Is Talcum Powder Really The Secret To Maintaining A Spider-Free Home?

For those that are utterly terrified of spiders and cannot bear to go anywhere near them, you might choose to suck up an arachnid that's found its way into your home with your vacuum. While the impact of being forcefully pulled into the vacuum and being thrown against its components is sometimes enough to kill a spider, it might still be alive inside the canister. Some online sources suggest that vacuuming up talcum powder or baby powder – which is sometimes made with talc – with the spiders will suffocate them. Though this may seem like a good idea, there is no definitive scientific evidence that talcum powder will kill or suffocate spiders.

Rather than wasting your talcum powder and possibly still having live arachnids in your vacuum cleaner, try using diatomaceous earth. This substance is very similar in appearance to talcum powder, but diatomaceous earth is a common, natural pesticide that will ensure your home is free of spiders.

Using talcum powder to try killing spiders with your vacuum

Though there is no research that proves talcum powder kills spiders, there also aren't any studies that disprove the theory. If you'd like to try this method, be aware that it may not be effective, but could be an interesting experiment to see what really happens when you vacuum up insects around the house. If they are still alive with the talcum powder, you can simply wait to empty the vacuum until they eventually die from a lack of water. Before starting this hack, keep in mind that fine powders sucked up with a regular vacuum cleaner could potentially get stuck and block up the filter, making the machine less efficient.

Start by vacuuming up a little bit of the powder before running the vacuum over the unwanted spider. Vacuum more powder after the arachnid is trapped. If you're dealing with several spiders, repeat this process for each one, alternating between vacuuming the talcum powder and the bugs. Hopefully, they will be dead when you look inside the canister. If not, you can wait or try diatomaceous earth.

Using diatomaceous earth for a spider-free home

While talcum powder might not be able to kill spiders for sure, diatomaceous earth is a great pesticide that will ensure your spiders are dead within a few days. This powdery substance is made of small, single-celled algae that's become fossilized. These diatoms have pointed edges, which are sharp enough to cut into the exoskeletons of arachnids and other insects. Once the spiders have touched the powder and been scratched, the diatomaceous earth will soak up the oils from inside the arachnids' bodies. This will cause them to become dehydrated and die.

You can vacuum up the diatomaceous earth to kill the spiders in your machine more quickly, but it can also be spread in places where you've seen spiders. When the insects walk over the pesticide, it will have a similar devastating effect. For those who prefer avoiding chemicals, food-grade diatomaceous earth is a relatively safe alternative to traditional pesticides. While it is considered a non-toxic pesticide, inhaling diatomaceous earth could irritate your lungs, and if you handle it a lot it could make your skin dry. This is why you should wear a face mask and gloves when working with this natural pesticide. If you're concerned about the fine powder hanging in the air, try setting up an air purifier in the room where you're spreading diatomaceous earth.