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Arachnophobia? How to repel spiders now! My safe, cheap and non-toxic method.

Updated on May 16, 2014

How do I get rid of spiders safely, without poisonous insecticides? What will repel spiders but is safe to use around pets?


Do you want to know how to get rid of spiders? I will tell you about a non-toxic method that repels them so completely that they run away and don't come back. It is not an insecticide, and it is safe around pets. Pets may not like the smell, but it is non-toxic when used correctly.

Spiders may serve a useful purpose in nature, but I don't like them. Well, I don't mind them if they stay where they are supposed to, which is outside and out of my hair. I don't want to see them in my basement, garage, or attic.

I don't relish it when they leave long trailing webs from my porch light to the railing, waiting for me to reach out to grab the morning newspaper, only to catch me in their sticky little trap. I hate looking at my outside lights and seeing them loaded with webs and the remains of the evening's unfortunate catch. Moth pieces and insect particles don't belong glued to my house.

I don't like going to my basement to retrieve dinner from the freezer, only to be bombarded by a cascade of baby spiders descending like tiny paratroopers.

Nope, I just don't like it at all.

No TOXINS Allowed!

I don't use insect repellents or other toxic products in my home, or even outside my home. I have a houseful of pets and a love of nature. I refuse to use any toxic substances in, or around my environment. I don't use them to clean, or to kill. Oh yeah, I have a great desire not to poison myself and my husband with pesticides.

But, I had a spider problem and I had to get rid of them. Another problem I had is that I don't kill anything. I believe in the sanctity of all living things, creeping, crawling, swimming, flying, walking. Whatever it is, I respect its right to life.

So I had a problem. How do I get rid of spiders safely, without poisonous insecticides? What will repel spiders but is safe to use around pets?

Not so tasty...........

I did a little research and I found out that spiders TASTE through their feet. Huh? Really? Well that's what they said. So if a spider had one foot stuck in peanut butter and another in chocolate would he taste a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup? I don't know.

But, I do know what spiders do NOT like the taste of. I know what will repel spiders and keep them away.

Spiders do not like the taste of citrus! Lemon, orange, lime, all repel spiders. It doesn't kill them, but discourages them from setting up home where they "taste" it.

Make your own spider repellent

In order to repel spiders safely, you need to make up a concoction that you can spray where you don't want them.

You will need:

  • An empty spray bottle
  • Any citrus essential oil- lemon, lime, orange, citronella
  • Water

Well that was easy, huh?

Real essential oils must be used, not synthetic fragrance oils, which do not "taste" like citrus. You can purchase essential oils many places, and the good news is that citrus essential oils are dirt cheap. Lemon seems to be the strongest smelling, so that was the one I chose.

Essential oils are aromatic volatile oils extracted from the leaves, stems, flowers, and other parts of plants. In the case of citrus essential oils, they are extracted from the peel.

They are not oily, despite their name, but watery feeling. Essential oils can stain some fabrics, so be careful if you spray them around furniture or clothing.

I filled the spray bottle with about a quart of water with a tablespoon of lemon essential oil and used it to spray around my doors outside, and in my basement. Rain can wash it away pretty quickly outside, so a more frequent application will be necessary.

The lemon mix that I sprayed in my basement in the beginning of this year is still working! There have been no new spiders where I sprayed. It's a miracle!

The Magic Ingredient

Warning- do not use around cats.....

Do not allow direct contact with pets. Although essential oils are non-toxic when used in certain applications, there are some exceptions. Essential oils can irritate the nasal passages of pets, and are especially annoying to cats. Cats should never have direct contact with essential oils of ANY kind, as their livers cannot metabolize them, and it can cause liver or kidney damage.

Keep kitty and doggy out of the way if you choose to spray this spider repellent where they tend to gather, and for heavens' sake, don't get it on your pet. Severe skin irritation will result.

I have also heard that vinegar will work as well, diluted and sprayed in spider areas. Some people are making mixes with water with a splash of Dr. Bronner's Peppermint or Lavender Soap, and adding a few drops of citrus essential oils.

Don't want to make your own?

If you don't want to make your own spider spray, you can always check out one of the natural pesticides available below. The ingredients are basically the same, with possibly a few more helpful things added.

Do It Yourself?

