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Top 5 Best Spider Repellents (**2020 Review**)

If Charlotte's Web touched your heart and you don't want to kill spiders, but don't want them in the house with you either, you've come to the right place!

In this Pest Strategies product review you can expect to learn:

  • If ultrasonic repellers work or not with spiders
  • Using essential oils as repellents for spiders
  • Natural & DIY repellents found in nature
  • And man-made repellents that mimic them
best spider repellents

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated as of 8/16/2019)

  • Easy to use
  • Works good
  • Safe for children
  • Lasts for up to eight hours

Of all the spider repellents we researched and reviewed, our top pick goes to OFF!

Why?

Its got a proven track record since 1946, with an active ingredient, DEET, that was developed and approved by the U.S. Army.

It keeps bugs and spiders away from you for up to eight hours and won't come off just because you get a little sweaty during the day.

In addition to repellents, we really like traps as well for spider problems in your house. Namely the the Bell Labs glue trap. Just place a few in dark/damp areas around your home and you should start catching a bunch of spiders. 

Click here for more information about spider traps.

If you want to actually kill the spiders around your house, we recommend the Talstar P insecticide. Grab a pump sprayer and apply the spray in common spider harborage areas.  Keep it away from areas where pets and children's frequent.

Click here for more information about spider sprays.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Spider Problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

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Top 5 Best Spider Repellents

Are you short on time?  Or just want a quick answer?

Take a gander at our summary list of spider repellents below.   Then keep on reading to learn all the nitty-gritty of each one.

  1. Off Deep Woods Insect Repellent (seriously keeps the insects away from you!) 
  2. Stay Away Spiders Repellent Scent Pouches (non-toxic and eco-friendly)
  3. Essentria IC3 (safe and effective around schools)
  4. Talstar P Professional (to kill spiders)
  5. Bell Howell Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

​Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellers Work on Spiders?

That's a definite maybe.

Honestly, it depends on who you ask.  If you ask the manufacturers, naturally they'll say yes. Unfortunately, all the available scientific research we could find says no.

Anecdotal evidence from people who've used them says, maybe.  Some claim it worked perfectly while others hate them so much they use them for target practice. Again, a definite maybe.

Think about it.  Why would someone pay $65-$90 every quarter for the bug man to come to spray their house for bugs if they could spend a few bucks, one time​ , on an electronic gizmo to take their place? They wouldn't.

But in the interest of fairness, we'll review one of the more popular models for you and let you decide for yourself.

best spider repellent did you know

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Spider Problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

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Which Spider Repellents Actually Work?

There are several repellents that work to repel and/or kill spiders and other insects.  Some of them are applied to our skin, while others are used around windows, doors, baseboards, and traditional “crack and crevice” applications.

We'll look at them individually.

Sprays and Essential Oil Spider Repellents

There are sprays and oils that can be applied to the skin to protect us from encroaching insects.  Some are man-made while others are natural oils and extracts from plants, grasses, flowers, and trees. 

Neem is an example of a repellent pesticide made the seeds of the neem tree. In India, the neem tree is called “the village pharmacy” because it has a wide number of medicinal uses in addition to its ability to repel insects.

Read more: Click here to learn more about Neem Oil.

Essential oils have long been known, and used, to repel a wide variety of insects, including spiders.  

In much of the Third World, they are still the only repellent available to keep homes, businesses, churches, public buildings, and other structures free of bugs. After Neem, Lemon, Cedar, and Citronella are some of the most popular and effective oils.

​Read more: Click here to learn more about Citronella Oil.

Chemical Spider Repellents

DEET is a man-made chemical developed in 1946 by the U.S. Army to protect soldiers from mosquitoes carrying malaria.  

From there it spread to the commercial world of spray-on insect repellents. The interesting thing about DEET is, no one knows how it actually works.

Research has shown it doesn't repel insects so much as confuse them.  The odor masks the chemicals our bodies naturally release, which draw insects to us.

With those chemicals masked, or hidden, the insects are unable to find us. Treating your house with DEET wouldn't keep spiders out because they're foraging for food when they come in, rather than looking for you.

