How to get rid of spiders in your house

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128 thoughts on “How to get rid of spiders in your house

  1. Large welts that last a long time and have no obvious cause, especially in late summer and autumn, are quite possibly chiggers. Really pretty bloody nasty, and because the mite is so small and the welt doesn’t appear until long after they drop off, you never see what’s causing them. I thought I had bed bugs until I noticed the seasonal factor. There doesn’t seem to be the same mythology of spider bites here in the UK…

  2. Spiders don’t really bother me. My wife and kids can’t deal with them at all.
    I did have one experience with a huge number of them. I was on a bike/camping trip, and had my tent next to a cornfield (one side) and woods (other side). Very humid night. The next morning I went off to eat, came back to pack up and thought “Why are the walls of my tent blowing when there is no wind?”
    It was covered with “daddy long leg” spiders, and I was seeing their movements. Took some shaking of the tent to flick them away.

  3. Nicely done, Greg! Intelligent commentary about spiders on the web (heh) is as rare as truly deadly spiders, which is to say, nonexistent. You might also add that when people see a lot of spiders around, it can also be due to, one, that the spiders have reached sexual maturity and are now on the prowl for their final act, and two, that people have lousy memories. In California somebody’s always slack-jawed with wonder when it gets suddenly hot in September or sprinkles once in midsummer, even though that happens every damn year. Same with spiders. They’re always just as big, and always there. It’s just that if you walk face-first into some poor orb weaver who’s trying to make a living out in the breezeway, it’s suddenly an epidemic. But again, way to go!

  4. Down south and throughout Latin America whenever people are bitten by something in the night they blame a spider. If someone points out that spiders rarely if ever bite they blame a mosquito. The real culprit is almost always a Reduviid bug, also known as the Kissing bug, Assassin bug, etc. Here in north Florida the evil is embodied in the species Triatoma sanguisuga. Anybody want to guess what sanguisuga means?

    There is no more horrible creature on earth. They are huge, stealthy, feed exclusively on the blood of warm blooded animals, and live under your bed alongside the Boogeyman. Their saliva is anaesthetic so you donâ??t feel it until you wake up tearing at the angry red welts with your fingernails. They are gluttons so they eat and shit and eat and shit, usually forming a line of bites across their preferred feeding grounds which include your face, lips, wrists, and ankles. As you dig at your inflamed flesh your fingernails scratch the bugshit into your now open wounds. For those living south of the border that is a big problem since a very high percentage of the Reduviid bugs carry Chagas disease, a horrible, lingering, and ultimately lethal malady. Just in case you were feeling safe be aware that Triatoma sanguisuga lives as far north as Connecticut.

    When my house was brand new, long before even cockroaches had moved in, I was savagely attacked. My girlfriend later found what she supposed to be a huge fat cockroach while changing the sheets. She crushed it with a tissue and when she did the tissue was dripping with blood. A few nights later I was reading when one landed on my shoulder and ran to her face. I smashed it with my book, but since it had yet to feed instead of exploding it simply flew away. So I moved out of my brand new house and started living in a tent. Only after fogging every room in the house with a dose four times greater than the law allows did I move back in. I have been bitten almost every year thereafter and have learned to look carefully under the bed because the boogeyman is real!

    Now back to spiders. My house is also full of huge black fuzzy Kukulcania spiders. I call them my house tarantulas. Kukulcanias are sexually dimorphic. The big fat black females live in crevices surrounded by cobwebs which become quite messy but otherwise never bother me, whereas the males look like oversized Brown recluse spiders and run all over the place including over my face. As a result I tolerate the females but sometimes kill the males. One day I decided to clean the cobwebs from behind the bed. In doing so I discovered that my Mama Kuks had killed and eaten several of the Reduviids that would otherwise have feasted on me.

    As a result I decreed that from that day forward all spiders were to be fully protected in Weazelworld regardless of messy cobwebs or accidental snout surfing. I know who my friends are!

  5. What is the cute spider in the picture (the image “botswana_spider.jpg”)? It looks like some Argiope.

    There is an easy way to reduce spider diversity at home: tolerate Pholcus (one of the many things whose english name is “daddy longleg”), they eat everything that moves (including other, even much larger spiders). Here is one with eggs: I hope to get pictures of the babies soon.

  6. Out here in the desert southwest the one thing I’m scared off is black widows. My solution: Cultivate a large colony of orb weavers. These have bodies the size of cherries, and seem to be either outcompeting or scaring off the widows.

  7. Don’t forget — start with an empty vacuum cleaner bag, and when you’re done with your spider apocalypse, take the bag and leave it outside so they can escape and the eggs hatch. You’re _moving_ them.

    I just tell people that our house has about as many spiders visible to humans as can support themselves, and if we moved one out, we’d just get another one in the niche fairly soon.

  8. Would releasing some house centipedes (Scutigera coleoptrata) be effective? I imagine they would prey on the spiders and eventually outnumber them, at which point the excess population would migrate outside.

  9. If you want to get rid of spiders, the best way is to stop feeding them. Clean your house regularly and there will be no bugs for spiders to feed on.

    I never kill spiders – if I see them, I clean my apartment end to end and they disappear on their own in a few days.


  10. I’ve never been terribly afraid of spiders in general, but growing up in in New Mexico gave me a healthy fear of Black Widows.

    The camping story above reminded me of a spring backpacking trip in the Maze District in Canyonlands, Utah. I had spread my ground cloth at the base of an overhanging cliff that had some ferns growing on it a few feet up, fed by a trickle of water coming out of a crack. Stretched out with my head toward the cliff base, I had just turned off my flashlight and was looking at the night sky, enjoying the silence, when I heard what sounded like a whisper of tiny feet on nylon. Rolling over and turning on the light, I found myself face to “face”, about a foot away, with a line of maybe 15 Daddy-Long-Legs (Harvestmen) who had come down the rock to check out the new addition to their landscape.

