There is nothing scarier than having spiders in your apartment. If you are facing a spider infestation, the good news is that there are several things you can do about it and several ways to get rid of them. This article will explore some of these methods.
How do I get rid of spiders in my apartment? The best way of getting rid of spiders in your apartment is to keep them out in the first place. If they find their way in, there are several tips you can use to drive them out of your apartment or kill them. These methods can broadly be categorized into natural and chemical techniques.
Spiders usually live outdoors but will occasionally find their way into homes. This article will highlight some of the best remedies you can employ to get rid of spiders or prevent them from invading your apartment.
Table of Contents
How to get rid of Spiders in your Apartment
This is one of the simplest ways of getting rid of spiders in your apartment. This method is also effective. You can vacuum up spider webs and egg sacs the moment you spot them. Vacuuming the apartment regularly can help you avoid a possible infestation, and it is very effective in getting rid of a few spiders that may have entered your apartment.
When vacuuming, you should focus more on the areas where spiders are most likely to hide. You should vacuum inside your closet, around corners, under furniture, and other potential hiding places. You should then empty the vacuum and dispose of its contents away from your apartment.
2. Horse chestnuts
You can also get rid of spiders using natural methods. One common method is by using horse chestnuts. You could do this by placing horse chestnuts in the corners of your apartment and in any other area where you have witnessed spider activity.
There is little understanding as to why horse chestnuts repel spiders. It is suggested that horse chestnuts contain a noxious chemical whose scent is repellent to spiders. You should consider splitting the horse chestnuts in half or poking holes in them to release the odor.
3. Turn off outdoor lights
Insects are attracted to light. Although spiders are not attracted to light, they prey on insects and other pests which are attracted to light. By turning off your outdoor lights, you will be minimizing the number of insects attracted to your apartment, therefore, limiting the food sources for spiders. Leaving your outdoor lights on, on the other hand, is similar to inviting spiders to an all you can eat buffet.
Apart from turning off your outdoor lights, you should use opaque shades or blinds to block the indoor lights from shining through the windows. Alternatively, you could use yellow sodium vapor lights. These lights are less attractive to insects, hence fewer insects will be drawn to them. This will help eliminate the food sources of the spiders.
4. Get a pet
Pets may help you get rid of spiders in your apartment. Pets such as cats love chasing and hunting anything that moves including spiders. While they may not get rid of an entire infestation, they may significantly reduce the number of spiders in the apartment, making it easier for you to completely get rid of them using other methods.
5. Use diatomaceous earth
You could also use diatomaceous earth to get rid of spiders in your apartment. Diatomaceous earth is a powder made from fossils of an aquatic organism known as the diatom. Spread a fine layer of this powder around potential hiding places such as corners, windows, and cracks.
When a spider comes into contact with diatomaceous earth, the powder cuts up its exoskeleton causing the spider’s body fluids to leak out. As a result, the spider dries out and dies. This substance is safe for both people and their pets.
6. Use cinnamon
Cinnamon produces a strong scent that spiders hate. You could burn a cinnamon-scented candle or leave cinnamon sticks close to their hiding places. The scent will drive them out of your apartment.
7. Citrus peels
Using citrus peels is also an effective natural way of getting rid of a spider infestation in your apartment. Spiders are repelled by citrus. Rub lemon or orange peels on surfaces close to the potential hiding places of spiders. They will avoid these places and eventually they will get out of your apartment.
The scent produced by fresh cedar is also a natural spider deterrent. Placing cedar chips in strategic places and lighting cedar-scented candles will drive the unwelcomed arachnid guests out of your apartment.
Vinegar is also effective in getting rid of spiders in your apartment. Vinegar contains acetic acid. Acetic acid kills spiders when it comes into contact with them and its strong odor repels them. Fill up a spray bottle with equal parts of water and white vinegar.
Spray the mixture on areas where spiders are likely to gather. You should also spray the mixture directly on the spiders you see. The spray may leave a strong odor around the apartment but the smell will eventually disappear as soon as the mixture dries up.
Peppermint is also a common deterrent of spiders. Spiders cannot stand the smell of peppermint and they tend to avoid the area when they detect the smell. Peppermint, therefore, can be very effective in keeping spiders out of your apartment when it is applied to the possible pathways used by spiders to enter your apartment.
To use peppermint as a deterrent, fill up a spray bottle with water and add 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil. Spray the mixture on all the corners and cracks in your apartment. You could also dab undiluted peppermint oil onto a cotton ball and leave the cotton ball close to where the spiders hide for a more potent effect.
11. Keep your house clean
Getting rid of clutter and keeping the apartment clean is essential in getting rid of spiders. A clean and decluttered apartment eliminates the hiding places of spiders. It is also easier to spot a spider in a clean apartment.
You should avoid leaving leftover food and food crumbs lying around. Insects are attracted to leftover food and they, in turn, attract spiders. You should regularly wipe down your tables and counters and sweep your floors.
Get rid of unnecessary items in your apartment such as old newspapers and magazines. Do your laundry regularly. You should also get rid of old bottles and cans in the apartment. By doing this, you will be getting rid of their hiding places. A clean apartment is unattractive for spiders.
12. Clean the garden
In case you have a serious spider infestation in your apartment, you should consider cleaning your garden. Vegetation provides spiders with the perfect hiding spot. You should remove the mulch and the leaves to minimize the potential hiding places of the spiders.
13. Seal gaps and cracks
Spiders may enter your apartment through the gaps and cracks found in your home. The gaps are usually around windows and doors in your apartment. A great way of getting rid of spiders in your apartment or stopping an infestation from occurring in the first place is by sealing all the cracks, gaps and openings in the apartment.
