Spiders play an important role in pest control. Most spiders find their way inside accidentally and make their nests indoors, where they feed on insects. The initial reaction to seeing a spider inside is usually to kill it; however, spiders aren’t much of a threat to us. However, if you find your home overrun, learning how to use diatomaceous earth for spiders is a safe and natural way to prevent a spider infestation.
Diatomaceous earth powder is a simple yet brilliant form of organic pest control. Diatomaceous earth is unlikely to negatively affect pets or children if they accidentally come in contact with it, unlike other forms of pest control.
If you have spiders indoors, there are likely bugs they are feeding on. Using diatomaceous earth effectively kills spiders and other pests like bed bugs, spider mites, ants, and fleas. Continue reading for tips to spread diatomaceous earth for ants and spiders inside the house.
- Spider Control With Diatomaceous Earth
- How to Keep Spiders Away From Your House
Spider Control With Diatomaceous Earth
Diatomaceous earth (DE) comes from the bodies of fossilized sea creatures known as diatoms. When applied in problem areas, this powder works when insects crawl through it. Although it is effective as pest control, does diatomaceous earth kill spiders?
Are Spiders Dangerous?
Spiders are natural predators of common garden bugs that act as vectors for deadly plant diseases. Despite the compulsion to kill every spider you see, most arachnids are beneficial. If you find spiders in your garden, crawling along your plants, or making nests on tomato cages, they are in the area because there is a food source.
Outside of common spiders, there are a few that raise concern when spotted indoors or elsewhere.
Wolf spiders are not deadly to humans, but it is possible to experience mild swelling and itching as an allergic reaction to this spider’s bite.
One of two venomous spiders in the United States, brown recluse spiders don’t kill humans with a bite. However, the brown recluse bite is painful and requires medical attention. The effects fade after about three weeks.
Black widow spiders are not the world’s most deadly arachnids, though their bites are dangerous. A bite from these spiders contains poison that causes discomfort, although it is rarely fatal with proper treatment.
How Diatomaceous Earth Works
Crawling insects pass through diatomaceous earth powder or ingest it when it sticks to their bodies. Food grade diatomaceous earth, which resembles talc, has small sharp edges that cut the bodies of soft-bodied pests.
Spiders lose body fluids and oils from these cuts, causing them to dry out and slowly die. The sharp edges of the powder are also fatal to the spider if ingested.
Applying Diatomaceous Earth to Kill Spiders Outside
Because diatomaceous earth works through direct contact with insect pests, for spider control with diatomaceous earth to work, spiders must walk across the powder. For diatomaceous earth to kill spiders, the spot you sprinkle the powder on has to remain dry.
Check the weather and plan for at least two days of dry weather before you spread DE outside near plants. Inspect the diatomaceous earth every few days to determine if reapplication is necessary.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth for Spiders Indoors
It’s essential to know how they get inside to use DE to kill and repel spiders. Like most critters, spiders are small and can enter through the tiniest cracks and gaps in the foundation. Open doors and windows also provide easy access points for spiders.
Target entry points by applying a thin layer of DE on windowsills, at the base of door frames, and near cracks in the foundation of your home’s perimeter. When you try to repel pests with DE and kill others, avoid creating a thick layer of DE, as this may deter spiders from walking through it.
After a week, use a vacuum or broom to clean the powder from the floor and reapply if spiders are still an issue.
Making a Spider Trap with DE
For a more proactive method of getting rid of spiders, use diatomaceous earth with a water source to draw spiders. Some spiders prefer to nest in damp and quiet places like basements and crawl spaces.
To trap spiders, fill a small dish or bottle cap with water and place it near a baseboard in your home. Sprinkle a layer of DE around the bottle cap and check the trap after a few days to find any dead spiders.
The Effect of Diatomaceous Earth on Beneficial Insects
Diatomaceous earth is a popular choice for pest control because it poses little risk to humans; however, it is not a harmless insecticide. When using DE for spiders in the garden, you risk affecting beneficial insects that contact the powder.
Like other forms of pest control, there is no way to limit the effectiveness of diatomaceous earth against other insects. When applying DE in your garden or on plants, helpful insects like ladybugs, butterflies, and predator wasps are at risk.
However, using DE in the garden to reduce the number of bugs is a form of bird control if birds are damaging your fruit trees.
How to Use Diatomaceous Earth Safely
Unlike other forms of pest control, diatomaceous earth is not poisonous, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t handle and apply it with care. Direct contact with DE may irritate human skin, so wear protective gear when using diatomaceous earth to kill spiders.
A powder duster is an easy way to avoid skin contact with diatomaceous earth. It allows you to apply DE to high spaces where spiders hide, like air vents. A powder duster makes using DE simple for wasp control when spraying the entrance to ground nests.
Aside from skin irritation, people with sensitive skin may experience extreme dryness after handling DE with bare hands. Wear a breathing mask when applying the powder to avoid irritation to the nasal passages that can lead to shortness of breath.
Select food-grade DE for pest control. This type of purified diatomaceous earth is safe to use, even on surfaces where you prepare food.
How to Keep Spiders Away From Your House
In addition to using diatomaceous earth to get rid of spiders, many remedies exist to keep the spider population under control. Vinegar is a common item that contains acetic acid, a compound that harms spiders.
Fill a spray bottle evenly with water and white vinegar to create a spray to kill spider eggs and deliver a powerful aroma that spiders hate. Make your own spray for spider mites the same way. It also works for many other types of unwelcome insects.
To create a trap that spiders cannot escape, combine water and corn syrup to make a glue board. Leave the board in the basement or near windows to trap incoming spiders. Because this trap is not instantly fatal, it does leave spiders stuck until they perish.
Warm water and corn syrup until they form a thick paste. Cut or tear cardboard into rectangular pieces and carefully pour the corn syrup over the board. Place the board near walls and corners in your house where you often find spiders. Check the traps often and dispose of them as they fill with dead spiders.
Diatomaceous earth is an effective approach to killing spiders. The biggest downside of using diatomaceous earth to kill spiders is that poor placement and rainy weather reduce its effectiveness.
Despite this, using diatomaceous earth for pest control is a safer alternative than chemical options that are unsafe around pets. If you have a spider problem, purchase diatomaceous earth and allow the spider problem to resolve itself with minimal effort.
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