Below are some of the essential oils used in natural spider repellent. Lime, lemon and orange essential oils are all used to repel spiders naturally, and they smell darned nice too!

Essential Oils for Pest Control

Spiders on Drug

Spiders Webs after using drugs


Submit a Comment

  • profile image


    4 years ago

    Will orange extract work instead of oil?

  • profile image


    5 years ago

    Do I have to use the essential oils? Will the juice work just as well? Essential oils around cats is not a good thing. It can destroy their liver.

  • Nicole Van Vleck profile image


    5 years ago from Anchorage, Alaska

    I am so glad I ran across your article. I am terrified of spiders, but I also hate using chemicals, so I cannot wait to try using the essential oils. Thank you so much!

  • profile image

    Meghan ham 

    7 years ago

    Geez louise I can not tell you how glad I am I found your hub! Since the end of summer has started coming around my porch has been INFESTED with spiders and their nasty little webs! According to your hilarious video, mine must be caffeine spiders! They are constantly doing their acrobatics, swinging into my hair and onto my clothing. I have an 8 month old little boy and the thought of unknowingly carrying one of these little buggers into our humble abode terrifies me! Not to mention I'm an aracnophobic myself and would like to smash them all with a two by four till there's nothing left... Buttttt.... I also have a love for nature and life so your way seems so much more humane. As long as they pack up and jump ship, I can live with out the two by four stress reliever. A lot less work for me anyway. I would also like to know if lemon juice would work just as well. Thanks again for your help!

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    There is a british old wives tale that if you place conkers (horse chestnut seeds) in the corners of your windows and arfound your room that they are repeled by the smell

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    Great article, even better video!

    I have cats, though, so I'm confused how to use this method safely for them?

  • profile image


    8 years ago

    That spider is doing some serious shit damn!!!!!!

  • norah73 profile image


    9 years ago from San Manuel, AZ

    lmao! That spider video is sooo funny! I was going along there for a minute. Good hub. I have spiddies as my daughter call's them. Creepy.

  • profile image

    Lana Hill 

    9 years ago


    I am grateful for your lemon oil and other oil recipes. I just wish I heard of this before Xmas last year, as I lost my beloved beautiful cat, Amba, to red back spiders, as he rolled in their nest, possibly vicious females. I got home to find him convulsing as if it was a bite from a brown snake. I was all numb, and lucky my partner was with me, it was too late he died overnight at the vets, and I couldn't even say goodbye to him. It is so painful, and the agony of loving him so much and making my courtyard garden so special, was what killed him in the end.

    My 3 other cats, all exotic breeds, are monitored 24/7 whenever they play outside. I got 2 lots of pests control experts out to spray, but this costs so much on a pension.

    I discovered oil of lemon and now vinegar which sounds good. I wonder is salt is good too? I will do anything it takes to fully kill the nest before spring and summer hit Adelaide. I spray continuously with Bunnings spray with trigger nozzles to make sure my babies are all 500% safe, as I will not live should another trauma happen. God forbid, they are my kids, my cats.


    Lana Hill

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Loved your article it sounds great but I have a few questions. I live in the basement of our house. Well here a description.... you open the door on the bottom level which opens into a small hallway.To the left is the bedrooom, forward is the bathroom and right is the living area. If you go right from the living area, you'll enter the real basement part of the house.

    now.... I there is a small closet area back in the basement which is not closed up although I keep asking dad to do so.I believe in the basement area is where crickets and spiders breed and live but they do have a tendency to travel to my rooms through there and the entrance. I get spiders, house crickets galore, roly poly, ugly black insects I can't name, black ants are the new addition and centipedes or milipedes. I despise seeing the things every day throught the sptring and summer holidays and have been searching for a good, safe way to repel the stupid things for years! I cannot move out! my room additions were buyilt just last year and I'm on disability and don't drive so I can't necessarily move out. As of tomorrow (or today really) I'll have 2 kittens in these rooms and don't want them sick or poisoned or anything. I have yet to find anything to repel all these nasty creepy crawlies. I have heard cedar repels insects (ezxcept spiders) but the things aren't quite cheap but I do plan on buying asap. Do you think I could combine the 2 would help? Would lemon juice work?

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Will a mixture of lemon juice and water be as effective? Must it be the essential oils?


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