Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Spiders? The Truth Revealed




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Have you ever spotted a spider scurrying across your floor and reached for the nearest bottle of rubbing alcohol? It’s a common household item often rumored to be an effective weapon against these eight-legged visitors.

In this post, we’ll explore whether rubbing alcohol really sends spiders packing or if it’s just an old wives’ tale. Keep reading to uncover the truth about this DIY pest control method!

Key Takeaways

  • Rubbing alcohol can kill spiders by disrupting their cell membranes and drying them out, and it also repels them due to its strong smell.
  • However, using rubbing alcohol for spider control has risks such as potential harm to pets, plants, and the risk of fire hazards. It’s crucial to follow safety precautions when using rubbing alcohol.
  • Alternatives to rubbing alcohol for controlling spiders include vinegar solutions, commercial spider repellents, and natural deterrents like essential oils or planting eucalyptus or citrus trees. These alternatives offer safer and more reliable methods for keeping spiders at bay.

Understanding Rubbing Alcohol’s Effects on Spiders

A spider crawling on a surface sprayed with rubbing alcohol in a well-lit indoor setting.

Rubbing alcohol is known for its effectiveness in killing spiders on contact by disrupting their cell membranes and drying them out. It also acts as a repellent, causing spiders to avoid areas where it has been sprayed.

Efficacy of rubbing alcohol as a spider killer

Rubbing alcohol can be bad for spiders. If they get it inside them, it can hurt them. It also makes it hard for spiders to spin their webs right. They might have fewer lines or smaller parts in their web if they touch rubbing alcohol.

If you spray rubbing alcohol on spiders, it might stop them from breathing well and make them very sick. But remember that using rubbing alcohol could also harm other things around your house like plants or pets.

Now let’s talk about how this substance can keep spiders away from places where we don’t want them.

How rubbing alcohol repels spiders

Spiders don’t like the strong smell of rubbing alcohol, which makes it a good choice for keeping them away. When you spray rubbing alcohol around places where spiders hang out, they want to leave.

It’s because the alcohol feels harsh and smells bad to them. You can use this trick on window sills or other spots in your home where you often see spiders. This keeps the area spider-free without harming them, so they just find another place to go.

Rubbing alcohol works fast and is easy to use, making it a handy tool in your fight against unwanted eight-legged visitors.

Methods for Using Rubbing Alcohol Against Spiders

A person spraying rubbing alcohol around their home for disinfection.

– Direct contact killing method: Apply rubbing alcohol directly onto spiders to kill them on sight.

– Rubbing alcohol as a repellent spray: Mix rubbing alcohol with water and use it as a spray to repel spiders from entering your home.

Direct contact killing method

Rubbing alcohol can take out spiders fast. You spray it right on the spider to kill it. This works well because rubbing alcohol dries the spider out and that’s bad for them. Make sure to hit the spider with enough alcohol so it gets wet all over.

Be careful when you use rubbing alcohol this way. It must touch the spider to work. If you miss, the spider might run away. Also, don’t spray near flames or hot things since rubbing alcohol can catch fire easily.

Always use it in a safe place and keep it away from kids and pets.

Rubbing alcohol as a repellent spray

Use rubbing alcohol as a spider repellent spray by applying it on windowsills and entryways. This helps keep spiders away from these areas. Additionally, you can scatter perfumed soap chips around to discourage spiders from entering your home.

These methods are effective in deterring spiders without harming them.

To repel spiders using rubbing alcohol, simply spray it on windowsills and other potential entry points. Spiders find the smell unpleasant and avoid those areas. You can also use scented soap chips to enhance the repellent effect of rubbing alcohol for better results in keeping spiders at bay around your home.

