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How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Apartment

By: Justin Chaplin
October 9, 2019

You finally move into your dream apartment and find out you have some unwelcome roommates to deal with. Living with spiders can feel overwhelming where you're always on defense against fast-moving pests scurrying around your home. 

But don’t worry, it’s not your fault. Even the cleanest apartments can have spiders and other insects. Some cities are just known to be buggier than others, like Phoenix, San Antonio, and Kansas City

Whether you're looking for natural spider repellents or just a fast way to rid yourself of pests, you can find a solution for a pest-free home. Here are ten spider deterrents and spider repellents to try. It’s time to give unwelcome visitors their eviction notice!

1. Keep Spiders Out

Your first line of defense to get rid of spiders is keeping them out to begin with. Spiders are small and fast. They squeeze into tight spaces that make them hard to find. However, you can still take preventative measures to keep your unwelcome guests at bay. 

Look for holes and cracks around your baseboards and under sinks. Check out your garage, attic, and anywhere else that allows spiders and other insects to come into play. Then, grab your caulk and weatherstripping for doors and windows and go crazy sealing everything in sight.

2. Strategize Your Cleaning

Sometimes, figuring out how to keep spiders away comes back to your cleaning strategy. Make a regular date on your calendar to clean your home with a focus on known spider areas. 

Vacuum around corners, inside your closet, and under furniture where spiders like to hide. Clear away shipping boxes and grocery sacks that create clutter. It’s also wise to periodically clean out your air ducts to destroy hard-to-reach spider webs. 

Keep in mind that the exterior of your apartment likely needs some attention if you want to get rid of spiders around your home. Tidy up any clutter and firewood. 

You may want to remove piles altogether. Consider switching to store-bought logs or a gas fireplace. 

3. Vinegar

While you're cleaning your home, grab a solution that helps disinfect your surfaces while repelling pesky spiders. Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Then, spray liberally around your home. 

You can even use your vinegar solution directly on spiders whenever you see them roaming. The vinegar contains acetic acid. That can burn a spider on contact. Then, remove them from your house with a paper towel or vacuum cleaner.

4. Essential Oils

Essential oils can make your home smell welcoming and fresh. They also work as a natural spider repellent. Pick your favorite essential oils like peppermint oil, tea tree oil, rose, or cinnamon. Lavender, eucalyptus, or citronella oils also help repel spiders.

Spiders also aren’t a fan of citrus, making orange and lemon a go-to in your oil collection. 

Not into essential oils? Just scatter some lemon, lime, or orange peels around areas of your home. That’ll keep spiders running the other way.

5. Cedar

The scent of fresh cedar turns your home into a welcoming refuge for friends and family. It also doubles as a spider deterrent. 

Add cedar chips, aromatic hangers, or cedar-scented candles around your home. That’ll annoy your unwelcome arachnid guests. 

Don’t forget your outdoor space. Consider adding cedar chips or cedar trees to your landscaping. That can help reduce outdoor pests before they migrate indoors and make themselves right at home.

6. Chestnuts

Some of the best spider repellent options are the ones that make your home feel the coziest. People swear by adding oversized chestnuts, or “conkers,” around their home and windowsills to keep spiders away. 

Although people consider it an old wives' tale, it's worth a shot. It can also turn your home into a delightfully welcoming space. But if you have a pet, ask your veterinarian in advance. Conkers can be poisonous to some of our furry friends.

7. Garlic

Garlic won’t evoke the warmth of essential oils and cedar. However, it’s worth trying it all when figuring out how to get rid of spiders naturally. 

Place a small container of garlic cloves in known spider areas of your home. That can help keep pests away. 

You can also mix up a solution of water and a few garlic cloves in an empty bottle. Then, go crazy spraying it around your home. That’ll send a clear message to your spider enemies.

If you really can’t stand the garlic smell, try masking it with a few drops of citrus oils or eucalyptus. You get the added benefit of an even stronger spider repellent while making the scent more palatable for humans.

8. Reduce Your Lighting

One of the best ways to get rid of spiders is to reduce or cut off their food source. Spiders aren't particularly attracted to lights or repelled by them. However, many of the insects they eat are. 

Dim the lighting at home, or turn it off altogether when you’re out. That can help keep the insect party at a minimum. 

Leaving the lights off in rooms you’re not using and reducing the light outdoors in the evening can also help keep insects away. Low lighting may not completely reduce your spider problem. However, it can enhance your efforts when you apply this method with other natural spider remedies for a pest-free home.

9. Use Spider Traps

Some spiders are more than just nuisances. Their bites can be painful and poisonous. But don’t automatically reach for the insect repellent when figuring out how to get rid of brown recluse spiders or how to get rid of wolf spiders. It’s a war you likely won’t win. 

Arachnids have a different physiology than their other insect friends like ants. That makes some poisons and bug traps completely ineffective. 

Instead, focus on bug sprays and toxins specifically designed with spiders in mind. You can also use glue traps that can catch fast-moving insects and spiders. Also, there are special spider vacuums and pumps that suck up pests for quick release outside. 

10. Get a Pet

You may be able to get rid of your spider problem while adopting a new pet at the same time. Pets usually love to chase away pests and critters. They are likely to pounce at the chance to rid your home of spiders. 

Of course, a pet probably can’t eradicate an entire spider infestation. So, this strategy works best as an excuse to finally adopt a pet of your own while ridding yourself of occasional pets. 

If you do invite a pet into your home, remember to focus on how to get rid of spiders naturally and safely. Using poison, traps, and potentially toxic spider repellents like conkers, or chestnuts, can be harmful to pets. 

Final Thoughts

Getting rid of spiders is within reach whether you take a natural approach or use traps and sprays. Your best line of defense is focusing on prevention and cleanliness. Then, try a variety of solutions to see what works best. 

And remember, if you have just a few spiders that aren’t too much of a nuisance, they may be eating up more annoying pests such as mosquitoes, flies, and moths. 

If all else fails in your battle with spiders, ask your landlord about a regular pest extermination service. Living with spiders should never become your new normal.

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Justin is a Content Manager and contributing author at Apartment List, helping people navigate the world of renting. Justin previously spent his time earning his BBA in Marketing from Boise State University. Read More
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