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How to Get Rid of Spiders in the Basement

Basement spiders are common in homes throughout Pennsylvania. The main thing that attracts spiders to houses in the fall and winter is warmth.

Basements provide a dark, safe, sheltered area with plenty of insects to eat. Spiders can survive in colder temperatures, but they need a place where it is warm to remain active. In addition, spiders need water to survive, and moisture can often be found in a basement.

Spiders also don’t like human contact, so the basement is a perfect place for them to set up their web. For these reasons, spiders make your basement their home, that is…until there are too many! When the population gets too large to support all of the spiders, some will move to the floors above, entering bedrooms and living rooms.

Cellar Spider
Cellar Spider

What Attracts Spiders in My House?

Why My house!

The key to keeping spiders out is to make your home spider unfriendly.

Once it gets cold outside, spiders often enter a warm home through cracks in the foundation.

To keep spiders out of your basement, it’s important that you seal up all the cracks and crevices with caulk or expanding foam. As a side note, if the opening is larger than a dime, a mouse can get into your house. If this is the case, stuff steel wool or copper mesh in the hole before filling the crack to keep the mice outside.

Finally, some spiders are attracted to light, which is why they may be found near windows or doors inside a house.

House Spider
House Spider

 

Want to get spiders out of your basement and house?

 

Plants that Repel Spiders

There are many plants that spiders in Pennsylvania avoid. Certain plants will keep spiders out of the house while others will repel them from your yard. Spider populations are highest in the late summer and early fall, so it’s important to plant these plants in the spring to help reduce the spider population.

 

Herbs

Herbs can be used both for food and decoration, but they also serve an important purpose: deterring spiders!

All of these plants release scents that spiders find offensive:

  • Lavender
  • Dill
  • Basil
  • Lemon Balm
  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Garlic

Planting any of these near your house or yard will help keep spiders away. It helps to mix the different types of herbs together so, if one lags, the others can do the job until they all become fully grown.

 

Ornamental Plants

When you are at the garden center in the spring, keep these plants in mind. They are decorative, and they deter spiders!

Ornamental plants that work well to keep spiders out of the house include marigolds, geraniums, chrysanthemums, and petunias.

Sac Spider
Sac Spider

Plants that Kill Spiders – Carnivorous Plants for Pest Control

Want to try a unique way to get rid of spiders and other pests? Well, carnivorous plants, also called “predator plants,” may be the solution for you!

These fascinating plants can help rid your home of pests naturally. Best of all, they’re easy to grow and can actually be quite beautiful.

 

What are Carnivorous Plants?

These plants derive some or most of their nutrients (but not energy) from trapping and consuming insects and other arthropods. There are multiple types of carnivorous plants, but the most common ones used for pest control are Pitcher Plants and Venus flytraps.

 

Pitcher Plants

Pitcher plants have modified leaves that form pitcher-like structures which contain digestive fluids that attract and trap prey. Once an insect falls into the pitcher, it generally cannot escape and drowns in the fluid.

Pitcher plants

Venus Flytrap

Contrary to their name, the Venus Flytrap’s primary source of food is ants. They’ll actually eat just about any insect that ventures into their trap!

Venus Flytraps have modified leaves with hinged lobes that shut when triggered by touch. When an insect or spider crawls along the leaves, it brushes against one or more of these hairs, causing a “trigger” hair to bend. If two trigger hairs are bent within 20 seconds of each other, the lobes snap shut around the prey captured inside…and then the digestion begins!

 

How Do I Use Them?

Don’t get your hopes up. These carnivorous plants aren’t super effective at trapping and digesting insects. However, they can be a fun, unique way to supplement your pest control efforts. Creating a bog for these plants is more of a hobby, and kids love them!

 

Spider Repellant Gardens – Where to Build Them?

Think about the places spiders can get into your house – doors, windows, window wells, torn screens, vents, and unsealed openings where utilities come into your house. In addition to correcting these issues, these are great places to create your spider-repelling gardens!

How to Get Rid of Spiders in House Naturally

Fortunately, there are some natural ways to get rid of spiders without resorting to pesticides.

 

The Best Essential Oils for Spider Control

The use of essential oils for pest control is a centuries-old practice that is still used today. Some of the best essential oils for getting rid of your basement spiders include:

  • Cedar oil
  • Cinnamon oil
  • Peppermint oil

The professionals usually use cedar oil and cinnamon oil.

