests turned to content and freelance writing where I've covered various topics for a wide-ranging client base. Relating to animals, I currently serve as a family assistant for a woman with two aging dogs. Raven and Cruz have intensified my love for dogs, increased my awareness of animal issues, and inspired me to devote more of my time and professional skills to promoting animal causes.

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