Our Water Our World: Controlling Spiders Around Your Home

Learn how to control spiders with these tips from the City of Goleta Environmental Services Division.

Only A Few Spiders Are Dangerous!
Spiders are helpful creatures, and very few of them bite! Because they eat large quantities of insects, you should probably tolerate them around home and garden if you can. There are more than 3,000 species of spiders in the U.S., but few are dangerous or even have mouthparts strong enough to pierce human skin. If you think you have a spider bite, it’s more likely a bite from a flea, tick, mosquito, or mite—or a skin condition.

What Can I Do?
Harmless or not, the presence of spiders or their webs in the house is upsetting to many people. Unfortunately, spider webs are often associated with poor housekeeping, under the mistaken assumption that a “clean” house harbors no insects or spiders at all. On the contrary, spiders can be an asset to the conscientious housekeeper since they capture and consume many pest insects before the human residents ever see the pests.

Keeping Spiders Away From Your Home

Inside Your Home
If you’re not comfortable having a few spiders indoors to assist with pest management, it’s better to move them outside rather than killing them.

  • Catch the spiders you find in a container, cover with a piece of paper, and release outside.
  • Get rid of messy spider webs by periodically vacuuming with a crevice tool. If some spiders escape, know that they’ll continue to eat bugs in your house.
  • Reduce spiders’ food supply. What are those spiders eating? If they’re going after fruit flies, try storing ripening fruit in paper bags that are folded over twice and sealed with a large clip.
  • Keep spiders out of the house. Caulk cracks and crevices. Install doorsweeps under doors and screens on windows.

Outside Your Home
Don’t spray your garden or around the outside of your house to kill spiders. Sprays generally don’t last long and will not affect spiders unless there’s direct contact. Outdoors, spiders provide a very useful pest control service. Leave them to do their job!

  • Use a cobweb brush to remove spiders and webs from the side of your house and under eaves. You’ll find these brushes at hardware stores and garden centers. Look for brushes that have telescoping handles and soft, microfiber bristles.
  • Consider replacing your porch light with a yellow bulb. The yellow light will attract fewer insects, so the spiders that feast on them will also stay away from your door.

Find more information on controlling spiders with eco-friendly products in our OWOW brochures in English and Spanish

The City of Goleta along with the Cities of Buellton, Carpinteria, Solvang, Santa Barbara, Santa Maria and the County of Santa Barbara have partnered with the OWOW organization to promote the use of less-toxic products in an effort to reduce pesticide pollution in our communities. By reducing pesticide use and the use of less-toxic products around the home, you can help reduce pesticides and other pollutants such as herbicides and fertilizers from being picked up while watering or when it rains and transported to the nearest storm drain inlet and into our waterways. The OWOW website is user-friendly and a great resource for finding less-toxic products to use around your home or garden.