    When the light came on they all froze. I considered them for a moment, then blew at them, not hard enough to bowl them over, but to break their trance. They broke ranks and scampered back up the rock and I, after a moments reflection, decided I didn’t care enough to relocate. I rolled over and went to sleep.

  11. I’ve never believed that spiders bite people inside the house, but as the house tends to be a very dry environment, my father used to tell us that they come down at night to re-hydrate from the corners of your sleeping eyes.

  12. Spiders have always creeped me out- whenever I see one in my house, I have to kill it! But various lines throughout this post have provided some nice insight for me. I never made the connection between the fact that there might be a lot of spiders in my house because there are a lot of bugs. I guess a thanks are in order for the lovely eight-legged creatures… Also, I like how it was said that just by vacuuming every single little corner and crevice in your house, the spider population could decrease rapidly because the future generations could be wiped out. Guess I know what we’re going to be doing next Spring! Lastly, I think that a reason why so many people automatically assume a spider had bitten them in the night is because they don’t think there is any other logical explanation. Spiders have that hint of scariness to some people, and the idea that they might’ve “survived” it thrills them! But now, I happen to have a newfound respect for the little crawlers!

  13. Me I like spiders and do not phobically fear them.
    They eat bugs and are welcome.
    And I have never seen spiders in my bed. Thy do not like big scary monsters that can crush them and they can’t eat.

  14. I’m slightly afraid of spiders, especially the prowling wolf spiders, but tolerate them in the house on the grounds that they keep down insects.

    I know that centipedes eat insects but they also have a nasty bite, move too quickly, and generally creep me out. However, I seldom see them in the house.

    Our main pest is a moth that gets into any cereal, chocolate, nuts, and so on and fouls it with larvae and droppings. They seem to lay their eggs on seams of boxes or on bags and the tiny larvae sometimes find their way in even to sealed packages.

    Incidentally, when I bring home something like dried beans I pop the bag into the freezer overnight to kill insects before they hatch.

  15. if nothing else it’s good to hear someone else in MN has the same of my concerns is that one of those large and nasty looking “dock spiders” you see around the lake camps will find a home in a fold of your tent or in a back pack an relocate in your basement or where ever you store your gear.

  16. Over here in Australia, our spiders kill (welts ? LOL), so I chemically nuke every single one I see inside the house, and spray webs etc on the outside. That, and the vacuuming.

  17. The first year I lived in my new condo, an egg case of common house spiders hatched in my AC duct, so whenever I ran the AC it rained spiders down upon me.

    That fall, I had an extraordinary number of house centipedes, which came to eat the spiders.

    The next year, I had an extraordinary number of beetles, which came to eat the centipedes.

    I’ve had a reasonable number of spiders, virtually no centipedes and only a few beetles since, but I don’t really like having an ecosystem on my carpet.

  18. I think that spiders need access to water to survive.
    Make sure all rooms of your house are dry, with no water source at all. You cat may not like it.

  19. If you have a concentration of spiders in an enclosed area, add mothballs and seal it. Next day, air it out thoroughly. (Naphthalene isn’t good for your respiration either, or that of your pets.)

  20. Excellent post. Great to know that spiders don’t crawl into bed and bite you — at least some species has some modesty left! For those who want to get rid of spiders, just be aware, there’s a very old superstition that killing a spider in the house is bad luck. Yes, we’re scientists around here, but you might just want to pick up any unwanted spiders on a magazine or something and take them outside. (Probable basis of superstition, if you kill all your spiders, you’ll have a house full of insects.) If you aren’t superstitious, well, what about getting a reptile you like, such as a lizard, snake or frog. I suggest this because many people are allergic to cats and birds can be very inconvenient in the house. The same people who have arachnophobia might also have herpetophobia, but at least you’re on the level of phobias rather than allergies or bird-droppings.

  21. House centipedes are slightly different than the larger ones most people think of when they hear the word centipede. They’re usually about an inch long and most of the time when you see one the only description you’ll be able to give is “really fast with lots of legs” and maybe “stripey”. They don’t bite people, but are voracious predators of insects, especially the ones you don’t want in your house.

  22. I tried my vacuum on the mice but they just clog the hose.

    I don’t mind most of the spiders, not even the ones with horror stories spun around them. The longlegs can annoy me with their incessant web spinning though, so they’re the only spiders whose numbers I’ve tried to control. I try not to produce too many environments to encourage the likes of Black Widows but I’ve never seen ’em in the house anyway so I don’t worry about them. Then again I’m also one of those folks who don’t worry much about snakes; I’ve seen hundreds over the years and not a single one has been a problem.

  23. I’m mildly arachnophobic – I don’t mind the bugs on a distance, like on a ceiling, I don’t freak out uncontrollably but I’m all OMGdeathmurderkillkill when it comes to close encounters. So I’m okayish with live and let live although I don’t really want an ecosystem under my bed.

    But… how do I get rid of carpet beetles? They keep appearing from nowhere and being a knitter, anything that wants to nom on my yarns is doomed. Well, depending on my abilities to find the little buggers and squash them, they seem to be resistant to insecticides applied only in their general direction.

  24. How kind from you, Greg.

    Setting the house on fire occurred to me but that wouldn’t be fair to the books, and I sort of know how they conserve fabrics in museums, but that involves nasty chemicals not available to normal people. Maybe some nice little bird… I already have a cat so birdie overload could be dealt with easily. Did I say that I don’t want an ecosystem under my bed? Oops.

