Spiders are some of the most feared creatures on the planet and for many of us, touching them is an event to be avoided — even if our natural instinct is to want to get rid of them.
While most spiders are harmless and nothing bad will happen if we touch them, I’m going to be explaining in this article how it’s possible to kill a spider without touching it using various methods. Additionally, I’ll examine how it’s possible to keep spiders away from your home in the first place!
- 1. Flush It Out with Water
- 2. Trap It In a Cup or Glass
- 3. Spray with White Vinegar and Water Solution
- 4. Use a Vacuum
- 5. Use Bug Spray
- 6. Catch It In a Sticky Bug Trap
- 7. Trample or Hit the Spider
- 8. Suffocation
- 9. Leave Windows and Doors Open
- 10. Ask Someone Else to Kill It
- 11. Douse in Hair Spray
- 12. Introduce It To Your Cat
- Regularly Clean Your House
- Spray Your Home with Essential Oils
- Use Web Eliminator Products
- Close All Openings
How to Kill a Spider Without Touching It
Maybe you have a fear of them and just don’t like the idea of picking up a big hairy spider or worse, you suspect a brown recluse or other venomous arachnid is hanging out in your home. Well, here are the easiest methods for killing a spider without even having to touch it.
1. Flush It Out with Water
Just like all small animals, spiders can be killed by water. This doesn’t mean that they’ll drown but that they’ll simply be crushed under the weight of water. After all, spiders are very light.
However, this method has one glaring limitation. You can’t always use it indoors since it’s unlikely you’ll want to soak your indoor space for the sake of getting rid of a spider.
This method is limited to application either outside or in the shower, tub or sink. Thankfully, spiders like hanging out in showers because they need water.
2. Trap It In a Cup or Glass
The simplest and one of the safest methods of catching a spider is to trap it in a glass. That way, you have it under control and you can do whatever you want with it thereafter.
Despite their mobility and web-making abilities, spiders can’t flip a glass over.
To kill a spider once you have imprisoned it under an upended glass, simply lift the glass and hit it with an old magazine or a shoe as it tries to make its escape.
Something to keep in mind is the control of dangerous species. If you recognize a venomous spider in your home, don’t try to kill it on your own. Although it’s rare, spiders can, in fact, kill people. Do not approach venomous spiders — call a professional and let them handle it.
Additionally, if you see a very large spider in your home, know that it’ll probably be too large to be killed with a newspaper swatting.
3. Spray with White Vinegar and Water Solution
White vinegar can kill spiders. But they aren’t the only living thing that can be harmed by it. Vinegar contains — on average — 5% acetic acid, which can kill other insects, as well as plants.
Opt for either pure white vinegar or dilute it in some water. Either way, it will kill the spider. Pure vinegar will kill the spider almost instantly, while a diluted solution will take a while longer.
4. Use a Vacuum
Using a vacuum is one of the most effective ways to get a spider out of your way. The spider will not be able to avoid the force of the suction and it will either die or remain in the vacuum bag forever.
Since the suction is so strong, it’s possible that it will kill the spider as it’s pulled in by bending it all the wrong ways.
5. Use Bug Spray
Bug sprays, be they repellents or killers, have mixed results. While bug killers will most definitely kill the spider bugging you (pun intended), they’re not a long-term solution. Another spider will take its place.
Technically speaking, bug sprays are pesticides, so make sure to follow guidelines for using pesticides indoors when you’re spraying around.
When it comes to bug repellents, which are supposed to prevent many species from invading your home (spiders included), the efficacy depends on the exact repellent and the amount of it you applied.
While they have proven effective on mosquitoes, there is still no study testing their effectiveness on spiders.
6. Catch It In a Sticky Bug Trap
Sticky traps are very effective for all types of insects, especially flies. Catching a spider in it might be more difficult as they’re more dexterous than flies and it’s not that easy to get one, but it’s not impossible.
Leave a hanging sticky trap with plenty of flies on it near the nest of your spider. If you’re lucky, the spider will be attracted by the flies and it’ll stick to the tape.
7. Trample or Hit the Spider
The only 100% effective solution is to kill the spider with physical force. Use old newspapers, a shoe, or literally anything else you don’t mind hitting a spider with to kill it.
If you don’t miss, you’ll likely kill the spider with a single hit.
Trying to suffocate a spider is a common mistake. In fact, this is one of the least effective ways to figure out how to kill a spider without touching it.
People trap spiders in small jars and let nature take its course but this is a very ineffective way of killing a spider. Insects generally need unfathomably small amounts of oxygen to survive as their breathing systems aren’t even similar to mammals’.
A spider can live in a small jar for a very long time. If it dies, it’s more likely to die from starvation than from suffocation. So, you can suffocate a spider by trapping it in a jar but it’s just a laughably ineffective way of killing it.
