The Stuff of Nightmares: How to Keep Spiders Away While Sleeping

So picture this: you get home from a long day at work. Your boss rode you like a cowboy mounting a bronco at the rodeo during your entire shift and the only thing that kept you going was the thought of your room, your bed and your Egyptian cotton bed sheets.

So you arrive at your room, take a quick shower and slip into bed. And just when you’re about to enter a state of comfort-induced nirvana, you’re brought back to earth by a tingly sensation on your leg. You ignore it at first but then it starts making its way up to your knee and then, your thigh. Alarmed, you throw off your sheets and suddenly, you see the culprit — a huge, furry spider!

Spider - (n) Eight legged creature of nope nope and nope with large fangs.

Spider [ˈspʌɪdə] noun, informal
Eight legged creature of nope nope and nope with large fangs.

How would you react if you find yourself in that situation? Jump off the bed, we presume and try not to scream? While it’s definitely the stuff that nightmares are often made of, the cruel reality is unfortunately, this happens to a lot of people.

Worse, it can happen to you!

Your room is supposed to be your sanctum; a place of refuge from the daily hustle and grind of daily life. Having a furry eight-legged spider on your bed actually runs counter to that. Let’s face it, would you be able to sleep soundly knowing a spider is lurking somewhere in your room and could possibly make its way to your bed while you’re sleeping? I don’t know about you but I know I won’t.

For that reason, let us first take a look at what attracts these unwanted visitors to your abode, before finding out why you should be scared of some of these creatures and what you can actually do to keep them off of your bed and give yourself a peaceful, arachnid-free night’s rest.

Table of Contents

Don’t want to read through our whole guide? You can use our table of content to jump to the part most relevant to you!

  1. What Causes Spiders to Appear in Your House?
  2. What are the Most Common Types of House Spiders?
  3. How to Keep Spiders Away While You Are Sleeping
  4. Some More Simple Tips to Keep Spiders Out of Your Bed

What Causes Spiders to Appear in Your House?

Spiders are generally harmless. In fact, they do their part in controlling the insect population of your home. In spite of that benefit, these creatures are still considered by many to be creepy and hair-raising, mainly thanks to how Hollywood has portrayed them over the years.

Here’s a not-so-fun fact:

According to Alan Manavitz, MD, clinical psychiatrist at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, one of the most common phobias is arachnophobia, a debilitating fear of spiders.

To help keep these eight-legged creatures away, you will need to remove some of the most usual causes for these intruders to pick your abode as their next residence. Being aware of what causes spiders to suddenly appear in your house can go a long way in finding out the best way to discourage them from hanging out and keeping you on edge at all times.

There are several reasons a spider might make himself at home in your house. Here’s some:

Your House Has a Lot of Good Places to Hide

If your house has ideal places for spiders to spin their webs along with ample insects to munch on, why should they pass up on such an ideal setting? If you were a spider, would you? Heck no!

The point we’re trying to make is this: spiders like dark, dry places with little or no traffic. So it’s in your best interest to discourage spider inhabitation by removing the best places for them to be. Keep boxes that are in closets off of the ground and away from walls, and make sure any boxes are secured tight so that spiders can’t get inside them to play house. Eradicate disorderly areas that gather dust and offer nooks and crannies for spiders to make their webs and lay in wait for unwary insects to get caught in their webs.

A Spider’s Favorite Food: Insects

The sooner you know this, the better it is for you: a spider’s main food source is insects. If you have insects in your home, we’re willing to bet that it has spiders in it that are already helping themselves to a hearty feast.

And so, lights around windows and door openings draw bugs, and if you don’t have screens on open windows or doors, insects can just come and go as they please. Unfilled cracks along baseboards or around other openings can let insects into the house. All of these unchecked elements will draw spiders inside the home to eat the insects. Keeping insects from entering, or using a pesticide to eliminate the insect population will diminish the chances of your house becoming the next spider city.

You’re the Reason They’re Around

If your house is suddenly infested with spiders and you have no reason why, you don’t have to look very far for the culprit because chances are it’s you! You might not be aware, but if you have transferred plants in from outside, or brought in firewood or other outdoor objects into the house, then it is judicious to suspect that the creatures caught a one-way ticket straight to your home. Storage boxes brought in from a storage facility or a garage are also popular rides for spiders looking for their next abode.