  25. Itâ??s silly how such a small thing can be the fear of something more than ten times bigger than it. My sister and I literally scream at the sight of spiders and, of course, my cat who likes to tease and play the spider before walking off bored is no help. So, unlike our parents who usually take care of the job, we tend to choose the action of â??avoiding the situationâ?. I have a strong morality that makes me feel guilty about killing something as small as an ant. Donâ??t ask why, I just do, and â??avoiding the situationâ? is pretty much trapping the victim and awaiting for some brave soul to handle the task, basically, killing the spider. So when an eight legged creature come my way, a jar, box, or cup goes over the spider and there I wait for that brave soul to come my way. Basically, I can relate to this immensely, there are so many occasions in my life where I have avoided the situation, and now maybe I can limit down the number of times I have to trap them! Vacuuming here I come.

  26. Itâ??s silly how such a small thing can be the fear of something more than ten times bigger than it. My sister and I literally scream at the sight of spiders and, of course, my cat who likes to tease and play the spider before walking off bored is no help. So, unlike our parents who usually take care of the job, we tend to choose the action of â??avoiding the situationâ?. I have a strong morality that makes me feel guilty about killing something as small as an ant. Donâ??t ask why, I just do, and â??avoiding the situationâ? is pretty much trapping the victim and awaiting for some brave soul to handle the task, basically, killing the spider. So when an eight legged creature come my way, a jar, box, or cup goes over the spider and there I wait for that brave soul to come my way. Basically, I can relate to this immensely, there are so many occasions in my life where I have avoided the situation, and now maybe I can limit down the number of times I have to trap them! Vacuuming here I come.

  27. open bathroom window, spider commenced a web inside, I collected web and spider, back in bed got bit. It was noticeable, small wheal, went away. The spider was alive, so I shook her out the window. Sydney does have bad funnelwebs, check your shoes.

  28. If they don’t have food (bugs) they will
    starve, or at least not grow ‘too’ large.
    Also there is a bit of folklore that
    Osage Oranges are repellent to them and other


  29. Thanks Greg, this article really put my mind at ease that spiders do not crawl into your bed and bite, contrary to my former beliefs. Youâ??ve also provided useful information about getting rid of spiders without using harmful pesticides, which I do not like used in my house. I really enjoyed this, keep up the good work!

  30. I thought this article was very interesting. I always knew that spiders are helpful since they eat other, worse pests, like ants and other bugs. However, I didnâ??t know that pesticides donâ??t actually really work on spiders. This article explains how spiders are stronger than most other bugs, and they usually donâ??t bite people. Most spiders are almost harmless to people, and how their population is directly affected by the amount of other bugs, their prey, in their area, which is affected by the weather and climate. I found this article very interesting, because I am very interested in the environment and ecosystem. It was nice to learn about the narratorâ??s experience with spiders, and how spiders affect them.
    -Peter Parker

  31. Spiders are probably my least favorite crawler I find in my house. Not only do they give me a mini heart attack every time I see one, but they are frustrating, since each time I go to get a tissue to kill them, they are gone by the time I return. This blog has given me a little hesitation to kill them. I never put the points together that maybe the reason why I have so many spiders lurking in my bathrooms and basement could be due to the fact that there are lots of bugs they are eating. I will try the advice given to vacuum all the nooks and crannies of my house with an empty bag and see if there are fewer spiders. If it actually works, I will be sharing this blog with many of my friends and family with the same problem. Finally, I will admit, I am one of those people who blame any bite that is abnormally large on a spider. If I had to give a reason as to why I do this, it probably has something to do with the fact that I hate the little critters. They give me the creeps and I guess mosquitoes just donâ??t send off that scary vibe. Next time Iâ??ll think twice before I diagnose myself!

  32. Fully half of the conversations I’ve had with my entomologist friends, and this includes several hours going over one person’s upcoming qualifying exams, are about things that are not insects, but rather, arachnids. Check out Bug Girl’s blog for instance: Spiders everywhere.

    From now on Insects are anything crawly, K? Would that work?

  33. If you vacuum spiders… you should empty that bag outside quick. They’re not stupid, they just crawl back out of the vacuum when you turn it off. So do those smelly lady bug-type beetles.

  34. I keep a few plastic drinking cups around and when I see a spider I try to catch and evict. Do the same for wasps and bees. The only creatures I kill on sight are Eastern Bloodsucking Conenoses. This spring I have a spider invasion. Vacuuming them is the same as killing them, so I catch and release as many as I can get, but those big brown fast movers are damn hard to catch. There hasn’t been any excess of insects in the house this spring, but it was a very mild winter here, and I suspect that is part of the reason, combined with a monsoon summer and fall last year.

  35. I am absolutely, deathly afraid of the black widow and anything that looks like it. Just an hour ago i killed a spider on my desk, of a kind I’d never seen before in my house. I looked it up and it really seemed like a black widow – that’s actually how I found this blog – but upon closer inspection, it wasn’t. Whatever. I don’t know what room I’ll be sleeping in tonight, but it won’t be my own.

  36. i had a black widow on my couch the other day! also i brown spider in my sink.. and now i had two black fuzzy spiders with white dots on there backs! and a white spider in my kitchen! i am deathly afraid of spiders! i dont know what to do!! but i am a lil at ease that they eat insects but i honestly think i can handle killing a insect easier than a spider… what to do ugh

  37. Thank you for this post. I moved to Oregon where it is especially rainy every Spring and I’ve killed 3 spiders in 2 weeks – big ones. Quarter-sized brown spiders. I will definitely take your adivce and do a thorough cleaning – with the extra-long extension on my vaccuum!!

