There’s nothing quite like going down to your basement to grab something and walking into a huge cobweb. The only thing that might top that horrible experience is seeing thousands of tiny black spiders creeping and crawling all over your walls. So to avoid walking into this nightmare, it’s vital that you learn how to keep spiders out of your basement and home for good.
Like the rest of you here, I’m also terrified of spiders and hate the sight of them. So I dug deep and scoured the web in search of the best, foolproof spider repellants in the world. Here’s what I found.
Why Do You Have Spiders in Your Basement?
The first step toward beating your eight-legged menaces is prevention. You first need to figure out why spiders are hiding in your basement and how they’re getting in.
Like any other bug, arachnid, or mammal in the world, spiders need a food source. Depending on their type, spiders eat a wide variety of foods, but they’re all carnivores. And no, don’t worry; humans aren’t on their menu.
Most spiders prey on flying insects like mosquitos, flies, butterflies, and moths. What’s more, they also eat ants, beetles, grasshoppers, and crickets. The reason you have so many bugs in your basement is because, like spiders, they look for a dark and damp place to feed and mate in.
So if you’re storing any pet food or old furniture down in your basement, you’re likely to attract a whole lot of bugs — some may even decide to nest down there. And with them come spiders.
But that’s not the only reason spiders might have started squatting in your basement, as they’re also attracted to moisture. So if you’ve ever had a water leak, you’ll probably soon find a whole nest of these creepy crawlies in your basement.
Spiders also love finding dark, secluded areas of your home and taking up residence there. That’s why you’re most likely to find them lurking in the crevices and holes in your basement walls.
How Do Spiders Get in Your Basement?
There are two most common ways spiders can get in your basement: through small cracks and openings or by hitchhiking. If your vents, windows, or doors aren’t properly sealed, they can easily crawl in through them. In fact, pretty much any opening or crevice in your entire home is a possible entryway for spiders.
They can also get inside your home by hitchhiking their way in. And no, they don’t put up their tiny, hairy legs and try to flag down a trucker if that’s what you were wondering.
Instead, they’ll hide in boxes or laundry baskets that you carry down to your basement. You can also sometimes find them hiding in toys, woodpiles, or camping equipment.
1. Keep Your Basement Clutter-Free
If you want to keep these pesky arachnids from turning your basement into a horror flick, you need to declutter your basement. If you can, take out every box and piece of equipment you don’t need out. A great way to get rid of such things is to sell or donate them.
Then, once you are only left with the essentials, clean and vacuum the basement thoroughly. And when you get to putting your items back in, make sure to store them away from your walls if you can.
Also, I recommend using plastic instead of cardboard boxes to avoid humidity and moisture problems. You also have to keep an eye out for cobwebs because that’s where the babies are hiding. You can use that small, pointy attachment on your vacuum and go over every nook and cranny of your basement.
I know that you’d much rather be reading a book or watching a movie than cleaning your basement. That’s why I recommend making a cleaning schedule so you ensure that you never skip it.
For example, once a week, while you’re vacuuming your entire home, go down to the basement and go over it. Also, pick up any clothes or knick-knacks that are lying about and put them where they need to be.
Then, once a month, you can dust ceilings, windows, and light fixtures. If you have any furniture in your basement, make sure to vacuum under it. Also, remember to clean your air ducts and vent covers too.
Lastly, every four months or when the seasons change, go back to the basement, vacuum, and dust all of your storage boxes. You should also use this time to check for leaks and cracks and seal them as soon as possible.
2. Use Natural Home Remedies
While regularly cleaning and vacuuming should be your highest priority, there are other things you can use in your war on spiders.
You might be surprised to learn that pure, concentrated peppermint oil is the best product to keep ants, bugs, pests, and spiders away. Since the smell of peppermint is so strong, smaller insects can’t stand it and avoid it at all costs.
All you need to do is put a few drops of peppermint oil in a spray bottle and mix it with water. Then, spray all of the nooks and crannies or any place where you think the spiders are getting in.
Also, you can put a bit of oil on cotton swabs and strategically place them around your basement. But if you don’t have peppermint oil, you can also use mint. You can put dried mint leaves in sachets or even mint tea bags around your basement and home.
What’s more, you should also put a few bags near your entryways to prevent bugs, pests, and spiders from coming inside.
Natural Spider Spray
To make a natural spider spray, you’ll need:
- Seven drops of essential oil
- Lukewarm water
- Liquid dish soap
- Glass spray bottle
For the essential oil, you can use lavender, peppermint, citrus, tea tree, or neem. I also recommend using a glass spray bottle because these oils can sometimes react to plastic, and the results might not be as effective.
Once you’ve put all of the ingredients in the bottle, give it a good shake to make sure the mixture is combined. Then, spray all entryways, ceilings, and crevices in your basement.
I wouldn’t recommend putting this mixture on furniture, though, as some of the oils can stain or discolor it. However, if you do want to go through with it, do a test beforehand on a small and inconspicuous area to make sure it doesn’t react.
Just like mint, citrus peels give off a strong scent and have acidic properties that spiders hate. Now, you could use citrus-scented essential oils and just mix them into a spider spray.
However, you can also take some leftover peels from your oranges, lemons, and limes and rub them on your doors and windows. Just make sure to repeat this every 24–48 hours so that the scent stays strong enough.
Oddly enough, spiders despise the smell of cedar and won’t go anywhere near it. So if you have some cedar mulch lying about your garage, take a few handfuls and sprinkle it near entryways. You can also use cedar oil and spray around the perimeter of your home to keep these creepy crawlies at bay.
Similar to citrus peels, white vinegar is highly acidic, and spiders can’t stand the smell of it. If you want to keep the spiders out, put equal parts of water and vinegar into a spray bottle and use it on your entryways. It’ll also deter ants and any other pests that dare invade your home.
Food-grade Diatomaceous Earth (DE) might not be something you have on hand, but it’s an effective and inexpensive product that’ll control the spider population in your basement. What’s more, it’s not toxic, so it won’t hurt your family members or pets.
You can either sprinkle some powder around your doors and windows or mix it with equal parts water and spray your ceilings.
3. Get Commercial Spider-Repellents
If you don’t want to go through the hassle of making a home remedy, you should consider buying some of my favorite spider-repelling products off Amazon. For those who want a spray, I would recommend:
- Nantucket Spider Bug Repellent — This organic spray is both pet- and child-safe, and it’ll ward off any and all pests from your home. You can use it indoors and outdoors and spray it on your skin, clothes, and hair.
- Positive Essence Peppermint Mist — The room spray from Positive Essence will ward off any spiders as well as get rid of any odors in your basement. It comes in six different scents, and you can even buy a bundle on Amazon.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for an ultrasonic pest repeller, you can buy from:
- Neatmaster — This handy device from Neatmaster will draw the spiders out of their hiding places and scare them off for good. The company says that it can cover 1,200 sq ft, and it’ll also repel rodents and cockroaches.
- Pest Soldier — If you have a bigger home, Pest Soldier might be the better option because it’s effective in an indoor area that’s around 1,600 sq feet. It’s inaudible, safe, and easy to use.
Nobody likes to have creepy crawlies rummaging through their basements, giving them nightmares. But luckily, there are countless natural and commercial remedies that will keep spiders out of your home for good. So before you start helplessly rolling your newspapers, trying to emulate Whac-A-Mole, you should consider one of these methods first.