The most effective means of getting rid of common house spiders is to prevent their entry into the home in the first place. Since the creatures only venture into homes in their search for food, eliminating the presence of other insects will render your home as an inefficient area for nutrition. With no food source, there will be no spider intrusions. Killing the spiders without addressing the true issue can create an environment that is more conducive to insect invasion.
The best methods of preventing spiders from coming in to your home are:
Keeping your home as clean as possible. Spiders enjoy places to hide, so clutter will naturally attract them. Periodically checking closets and spaces under beds and other furniture pieces will keep you one step ahead of spiders.
Trim exterior bushes and plant life from around the home so that they do not touch the exterior walls.
There are certain substances and materials that act as a natural deterrent for arachnids. By placing these items around the interior or exterior of your home as well as in specific locations that you have noted spider activity will prevent the creatures from taking up residence in your home. Those items include:
Hedge apples or Osage orange
Drops of oil from the herb, Pennyroyal, placed on cotton balls
Eucalyptus leaves or oil placed on cotton balls
As a note, use caution when using the herb Pennyroyal. It is a member of the mint family, and does have many beneficial uses; however, it is known to cause severe kidney and liver damage when used either orally or topically. Pregnant women or those who wish to become pregnant should avoid it altogether. All others should use the herb only sparingly, and always wear gloves when handling it to ensure your safety.
Contrary to popular belief, spiders do not seek indoor comfort when the weather begins to turn cold. House spiders are able to adapt easily to climate changes, and because of their copious mating habits, most of these arachnids have always been indoors. If a sudden influx of spiders is noted, it is generally because of mating, or perhaps a clutch of eggs have just hatched.
The life span of the typical house spider is about 2 years, with new generations continually being produced. They can also survive for quite some time, at least a few months, without a viable source of food or water.
If the presence of house spiders is abhorrent to you, you should begin by clearing the house of any signs of spiders. Vacuum thoroughly, reaching cracks, corners and vents to remove as many webs as possible. Then, an active campaign to prevent them from entering the home should be employed as described above. You will need to control the population of insects within the home to avoid having a habitat that is attractive for spiders, as well. After these measures have been taken, continuous maintenance will be needed to ensure that your home is not inviting the presence of the arachnids.
Although spiders have attained the reputation of being repulsive and creepy, they are actually a needed feature in our environment by their consumption of insects. It is understandable, however, that they may not be the best or most welcome houseguest. It is possible to control their presence within your home by following the steps prescribed while not disturbing the natural balance they provide.