  38. Was sleeping a few days ago, for some reason woke up, big spider standing on pillow next to my face, I scared him off, but he’s there, watching, waiting, maybe next time I won’t be so lucky. Good luck guys, good luck.

  39. Every spring, do what the Amish and the Mennonites do. Give your house a thorough spring cleaning! They empty every drawer, cupboard and closet. Clean every linen, then clean every drawer, cupboard and closet, top to bottom. After you vaccum everywhere (Do this regularly, tho, not just in the spring 😉 ) empty your canister into a plastic bag, tie it up as tightly as you can, and take it directly to the garbage can outside. To keep your canister vacuum running like new take all of the filters out and clean them every month or every two months, depending on how often you vacuum. Mine has about four filters with various parts. I clean them at the sink, then spread them out on newspaper, and let them dry overnight. Put them back in in the morning and my vacuum runs like new again!

  40. I couldn’t understand what the hell you where saying

    get to the point how do you kill the spiders

  41. What’s the point in this article? You’re wasting time with false pretenses, without actually addressing the problem. If you don’t believe in riding your house of spiders, then write an article titled “Why spiders are a good thing” instead of wasting our time with this article. I mean, why would I care about your opinion when I obviously have a small infestation that I’d like to rid myself of. Yes, I could read this article and have my views on spiders changed, but I’d rather get rid of the spiders so my girlfriend and I can go to bed. she won’t sleep because a spider climbed on her. a red one, and it was scary! And your blathering on about how we should all just love spiders doesn’t help convince anybody. Also, I found your tone very judgmental and, quite frankly, I didn’t appreciate it.

    Oh, and one more thing; Your name is silly. You should work in a soup kitchen.

  42. If you want to be rid of them there are 2 things to do.

    Number One. Get rid of them. Do as Greg says and vacuum thoroughly. Then do it all over again. One extra thing to do at this point, have a good look at how your house and its fittings are constructed.

    I had a rented office with pretty standard aluminium framed shop windows and doors. (Our business was a service to children and we live in South Australia where those infamous redback spiders live – a bite from one of these lovelies can be quite dangerous to small children.) Those arrangements provide lots of lovely spaces for various critters to build lovely comfortable homes. And the same thing goes for hollow construction doors, banisters and furniture with hollow legs or frames as well as fences or other things that might be close to your house entry. Check thoroughly for gaps in glazing strip or putty – the tiniest (to us) hole is a huge opportunity for spiders or the things they like to feed on.

    Number Two. Repel them. Get some lemon or orange essential oil. Or get the cheaper aromatic oil. Put a few drops into a litre or so of water, drop in a tea towel or similar cotton fabric then wring it out so there are **no** drips. Cover a broom head with the cloth and wipe it lightly over window and door frames as well as all skirtings and ceiling mouldings. If there are any of those little holes around, I soak a cotton ball in a slightly more concentrated mixture and push on it to force a little of the oil mixture into the crevice.

    Do it now if spiders are bothering you. Then do it again each spring. Thereafter, regular, thorough vacuuming to eliminate insects and food for insects so there’s nothing to attract spiders in the first place.

  43. Try making a solution of ammonia and water and spritzer it around the places you see spiders.Lemon will do the same thing.I have killed over 100 spiders in a matter of a few days.I have even killed a spider crawling on my bed.I don’t know where they are coming from but I have plenty in this house.

  44. I just ran across this blog looking for some information on natural spider repellent. I hate to break it to the writer and to those that agreed with him but spiders most certainly CAN bite you while you sleep. I was bitten by a large Kuklacania Hibernalis back some years ago while I slept. Normally their bite is not deadly but some people react badly to it and unfortunately I am one of those. My left hand was horrible for days and I felt horrible for a few days as well. This was also medically confirmed as a spider bite. When she bit me it woke me up out of a sound sleep as it hurt that badly. Did she go out of her way to bite me? No. All I can think of is I moved as she was crawling by and it startled her and she did what was instinctual for her to do. Males of this species are known for crawling over anything living or not, awake or not, bed, table, night, day – they don’t care! And Ive had that happen as well. Point is spiders CAN bite you as you sleep. It does happen. And also as far as there not being deadly spiders in the states? Ever heard of a Brown Recluse or a Black Widow? Two very bad and poisonous spiders we have here just to name two of the more powerful species that can give you a really nasty bite. Some of you need to get an education..

  45. “Can”, yes, of course. But the vast majority of claims off a spider bite are really a mosquito bite or something like that. As stated in the blog post.

  46. Yellow sac spiders are a very common house spider and they do bite, actually they are quite aggressive night time feeders. I have big itchy red spots to prove it. They arent dangerous, but like a bad mosquito bite.

  47. I have been bit by spiders in my sleep…I have 6 kids, 4 adults in my home,,,so a lot of stuff….It’s an old house with one finished room..I keep vaccuming them up.Whenever I see cobwebs, dust or dirt I clean it.

