Many times, I find small red spiders on the ceiling in my bedroom (usually on the corners) and I always have to use a tissue to kill it and put it in the toilet. However sometimes I miss and it climes onto my tissue, which scares me and I drop it onto the ground where I lose it.

Is there a way I can kill a small spider without the chance of it escaping?

Forgot to mention, I can't use bug spray because I don't want the gas to be in my room.

  • 3
    Why don't you just knock it into a glass & put it out the window? What's the need to kill the poor thing?
    – Tetsujin
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 15:15
  • @Tetsujin the spider is on the corner. And if I blow it, it doesn't move much. A glass won't capture it, especially it being so small.
    – Bradman175
    Commented May 8, 2016 at 23:06
  • Burn the house down XD. (Does stack exchange even accept nonsensical and joke comments?)
    – Bradman175
    Commented May 9, 2016 at 13:19
  • 4
    Spiders are great house pets. They kill less-desirable things around the house. Learn to like those little red spiders and let them roam around. They are not interested in you. When you've seen a spider's web with at least 100 dead ants around it. You'll learn to respect them! Commented May 10, 2016 at 11:28
  • 1
    @user3791372: Spiders scare the living daylights out of me. I have my mom to thank for that. Our current house is a spider paradise, unfortunately. But we have two cats who used to live in the wild and have no issue feasting on bugs and the like. But similar to you, I've learned to respect my cat since it has yielded at least 100 dead spiders ;)
    – Flater
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 8:15

11 Answers 11


Make a ball of adhesive tape on a one side of chopstick (or something else you want) but inside out, and strike the spider with it. Then do what you want with glued spider

  • Hilarious answer.
    – Fennekin
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 14:50

All you need is a glass or cup and a piece of paper. Trap the spider in the glass against the wall, then slide the paper between the wall and the lip of the glass, fully covering the mouth of the glass. Place your hand over the paper to keep the glass sealed, then dispose of the spider in whichever way you wish. Down the toilet, out the door, you choose!


(This has not been tested on spiders that can jump)

Get PineOCleen multi purpose spray or some other strong liquid spray cleaning product and spray onto the spider. This will "immobilise" the spider for a bit, so you can place a tissue to kill the spider and won't be afraid that the spider can run away, because it can't.

Also this will help prevent spider blood from staining the walls. You don't have to use the tissue so hard.


Shoot it with a rubber band.

Finding a rubber band

Rubber bands can be found near a postal drop box. These boxes are for the postal service to store mail so the delivery person does not need an automobile. Mail is typically bound with rubber bands, and delivery people tend to discard the bands on the ground.

Shooting a rubber band

Hold one hand as though you were pointing at something with your index finger. Hold a rubber band in the other. Prop the rubber band on the index finger of the hand that is pointing. Pull back on the rubber band. Letting go of the rubber band should send it flying in the general direction that you are pointing.

Approaching the beast

It is probable that a spider that is not moving will not move unless it is bothered. Your approach should be soft enough to not cause any sudden vibrations, slow enough to not cause much wind, and from a direction that will not cast a shadow on the spider.

Actually killing the thing

Arm the rubber band and approach your target. Each step closer increases your killing chance, but also that you disturb your prey. Steady now.

If you shoot a rubber band at a spider from the distance of a foot, you will probably be successful.

  • Spiders play dead, so you can't be sure that you were successful with this method. If they see you approaching because you're not skilled in the art of the ninja, they may just humour you. Commented May 10, 2016 at 11:32
  1. Use a piece of paper, and let the spider roam onto the paper.
  2. Slowly move the spider towards the windo
  3. Feign surprise when the spider crawls back in the window or an air vent looking for some hot juicy bugs
  4. To skip 3, move the paper to a place where there are likely to be more bugs and marvel at the might of the house spider (when was the last time you built your house from materials you made with your body, used it to trap food in ways which put make Mac Culkin to shame and repaired it as needed)

They're probably clover mites. They are usually found outdoors, eating plants. They also hang out in grass. New edit I re-read this and realized I didn't really answer your question. These little buggers are pretty resistant to most pesticides (pesticides are bad anyway), but you get them off plants by spraying with dishwashing liquid mixed with water, or hot sauce and water, or essential oils and water. Someone mentioned spraying them with alcohol, so you could go with that. It sounds like you have a lot of them, so you'd have to spray a lot. Also, you can prevent them from getting in your house by caulking, sealing, etc.


