Will Wiping Your Floors And Baseboards With A Dryer Sheet Deter Spiders? Here's What We Know

While spiders come into your home throughout the year, they're often more noticeable in the cool weather. This is because spiders are typically hatched in the spring, and by the fall, they're full-grown and that much more prominent. Once you find them in your house, you naturally want to find a way to get rid of them as soon as possible. Some swear by using dryer sheets around the home to deter spiders from sticking around, and while this notion has some merit, it probably won't completely rid your home of these arachnids.

Besides calling an exterminator to use chemical-based repellents, there are many proven natural ways to get rid of spiders in your home. One way is to use a natural repellent spray: Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle and spray around the house where spiders may enter. Another way is to use diatomaceous earth. Simply sprinkle it in places where you see spiders — but you should avoid using this method in spaces where food is prepared. When it comes to getting rid of spiders with dryer sheets, though, the evidence is less clear.

Dryer sheets won't always scare away spiders

There is some truth to the idea that dryer sheets can help send spiders packing. While the common notion is that the sheets' heavily scented smells naturally repel pests, that isn't necessarily true for all species. Dryer sheets usually contain a heavy fragrance that is often thought to repel various insects including cockroaches and mosquitoes. This is because they are made with a plant alcohol called linalool, which gives it its strong scent. However, though it seems like a convenient option, there may not be enough linalool in all types of dryer sheets to repel pests sufficiently. While there haven't been any studies done on spider and dryer sheets specifically, there are numerous anecdotal claims that they work.

Since spiders do not enjoy strong scents, they will steer clear of strong-smelling essential oils and citrus scents. You can get rid of spiders with a few common household staples including lemons, oranges, tea tree oil, eucalyptus oil, peppermint oil, and vinegar. As a result, these natural scents are great to place around the house. They help keep spiders away naturally and are enjoyable scents that keep your home smelling fresh — it's a win-win. Using natural scents can also help you avoid having to lay down any chemicals that might be unsafe for you and your family.

How dryer sheets may help repel spiders

Dryer sheets may prove effective as a spider deterrent in one indirect way. Like other bugs and pests that come into the home, spiders look for food and hiding places. Insects like ants and flies feed on crumbs on the floor and in cupboards, and since spiders eat these insects, when you repel them, you diminish a spider's food source. When you use a dryer sheet to wipe your floors and your baseboards, you are essentially wiping up crumbs that may have fallen in those areas. This ultimately denies those insects a regular food supply, effectively doing the same for the spiders that eat them. 

Spiders are attracted to areas that are cluttered and unclean, so another way to help keep spiders out of your home is to clean up any crumbs or spills as soon as they happen. It's also helpful to sweep, mop, and dust regularly. A daily wipe down of the kitchen — especially after cooking — can prevent spiders from sticking around your living space. You should also make sure that your screens and door seals are in good shape to prevent bugs from coming inside. Reducing clutter in general will help keep your home spider-free, as these creatures like to congregate in areas rife with hiding spots. Keeping your space decluttered can also prevent other insects (hello, spider food!) from calling your house their home.