  48. Sorry to say but i can confirm that part you wrote about spider bites is greatly inaccurate. Long before i conducted the experiment, I my self thought that its just a different mosquito bite.. but i was more than wrong. One bite mark turned into a bump of dead tissue that even itched a full year after the actual bite. And the other one was “closer to the skin surface” luckily, so it did not cause a bump like the 1st one but its still looks like a burn mark of hardened skin. Since it happened in late night hours while i was sleeping, i never saw the “attackers” and was almost sure mosquito was to be held responsible, since where i live they are present almost for a hole year. I started staying up later at night dimming the lights and observing, and came to amazing discovery.. I saw a spider coming out of the part of the wall where it reaches the ceiling, a closet that has being built in wall had a small (less than 1cm) opening that spiders used for there lair. I was puzzled for a minute due to the fact i never saw this type of spider indoors. In parts where i live, most common spider one could find indoors are long thin legged circular bodied spiders. But this one was brown and fat so to say. Considering the fact i never saw anything getting caught in there rather small and thin webs, i started thinking about how did they survive here, not just survive since they really seemed well fed.. and then i came to a interesting find.. Since i already mentioned the high mosquito concentration i am having over the year , i started noticing slight traces of spider web over some mosquito corpses that were still hanging on the wall which gave me the idea about how they could have survived. From that point i caught them red handed feeding on the mosquito carcasses numerous times and usually very late at night. So the conclusion is.. while feeding of dead mosquitoes they came up to my bed many times but bit me only two times, probably when they were on my hand (since its the only part of my body that is never covered and its closest to the walls). Anyway i checked it and double checked it visiting several insect experts and dermatologist who confirmed that it was a with out a doubt a spider bite.

  49. John, I’m sorry you got bit by a spider, but really, the vast majority of “spider bites” are not the bites of spiders.

  50. Guess what you say is true, probably cause the most of the people cant make a difference, since in early stages it does look quite similar to mosquito bite which occurs incomparably more often, so they make false alarms.

  51. Spiders are awesome. I like the big ones best, since you can see how they are put together better. Such pretty pelts and shiny fangs! I am completely unafraid of black widows, as they are incredibly timid and don’t usually live in the same areas I do. I’ve been through crawlspaces literally infested with hundreds of them & their crazy webs everywhere. I just use a stick to carve a passage through the webs, & the ‘widows run away. I’ve never been bitten by one. I do know of a guy who was diabetic and let a brown recluse bite go untreated, and died from it, but in general, American spiders are not very threatening. If I lived in Australia, I might have a different attitude. I only ever kill spiders if I find them in my bed, which is rarely. When I find one that needs relocating, I usually just corral it until it crawls onto my hand, then I toss it outside. Never been bitten that way either. I have a big orb weaver who has set up shop at the peak of my vaulted ceiling, and she can stay there & get fat as far as I care. I do need to dust the cobwebs off my ceiling fan though.
    Usually, I identify spider bites by their pattern of several bites in a line. Chomp, step, step, step, chomp, step,step, step… Any feedback on this diagnosis?

  52. I have a whole tonne of spiders have vacuum for a full 7 hours still next day they are back. Our house is an old stable built in 1620. So I’m guessing they have been around for longer than we have. Great advice! Worried about those people who suggest a new cast of creatures to eat the spider. Have you chaps never heard the children’s song/story.

    There was an Old Lady song

    There was an old lady who swallowed a fly
    I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – perhaps she’ll die!
    There was an old lady who swallowed a spider,
    That wriggled and wiggled and tiggled inside her;
    She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
    I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
    There was an old lady who swallowed a bird;
    How absurd to swallow a bird.
    She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
    She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
    I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
    There was an old lady who swallowed a cat;
    Fancy that to swallow a cat!
    She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
    She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
    She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
    I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
    There was an old lady that swallowed a dog;
    What a hog, to swallow a dog;
    She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
    She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
    She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
    She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
    I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
    There was an old lady who swallowed a cow,
    I don’t know how she swallowed a cow;
    She swallowed the cow to catch the dog,
    She swallowed the dog to catch the cat,
    She swallowed the cat to catch the bird,
    She swallowed the bird to catch the spider,
    She swallowed the spider to catch the fly;
    I don’t know why she swallowed a fly – Perhaps she’ll die!
    There was an old lady who swallowed a horse…
    She’s dead, of course!

    There was an Old Lady song

  53. My Dewey guy said to spray the insecticide on the cobwebs. The spiders eat their own webs to recycle the silk and that will kill them. To get rid of bugs in general, fence off around the house and pull out all the plants and get some chickens. The bugs leave because there’s no plants, the spiders come out looking for more offd and the chickens eat them. Then cook the chickens and be happy.

  54. no one knows how to deal with my spider. my house is super clean, and this damn black 3 – 4 inches spider won’t leave me alone. I can’t sleep. Terminex, hullet…no one can help me.

  55. You say that spiders don’t crawl in your bed but I had a bite on my hand from one. It wasn’t a bad one but it was one and I did wake up with it burning and itching and it did have 2 little fang marks along with it. Not the work of a mosquito…

  56. I moved in a new house about 34 year old in a wooded pretty setting. The tiny (some are not so tiny) spiders and their webs getting me nuts. I was just about calling a pest control person. Looked up internet and found this. Enjoyed the article very much. And I am surely going to try the vacuum thing. Thanks a lot!

  57. Who woulda thunkit? Cleaning your house helps get rid of spiders.

    The summer of 2012 was a very hot dry summer here along Colorado’s Front Range. I was sitting in the kitchen one warm evening and a “Sun Spider” also known as “Wind Spider” came out from under the stove. It started running round the kitchen like a five year old on a sugar high waving it’s pincher in the air. That totally freaked me out. I don’t know if it was the same one, but I saw one just about every night for the next couple of months. I made the ID by going to Colorado State University’s website. Apparently they’re not common on the Front Range. From there I found they’re harmless, but still….

    I live in an older house with a dugout basement. I do seem to get a black widow about every other year. Those also creep me out. A post above mentioned their ‘crazy webs’. Good description. They’re 3-D webs. When you try to catch them, they bounce around in there like crazy. I’ve never been able to kill one since they’re so nimble. I’ve always had to catch them and yes, they had the red hour glass on their tummies.

    I enjoyed this blog. Thank you.

