The Essential Oils That Help Keep Brown Recluse Spiders Out Of Your Home

Some spiders are desirable to have around: they eat other insect pests and act as pollinators. But some spiders are best kept out of the house. Brown recluse spiders are poisonous spiders — found in hidden spots like cracks in walls, garden edging, underneath furniture, or even in piles of clothes. They also thrive in moist spaces like laundry rooms, near garden spigots, or under decks. One way to help prevent an infestation of brown recluse spiders is to use essential oils to deter them, specifically strongly-scented ones.

Brown recluse spiders are not only common but potentially dangerous. Their bites leave toxic venom in the body, so it's best to avoid being bitten. They tend to lay their eggs alongside window panes or in dark corners and love fitting into the spaces amid messes. If you need an excuse to tidy up the clutter in your basement or closet, preventing a brown recluse spider invasion is a good motivator. Brown recluse spiders make small webs that look like sheets with an opaque look to them, so be cautious if you see these and clean carefully, using a vacuum attachment, or, if outside, spray them down with your hose.

You can make a simple spray to help prevent them from nesting and reproducing in your house. A natural insect repellent using vinegar, water, and any combination of lavender, peppermint, rosemary, lemongrass, tea tree, and/or eucalyptus essential oils will drive these spiders away. 

Brown recluse spiders may move in during spider season

Spider season is the name given to the time when spiders start to move indoors to make a winter home, usually in September and October. The end of summer is the best time to take steps to prevent spiders, and the spray will help with this. These are not aggressive spiders (despite being poisonous), so they won't usually bite unless they feel threatened. Stumbling onto their hiding places (which can include your dresser drawers, your bed, or even your shoes) definitely is seen as a threat, so if you suspect you have these spiders in your home, be extra cautious during spider season.

In addition to sealing off cracks, removing clutter, and other cleaning tasks to help prevent spiders, using a non-toxic spray can help. Make up a batch of spray using essential oils to keep on hand during spider season. Add 1 cup of apple cider or white vinegar to 1 cup of water. Then, add 15-20 drops of essential oils. Shake the spray bottle gently before use. If you include peppermint in your formula, be aware that this essential oil can be stimulating, so spraying it near your bed may make it harder to sleep. Consider doing this earlier in the day so the scent can dissipate. Otherwise, all of the essential oils listed here, alone or in any combination, should help keep brown recluse spiders from taking up residence in your house or yard.

Clean before spraying to keep spiders away

In addition to spraying this natural concoction during spider season, consider a preventive cleaning in the spring. Spring cleaning to remove dust and debris can help keep spiders away before their nesting season begins, especially the brown recluse spider that enjoys dusty, dark corners and crawlspaces. Once you have cleaned an area, spray it down and remember to spray again periodically throughout the summer and fall. This solution is safe to use on your skin and clothing yoo, so you can apply it before doing indoor or outdoor chores.

Once you've done some chores, make your spray to keep the spiders from coming back. If you've ever dealt with cleaning up cobwebs or spider webs only to see them reappear days or even hours later, then you know spiders work very hard to rebuild their webs when they get damaged or destroyed. Using the spray will deter them from trying to rebuild in the same spot. You can make as much spray as you need to keep reapplying as a preventive measure, even during winter or at any time of year when you notice signs of spiders. This simple formula also helps deter ants and mosquitoes. As with all techniques using essential oils, be careful not to use them near cats, who tend to be very sensitive to them.