9. Leave Windows and Doors Open
Here’s a revolutionary idea — accept the fact that the spider in question is not even remotely dangerous for you and let it leave your home. There’s no guarantee that it actually will, especially if there’s food in your home.
However, by keeping a nearby window ajar, you’re at least giving the spider a chance of leaving. If there are no insects for it to catch and eat in your home, it will definitely want to leave – otherwise, it’s risking starvation.
10. Ask Someone Else to Kill It
There’s no shame in this – we all have our weaknesses. Simply ask someone else from the household to deal with the spider.
11. Douse in Hair Spray
Hair spray is definitely lethal to spiders (and other insects too). There’s no specific reason why — it’s a solution made up of a bunch of chemicals. It could probably kill an adult human if they would breathe enough of it in.
If you don’t have a bug spray at hand, hair spray is a great substitute.
12. Introduce It To Your Cat
This depends on the size of the spider, as your cat might not be interested in a tiny spider that it can’t even notice. But cats love to play with small animals. If you let your cat out in the yard, you’ll see that it plays with lizards before killing them.
The same can be said for spiders. If the spider becomes attractive enough for the cat, it will be killed. You can draw the cat’s attention towards the spider with a laser or by literally picking it up and taking it to the spider.
However, spiders love to choose the highest corners in rooms to make their webs, so your cat might be unable to reach them.
Also, make sure that the species of spider isn’t venomous. You don’t want your cat becoming ill because of a tiny spider.
Preventing Spiders from Coming Into Your Home
Now that you’ve killed the spider(s) infesting your home, here’s everything you need to know about how to prevent them from ever returning.
Regularly Clean Your House
The purpose of cleaning is simple — it creates an unwelcome environment for the spiders. It does this in two ways.
Firstly, by keeping your home clean, you’re minimizing the number of insects in it. If there are fewer insects, there’s less food for the spiders. If there’s less food for the spiders, there will be fewer spiders.
Secondly, making a web isn’t easy. If you clean regularly, you’ll be removing the web regularly. The spider in your home will have to make the web again and again. This is a waste of energy, and it will soon recognize your home as a hostile place.
Food availability and shelter are the two bases of habitat for literally every single animal species in the world. You take away one, or even better, you take away both of these things and you’re creating a hostile environment.
When it comes to storage areas (or the garage), make sure to remove boxes from the floor if possible. This makes them less of an obvious home for spiders as they love clutter. It’s also worth closing the boxes off with tape so they can’t get it.
Spray Your Home with Essential Oils
The three substances most often cited to repel spiders are lemon oil, peppermint oil, and chestnut fruits. Two out of those three are essential oils, so there must be some truth behind the claim that essential oils keep spiders at bay, right?
Well, according to the Journal of Economic Entomology, lemon-based essential oils have absolutely no effect on spiders (or at least no effect on the three families of spiders used in the research).
Peppermint-based essential oils are different, though, as the same research documented a negative reaction to those oils, as well as to chestnut fruits.
Why do spiders hate peppermint essential oils? Because they rely on their sense of smell heavily to catch prey. Strong odors, no matter whether they’re foul or pleasant, completely overtake their senses.
Spiders can sense the smells around them with their legs, which is why they’ll avoid walking through an area that smells like peppermint.
This means that it is possible to repel spiders by mixing just 10 drops of peppermint-based essential oil with half a liter of water in a spray bottle.
Shake it and spray it around your home. This isn’t an effective method for killing spiders but it might be a great way of keeping them away without touching them.
Use Web Eliminator Products
While you can make your own pesticides that will kill spiders at contact and also keep away any incoming spiders, commercial-grade products are more effective. They’ve been tested and developed for this exact purpose.
Most of them actually rely on some of the methods I mentioned before. They use some form of strong acid that kills insects upon contact (such as acetic acid). That acid is combined with essential oils which prevent new spiders from invading.
So, instead of making your own spider repellent, let the pros handle it.
Close All Openings
One of the biggest reasons why people are so afraid of spiders is the fact that they can crawl into even the smallest of gaps. Because of this, it’s crucial that you seal off all openings on your walls, windows, and doors.
Most spiders need less than half an inch of space to crawl through a crack into your home.
A great way to keep the spiders out during the summer is by installing insect screens on your windows. That way, you can keep the windows open during the summer without the risk of spiders getting in.
FAQ Killing and Repelling Spiders
To Sum Up: Killing Spiders Without Touching Them
Most spiders can be easily killed by swatting them, spraying them with bug spray, or even with vinegar. You can vacuum them if you really don’t want to get close, or you can just ask someone else to do it.
The key is to keep the spiders from coming back. You can do this by keeping your home clean, which makes it less appealing to the spiders, while mint-based essential oils have also been proven to deter them.