Precautions when using rubbing alcohol around the home

When using rubbing alcohol around the home, especially for pest control:

  1. Store rubbing alcohol in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and sources of heat to prevent evaporation and fire hazards.
  2. Always read and follow the safety instructions on the rubbing alcohol label to avoid misuse or accidental ingestion.
  3. Keep rubbing alcohol out of reach of children and pets to prevent accidental exposure or poisoning.
  4. Use rubbing alcohol in well – ventilated areas to minimize indoor air pollution and reduce inhalation risks.
  5. Avoid mixing rubbing alcohol with other cleaning agents or chemicals as it can produce harmful fumes or reactions.
  6. Dispose of empty rubbing alcohol containers properly according to local regulations to prevent environmental pollution.
  7. If using spraying methods, ensure that there are no open flames, sparks, or pilot lights nearby to avoid fire hazards.

Alternatives to Rubbing Alcohol for Spider Control

If rubbing alcohol is not your preferred method for spider control, there are other alternatives you can consider. From vinegar solutions to commercial spider repellents and natural deterrents, there are various options available for keeping spiders at bay.

Vinegar solutions

White vinegar contains acetic acid, which is harmful to spiders, making it an effective solution for repelling them. Diluted white vinegar can be safely used to repel spiders from your home.

The acetic acid in vinegar is volatile to spiders, making it a great solution to get rid of them without using harmful chemicals or pesticides. It’s not just a repellent but also an effective insecticide against spiders when applied directly.

Vinegar can be used as both a spider killer and repellent, although it may not work effectively against spider eggs and has an unpleasant odor. However, if you’re looking for a natural and safe way to get rid of spiders at home without using rubbing alcohol or other chemical solutions, diluted white vinegar is worth considering.

Commercial spider repellents

While natural remedies like vinegar solutions have their place, sometimes they may not be effective alone. In such cases, commercial spider repellents can offer a more potent solution for spider control.

Many of these products are designed to effectively repel spiders while being safe for use around humans and pets. It’s important to note that the effectiveness and safety of these repellents can vary, so it’s crucial to carefully read and follow the usage instructions on the product labels.

When considering commercial spider repellents, it’s essential to weigh their efficacy against potential harm to humans and the environment.

Natural deterrents

When considering natural deterrents for spider control, it’s important to explore options beyond commercial products. One effective method is using the scent of essential oils like peppermint, tea tree, or lavender, as spiders are repelled by these strong fragrances.

These can be diluted with water and sprayed around entry points and common areas where spiders may enter the home. Additionally, planting eucalyptus or citrus trees near windows and doors can act as a natural deterrent due to their strong scents that spiders dislike.

Using these natural methods not only helps in controlling spider infestations but also contributes to a safer environment without the use of chemical repellents.


In conclusion, while rubbing alcohol may temporarily kill spiders and repel them, it is not a foolproof method. It can be hazardous and ineffective in the long term. There are safer and more reliable alternatives for controlling spiders, including vinegar solutions and commercial repellents.

When dealing with spider infestations, it’s best to explore multiple options to find the most effective solution for your specific situation.

Discover more interesting facts about our eight-legged friends and their dietary choices by exploring whether spiders eat bees.


1. Can I use rubbing alcohol to get rid of spiders?

Yes, spraying isopropyl alcohol can kill spiders on contact. It works like bug repellent but be careful when using it.

2. Will rubbing alcohol also kill spider mites and other bugs?

Rubbing alcohol can also kill spider mites, aphids, and mosquitoes, just like insecticides do.

3. Is it safe to use rubbing alcohol as an insect repellent around my home?

Using rubbing alcohol as a bug repellent or air freshener is possible but don’t use too much because it could harm sensitive plants and might be poisonous if not used right.

4. Are there natural ways to keep spiders away besides using products with alcohol?

Natural predators like bats help control spiders without needing things like mosquito repellent or hand sanitizer.

5. Should I worry about the dangers of using rubbing alcohol around my house for disinfecting or killing insects?

Use caution because applying too much rubbing alcohol on your skin or breathing in strong fumes from disinfecting can lead to problems like pollution in your home or even alcohol poisoning.

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