Spiders offer many pest control benefits, but that doesn’t mean they always welcome guests into your home. Here are some simple ways to keep your home from becoming a spider’s paradise – without calling an exterminator.

But you probably don’t want to hear this at first, but most spiders do great things in their environment, which can include parts of your home. They eat nasty pests like earwigs, flies and moths, as well as living things that can transmit diseases like mosquitoes and cockroaches. Rod Crawford, the author of Spider Myths, explains There are even spiders that eat other, not so friendly spiders: the long-legged cellar spider, or “papa long-legs”, is known to kill black widows; They sound like a great ally in your basement or garage. (“That’s just Joe; he’s on guard duty.”)

But others other spiders can be dangerousand they tend to find their way to places we don’t want them – like in the bedroom. The most dangerous spiders, commonly found in the US, are black or brown widows, brown recluses (mainly in the central and southern US), hobo spiders (mainly in the Pacific Northwest), sack spiders, and pastor spiders. (Other large, non-venomous species may not be venomous, but they can still have a painful bite.) If you have older family members, small children, or pets, it is best to keep these creepy animals outside. Find out how to do it.

How to get rid of spiders in your home

Prevent clutter from building up

If you ever needed a reason to Eliminate interference in your home at last, now you have one. Spiders are cunning creatures that love to lurk in the shadows, and large piles of trash give them plenty of places to hide. (There’s probably one watching you right now.) Other bugs – spider food – also like to hang around in the clutter. If you put it away, the food supply of the spiders and the cozy hiding places will be interrupted.

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Adrienne Breaux at Apartment Therapy suggests They relieve your home of random stacking books, clothes, shoes, papers, toys, or anything else that accumulates in piles. Put whatever you want to keep in storage containers. Sealable plastic containers are best because they are more effective at keeping spiders and other insects out. After all, it will help to dust and vacuum your home on a regular basis.

Secure the perimeter of your home

Spiders love piles of things outside too. Sarah Littleton from BobVila.com recommends You move everything unnecessary from the immediate vicinity of your home to a more distant location. With a few suggestions from Littleton, we’ve compiled a list of typical outdoor “amenities” that can help spiders find their way into your home:

  • Stack of leaves
  • Stack of firewood
  • Compost bin
  • Overgrown trees and bushes
  • Uncut lawns
  • Stack of boxes
  • Weed stains

Move your pile of firewood farther away, trim off the vegetation around your house, and rake leaves and other dead plant matter.

There’s nothing wrong with having spiders in your yard or yard – they’re actually good for both of you. But if you don’t want them in your house, it helps to make it clear where the yard ends and your home begins.

Clear the walkways from the entrances

Spiders hate disturbing their homes. As with any other creature, the less they have to do to survive, the better. If you keep wrecking their home they’ll assume the area is unsafe and try to go elsewhere. The Guardian recommends They grab a broom or a long stick and go hunting for nets. Take out everything you can find in your home and garage, as well as anything you find outside your doors and near windows that you want to open.

However, don’t go overboard and clear out cobwebs all over your yard and yard. Remember, you want them to go somewhere. If you make every area around your home inhospitable, they will likely stay exactly where they are and keep building them up.

Reduce outdoor lighting

Bugs hang around lights at night because they provide heat. Spiders go where there are bugs to feed on. Therefore Kristi Roddey at the SF Gate suggests They keep your outdoor lighting to a minimum. Set your outdoor lights to turn off at a specific time, or just leave them on at the main entrances. The less light that is drawn into bugs, the less interest spiders have in your home.

Drive them away with home remedies or pesticides

If you’ve tried everything and still have spider hotspots around your house, you have a few options when it comes to deterrents. If you want to avoid the use of pesticides, Peppermint oil and vinegar are known to keep spiders away: Mix half a cup of vinegar with half a cup of water, then add about 20 drops of peppermint essential oil. Spray the mixture along the entrances or other hot spots that you have in your home. If you don’t have peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil can work too.

When you’re ready for the heavy artillery, most hardware stores carry pesticides that, on contact, can kill spiders and leave residue to keep them away. I personally had a lot of success with Ortho Home Defense maxHowever, when you review the ingredients of similar products, for the most part they all do the same thing. If nothing else works, then probably one of them will.

This article was originally published October 20, 2015 and was updated May 19, 2021 to reflect Lifehacker’s current style guidelines.