I don't mind insects but having a spider crawl over my hand while I'm trying to sleep is just ridiculous. I lived in a shared house which is a bit old. I noticed insects including large spiders and silver fish. Are there any lifehacks to get rid of them? I've heard of keeping a cracked chestnut in each room to repel spiders. I once tried the sticky traps but found they didn't work well as the bugs could feel the material and know not to walk over it. We do try to keep the place clean but the bathroom has quite a few silverfish.

  • It's hopeless: "...one study estimated that global average spider density stands at about 131 spiders per square meter. Some habitats, like deserts and tundra, are home to fewer spiders. On the other hand, spider densities of 1,000 or more individuals per square meter have been observed under certain “favorable” conditions" Sep 17, 2017 at 20:07

6 Answers 6


Spiders are not insects. They are beneficial so don't kill them. If their prey is not present they won't be either, so spiders will take care of themselves.

I spray the baseboards once a year or so, and renew the spray at the doorway and pantry after the floor is mopped. I use bait huts in the pantry and window sills.

Since silverfish eat books and clothes, sweeping and washing won't take care of it. You need to have a professional treat the house to get rid of the infestation.

  • You can say they're beneficial all you want, but when one of these babies crawls across my bed, it's time to purge the house.
    – Sterno
    Oct 13, 2015 at 13:02
  • 2
    If you've got wolf spiders indoors, they are a visible symptom not the main problem. They come in after prey items. If you just scare off spiders you'll be stuck with what the spiders were hunting.
    – JDługosz
    Oct 13, 2015 at 13:21

Try closing your windows after sunset. Most bugs are attracted to light, so they will enter en-mass when its brighter in your room than outside. Even if you only shut out certain types of insect this should help break the 'ecosystem' in your home and drive the rest out eventually too.


Told by a pest control guy that you should make sure that shrubs and bushes are cut back from the house at least a foot. And make sure that the foundation sticks up above the ground at least 6 inches. Of course you need to make sure all your windows and doors have good seals.


I can tell you that the chestnut thing absolutely does not work - I watched a spider clambering over one in the doorway last year. Its difficult to keep them out in old houses, they get in through small cracks everywhere, but it might be worth trying a spider repellent spray, something like No More Spiders, which you can buy over the internet. They're based on peppermint, so you could make your own by using peppermint oil mixed up in a sprayer with a bit of warm water. You spray around doorways and windows to discourage them, but best not used on fabrics like carpets. Trouble is, with old walls, their points of entry may not be restricted to doorways and windows...

As for the silverfish, they're a problem associated usually with damp areas, unfortunately.


One way I've taken care of spiders (and others that like a home in my home) is to remove their homes the first time you notice it. Clear webs as soon as you see them. Kill any spider you see. Use the spray others recommended. Keep food out of the room so their prey doesn't come around. They'll figure out it's not a good place for them. Maybe they'll stay in your housemates' rooms.

My wife runs a bookstore. They sometimes pack sage with the books to repel silverfish. Burning it around the area works too though they don't do that in the store.


I answered in a similar question, Diatomaceous Earth might help. For bathroom silverfish it is safe enough and cheap enough to regularly sprinkle around drains after use and in places where moisture collects. To deter or kill crawling insects, it can also be sprinkled along window sills, exterior staircases or defects in the foundation.

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