I live in an apartment in a first floor, and in the last few days we noticed two spiders through the hallway. The problem is that these spiders are of a really poisonous kind called Araña de rincón (Chilean recluse spider), that is native to Chile, and common in other places in South America too.

I know there are a lot of bug-spray brands out there that claim to get rid of these spiders (well, any kind of spider, for that matters), like RAID Max or alike, but as we live with kids I don't want to spray the whole apartment as these sprays are poison after all... So, I'm looking for a good advice on how to prevent these spiders to come into our apartment, preferably using stuff that is not hazardous, and that is easy to implement ourselves in a Lifehack-DIY way.

I have thought of placing some glued paper next to the windows and doors - do you think that could work? Let's see if someone here can let us know his/her experience using this technique, or with any other method they have found out.

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    "I live in an apartment in a first floor" this means different things in different countries. Can you clarify by explaining if you have to go up a flight of stairs to reach your apartment? I guess it's probably not relevant to the answers, but since you mentioned it, I asked.. :-) Feb 3, 2015 at 7:58
  • @Duncan - sure, no problem. I don't have to go neither upstairs nor downstairs to reach my apartment. It's actually relevant to the answers, because the apartment is at the same ground level where the trees and bushes grow, hence you might think of it as having a highest possibility of having bugs coming into the apartment than the apartments in other floors. Thanks for pointing that out :)
    – jimm-cl
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:35
  • @vladiz - that question is mainly focused on flying bugs, as per the OP: "The particular bugs that are bugging me are mosquitoes, moths, bees and other flying types."
    – jimm-cl
    Feb 3, 2015 at 17:37
  • OK Jim, you are right
    – vladiz
    Feb 3, 2015 at 18:44
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    Sticky fly paper, or glued paper, as you suggest, would be a useful experiment - if you catch them on it, then you'd know how they were getting in. Just for interest's sake, your apartment is what we in the UK would describe as ground floor - first floor means one flight of stairs up. And conkers don't work - I've seen a spider clambering over them to get into my own apartment
    – Bamboo
    Feb 5, 2015 at 17:30

7 Answers 7


To discourage or kill anything with an exoskeleton that would predictably walk across a horizontal surface, I would recommend trying Diatomaceous Earth. I've never used it on spiders, but it appears that others have and may have solutions for permanently affixing it on horizontal surfaces, etc.

  • Thanks for your answer - apparently, there's enough evidence in the internet that this will actually work against spiders (or any other similar insects). I'm trying to find evidence that it's safe to use in-doors, specially with children and pets around the house. Seems like it is, according to this page, but it's from a DE vendor, so I rather search for external sources. Here's a video of a little experiment in YouTube.
    – jimm-cl
    Feb 9, 2015 at 6:48
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    @jim I think it is also added to cattle feed to kill stomach parasites, so I think it is very safe in terms of an ingestion, but I would try to minimize the risk of accidental eye contact. Cats seem to have a higher aversion than curiosity for dusts, but kids and dogs may need a first supervised interaction with it.
    – user1312
    Feb 14, 2015 at 14:19
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    @jim Diatomaceous earth is very safe as long as you purchase the right kind. The page and vendor you refer to only sells food grade DE which is exactly what you would want to buy. The only time it is dangerous is if it has added chemicals or is super heated to a point where it becomes crystalline silica. As long as you get the right kind it will be harmless to use around the house, albeit quite messy. Probably best to try it outside on areas where bugs might enter first then try inside later. Feb 24, 2015 at 20:51

If you're animal lover, adopt a monkey and they'll hunt them for you.

If it's not good idea, the pesticides we use to control other insects can kill spiders.

Source: What are spiders afraid of? at kidzone

Because they are small, spiders have many enemies. Larger animals, such as birds, toads, lizards and monkeys, hunt them.

