One of my good friends just recently moved out of an apartment and into a house. Exciting! But the house is also full of spiders—everywhere. She found spiders, spider webs, and spider eggs all around their back porch and along their basement windows. I pursued this project, unsurprisingly, because of this problem.
With summer winding down and fall creeping in, so are the spiders. It’s mating season, which means male spiders are on the move—meaning my friend's problem is only going to get worse. While they’re generally harmless, spiders are not necessarily pleasant, so today I’m exploring two spider remedies: Miss Muffet’s Revenge (I don’t know how you can not be interested in a product with a name like that) and peppermint oil.
Step 1: Look for spider webs (or nests)
If you’re squeamish like me, the first step is to try to not get too grossed out when you go looking for spider homes. Most of the spiders at my friend’s house were around the back door and porch area, along the basement windows, and pretty much anywhere else there was a corner or alcove. We scanned lights, door frames, stairs, drain pipes—you name it—for spiders, webs, eggs, and nests.
Option A: Miss Muffet's Revenge
The first option for dealing with spiders in and around your house is what I’d consider the more aggressive remedy—Miss Muffet’s Revenge. One of the great things about this product is that it’s super-easy to apply. It’s from a company called Wet & Forget, and their goal is to make products with which you can do just that: spray it on and leave. No wiping down, no rinsing, nothing. It’s incredibly straightforward.
Step A1: Attach spray nozzle
One fun feature is the spray nozzle attachment, which attaches to the top of the container. At first, I thought the nozzle was a little short (and it was) but after a little product research, I discovered the hose extends to 3'. The nozzle attachment works at any angle, and sprays as far as 12', making it easy to treat out-of-reach areas.
Step A2: Spray
The application is easy: spray a band around the problem areas in and outside the home, using enough product to slightly wet the area without soaking it. If it’s a rainy day, wait for the weather to dry up. With both indoor and outdoor applications, be sure to keep pets and children away until the repellent has dried. Once it’s dry, clear out any cobwebs. Then it’s time to relax—the application lasts up to a year. Areas exposed to ran may require more frequent application.
To be clear, Miss Muffet’s Revenge is a spider repellent and killer. If you’re looking for a more spider-friendly option, I suggest going with option B: peppermint oil.
Option B: Peppermint oil
Peppermint oil and water. The idea is simple: spiders eat with their “hands,” and they don’t like the taste of peppermint. When they walk around on peppermint-oil sprayed surfaces and start tasting peppermint, they leave.
Step B1: Prep the area
Before you get started, clear out any eggs and webs.
Step B2: Spray
Use a spray bottle to shake together 5-7 drops of peppermint oil with 16 ounces of warm water and a squirt of dish soap. Then, spray the mixture anywhere you don’t want spiders—especially entry points to the home.
Step B3: Wipe surfaces
After you spray the surface, wipe it down. It’s that easy!
Peppermint oil will only deter spiders, whereas Miss Muffet’s Revenge will actually kill them. If you’re having a serious problem, I think Miss Muffet’s revenge is the way to go. But if you want to keep spiders around (they do kill other bugs!) at a healthy distance, try peppermint oil.
And even if you’re grossed out like me, it’s always important to remember to be nice to spiders.