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Are you trying to find out how to get rid of spiders?
Well then, you're certainly in the right place!
In this guide you'll learn about:
- Spider Biology and Habits You Need To Know To Get Rid of Them
- Spider Killing Equipment To Consider Using
- Pesticides You Should Use To Get Rid of Spiders
- How To Get Rid of Spiders Outside Your House
- How To Get Rid of Spiders Inside Your House
Spiders are ugly, hairy, and scary. And those are their good points!
Truthfully though, spiders are really quite beneficial. They eat lots of insects every day. In fact, a recent story on CNN reported on researchers who had determined that spiders eat about 400-800 million tons of insects each year.
For comparison, they mentioned that all the people in the world eat about 400 million tons of meat and fish every year.
Those numbers are pretty staggering. If spiders didn't eat all those insects, we'd be overrun with them, so spiders actually turn out to be a very important part of the ecology.
Still, most people react to them the same way Ron Weasley did in the Harry Potter movies. We understand, we don't like them either.
The good news is, they can be eliminated. The bad news is, you'll have to work at it a little. The rest of the good news is, you won't have to work as hard as you think.
Care for a Spider Removal Success Story?
This is the story of an elderly couple who discovered they had brown recluses living in the wife's closet on her side of the bed.
One of a certain exterminator's regular customers happened to mention one day that his wife was being bitten at night by some spiders, but they had looked and looked and weren't able to find anything.
The exterminator inspected their bedroom with a flashlight but didn't find anything.
A few days later, the customer called to say his wife had caught a glimpse of a spider on the shelf of her closet, but it hid before she could swat it. He also said the bite mark on his wife was getting bigger and deeper.
These two things together convinced the exterminator that they had brown recluse spiders living in the closet on her side of the bed, which is why she was bitten and he wasn't.
The exterminator went back to their house with some Nuvan Prostrips. These are short strips that slowly releases a gas when they're taken out of their sealed container.
The gas, a cholinesterase inhibitor, is a mild form of nerve gas but quite deadly to insects. The strips come with plastic hangers so they can be hung up in a 10x10 foot room to fumigate it for 7 days.
The exterminator hung one strip in the closet in their bedroom, then another one in the hall closet that shared a common wall with their closet.
After closing the doors to the closets the exterminator sprayed all the way around the edges of the door with Suspend SC, a Deltamethrin-based insecticide that not only kills insects and spiders, it also repels them and pushes them back.
With the Suspend trapping the brown recluses in the closet, and the Nuvan gassing them, it wasn't long before the little guys were dead and the wife wasn't being bitten anymore. The old one-two approach really paid off.
What Do You Need to Know About Getting Rid of Spiders?
We're firm believers in the adage that you should know your enemy. The more you know about spiders, the better you can plan your strategy for defeating them and driving them out of your house.
The University of Minnesota has a lot of information on them. For instance;
Arachnids or insects?
Spiders are not classified as insects, they're arachnids, a group which includes scorpions, ticks, and mites. They have a segmented body divided into two parts with a total of eight legs and no antennae.
Insects, by contrast, have 3 body segments instead of 2, 6 legs instead of 8, 2 antennae instead of none, and 2-4 wings instead of none. There are other differences but those will do for now.
The point is, spiders are not insects in the same way the sun doesn't actually rise even though we talk about sunrise. It's a verbal shorthand that's not intended to be taken literally.
Builders vs hunters
Spiders are divided into two general classifications, web-building spiders and hunting spiders.
Web-building spiders like to build their webs in calm areas that aren't likely to be disturbed, then wait for their prey to get caught.
They have poor eyesight so they rely on sensing vibrations in the web to alert them to the arrival of dinner. They thrive inside or outside equally well because they're “low energy” creatures who can go for extended times between meals.
Hunting spiders are outside spiders that have accidentally wandered into your house. They are quick moving with good eyesight. They don't build webs.
Instead, they actively chase their prey or, lay in wait in an ambush until something juicy comes along. Then they pounce like a lion. The good news is, they generally don't do very well indoors for the simple reason that they have a high metabolism and there's not much for them to eat.
Spiders bite their prey and inject a venom to disable them. Once the prey is immobilized they inject digestive fluids into it then suck in the digested food, leaving the empty shell behind.
Spiders rarely bite people. Most of them don't have large or strong enough fangs to penetrate our skin even if they did.
There are exceptions, of course, namely black widows and brown recluses. For the most part, though, you don't have to worry about spiders biting you.
War by the Numbers
Eradicating spiders is a pipe dream. Or, as they say in East Texas, that ain't happen'. The reason is simple, there are over 1,000,000 individual spiders per acre in a grassy field.
Spiders inside your house are there by accident, but given the sheer numbers of them around the outside of your house, it's inevitable that some of them will wind up inside.
What Should You Use in Removing Spiders From Your House?
The first step in getting rid of spiders is to keep them out of the house in the first place. This entails spraying and treating around the outside of the house.
The second step is to treat the inside of your house, including the attic and underneath the house if you have a pier-and-beam foundation. To do all this you'll need some basic equipment. The list is short and sweet.
You'll need to get down and do some inspecting to find spiders and where they live. Their webs are often difficult to spot unless the light is just right.
A flashlight, even in the daytime, lets you move the light around so you can see better. You'll also need it for checking under beds, in closets, etc., when you're going through the house.
There are some pesticides that are dry powders. These are very good for injecting into tiny cracks and crevices around windows and doors where spiders (and other insects) can gain entry.
They're also useful for puffing out a cloud of dust into a row of bushes outside the house. The cloud drifts through the leaves and branches, settling on areas where a sprayer can't necessarily reach.
You need to put out several gallons of pesticide around your house in order to overcome and withstand the effects of the sun and the weather.
