How to Get Rid of Spiders: A Complete Guide [2021]

Last modified on: August 27, 2021


Spiders are creepy, ugly, and (since some species are poisonous), potentially dangerous. No matter what kind of spider you’re dealing with, you probably don’t want to share space with them. 

Still, spiders are very common. They multiply quickly and can rapidly take over your home, garden, or patio. 

Don’t worry, though, there’s good news:

You don’t have to live with spiders forever. 

Here at Smith’s Pest Management, we help people get rid of spiders on their San Francisco Bay Area properties each day. Our skilled, professional team provides expert spider control services to help you reclaim your relaxing, spider-free life as quickly as possible. 

Ready to learn how to get rid of spiders once and for all?

In this post, we’ll discuss the most common types of spiders in California, why they may be taking over your property, and how to remove them.

Let’s dive in. 

how to get rid of spiders

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What Kind of Spider Is In My House? 7 Common Types of Spiders

spider in house

When you find a spider in your home, identifying it might not be your top priority. It’s essential to know what kind of spiders you’re dealing with, though. 

Besides allowing you to select the right removal tactic, identifying the spider will keep you safe and help you avoid harm from poisonous spider species. 

To help you identify the spiders on your property, here’s an overview of the most common types of spiders.

1. Wolf Spider

Wolf spiders live throughout the United States, and are especially common in Missouri, Texas, and California. The spiders are small and usually grow to just under one inch in length. 

Wolf spiders burrow and spend most of their lives underground. They are nocturnal and emerge from their dens to hunt for insects and other small spiders. 

While wolf spiders aren’t deadly, they can bite and cause uncomfortable symptoms. 

2. Brown Recluse

The brown recluse spider is identifiable by the dark brown violin shape on its back. They are ¼”-½” in length and tan or dark brown in color. 

The brown recluse spider is common throughout the US. It enjoys living in warm, dry, dark places like wood piles, basements, and closets. 

Brown recluse spiders are poisonous, and will bite when provoked. A brown recluse bite can take three or more hours to appear, and more than three weeks to heal. Venom from the brown recluse spider can cause severe reactions, especially in young children and older people. 

3. Black Widow

Even if you’ve never seen a black widow spider in person, you probably have an image in your head. That’s because black widow spiders are some of the most notorious in the world. 

Their deep black bodies feature a red hourglass shape on the underside of their abdomens, and are highly distinct from other spider varieties. 

These spiders exist worldwide, with four species living in the US. They like to live in dark, moist places like crawl spaces, garden beds, and outbuildings. 

The black widow spider is poisonous. Although fatalities are rare, the spider's venom is 15x stronger than a rattlesnake’s. Bites can cause nausea, difficulty breathing, and muscle cramping or aches. 

4. Yellow Sac Spider

Yellow sac spiders are pale beige or yellow in color, with dark brown accents on the tips of the legs and fangs. They are small spiders and adults are typically about ¼” in length. 

Yellow sac spiders tend to live in gardens and under outdoor debris like leaf piles and compost heaps. These spiders hunt at night and actively pursue their prey, rather than trapping them in a web. 

Yellow sac spiders are mildly poisonous. Their bites can be painful, and may cause symptoms like lesions at the bite site, itching, and swelling. Usually, reactions are mild and do not require medical attention. 

5. Jumping Spider

Jumping spiders earned their name because of their incredible jumping ability. There are more than 4,000 known species of jumping spiders in the world, including about 300 species that live in the US and Canada. 

They are black, brown, or tan in color, and grow to about ⅛”-¾” in length. 

While jumping spiders can bite, the venom is not poisonous and the spiders are not a threat to human health.

6. Hobo Spider

Hobo spiders are light to dark brown in color, with stripes down the center and sides of their bodies. They have an oblong abdomen, and typically grow to one inch-1 ¾” in length. They build funnel webs in naturally occurring holes, crevices, or cracks. 

Since they are poor climbers, they rarely live above ground level. They like dark, moist areas like basements, window wells, and crawl spaces. 

The spiders will bite in defense, and their bites can cause mild pain and redness. Hobo spider bites are commonly confused with brown recluse bites, which are far more medically severe. 

7. Daddy Long Legs

Daddy long legs are a common occurrence in California. 

As a species, Daddy long legs are victims of misinformation. For example, some claim that daddy long legs are the most poisonous spiders in the world, but their fangs are too short to bite humans.