  58. No effin way, my daughter is allergic to all bites, she had a spider get in her bed and bit her feet over 10 times!! She hot blood poison red line up her ankel too and had to be on anti Bs. She couldnt wear shoes or walk for a while.. so yeah, spiders, THEY SUCK big time, I hate them and will kill I I can see..

  59. I awoke in the middle of the night about a month ago to see a shiny (immature) widow spider frantically spinning a messy web in a corner. I wish that I had thrown a pillow at it and chased it down but it quickly disappeared and has bitten me more than once since. I live in clean surroundings but outside there is a creek across the street and many trees and bushes on our property. The first time it bit me it was like a horrible flu with muscle spasms and my head felt as if it was going to leave my body at any moment. We have looked everywhere and under all. Furniture, etc. if I don’t get rid of this widow what are my chances of survival? Can anyone help?

  60. Okay, you’ve made some good points about spiders however, I am deathly afraid of them! After moving from suburban Portland to rural southern Oregon, I have had more spiders in my home these past few months than anytime in my life!!! I have a fear so profound that I am afraid to kill them because I may miss and the spider will eat my face off. I know my fear is quite irrational but that’s what makes it a true phobia. So I searched how to get rid of spiders in my home and came across your article. I have bombed my house and sprayed Home Defense around the entire perimeter and understanding that spiders aren’t actually insects makes sense that I am still outnumbered by them. The majority of them are Wolf Spiders and last night there was one the size of a small mouse! I nearly fainted, no kidding, and had an anxiety attack after removing that beast. It has been warmer here than usual, mid nineties, and could they be coming in to be cooler or just to feast on insects. I live in an older home that would be impossible to seal every nook and cranny. Besides cleaning well is there any other solution to downsize their population? Since just moving here I’m not sure if this is just a good year for them. I would hate to see what a good year would look like if this isn’t it! Thanks for the information and even though I’m still deathly afraid, I feel a tad more comfortable that they are eating other creepy crawlies.

  61. I have long legged spiders and we’re seeing more and more so yeh this method seriously isn’t workin’

  62. Just returned home from work (at 1am) to find a massive black spider on my wall in my kitchen. I’m currently home alone, partner (and resident spider catcher) is away, so I didn’t know what in blazes I should do. I work as crew for an airline, and since we’ve been having a pleasant summer and bug numbers are up, have been bringing home aircraft grade insecticide. I gave the little critter a spray and it went a bit crazy and fell off the wall. Then, I got in bed and was reading this very thread when a similar one ran across my right arm! I am not kidding, it’s just happened and I felt compelled to post this. I live my life in fear of these monsters. I hate them and have no problems in seeing them die before my eyes.

    1. You might need to use the “bottom of a shoe” approach on these critters.

  63. I’ve never been frightened of spiders. Actually have gotten quite the kick out of the fear shown by female acquaintances over the years. I’ve had bites before that I thought nothing of, spider or not. That is until a few years back. While moving some boxes from one part of the house to another while finishing my basement, I awoke one morning to discover a bite on my forearm with a red ring radiating out from the center. I thought at the time it was a spider bite so just soldiered on. A few days later, I started to feel bad. I had just started a new contract so wanted to put going to the doctor off until the following weekend. That was until the 3rd morning when I went to the bathroom to discover I was passing blood. I decided that it might not be good to wait until another 3 days. When I went to the minor emergency room they sort of blew me off. As the doctors turned to leave I said “for the sake of full disclosure, I think I might have been bitten by a spider. Suddenly they had me flat on my back, an IV in each arm and starting cutting into my arm. Turns out I was bitten by a brown recluse. The doctors surmised, based on the time of year, that I had stirred up a nest of young ones, they have extra potent venom. Afterwards, I learned of the annual death toll in Georgia from brown recluse. Even more frightening were the photos of those so bitten who did not seek medical treatment. Doctors said had I waited until the following Saturday, as initially intended, I would possibly have died or at least suffered serious liver/kidney damage. I am still not frightened of them but I do pay attention.

  64. I made a homemade trap using a round piece of cardboard from frozen pizza tray. First I spread honey on the tray, then duct tape around the circumference of the tray, with crumpled up balls of duct tape around the perimeter. This morning I woke up and the honey ran off one side. I suspect that the spider got stuck and moved the honey. What happens when the spider is covered in honey?

  65. About 15 or 20 years ago I saw an ad on TV for something you plug into your house electrical outlets and it emits an electrical frequency that all insects do not like. So I bought one and put it in the dining room which is the most central place in the house.. Since then i maybe see a spider once or twice a year and have not seen any other kinds of insects ever.
    It is model POBD02, Best Offense Products, Orlando, Florida, uses 2 watts and has been cleared by FCC and EPA. I think it cost under $15 at the time. It has a little light which blinks when it is emitting current. I do not think it is harmful or I wouldn’t be approaching 94 soon.

  66. Lynn, then you have a honey covered spider! Yum!

    Mr. Phelps, I’ll bet you won’t find a new one for that price!

  67. Ewwwwwwww there’s a big huge spider that just went in my shoe cupboard and now I can’t see it I’m gonna try and use the vacuum cleaner but first I’m gonna see if my cat is gonna eat it I don’t even wanna sleep I might eat it . Whyyyyyy meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee LOL

  68. Okay guys, what would YOU do in a situation like mine? I haven’t slept tonight, because I’m finding Brown Recluse spider ladies are birthing their young.. I have caught and killed 3 so far… WHAT DO I DO?!