Use silicone caulk to patch up holes and cracks that connect your apartment to the outside. You should also seal the openings around the outlets of utility lines, closed doors, and windows. Openings such as vents and chimneys should be covered using insect screens. Covering even the smallest of holes will prevent spiders from finding their way indoors.
You can also use garlic to naturally get rid of spiders from your apartment. You can keep spiders away from your apartment by placing cloves of garlic in strategic places in your apartment. You could also prepare a mixture of garlic and water and spray it around the apartment, focusing on the known spider areas in your apartment. If you cannot stand the smell of garlic, you can mask it using eucalyptus or citrus oils.
15. Wash fruit
Fruits produce a sweet scent which attracts insects. The insects then attract spiders. It is, therefore, not uncommon to find spiders on fruits such as grapes and apples. To avoid a possible invasion, always wash your fruits after bringing them from the supermarket.
16. Use Insecticide
Insects are an appetizing source of food for spiders. They are, therefore, attracted to places where there are insects. You could use a residual insecticide to get rid of both the insects and the spiders. The insecticide should be safe for indoor use.
Spray the insecticide under the furniture, in the corners, and other potential hiding places of the bugs and spiders. The insecticides will then work when the spiders come into contact with the chemicals. Ensure that you have read the instructions on the insecticide carefully before using it to prevent the risk of accidentally poisoning a family member, a pet, or even yourself.
17. Call the exterminator
In the case of a severe spider infestation in your apartment, you may be unable to take care of the problem on your own. In such a situation, you should contact a professional exterminator who might use a stronger chemical pesticide to get rid of spiders in your apartment.
You should call the exterminator only as a last resort. This is because the chemicals used in the extermination are strong and you may be required to vacate the apartment for several days for the effects to die down.
Identify the Entry Points
Knowing the entry points spiders use get into your apartment is an important step in getting rid of them. Knowing how they get in will help you determine whether preventing further entry is preventable or not. It’s also a great step in preventing any future invasions into your apartment. Some of the entry points spiders use to get into your apartment include:
Windows are an important and basic part of the house. They let sunlight and fresh air into the apartment. Windows, however, are also huge openings that allow many insects and tiny animals including spiders into your home. Spiders may get into the apartment through the open window or through openings and gaps found on the window frame.
2. Cracks and seams in the walls
Most apartments are not entirely sealed. Most apartments and homes in general have several openings that facilitate the exchange of air between the apartment and outside. These openings are found on seams of doors, windows, and walls. These openings are often large enough to allow the entry of smaller species of spiders or young spiders that have hatched and are looking for new homes.
These seams are found in areas where the walls transition to a floor, corner, or ceiling. You should also be on the lookout for openings created in the walls for windows, air vents, plumbing pipes, electric lines, or any other outlet. Large enough cracks on the walls of your apartment can also provide a pathway for spiders into your home.
3. Gaps in the foundation
Most apartment buildings are built are built on a strong foundation that allows the building to withstand harsh conditions. The foundation, however, is not always airtight and tends to have gaps that form during construction. The gaps formed are often large enough to allow spiders to invade your apartment. Also, these gaps are often warm and moist, providing the perfect conditions for spiders to build nests.
We use doors to get into the house. Doors also serve as the largest pathways for spiders to access your apartment. They may also be gaining access into your apartment even when the doors are shut. This is very possible especially if the doors in your apartment are poorly sealed. To avoid this, it is important to ensure that the doors in your apartment have seals at the top, the bottom, and on the sides.
You should also check on the seals regularly. This is because doors are used frequently hence the seals get worn out regularly. The seals should be replaced once this happens. The frequent usage of doors may also lead to the development of cracks around the doors. If left unattended, the cracks may get large enough to act as entry points for spiders to get into your apartment.
5. Underneath the floor
Spiders are extremely skillful creatures and any opening is a potential entry point for a spider. Because of this, they can invade almost any part of the house. Most species of house spiders are small in size. They are small enough to access different areas around the house by moving beneath the floors and underneath carpets.
Sometimes, spiders might get into your house unintentionally. They might be brought into the apartment as stowaways in your belongings. They can be brought in inside boxes when you are moving, on the toys being brought in from the yard, on furniture, storage tubs, hoses, pipes, on camping equipment, or on firewood.
One common way of unintentionally bringing spiders into your house is by moving potted plants from outside or from the balcony into your apartment. You may do this because of the weather or during winter. The plants may be hosts to several spiders and moving them in may be the cause of the invasion.
Unfortunately, not much can be done to stop an invasion of this manner aside from being constantly vigilant. You should create a habit of inspecting items for spiders before bringing them into your apartment.
7. Utility Lines
There are several openings in your apartment created for the purpose of letting in telephone, electricity, cable, water, and natural gas lines. The openings created are potential passageways for spiders to get into your apartment. It is, therefore, important to check around these openings regularly for any activities by spiders.
8. A nest in the house
If your apartment is infested with spiders, there is a chance that there is a spider nest in your apartment. There is a possibility that the spiders you see crawling around your apartment were born there. If there are large enough openings in your walls, there are some species of spiders that may use this space to build a nest.
Most species of spiders feed on insects. They build their webs to trap insects. They feed on insects such as flies, mosquitoes, moths, and cockroaches. This is an advantage of spiders. They play an important role in regulating the population of these insects. Instead of killing spiders, you should try taking them outside if possible. Their role in the ecosystem is beneficial to humans.
Traps are effective in capturing spider species that dwell on the ground such as jumping spiders. However, they are ineffective when it comes to capturing web-building spiders. This is because these spiders spend most of their time on ceilings. Traps are also ineffective against spider eggs. The best way to use traps is in conjunction with other methods.