Fortunately, this is just a myth. 

Daddy long legs are not poisonous spiders, and their bites do not present a risk to humans. These spiders make webs from silk and are primarily scavengers, although they hunt occasionally. Daddy long legs like to live under objects like rocks, logs, and ledges. 

8. Grass Spider

Grass spiders are common throughout the US. They build funnel webs in grass or landscaping, and hunt by lunging out at insects that pass. Grass spiders are brown in color, with two black lines running down either side of their backs. Grass spiders multiply rapidly, and can quickly take over your yard or garden with their silky webs.

What Attracts Spiders to My Home and Yard?

With so much space outside, you might wonder why spiders are making their way inside your home. 

Here are a few of the most common things that draw spiders indoors:

  • Weather. Spiders require a specific environment to survive. When the temperature or moisture level outdoors gets too high or low for them, spiders will use small gaps in your foundation, siding, or weather stripping to make their way inside, seeking shelter from the elements. 
  • The availability of food sources. Spiders often come inside because they’re following a pest species, like ants or moths. Spiders also eat domestic waste like compost, food scraps, fruit juice residue, and crumbs. The presence of any of these things will draw them indoors. 
  • Habitat. Most spiders prefer living in dark and secluded areas like basements, crawl spaces, attics, and garages. These spaces provide shelter from the elements and ideal habitats for hunting and web-building. 
  • Mating. If you have one spider in your home, it will attract others when it’s time to mate. Because of this, it’s important to act quickly after an indoor spider sighting. 
  • Damaged areas. Spiders can easily access your home through tiny cracks, crevices, holes, and gaps in doors and windows. Some species, like the wolf spider, will enter the home through holes created by other pests, like mice. This may allow them to set up shop in the foundation or crawl space of your home. 

How to get rid of Spiders and Their Webs

spider in apartment

If you have spiders in your home or garden, you want to get rid of them as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Here are our top tips to remove spiders immediately: 

In Your House or Apartment

To get rid of spiders in your house or apartment, we recommend these methods:

  • Set spider traps. Sticky glue traps designed to catch and kill spiders can be effective if you place them in high-traffic areas. Spider traps are available over the counter at home and garden stores. Keep them away from kids and pets and be sure to check and change them often. 
  • Remove webs. Use a vacuum with a hose attachment to remove spider webs from your home. This should be done as soon as you spot one around your home. 
  • Use peppermint oil. If you want to get rid of spiders without chemicals, there are many home remedies to choose from. One of the best is peppermint oil. Because it emits a strong scent, peppermint oil will repel spiders. For best results, add 15-20 drops of essential oil to a spray bottle full of water and spritz it anywhere you’ve noticed spider activity. Reapply regularly. 
  • Use vinegar. If you want to get rid of spiders without killing them and without pesticides, vinegar is an excellent natural spider repellent. Fill a spray bottle half full with white vinegar and half full with water and spray the mixture into the corners of your home or bedroom to repel spiders. Reapply this spider spray every few days. 
  • Install screens. If you leave your doors and windows open during the day, install screens to keep pests out. Maintain the screens annually to prevent holes from forming. 
  • Use store-bought insecticide. Store-bought insecticides and spray treatments are meant to be used along the baseboards, in the corners of your home, and under furniture. These insecticides form a barrier that repels or kills spiders. They can be an effective method to deal with serious spider infestations. Keep in mind that many contain chemicals or toxins that are unsafe for kids and pets, so it’s important to use them carefully and to read all label directions. 
  • Keep a tidy home or apartment. Clean your home regularly. Remember to vacuum all corners, under all furniture, and even your ceilings (use your vacuum’s extendable hose to remove cobwebs and spider webs). Clean houses make it harder for spiders to find hiding spots that allow them to stay in your home. 
  • Use a spider catcher. If you want to get spiders out of your house without killing them, buy a spider catcher. A spider catcher is a hand-operated wand designed to pick up spiders in gentle, flexible fibers, and hold them securely until you can release them outdoors. A spider catcher will be most effective if you use it in conjunction with home remedies like peppermint oil and vinegar. 
  • Clean up leftovers. When dinner is over, clean up promptly. Leftover food, crumbs, and other kitchen messes will attract pests like ants and beetles, which will attract the spiders who eat them. Wipe your counters and tables regularly, and wash all dirty dishes within a few hours. 
  • Remove clutter. Clutter provides hiding spaces for spiders. With this in mind, remove as much clutter from your home as possible. Get rid of old magazines and newspapers, cardboard boxes, and piles of clothes. 
  • Rethink your storage. Instead of storing your belongings in cardboard boxes, store them in airtight plastic containers. In addition to preventing spiders from hiding inside the boxes, this will keep your belongings safe from dust and moisture damage. 