As you're arachnophobic like me, I suggest you that the vacuum cleaner is perfect method, with no risks of the bug escaping. Along with the shock due to the inertia + things in the cleaner, would kill them. Vacuums are smaller and more powerful these days!You'll feel like a Ghostbuster !!!

  • That answer has already been given.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Sep 26, 2017 at 7:45
  • +1 I use this method too, because of the aforementioned arachnophobia. I like the idea that there's at least 1 meter between me and my 8-legged friend. Although I find it hard to believe they can't survive a trip down into vacuum cleaner... Maybe we should re-post this question to the biology forum...
    – Ideogram
    Commented Sep 27, 2017 at 5:49

Rubbing alcohol in a spray bottle works and the alcohol evaporates quickly.

Edit: Sorry, just realized this had a question!

Bug spray would probably leave some residual poison, rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol is pretty safe, meant for use on skin. 91% alcohol works better than 70-something.

Outside or in the garage I have used automotive brake cleaner spray on black widows, wasps, etc. Works fast! If you intend to collect the spider as a specimen be aware that the brake cleaner may remove the coloration of the "hourglass" marking on a black widow. Also might damage a little paint on your house. Big spiders can take several sprays of alcohol before they kick the bucket!

  • What evaporates?
    – Fennekin
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 14:51
  • Welcome to Lifehacks! This is a really good idea! Can you expand on it more though?
    – Mooseman
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 15:37

Suck the monster up with a vacuum cleaner. (Don't store the machine close to your bed afterwards, because the spider will surely crawl out at night to attack you!)

  • I'm too lazy to bring the whole machine upstairs to my bedroom XD.
    – Bradman175
    Commented May 10, 2016 at 7:50
  • "The revenge of the vacuum monster" sounds like a 1950's B Movie! Commented May 10, 2016 at 11:30
  • 1
    I think we seriously need a lifehack for exterminating anonymous downvoters. The vacuum cleaner does exactly what the OP asked for!
    – Zaaikort
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 19:28
  • Well using a vacuum cleaner is an obvious answer. But I want to use something that's more convenient. This is not a life hack, as a life hack is an alternative and better solution to anything normal.
    – Bradman175
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 23:17

enter image description hereIf you're too lazy to drag the vacuum cleaner to the bedroom, spend a few euros on a tin sucker, aka desoldering pump. A small and simple device. Useful for targets up to a few millimeters. It is more-or-less animal friendly: there is a good chance that the poor bug gets caught alive.

  • I hate these. Tried using them to suck up solder and they don't work at all. I'll have a high chance missing the spider and it falling down.
    – Bradman175
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 12:31
  • 1
    You call that a hack?
    – Fennekin
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 14:51
  • @Bradman175 I have used a similar device many times to suck up soldering tin quite succesfully. Even used it for several small insects. Maybe the one you have is low quality? Anyway, it'll only work whith the nozzle almost touching the target.
    – Zaaikort
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 18:49
  • spider crawls out of nozzle
    – Bradman175
    Commented Nov 11, 2016 at 23:19

If you're more concerned with killing it than getting rid of it then use some compressed air or a gaseous deodorant can and turn it upside down before spraying. This makes the can spray an extremely cold residue that can easily kill a spider. I've done it before and the only issue is that you need to get rid of it afterwards. Something like compressed air would be perfect since there's no noticeable gas given off except for regular air.

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