  69. i have found 3 big black house spiders in my room tonight the first shot across from my telly to under the couch and while i was checking behind the couch to see if i could see it i decided to go around the whole room so i looked behind my headboard on my bed and there were another 2 one barley sticking out of a little crack and another just hanging there… i have really bad aracnaphobia so i panicked got the hoover to try suck them up but when i turned it on they ran into the crack (just my luck) is there any way to coax them out if they have not yet spun a web?

  70. All this is quite amusing, but just recently I was bitten by something. I don’t care if it wasn’t a spider or not, I’m pinning this rap on them anyways. They’re taking the rap for every bite or sting I get from now on. So, how do I treat a spider bite?

  71. Spiders are invasive. They host your house!!!!!!! So um, let’s say this: you have arachnophobia. Your kids rooms, (and your room as well) are dirty and messy. You like your rooms messy (so you can find stuff) so your room filth stays filthy. Eventually your spouse is not happy to live in filth forever, so as punishment, she/he makes you clean everyone’s room.

    So you do as your told and clean up. Three days later and your kid comes in your room and complain about a “spider infestation” you laugh it off. And then YOU find the infest in your room.

    What now?

  72. Dear Marv you need to get medical attention for a spider bite. If it’s a bite from a spider pain will multiply in minutes, you will know. Deadly spiders, assuming you live in America, Brown widow, Recluse, and the black widow, the venom will eat your flesh. Be careful my friend

  73. How to get rid of spiders??

    I need ways to get MORE spiders in my house!!

    More spiders=Less Mosquitoes

    I’m so lucky, today found a spider in my house. He stays!

  74. aahhhh I’ve found several dark medium sized spiders in my room and its freaking me out.I have lived in my house for 5 years and all of sudden i have spiders.I just want to know if they are poisonous.I won’t be afraid anymore of these spiders as long as they are not poisonous , but can someone help, identify them ?

  75. Spiders in the house are far preferable to having insects in the house.
    My spiders are even catching and eating geckos and skinks.
    The Redbacks prefer being under the house, which is good because you should see the size of some of them…. I often wonder if the mice ever get bitten by them….

  76. You talk too much and I am lost, I have no idea what are you on about. Gave up reading half way through the article.

  77. Thanks for sharing your views about spiders and on how to get rid of them. I have battled with spiders for almost a year in a new neighbourhood. Every member of my household is dealing with all manner of rashes at any given time and sometimes boils. Initially, I thought it was an environmental impact but from what I see here, spiders bites may not be far from it. Doctors had called it different names and treated it but it kept reccurring. I kill an average of 20 spiders of different sizes every night. I also have tiny ants and gecko. Since these 3 have belong in the same food chain, how then do I get rid of them? Thanks, I appreciate!

    1. Dear Cece I heard about the problem and there is a solution. Start putting food away in safe places less food = less pests. 2, set sticky traps and check the ceiling before bedtime. 3 have a doctor with a profession of skin check you out. 4 Seal up cracks and clean up house less mess = less stuff for spiders and critters to hide under. 5 if steps 1, 2, 4, and 5 have not helped, identify the spider type(s). 6 if you kill so many, get a helper; a dog or cat!!! Good luck bro

  78. Cece, if you have that many spiders, then you obviously have many insects as well. it is far more likely to be the insects that are biting you. Stop killing the spiders.

  79. Thanks for your article on spiders.I have a large bed with all kinds of nick and crannies and areas spiders hide during the day.
    They bite me…yes they bite mosquitoes or ants.just spiders.I love spiders as they are an important part of the food chain.They work hard to keep the bugs eaten in my house.I use to spray peppermint oil mixed in a spray bottle.Then I found out it was possibly a hormone disruptor so I switched to lemon and organic dish detergent.That with vacuuming once a week thoroughly under and around bed and frame works.
    I just wanted to put this out there for those who are actually dealing with spiders biting them in their sleep so they can have someone else to relate to.It is hard to find a blog that addresses the spider biting.Or at least I have not found much.Thanks again.I have bookmarked your page so I can come back to read..PS i have a dog and a cat.Cat doesn’t come in here much.

  80. Ok 1 u act like ur inlove with spiders. and my fiance just woke up with a little white spider bit her on the cheek she killed it and showd me. Small white with a black dot on its back so they bite in sleep. Twice an hour ago

  81. I read your Blog about spiders. Very informative & funny at the same time ….
    I would like to share something with you & anyone
    else who has ever encountered a problem
    I accidentally caused.
    Back in 1997, I lived in a house built in the
    1950’s in a huge housing track, when my
    children were young. We had a 1 car garage.
    In the garage I found a plastic jar with a
    screw on lid. The lid had holes punch into
    it. I think the jar was like a specimen container.
    The little container had a magnifying glass on the bottom?
    Enlarging the bug or whatever you placed inside &
    the holes for it to breathe. Well Smarty Pants Mom,
    found a brown widow & a black widow spider &
    placed both in the container. I kept the container
    in the garage. One night got cold & I didn’t want the
    spiders to die, so I placed the little jar on top on my fridge.
    .. Well .. If you can imagine what happened
    the next morning ?!!!!!
    My then 12 yr old daughter came running &
    screaming into my bedroom the next day..
    Screaming about the Spider Invasion!
    Apparently during the night, their children left the nest.
    When I turned on the kitchen light, I was Stunned!
    Finding Dozens of Spider Webs hanging from the ceiling to both walls in my long horizontal kitchen.
    I was Shocked & my girls screamed at me.
    After 1/2 hour I managed to either kill & wrap the webs up
    Placed inside ziploc bags then tossed out in the
    Garbage cans outside. I didn’t want my experiment to
    Explode like it did.
    Our experience was scary. My children grew up
    Expecting me to Scare them from time to time.
    Just not so dangerous?

