Make A DIY Spider Repellent With This Laundry Room Staple

Spiders are often unwelcome in most homes. Despite being harmless and hidden most of the time, the first reaction people have when they spot these eight-legged critters is to find a way to kill them instantly or shoo them out of the house. Unless you regularly deal with insects in your home, you may not have any insecticide or pesticide stored. No need to worry: bleach, a common household product typically found in the laundry room and known for its stain-removing capabilities, can also be an effective pesticide.

Bleach is widely recognized for its potent disinfecting properties. The active ingredient, sodium hypochlorite, makes bleach a go-to solution for killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi on various items and surfaces. It is also corrosive, though, so you should never use bleach to clean certain things like toys, electronic devices, and wood. This same characteristic of bleach — corrosiveness — can make it lethal to household pests, including spiders. When spiders ingest bleach or come into direct contact with it, it can be fatal to them.

Use diluted bleach spray to deter spiders

When making your DIY spray repellant, it's important to wear a mask, eye protection, and gloves, and to do the preparation in a well-ventilated area. Dilute one part of the bleach with three parts of water, then pour the mixture into a spray bottle. You should then use the mixture directly on spiders, in a 6-to-10-inch range. Make sure to wear gloves and eye protection when using the spray.

The amount of spray needed to kill a spider will depend on the spider's size. You can also spray the mixture in holes and crevices where spiders are likely to squish through. Just wipe the bleach off surfaces to avoid any unwanted discoloration. It's also important to ventilate the area after application to prevent the fumes from lingering in the home.

Regarding storage, the National Institute of Health (NIH) recommends placing it in a dark container and storing it in a cool, shaded place, out of reach of children. NIH also recommends preparing a fresh diluted solution when needed and discarding unused mixtures 24 hours after preparation.

How bleach affects spiders

So, how exactly does bleach kill spiders? The hypochlorous acid component of the bleach throws the cell activity of spiders, and insects in general, out of balance. It also damages their soft exoskeleton, suffocating them in the process. Aside from killing spiders, bleach can also stop an infestation since it can also penetrate and kill spider eggs. Additionally, the bleach can break down webs, making it less likely for spiders to return to them.

While spiders often get a bad rap because they're often portrayed as scary in television shows and movies, these creatures help eliminate other pests like moths and flies. Most house spiders are harmless and contribute positively to the household ecosystem by reducing the number of unwanted insects, making them an eco-friendly and natural form of pest control.

Aside from killing spiders, many use bleach for other similar purposes, like keeping pests out of trash cans. But while bleach can be used temporarily as a pesticide, it poses potential hazards. It's harmful to the environment. It also poses harmful effects to humans; inhaling bleach fumes can lead to breathing difficulties and coughing. Additionally, bleach can irritate the skin, eyes, and airways. These risks highlight the need for caution and proper ventilation when using bleach spray as a pesticide.