But, I also have two kids, three cats, and one dog in my house, so I'm not a huge fan of spraying poison willy-nilly about the place. So this year, I've been researching some natural repellents that supposedly work really well that I will try out.
1. Plant mint and lavender around the house
This one I am looking forward to. Both plants are lovely and smell wonderful, so even if they don't keep the spiders at bay, they'll improve the look of the place.
2. Essential Oils
You can make your own spider spray using essential oils. I've found several different recipes:
- 5 drops of essential oils, 5 drops of liquid dish washing soap, and a quart of water.
- 10-15 drops of two scents in a spray bottle full of water
- 20-30 drops in a quart
The oils that I've read work best are:
- tea tree
3. Citrus juice
Spiders supposedly hate this, so you can mix any sort of natural or sugarless citrus juice with water and spray where necessary. I hesitate to use this one because I don't know if it will attract other bugs and, having children, I know how sticky citrus juice can be. However, you can also use this to spray on your outdoor plants to keep spiders away, so it made the list. You can also leave citrus peels around your garden to deter spiders there.
This stuff seems to be a super ingredient. From cleaning to bug repellent, it can apparently do it all which means I'll be hitting Sam's Club soon to stock up :) For spider repellent, you just combine equal parts vinegar and water in a spray bottle and go to town. You can also add this to your essential oil spray from #2, and is needed for numbers 8 and 10.
This seems to be another super ingredient. I've read several uses for this stuff, but a spider and bug repellent is another one. It's a spice you can find in most grocery stores and all you do is combine it with some water to make a paste and smear it wherever you have a problem area. It's supposed to work particularly well for insects like ants. However, this will leave yellow stains so I wouldn't use this on anything but tile and I'd test a small area first.
Just add a few cloves to a spray bottle of water and start spritzing. I think I'd prefer the essential oil scents though...
7. Tomato Leaves
Blend tomato leaves with 4 pints of water and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and use in a spray bottle.
8. Coconut Oil
Yet another use for this awesome stuff! Use 1/2 oz in 1 quart of white vinegar in a spray bottle. STAIN ALERT - this one supposedly stains as well so use with caution.
9. Catnip Oil
This one is supposedly very effective. You can buy a catnip plant, bruise the leaves, and rub them on problem areas or on baseboards/windowsills/corners, etc. I do wonder how it would effect the cats in the house though...they are already pretty crazy...
10. Spicy Spray
Use 1/2 vinegar and 2 tablespoons chili powder or hot chili sauce, shake, and spray. This is supposedly very effective but I think the smell would kill me.
Now I know spiders are good (theoretically) and they help keep other nasty bugs away. So I do try to leave them alone when they are outside. (Except for my porch area....my kids won't go out on the porch if the spiders are there and we've had them get big enough that my husband was able to shoot one with an air gun instead of using a fly swatter which means the sucker was REALLY BIG. So, I keep the porch as spider free as possible.) Other than that, I use a "I'll stay out of your way if you stay out of mine" approach to spiders.
However, one got into my husband's shower poofy last year and chomped him when he went to use it. It was huge and nasty and the bite felt like a bee sting and was fairly horrible looking for several days. So this spring...my house will be awash in the aroma of lavender, mint, and citrus and I'll keep you updated as to whether or not the spiders make an appearance :)
Do you have any tried and true spider or insect repellents?