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    Thanks for your answer - we have 3 cats, and sometimes they catch other kind of bugs, like cockroaches. I'm pretty sure they might have captured and killed some spiders before, but I have never seen them doing so. And with the latest spider, one of the cats was next to me, waiting for me to kill the spider, like he knew it was poisonous or something :p
    – jimm-cl
    Feb 3, 2015 at 17:41

I used to have spiders coming into my home, admittedly they were not poisonous as they were mere house spiders, however I am sure this technique will work for you as it did for me!

If you happen to have some old conkers lying around or somewhere you can go and pick some up, place a pile of them in front of any cracks or corners that you think spiders might be coming in from and it will deter them from entering.
I used to get about 5 a day running across my carpets but since I've placed these small conker piles in corners and other places I haven't seen one since! I was a little skeptical at first as I am sure that you will probably be but it really did work and there is plenty of supporting information around the web that you can go and have a look at!
You may need to replace them for fresh conkers occasionally but that shouldn't be too much of a problem.

One thing I just read is that apparently spiders do not like the smell of citrus so you can rub / squeeze some lemon around any entry points and this should keep them at bay.

  • Thanks for your answer - I searched for conkers in the Wikipedia, and found this excerpt: "Though the seeds are said to repel spiders there is little evidence to support these claims. The presence of saponin may repel insects but it is not clear whether this is effective on spiders.". Sadly, the article cited there (a scientific paper from the Royal Society of Chemistry) is no longer available... I think I will give it a shot - I only have some spiders to lose, right? Thanks again!
    – jimm-cl
    Feb 3, 2015 at 12:45
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    "I only have some spiders to lose, right?" Well... I would say you have some children to risk to poisonous spiders, but perhaps that's just a timid UK perspective. Feb 3, 2015 at 13:10
  • Was trying to make a pun, but obviously I missed it :p - as you may have already noticed, english is not my native language. I will try the conkers for sure, and let you know how it goes :)
    – jimm-cl
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:33
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    @jim Asked on Skeptics. Not answered as of now, though there's a comment suggesting that it's been confirmed (not for the species of spiders that's relevant to you though). Feb 4, 2015 at 11:37
  • @Gilles - thanks! The video shared by Oddthinking is really good, and according to georgechalhoub's comment (Primary school children sent the evidence and have been honoured by the Royal Society of Chemistry for disproving the theory that spiders are afraid of conkers), we could say that conkers do not work to deter spiders.
    – jimm-cl
    Feb 4, 2015 at 12:50

Placing lavender in a small cups or bowls near doors, windows etc. should solve your problem. I am not sure about spiders, but lavender is known to repel all kinds of insects, plus it is natural, and smells really nice.

  • I found some articles (like this one) in where lavender is tested (in its oil form) on spiders - they claim a reaction, but I'm still not sure as several oils seems to affect spiders (like bergamot oil, for example). However, making some oil from a plant is different than just putting some of it in a glass of water, as the concentration in the water varies a lot. It DOES smell really nice, though =)
    – jimm-cl
    Feb 9, 2015 at 7:21
  • Well I have always used dry lavender, mostly because in my country because of the climate it is really hard to find fresh one, but dry is even better for this purpose, because it is more intensive Feb 9, 2015 at 10:01

Boric acid is a naturally occurring substance, to which spiders are allergic.


it is cheap and relatively harmless.

simply grab a container of powdered boric acid, and sprinkle the powder around the edges of your apt and under the door stoop... basically create a 'barrier wall' around the apt.

this also stops roaches and most other small insects.... and it lasts a long time.


Some cats enjoy hunting spiders and maybe eating them. If you can find such a cat it may solve your problem, although of course you are adopting a pet for life and it may lose interest after it reaches about age 7.


I live in a basement and have had quite a few spiders. I started using peppermint oil in my humidifier and keeping my used coffee grounds in my room and I haven't seen a single one since, over a month.

Apparently they hate the smell of peppermint, eucalyptus, citrus and coffee.

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