What Fragrance Do Spiders Hate? A Guide For Arachnaphobics

Spiders play an important role in the balance of our planet’s ecosystem by controlling the population of bugs that might otherwise destroy important plant life. Unfortunately, many people see spiders as nothing but pests that make a mess of their homes with their sticky webs, not to mention the fact that they also have a genuine fear of them.

Wouldn’t it be great if there was a fragrance that stopped spiders from creating their homes in ours? It is claimed by many that there is. So, what fragrance do spiders hate?

A house spider ready to hate a fragrance

Spiders are thought to dislike fragrances such as lemon and vinegar. You probably don’t want your home smelling of the latter so try rubbing lemon peel or lemon oil where spiders frequently spin their webs. If they disappear, you’ll know lemon is a scent that spiders hate!

As a word of warning, if you choose to use undiluted essential oils of any fragrance to scare off spiders, please be aware that in this form they may be toxic to household pets, particularly cats. Make sure it is well out of their reach.

Fragrances Spiders Hate

1. Lemon

It’s the citric and ascorbic acid in lemons that spiders dislike as opposed to the lemon scent itself. Any citrus fruit will have the same effect so try lemon, orange or grapefruit peel to keep these eight-legged creepie-crawlies at bay. Rub it anywhere you think they may squeeze into your house and anywhere they create their homes. If the spiders hate it enough, they should stay away. In any event, your home will benefit from the clean smell of this scent.

Do spiders hate lemon fragrance?

2. Mint

Another fragrance spiders seem to have an aversion to is mint. No one really knows why but they do seem to steer clear of it. One possible reason might be the fact that it is an overpowering fragrance, particularly if you use peppermint essential oil as a deterrent. Whatever the outcome, your home will smell extremely fresh.

3. Lavender

Another pungent aroma that seems to be disliked by our little arachnid friends is lavender. Try adding little sprigs here, there and everywhere. If it fails to do the trick, at least your home will smell lovely. One side effect is you may find yourself feeling very relaxed and even sleepy.

4. Cedar

Another trick that many swear by is burning cedar incense. Apparently it’s a smell that soon has spiders packing their bags. Of course, there is no harm in trying any of your favorite incense fragrances. At least if they have no effect, you will enjoy the scent.

Spiders may hate the fragrance of cedar incense

5. Conkers (chestnuts)

There has long been a belief that spiders dislike the smell of conkers. Apparently hanging them around the areas of your home that spiders frequent will drive them away. Many now refute this claim and I can find no hard evidence of it working. If you can collect some conkers for free there seems no harm in testing out this theory.

Do Spiders Actually Have Noses?

Spiders don’t have noses like ours but they do have a sense of smell. When people refer to spiders as having eight hairy legs they really do have and it’s the hairs on their legs that detect scents.

As spiders crawl over objects they interpret if they are edible or not. They also know if it’s a fragrance they dislike and move away from it.

What this really tells us is that an airborne scent in a room is not going to deter spiders. To use scent to keep spiders away you would literally have to coat every surface a spider is likely to crawl across. This seems like a nigh-on impossible task.

Other Spider Deterrents

Apart from trying the fragrance methods mentioned earlier, there are other means of keeping your home as spider-free as possible:

1. Fill up every little gap that you can

If you block any obvious spider entrances into your home, you are halfway to winning the battle against spider invasions. Obviously you can’t block certain entry points such as air vents and keyholes but by removing the majority of their ways in, you will decrease your spider population.

2. Declutter and clean

Spiders like to hide and weave webs amongst clutter, so the less you have the fewer spiders you’ll have too. If you constantly vacuum away their webs they will not stay in that area for long. Of course, they may just pick another part of your house that you can’t reach so easily!

3. Get a cat

Cats are good spider deterrents

Getting a cat may seem quite a drastic measure for some people but they do love to chase spiders! They are ideal for frightening away those big hairy ones that run across the carpet straight towards you. The downside is, a cat may eat spiders, not that this will cause any harm to it but it is sad to destroy spiders!

Diatomaceous Earth and why I dislike it

Diatomaceous Earth consists of crushed fossils of freshwater organisms and marine life. It is labeled non-toxic and is harmless to people and pets. However, rather than deterring spiders it actually kills them. For this reason, I would not recommend it. After all, spiders have as much right to walk the Earth as we do.


Spiders may or may not hate certain fragrances and may be dissuaded from making your home their home by them. You can discover if this is true of any particular scent by trial and error.

Bear in mind the essential role spiders play on our planet and try to be tolerant of them. Most are harmless to people. Avoid killing them and use natural deterrents if you don’t want them to share your living space.

Jane Pettitt

Hi, I'm Jane. I've had a passion for perfume since the age of 18. Purelyfragrance.com answers popular fragrance-related questions and contains guides to all sorts of perfumes, colognes, and fragrances for men and women. I write at home surrounded by cats (we have 4 at the moment) and also blog about these and other pets on petskb.com.

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