Does This Simple Hack Keep Spiders Out of Your House?

A simple hack to keep spiders out of your house

High Angle View Of Spider In Bathroom SinkVia Getty Images/ Joachim Gast / EyeEm

The last thing you want to see when you turn on the light in the bathroom late at night is a spider in the middle of the floor. Also, it can make your skin crawl to watch one scurry across the bedroom floor and hide under a dresser before you can get to it.

If there’s one spider, that means there are likely plenty more. That’s not such a bad thing as spiders kill other pests in your home, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want them anywhere near you.

There is an easy solution to repel spiders in areas of the home where you don’t want them, and that solution is: hedge apples. The natural chemicals in this funky-looking fruit of the Osage orange tree are believed to deter spiders and other pests.

hedge applesDMITRY TILT/Shutterstock

When using hedge apples as a spider repellent, just make sure they are placed in areas where pets and family members can’t get at them.

Simply place a few hedge apples in areas where you want to repel spiders such as in the dark corners of your unfinished basement, in the attic or in your backyard shed.

Though, research from Iowa State University suggests it isn’t spiders this wives’ tale works on. German cockroaches, mosquitoes, and houseflies to be specific.  The study states, “sliced hedge apples placed in enclosed, small spaces did repel insects. However, there is still no evidence that putting whole fruit around the house or in the basement will have any effect on insect pests.”

While the jury is out on the effectiveness of hedge apples against spiders specifically, we’ll try anything to make our home less creepy-crawly. For the future, it’s better to learn how to keep spiders out in the first place.

Rachel Brougham
Rachel Brougham lived through a major home renovation in 2019, knows the ups and downs of home improvement, and loves sharing tips with readers. A veteran journalist of both print and television, she’s won several awards for her writing and has covered everything from the environment and education to health care, politics and food. She’s written for several publications beyond newspapers including Bob Vila, Taste of Home and Minnesota Parent, and she currently writes a weekly syndicated newspaper column. Her memoir, Widowland, about the sudden loss of her husband, was published in 2022. She specializes in everything from home decor and design to lawn and garden, product reviews and pet care. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her tending to her garden (both vegetables and native plants), playing with her dog, watching sports with her family or getting some exercise. A native of Michigan, she currently lives in Minneapolis. An avid user of Instagram, you can follow her @RachBrougham.