You’re a Mess

A messy, unruly and cluttered house is an open invitation for spiders to just come on down! Consistent sweeping, dusting and vacuuming will eliminate any existing webs and even eggs for future generations. Keep your house unkempt and it just might be the next breeding ground for spiders.

Most Common Types Of House Spiders

Spiders may have a bad rep but thankfully, the most common types of house spiders are harmless to humans.

BUT THERE ARE EXCEPTIONS.

And we present these to you not to scare you silly but just to — let’s say, jolt you enough to never want spiders on your bed or in your room, EVER! Plus, the information you read here just might save your life (or at least, keep your room from getting unsightly cobwebs).

American House Spider

1. American House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)

  • Color: Brown, tan, or greyish with darker brown patterns
  • Size: small to medium (about the size of a nickel including the legs
  • Features: rounded abdomen

The American House Spider is a comb-footed spider, a common type known for its webs. They’re part of a group known as cobweb spiders, usually building the webs in places like basements, closets, and crawl spaces.

They’re usually harmless but these spiders make some messy webs.

Long-Bodied Cellar Spider

2. Long-Bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

  • Color: light brownish-tan, beige, or grey
  • Size: small, round body
  • Features: long, skinny legs

At times called daddy longlegs, the long-bodied cellar spider is not the same thing as a daddy longlegs. The Burke Museum asserts that while the daddy longlegs are also arachnids, they’re actually harvestmen, “ground-dwelling outdoor creatures,” with only one body section and two eyes. Spiders have two body sections and usually eight eyes.

The long-bodied cellar spider builds webs, usually in basements, cellars, crawl spaces, garages, and other dark and dry areas.

Good for you, the cellar spider is not venomous.

Brown Recluse

3. Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)

  • Color: brown or greyish
  • Size: oval body, about 1/3” long
  • Features: 3 pairs of eyes plus dark, violin-shaped marking on body

The brown recluse is part of the brown spider family. The Department of Entomology at Penn State says the brown recluse is situated in 15 states and can be found all over the United States in environments that range from the high humidity of Florida to the desert regions of Arizona and the colder temperatures of the Midwest. You can find them in basements, attics, crawl spaces, between walls, in furniture, and gasp, even in clothing. They often make their way inside houses through boxes and bags.

Please take note: the brown recluse’s venom has a cytotoxin that can impact the tissue at the bite site. Medical treatment is absolutely needed, as dangerous reactions from the venom can ensue. These may include but are not restricted to chills, fever, rash, pain, and nausea. Children are even more sensitive to spider bites than healthy adults and may even suffer life-threatening reactions, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center.

Sac Spiders

4. Sac Spiders (Families Clubionidae, Miturgidae, and Corinnidae)

  • Color: light-colored, yellow, beige
  • Size: oval body, about 1/2” long
  • Features: 2 rows of 8 small eyes

It’s not unusual to find these spiders near the ceiling or high along the wall. The sac spider is active year-round, often during nighttime.

Harmless to most, sac spider bites can swell and be slightly soreness at the site. Anyone with spider bite allergies or sensitivities may suffer a reaction that could possibly need immediate treatment.

Jumping Spiders

5. Jumping Spiders (Family Salticidae)

  • Color: brown, black, tan, grey, beige
  • Size: compact, almost an inch long
  • Features: dense hairs, front legs that are longer than the others

Jumping spiders like to hunt for prey during daytime. You may find them on the inside of a window, screen door, along a wall, or any surface exposed to daylight. As their name indicates, they jump very quickly.

The jumping spider’s bite is identical to a bee sting, but is often harmless. Children or anyone allergic to spider bites may experience a reaction, which can differ from person to person.

Wolf Spiders

6. Wolf Spiders (Family Lycosidae)

  • Color: brown, black, tan, greyish-beige
  • Size: large, bodies longer than an inch
  • Features: elongated body with hairy-looking legs

Wolf spiders are bigger than other common household spiders. They may penetrate your home through foundation cracks, windows, or come in through an attached garage. Wolf spiders devour insects and some even make good pets.

Wolf spiders are harmless to humans, and can sometimes be mistaken for the brown recluse.

Hobo Spider

7. Hobo Spider / Funnelweaver (Tegenaria agrestis)

  • Color: brown, tan
  • Size: oblong body about 1/2” long
  • Features: solid color with no markings

The hobo spider is an aggressive spider that makes funnel-like webs. They’re also known as funnelweavers and is often mistaken for brown recluse and wolf spiders because of their brownish hue. You may discover them in dark areas of the basement or hiding under the fireplace wood pile.