​Read more: Click here to learn more about DEET.

One of the main alternatives to DEET is Picaridin.  Picaridin is the active ingredient in a large number of spray-on insect repellents, products which so many sportsmen have grown to know and love.

Insecticides in the pyrethroid family are man-made versions of a naturally occurring group of chemicals called pyrethrins, which are found in chrysanthemum flowers

Pyrethroids have a natural ability to repel insects.  If insects, including spiders, persist in spite of that, the pyrethroids will kill the insects if they approach and come in contact with them.

Want To Just Skip All This Research And Hire A Decent Exterminator For Your Spider Problem?

Click here to check out our exterminator search tool where we instantly send you free quotes from trusted (and thoroughly vetted) exterminators in your local area.

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Are There Any Spider Repelling Plants?

Uh . . . kinda sorta.  Perhaps, “Yes, but” would be a better way of saying it.

“Hedge apple” trees, native to Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, are prized for their wood by the native American Indian tribes in the vicinity.  Their green, grapefruit-sized “fruit” is inedible but legends abound concerning its ability to repel insects, particularly spiders.

In small, enclosed area, slices of hedge apples do repel some insects – at least until the fruit dries out.  But in larger areas, or around the outside of buildings, their insect repelling odor dissipates so quickly and easily it doesn't have a chance of doing anything.

In small, confined spaces, slices of fresh fruit laid out every 6-10 inches would form an effective barrier.  It would probably need to be replaced at least once a day to maintain its effectiveness.

​The video below will give you tips on how to spider-proof your home.​

​Spider Repellents We Reviewed

As a recap, here are the 5 spider repellents we looked.  Our #1 pick goes to OFF Deep Woods! However, the Stay Away Spiders Repellent Scent Pouches finishes a close second​ simply because it's a good choice for those who want to protect more than just their own body.

Some of these are insecticides that you should be careful handling.  They're not intended to harm people, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

  • Easy to use
  • Works good
  • Safe for children
  • Lasts for up to eight hours

This is a well-known product for keeping bugs away from you personally. The active ingredient is 25% DEET and it will normally provide you with around eight hours of protection.  

​The repellent is not waterproof but normal perspiration doesn't seem to affect its efficacy.  Heavy perspiration during a workout would probably wash a lot of it away though.

You'll definitely need to reapply it after swimming, showering, or bathing.  All of these activities will wash it away, so you'll have to respray yourself after you're dry again in order to maintain maximum effectiveness.

OFF! has an excellent track record of providing high level protection, especially against biting and stinging insects.  However, due to its mode of action, it has essentially zero effectiveness at repelling insects and spiders from houses or vehicles.

​Obviously, it's pretty simple to use. You just spray it on yourself.  Hold the can 6-8 inches away and spray lightly over your legs, torso, and body.

You can spray under your chin and around the back of your neck, but avoid spraying it in your ears, eyes, nose, and mouth.

Pros

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    ​Easy to use
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    ​Works good
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    ​Safe for children
  • ​Lasts for up to eight hours

Cons

  • ​Washes off if you get wet
  • Does not repel insects from your house
  • ​Fast acting
  • ​Non-toxic
  • ​No-mess and easy to use

​This option is an ideal solution if you want to secure a fortified perimeter free from eight legged freaks. These pouches are made of all natural ingredients - citronella, lemongrass, and rosemary essential oils.

​If you hate sprays, powders, and topical solutions, these scent pouches are the perfect alternative. All you need to do is remove the plastic wrap and hang each pouch in various sections of your home. Scent of each pouch is expected to last within 60 days or so.

Pros

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    ​Easy to use
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    ​No-mess
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    ​Fast acting
  • ​Eco-friendly

Cons

  • ​Scent could be too strong for others
  • ​8 hour protection
  • ​Professional grade insecticide
  • ​Contains all natural essential oils

The active ingredients in this product are a combination of Geraniol, Peppermint Oil, and Rosemary Oil.  There are also some mineral oils and wintergreen oils along with a couple of other inert ingredients to hold it all together.  