Outside in Your Yard & Garden

spider in garden

Before you take steps to remove spiders from your yard or garden, think about whether you really need to kill them. 

Spiders eat insects and other pests, and can help keep harmful insects from damaging your garden. In fact, a healthy spider population may reduce your need for other pest control methods. 

Since most spiders are harmless to people, it’s usually possible to coexist peacefully with them. 

If you absolutely need to get rid of the spiders, here are a few things you can try:

  • Use natural biological controls. If you want to control spiders outside, natural methods can be a great option. Plant vegetation that repels spiders, such as eucalyptus, in your garden or around the border of your property, or spread diatomaceous earth (a powder made from fossilized ancient algae) around your yard, flower beds, and rock piles to kill spiders. These are effective ways to get rid of pests around your deck and patio. 
  • Use essential oils. Essential oils can be just as effective outdoors as they are indoors. For best results, apply a few drops of essential oil, like wintergreen or peppermint, in problem areas including your car, garage, and outdoor spaces. 
  • Patch any holes in your foundation. Seal and caulk gaps around doors and windows, and fill any entry points in your siding or vents. 
  • Turn off outdoor lighting. Outdoor lighting can attract pests like moths, which will attract spiders.  
  • Clean up landscaping. Trim bushes, trees, and shrubs so that they're several feet from the siding of your home. Remove vegetation from the perimeter of your house. If your spider infestation is severe, consider transplanting shrubs, trees, and other plants so that they’re further from your home. When vegetation is too close to your home, it allows spiders to come inside when they’re looking for a new habitat. 
  • Use insecticide sprays. Use store-bought insecticide sprays formulated for spiders around your garden yard, outbuildings, and deck. These sprays kill spiders on contact, and can be an effective method for treating spider infestations. Be sure to use sprays carefully, wear protective clothing and follow all label directions. 
  • Remove hiding places. Get rid of brush piles, compost heaps, rock piles, and anything else that creates a dark, cool hiding spot for spiders. Reducing clutter both inside and outside your home will help prevent a spider infestation. 
  • Break up webs. Breaking up spider webs won’t hurt or kill spiders, but it will encourage them to go elsewhere. Use a broom or a gloved hand to gently break up spider webs when you see them around your porch or in your garden. 

How do Pest Control Experts Get Rid of Spiders? 

If you want a more aggressive option than DIY spider removal, consider hiring Smith’s Pest Management to do it for you. Our team provides complete spider removal services, as well as spider web removal. 

Here’s the process we follow to get rid of spiders:

Dewebbing Service

Both venomous and non-venomous spiders make webs. If you have webs, you also have spiders on your property. In addition to being unsightly, these webs harbor pests and allow spiders to reproduce. 

If you have unsightly spider webs all over the interior or exterior of your home, we’ll remove them for you. 

Our team will come out every other month to remove webs from your property. We also offer an optional application of Web Out (a cobweb eliminator) to help your property stay web-free. 

Spray Treatment

Because your family’s health is important to us, we offer organic and non-organic spray treatment options to get rid of spiders. 

We’ll work with you to decide which treatment is the best choice for your property, then deploy the treatment to remove spider populations. 

Are Spiders Taking Over Your San Francisco Bay Area Home? We’re Here to Help! 

You don’t have to live with spiders forever. Here at Smith’s Pest Management, we help residential and commercial customers in Northern California from Marin to Monterey get rid of spiders. If you’re coping with a spider infestation, contact us today for reliable removal services you can count on.


Author Bio: Zach Smith

zach smith, owner of smith's pest management

Landscape Pro Turned Gopher Pro: Owner, Zach Smith, graduate of Cal Poly’s Horticulture program worked nine years as a landscape professional- dealing with gophers, moles, and ground squirrels and was quickly recruited by other local gardeners. Fast forward to the past 10+ years, where Zach and his team trap and remove burrowing pests from residential, municipal and commercial properties throughout the San Francisco Bay area, from Marin to Monterey.

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