Funnelweavers or hobo spiders are not dangerous, but some may experience irritation at the site of a bite.

Even though most common house spiders don’t really pose any danger to humans, you certainly do not want them inside your home, much less on your bed. There are plenty of ways to get rid of spiders and we tackle those things next.

How To Keep Spiders Away While You Are Sleeping

Clean Your Entire House!

clean your bedroom to prevent spiders
If spiders are near your bed, then chances are you have an infestation in your house. Begin with your bedroom and conduct an exhaustive cleaning of your house. Leave no stone unturned and so, you should check underneath your bed, vacuum the floors, and just clean every little nook and cranny in your home.

If you see any spiders, spider webs, or eggs, place them in a sealed garbage bag, and place this in the trash outside and away from your home!

Get a Bed With Legs or Make Use of Bed Risers

Aside from keeping spiders out of your home, it is equally significant to distance yourself from those little intruders in any way possible. Don’t give spiders anything to climb onto, to keep them from making their way onto your bed.

If your bed set has the option to attach legs to it, go right on ahead and do this. This should add an additional 6-7 inches from the ground. Another option would be to use Bed risers It is crucial to note that we do not recommend using any sort of bed leg covering, as this gives the spiders something to adhere to.

Untangle That Mess You Call a Bedroom

Spiders especially love hiding in small nooks and crannies because they tend to be nocturnal, which basically means they are active at night, hunting for food and tend to rest during the day. When the sun comes up, they quickly make their way back to your clutter and the mess you so often call a bedroom.

Start by picking things up off the floor, disposing of any old magazines or newspapers; the general idea is to make your room so tidy and orderly that there is nowhere for a spider to hide. This will inevitably drive them out of your bedroom.

Never Eat In Bed

As wonderful and romantic as the thought of having breakfast in bed is, you are virtually welcoming spiders to it. This is because no matter how hard you try to not drop any food residue, you are still going to leave crumbs and other food remains on your bed, and this is basically an invitation for insects to feast on your bed. And where there are insects, (say it with me now) spiders are sure to be not too far behind!

We recommend never eating in your room at all if possible, although we recognize this might be difficult for some people who suffer from particular circumstances, if you really must have to eat in your room, ensure you are as neat and tidy as possible, and always clean up after yourself to prevent insects from appearing in your bedroom.

Turn Off Lights

turn off the light to prevent spiders
Although lights do not directly attract spiders, they do draw different kinds of nocturnal insects. Spiders love to feed on these creatures, and in many cases, they end up in your house after entering through small openings in the exterior of your home.

These openings can seem innocent – torn screens, cracked sealants, an open window, but they do result in spiders entering your home while looking for prey. By turning off your lights after the sun goes down you can help prevent this from happening.

Some More Simple Tips to Keep Spiders Out of Your Bed

Stay Off the Wall – Pushing your bed away from the wall can help keep spiders away from your bed by keeping them from crawling up the corner of a wall and ending up in your bed. You might also consider a purchasing an insect repellent.

Make Use of Essential Oils – Spiders and a lot of other insects are not too fond of essential oils. Try spraying a mixture of water and lemon, lavender, orange, or the best choice 100% peppermint oil in the area around your bed to keep spiders away.

Wash your sheets regularly – You need to do it once every week. Dead skin cells, food crumbs, moisture from sweat and wet towels, dirt and grime from dirty clothes are only a few of the things that can gather on a bed. And with this uncomely collection of debris, you’re bound to have pests like small roaches crawling all over the place. Not long after that, spiders will be there to hunt those insects. You can also try using essential oils when washing your sheets to keep the spiders away… With the added benefit of having sheets that smell amazing!

If All These Don’t Work, Call An Exterminator – If you are at the end of your rope and still find that spiders are in your bedroom, it is high time to call in the professionals. A professional exterminator will be able to eradicate the infestation and rid your bedroom of the spider infestation. It’s going to cost you a pretty penny but that’s the price to pay if all else fails!

So there you go! These simple tricks are easy enough to do but they actually do take time and effort. Learning how to keep spiders out of your bed will take maintenance and commitment. If you practice these tips on a consistent basis, you won’t have to worry about having a spider for a bed companion, which means a sound and peaceful rest.

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