In compliance with FIFRA (the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act), products such as this are exempted from having to be registered with the EPA, because it uses only natural oils.

This is a dual-purpose insecticide that first tries to repel the target insects before killing them.  The concentrate is mixed with water (read the label for mixing instructions) then applied with a sprayer around windows, doors, eaves, baseboards, crown molding, and traditional “crack and crevice” areas.

Because it's all natural, this product has one big advantage when being used around schools. 

In accordance with the principles of IPM (Integrated Pest Management) protocols, it can be used in and around public schools without the necessity of posting advance notices, clearing students out of the treatment area, or closing off the treatment area for hours after treating it.

The flip side of the coin is that each treatment only lasts for about eight hours.  Furthermore, 32 ounces of concentrate yields only eight gallons of finished, ready-to-use product.  But it does take effect very quickly.

Pros

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    ​All natural
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    ​Works quickly
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    ​Repels before it kills
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    ​Good for IPM use in schools

Cons

  • ​Only lasts for 8 hours
  • Low yield from concentrate
  • ​Broad spectrum insecticide
  • ​Can be used both indoors and outdoors
  • ​Pet safe

The active ingredient in Talstar is Bifenthrin, a member of the pyrethroid family. ​

Chrysanthemum flowers, native to Asia and northeast Europe contain pyrethrins, which Bifenthrin mimics.  We use Talstar, and its many variants, to “push” spiders around as well as kill them.

It's especially useful around the outside of buildings, around the doors and windows, and particularly under the eaves where spiders like to build their webs.  

Knock down all the webs before spraying, then treat the whole area liberally.  It will kill the existing spiders then linger for up to ninety days, repelling spiders and killing the ones too dumb to take a hint.

Any pyrethroid-containing insecticide such as Suspend, Bifen I/T, Demon WP (wettable powder), Viper, or any one of dozens of others all fall into this same category, with roughly the same effects, although their speed of effectiveness and application amounts will vary.

It kills more than it repels but has a strong residual impact.  It's very easy to use. Just mix and spray​. Just wash your hands if you get some on you.

Pros

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    ​Easy to use
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    ​Works quickly
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    ​Long residual impact

Cons

  • ​Kills more than it repels
  • ​Fast and effective
  • ​Helps repel other pests such as mice and cockroaches

This device has a plug on the back of each unit so it plugs directly into the sockets on the wall.  It comes with an LED indicator light (that is a bit too glaring) to let you know it's working.  

It emits an ultrasonic sound at 20 kHz and up.  Each device can cover a small to mid-sized room, although anything above a 10x10 room should probably have two of them.

Although it seems to have some effect on rats and mice at first, they quickly grow accustomed to it, even to the point of sheltering directly beneath it when they're frightened by some movement in the room. After the first few weeks, it's just another obstacle to maneuver over or around to them.

Against general insects and spiders, there doesn't appear to be any effect at all.  Granted, there aren't any dangerous chemicals (one of their selling points), but what difference does it make if it doesn't do what it claims it will?

These also display an alarming tendency to spontaneously combust – i.e., they overheat and catch on fire.  This is evidence of sloppy construction or poor design or both.

Pros

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    ​They're small
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    ​Easy to install

Cons

  • ​Small area of effect
  • ​Effect soon wears off
  • ​Doesn't seem to affect insects
  • Some of them spontaneously combust

Our Top Pick: ​​OFF Deep Woods Insect Repellent

There are a lot of different ways on the market to repel spiders - some are good and some aren't.

A number of methods worked equally well at killing spiders as well as repelling them.

Overall, our pick goes to Deep Woods OFF!

It's withstood the test of time, proving itself over and over again for over 70 years!

It does what it claims, each time, every time. You can't ask for more.

A surprisingly close second is the Stay Away Spiders Repellent Scent Pouches because this one repels not only spiders but a lot of other insects as well.  It's more expensive than OFF! because it requires you to purchase a lot of pouches to cover your house, but once they're in place, they do the job.

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