Do Hedge Apples Really Keep Spiders Out of Your House?

Updated: May 17, 2023

We'll take a look at a popular natural spider repellent and see if it really works. Plus, we'll cover how spiders enter your house in the first place.

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. It can also make your skin crawl to watch one scurry across the bedroom floor and hide under a dresser before you can get it.

If there’s one spider, that means there are likely plenty more. That’s not such a bad thing, since spiders kill other pests in your home. But that doesn’t necessarily mean you want them anywhere near you. So what can you use as a natural spider repellent?

hedge applesDMITRY TILT/Shutterstock

Do Hedge Apples Repel Spiders?

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

To test out hedge apples as a spider repellent, be sure to place them where pets and family members can’t get at them. Start with the dark corners of your unfinished basement, in the attic or your backyard shed.

However, research from Iowa State University suggests hedge apples are much better at keeping out German cockroaches, mosquitoes and houseflies than spiders. According to the study, “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.

How Do Spiders Get Into Your Home?

Spiders can enter your house a few ways. They fit through cracks in your walls or foundation, tears in screens or any other small openings. Sometimes, they’ll hitch a ride in on toys or other items that were outside.

How to Keep Spiders Out of Your House

Check any items thoroughly before bringing them inside, especially firewood or old boxes you may plan to sort through. Then, take the time to examine those small openings mentioned above. Repair any torn screens, seal up gaps around pipes or vents (as long as it’s safe to), and be diligent about closing doors and windows.