There's a lot of spraying to do under the eaves, in and around bushes, around doors and windows, etc. A full perimeter spray can easily use up 2 or 3 gallons.
You can spray it out of a hand sprayer, but it's a lot of extra work that way. Given the low cost of most backpack sprayers these days, it makes sense to go ahead and get one.
You'll save yourself a lot of time and effort, and you'll put out a lot more volume in the process. More volume means more pesticide and more pesticide means fewer spiders.
1-Gallon hand sprayer
These sprayers are perfect for indoor use. You can spray the baseboards and crown molding in each room, control how much you're spraying around the windows and doors, spray under beds, stoves, furniture, behind the refrigerator, washer, dryer, under the sinks, and behind the toilet.
Disposable latex gloves
Modern pesticides aren't harmful to humans for the most part, but you'll never see a good pest control technician spraying without wearing a pair. Latex gloves don't cost much and they're a good safety measure to follow.
This short video shows how a huntsman was removed from its hunting spot near the window.
What Pesticides Can You Use To Help Get Rid of Spiders?
There are several hundred professional pesticides available on the market today. Knowing which one to use is more than the average non-professional can be expected to know.
Below is a partial list of pesticides you can use to kill spiders. We've used all of them at one time or another, and they all work.
- Cyper TC – outside only
- Delta Dust – inside and outside
- Talstar Pro – inside and outside
- Suspend SC – outside and inside
- Dominion 2L – outside only
- Nuvan Prostrips – inside only
A couple of quick notes before we move on. Cyper TC, the first one on the list, is labeled for use inside as well as outside, but the odor is really strong.
You can use it wherever you please, but we recommend keeping it outside. Your nose will thank you.
Dominion is a termiticide – a pesticide intended to kill termites – but we've discovered it's very effective at killing a lot of other critters too. However, it's only labeled for use outside.
Store all these in a cool dry place. Direct sunlight or heat will degrade the pesticides in fairly short order and you'll wind up with a bottle of useless chemicals on your hands.
What To Do To Keep Spiders Our of Your Home...
Okay, you've got all the equipment, bottles of pesticides are sitting in front you, gloves are on your hands, and you're ready to go. Let's kills some spiders!
How Can You Kill Spiders Inside Your House?
Killing spiders in the house isn't much different than killing them outside, but there are more places you have to treat and pay attention to.
You fill and mix the 1-gallon sprayer the same way you fill and mix the backpack sprayer so we won't cover that a second time. Just go back and re-read that section.
Once again you'll start with your duster. You'll treat around the doors and windows again, this time from the inside. You also want to treat under all the sinks in the house.
Delta dust doesn't dissolve in water so it's an excellent choice for wet areas. Dust around the dishwasher, under and behind the refrigerator and freezer, under and behind the washer and dryer, around the hot water heater, and around the furnace and A/C units.
Using your 1-gallon hand sprayer, spray all the baseboards throughout the entire house. The wand on most sprayers will reach behind refrigerators, furniture, under beds, and such.
You might have to get down on your hands and knees occasionally (welcome to our world) but the end result will be worth it.
Spray around all the windows and doors. We keep going back to windows and doors because they're such a major entry point for spiders and insects.
You'll also need to spray around the plumbing intrusions under all the sinks in the house, and around the vent behind the dryer. If you've got a garage with a roll-up door, don't forget to spray all the way around it as well – top, sides, and bottom.
Spray every corner up by the ceiling. Spiders love to build their nests up in those corners, so make sure you treat them. Treat all the closets too.
It takes a light hand on the trigger so you don't get a lot of mist settling down on your clothes but with a little practice, you'll be spraying like a pro.
If you have brown recluses in a closet, or if you have an unused room that's doubling as a storage area and may be difficult to get around in (seen this a million times), these are perfect places for hanging some Nuvan strips.
Once they're up, shut the doors and put towels or something along the bottom to trap the fumes inside. Spray around the door with your repellent spray to trap any spiders in the room, then sit back and wait for 7 days. Easy peasy.
After you're finished spraying, rinse out all your spray tanks. If there is any pesticide left in the tank when you're done, take it outside and pour it on an anthill.
Triple rinse the tanks, then fill them about half full of water, put the lid back on, and tighten it down. Store them in a cool, dark place until next time.
Frequently Asked Questions About Spider Removal
How often should I spray?
Once every three months. The reason is simple. The EPA, in their infinite wisdom, has mandated by law that all pesticides have to biodegrade down to zero within 90 days of being applied.
The manufacturers don't have any choice but to comply so they've engineered the pesticides to biodegrade and after three months there's nothing left. Spiders and insects would then be free to wander in and out of your house as they please unless your spray it again just like you did this time.
Will the pesticides hurt my pets or children?
No. Modern pesticides are so safe you're in more danger from driving your car than you are from them.
Will pesticides hurt my fish or birds?
Yes. Fish, birds, and amphibians are very susceptible to the active ingredients in pesticides. Before spraying your house, cover all your aquariums, terrariums, and bird cages to protect them from the pesticides.
After you finish spraying, wait about 15 minutes for any remaining mist to settle to the floor, then it will be safe to uncover them.
The video below will give a few easy to follow tips in spraying pesticides against spiders.
Final Thoughts On Getting Rid of Spiders
Getting rid of spiders takes a little bit of work but it can be done without resorting to calling out a professional pest control technician.
You've got access to exactly the same pesticides and equipment they do. It's perfectly legal and safe for you to use them, and it's a lot cheaper too.
On the other hand, if you'd rather have a professional do the work for you, you can observe what they're doing and compare it to what we just told you.
That way you'll know what to look for and you'll be able to tell whether or not they're doing a good job. Most of them do, but it's always nice to have that little extra confidence in your hip pocket.