At Green Giant Pest Control, we have tested many natural spider control products (along with testing for many other types of insects). We do use different products, depending on the insect. But for spiders, cedar and cinnamon oil win hands down!

The downside of essential oils is that the treatments don’t last very long. Most traditional insecticides last longer. This only means that natural oil treatments need to be performed more often.

 

Peppermint Oil is a Popular Spider Repellant

While we don’t typically use peppermint oil for spider control, a lot of people do. And many anecdotal reports suggest they work well.

 

Which scents do spiders hate?

You guessed it…peppermint oil is a natural spider insecticide, and spiders hate the smell. The strong scent of peppermint will help you keep spiders away from your home.

 

How to use Peppermint Oil to Keep Spiders Away

Materials Needed: Cotton balls, Peppermint Oil, Spray Bottle

Peppermint oil is pretty popular, and you can give it a try. Simply apply a few drops on each cotton ball and place them around your home in areas where spiders are commonly found.

You can also add a few drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water and use it to spray areas where spiders are present. An added benefit is that peppermint oil also gets rid of ants!

 

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is a natural spider control product made from the fossilized remains of algae. It is not poisonous — it kills insects by a mechanical process.

The particles of diatomaceous earth are a powder that is sharp and jagged to insects. Handling the powder can irritate a person’s skin, so be sure to wear gloves when using it.

When spiders come into contact with the diatomaceous earth, the powder-like particles cut through their exoskeleton and kill them. To use diatomaceous earth, just sprinkle some around the perimeter of your basement, and the spiders will stay away.

You can purchase diatomaceous earth online or at your local hardware store.

Black Widow Spider

Home Remedies for Spiders

Eliminate the Food Source

If there are insects in your basement, the spiders will be drawn to them. So, if you exterminate the other insects, the spiders will have to find a new restaurant! Using an organic pest control product (like diatomaceous earth) can help with this.

 

Clutter

Make sure your basement is clean and free of clutter. Dispose of any cardboard boxes or newspapers lying around and vacuum regularly. The more you can clean up, the easier it will be to find the spiders and their eggs.

 

Do-It-Yourself Spider Repellent

Another way to get rid of spiders naturally is to brew up some homemade spider repellent!

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. Then add a few drops of dish soap.  The white vinegar acts as a natural deterrent for spiders. And the soap will help to break down their protective coating so that they will dehydrate and die.

 

Spider Traps

Spider traps come in different designs, but they all use a glue board to catch the spiders.

Place the traps in areas where you’ve seen spiders or in areas where they are likely to be. Check the traps regularly and dispose of the spiders that were caught.

If you use an insecticide, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. If you have a lot of spiders in your basement, you may want to contact Green Giant Pest Control to get rid of them.

 

Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

These pest repellers emit high-frequency sound waves that are intended to bother pests (specifically insects) and drive them away. The pitch of the sound waves is too high for humans to hear.

Ultrasonic pest repellers don’t discriminate between good bugs and bad bugs. However, that’s not a problem if you are trying to figure out how to get rid of spiders in a basement. There are no good bugs in the basement!

As for getting rid of spiders, ultrasonic pest repellers may help to reduce the number of spiders in your home by deterring other insects that spiders eat. Since spiders can live off of a nearly nonexistent diet, it’s unlikely that this tactic will completely get rid of them. But ultrasonic pest repellers may be worth a try if you’re dealing with a minor infestation.

 

Types of Spiders in Southeastern Pennsylvania

Closeup of a Woodlouse Hunter
Closeup of a Woodlouse Hunter

Here’s a list of the most common spiders our pest control technicians encounter:

  1. Wolf Spider
  2. Grass Spider
  3. Woodlouse Hunter
  4. Sac Spider
  5. Cellar Spider
  6. Jumping Spiders
  7. Daddy Long Legs

It is very rare that we see Black Widows and Recluse spiders. Sac spiders are the most prolific biters. Approximately 90% of our calls for spider bites are for sac spiders.

If you’re struggling with a persistent spider problem, don’t hesitate to call Green Giant. Our technicians can help get spiders out of your home and keep them out long-term.