  82. I left out something.
    Along with the spider webs were
    Literally thousands of little crawling
    Black & brown spiders !
    Sorry about that ..

    1. Ok, Lizabeth, I’m going to try to remember to not breed black widow spiders in my kitchen! Thanks for the great story.

  83. At least they weren’t Brown Recluse spiders. Then you’d pretty much be forced to fumigate. Or, burn the house down.

  84. Yep. Those were the days.
    Mom accidentally breeding poisonous
    Spiders. We did have a fire at that house,
    A month before we moved out.
    Teenager left unattended candles burning.
    Only one wall in bedroom received damage.
    So far all I’ve had in my new place
    Not big enough for any kids to move back

  85. Thank you ..
    Anytime ..
    We are now waiting for
    Winter to start here.
    Been low to mid 70’s here
    Sunny & what? It is
    Winter, isn’t it?

  86. Ha! Lizabeth.

    I had a big, mottled ‘pet’ orbweb spider that stayed out in an old motorhome where I’d do various electrical experiments. It made a pingpong ball sized egg case toward the back just inside the skinny ‘hallway’.

    I had a tesla coil back there and had failed to notice that the spiders ‘hatched’ and that there was now a solid line of little spiders across the hall. I sat down on the bench, flipped the switches…rotary gap on…charging with DC…POP and wooo; A solid curtain of little spiders on strands descended all at one time across my only exit — It looked exactly like a dropping silk-thread curtain. I then grabbed a rolled-up newspaper and swished across the threads as they fell. Rolling the paper as I walked out, it looked exactly like a Tom Green sausage organ as alternate spiders on still-dropping threads appeared to rise and lower as I turned the paper.

  87. i have ONE spider in my house. unforturenatly i’m medical, slightly arachnaphobic and its the SMARTEST SPIDER I HAVE EVER MET. I LOOK at the thing and it runs! It goes behind my dresser. It likes to spin its evil little webs along the wall where my dresser is. I think had I come home much later today, that it would’ve ended up in my shoe. I need to get rid of this thing NOW. I have lost a couple days of sleep over it. I’ve tried the shoe, it runs. I tried the cup, it runs. I tried spraying my cleaning solution against the wall! I didn’t see it for a week then all of a sudden its back. I’m running out of options. I’m medical and its right by all my medical stuff….IT HAS GOT TO GO but I can’t for the life of me get rid of it! ARRGH

  88. Boo this thread is bogus! Next time don’t deceive people with the title name. This doesn’t tell you how to get rid if spiders for good at all. What a waist of my precious time,

  89. Greg—Just want to say thanks for the grins! A very informative post but it is your sence of humor that captured my attention and encouraged me to read to the end as well as through the comments which turned out to be entertaining as well.I just wish the vacuuming and cleaning had been done in the spring but I have moved back into my house formally occupied by only my husband (now ex) and it is a spider sanctuary! Lots of clutter dirt and dust that haven’t been touched in several years. Lots of brown recluse and the occasional black widow.I am so envious of everyone with their BIG spiders.I don’t mind them in the least.And I am one of those that was bitten in bed at night and pretty sure it was the recluse. Right on my nose. I have had other spider bites (for real) but this one caused swollen lymph nodes, crappy feeling,and left me with a nice little pit on the bridge of my nose.Obviously with true infestation and having to disrupt their nice quiet existence ,the odds go up that you will piss off the wrong spider occasionally. And I still have a ways to go.

  90. I actually rilled over onto a brown recluse about a month ago the bite is still healing. And i also had the spider. It was in my bed. I have found 5 more since then. 3 by my bed

  91. A vacuum cleaner will kill Spiders and other insects. Years ago my aunt was vacuuming cobwebs in her garage. In the cobwebs, corners and ceiling there were hundreds of big black spiders. And outside she sucked many daddy long legs up. My aunt and I decided that we open the full dust bag, to see what happened. All spiders were killed inside, most of them lost there legs and the abdomen were damaged or broken. Also some grasshoppers and wasps, which she sucked up were killed in there.

  92. For the person who has a problem with moths in their kitchen cabinets and in flour and other similar foods:
    Buy some Bay Leaves in the spice section at grocery store and spread them around the shelves inside the cabinets. You won’t have any moths. They do not like the bay leaves.

  93. I disagree with the statement about spiders do not crawl into your bed and bite you. It’s not true. Spiders do crawl into your bed and bite. Because one bit me in my bed at night! A brown recluse spider bit me in my bed on the back of my leg under the cover and I felt it! It felt like a bee sting! I quickly got up and turned on a light on my phone and killed the spider. We put it in a ziplock bag and took it to the hospital with us. This was 10 days ago and I have been treating my leg with DoTerra essential oils and a raw potato. I have a small hole in my leg and I’m praying it doesn’t get worse. We have killed 11 spiders since I got bit. Does that mean we have an infestation? We keep our home very clean and clean out windows and underneath beds and closets. I don’t know why we have so many spiders? Please help!

  94. Funny blog! Even funnier comments! lol I noticed a slight attitude in some people around 2013… Anyway back to the creepy crawlies. I wanted to ask the question, is it true that daddy long legs are the “deadliest” to humans but cannot bite due to their tiny size?? Kudos to you keeping up with your blog after so many years! You are a rare breed indeed. ?(^o^)?

  95. Ok, I absolutely hate Spiders! BUG GUY JUST SPRAYED THIS HOUSE AND i have seen more than I can kill! I cannot sleep! Aaaaaaaggggghhhhhhh!

    When I was a child they over run the house I lived in. I remember waking up with them crawling across my bed! Woke up with one crawling into my mouth! Yes I hate them! There must be a way to kill them all!

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