Spiders can be beneficial creatures that eat lots of pesky bugs, but for many people they are also a thing of nightmares. Nearly everyone can agree that even if they are beneficial, it is better that spiders stay outside in the garden and not in our homes. If you would like to keep spiders at bay without using harsh chemicals at every turn, diatomaceous earth (DE) might be exactly what you are looking for. If you are new to using diatomaceous earth, you might want to check out our article on what it is and how diatomaceous earth kills bugs.
Implement Spider Prevention Measures
Before you even start using DE to kill spiders, it is best if you do things around your home to prevent more spiders from entering. Spiders enter homes in search of food (insects), water, and shelter. By making these three things more difficult to find, you can prevent the majority of spiders. To repel spiders, consider the following tips:
- Keep your home clean and tidy to prevent insects
- Declutter and remove potential hiding places
- Vacuum regularly to pick up any spider eggs or spiderlings that may be in your home
- Remove cobwebs that form in the corners of the room using a vacuum hose or a broom
- Sweep and dust window sills and ledges
- Get rid of excess moisture by fixing leaky pipes and faucets and by using fans and dehumidifiers
- Ensure all windows have intact screens
- Turn off outdoor lights so you don’t attract insects
- Seal cracks and gaps on the exterior of the home
- Use weatherstripping around doors, windows, garages, etc.
Applying Diatomaceous Earth for Spider Control
When trying to repel and kill spiders, it is important to find out how they are entering the home. Most often, they will come in around doors and windows or through cracks and gaps in the exterior. Target these areas with the diatomaceous earth by sprinkling them with a thin layer of DE. If you need to get DE into small or awkward spaces, you can apply it using a powder duster. You do not want a heavy application because you want to encourage the spiders to walk through it. Other areas to treat with diatomaceous earth may include: basements, storage areas, baseboards, wall voids, outlets, closets, and anywhere else you have noticed spiders.
Diatomaceous earth works by cutting the insects with its microscopic sharp edges. These cuts will let the moisture out until the insects die of dehydration. That means that they must come into direct contact with the DE for it to be effective.
As long as the diatomaceous earth remains dry, it will work against spiders and other insects like fleas, roaches, bed bugs, and more. After about a week, you can clean up the DE and reapply if necessary. Cleaning up diatomaceous earth is relatively easy, but gloves and a mask are recommended so that you don’t breathe in the dust. Around the exterior of the home, there is little need to clean up DE. It is safe to use around pets and children and will not harm the environment. If it blows around or gets wet, you may need to reapply to maintain its effectiveness.
Home Pest Control Products
Diatomaceous earth is best used in conjunction with other types of products as part of a comprehensive pest control plan. PF Harris is America’s oldest EPA registered pest control brand, so you can feel confident when using our products. For more information, see Harris Diatomaceous Earth.