How to Trap and Release a Spider Without Killing It

By Horizon Pest Control

Spiders: they’re creepy, they’re crawly, but they can actually benefit your home and garden as a form of natural pest control. By building webs and hunting, they can help reduce populations of flies, moths, mosquitoes, and more.

Even so, it’s understandable that most people don’t want spiders crawling around their homes. If you see a spider and would like to release it outdoors, follow the steps below.*

*Note: Do not attempt with venomous spiders: the black widow or brown recluse.


1. Grab your “supplies.”

The best way to trap a spider is with a cup and a stiff piece of paper (about the thickness of cardstock). Some tips:

  • A clear cup is best so that you can see the spider after trapping it without having to peek inside the cup.
  • The paper needs to cover the entire cup opening, or else the spider will escape when you try to capture it.

2. Get the spider into the cup.

Using your paper in one hand, gently try to herd the spider towards the cup’s opening. Take care, as spiders may jump and can move extremely fast. Once the spider is in position, lower the cup over it with your other hand.

3. Trap the spider between the cup and the paper.

Now that the spider is trapped between the cup and the wall, ceiling, floor, etc., lift the cup the tiniest bit so that you can slide the paper over its opening. The paper is going to act like a lid while you transport the spider outside. (This is why it’s best to work with paper that’s thin but not flimsy.)

4. Move the spider outdoors.

Keeping the paper firmly against the cup’s edges so that the spider doesn’t escape, lift the cup and paper together. You now have a temporary “spider transport unit.” If possible, move the spider to an area that will give it the best chance for survival, such as some bushes or thick undergrowth.

Unfortunately, some spiders are best suited to living indoors and may not survive long in their new environment. However, most spiders are highly adaptable.

5. Set the spider free.

Once you’ve found a prime location for the spider, set the cup and paper down on a flat (or mostly flat) surface. Slowly tilt the cup towards you. More than likely, the spider will be hiding in the cup. Don’t be tempted to coax it out. Either wait or come back for the cup later.

Has your home’s spider population gotten out of hand? At Horizon Pest Control, our pest control experts can help you control your property’s existing spider problem and prevent future infestations. Give us a call at (201) 447-2530 or contact us online today!

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