Does Neem Oil Kill Black Widow Spiders? A Simple Guide

Are you tired of sharing your home or garden with pesky black widow spiders?

While they may be beneficial for controlling other insect pests, their venomous bites can be dangerous to humans and pets.

But before you reach for harsh chemical pesticides, have you considered using neem oil?

This organic solution has been touted as a safe and effective way to repel and kill a variety of pests, including black widows.

In this article, we’ll explore the science behind neem oil and its potential as a spider control method.

So sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of neem oil and black widow spiders.

Does Neem Oil Kill Black Widow Spiders?

Neem oil is a natural pesticide derived from the seeds of the neem tree. It has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and agriculture in India, and has gained popularity in recent years as a safe and eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides.

But does neem oil actually kill black widow spiders? The answer is yes, it can be effective in controlling these venomous arachnids.

Neem oil works by disrupting the insect’s hormonal system, preventing it from feeding, mating, and laying eggs. When applied to black widow spiders, neem oil can cause them to become disoriented and eventually die.

However, it’s important to note that neem oil is not an instant solution. It may take several applications over a period of time to see results. Additionally, neem oil should be used as a preventative measure rather than a reactive one. Regularly spraying neem oil around your home or garden can help deter black widows from entering in the first place.

Understanding Black Widow Spiders

Black widow spiders are a group of venomous spiders that belong to the genus Latrodectus. They are known for their striking appearance, with the females being shiny black with a red-orange hourglass pattern on their abdomen. The males, on the other hand, are brown or gray with small red spots. There are three species of black widows found in North America: the eastern, northern, and western black widows.

Black widow spiders use a silk-like substance to weave tangled-looking webs, typically close to the ground in covered or dark places, such as near drain pipes or under logs. The female hangs upside down in the web to await her prey, exposing her bright markings as a warning to potential predators. The black widow senses vibrations to the web. When an unlucky intruder gets trapped, the spider immediately begins weaving its glue-like webbing around it. Insects such as flies, mosquitoes, or even larger prey like grasshoppers are typically caught. Once captured, the black widow injects its victims with poison, paralyzing them.

Adult male and female black widows live solitary lives, meeting only to breed. The female black widow lays approximately 200 eggs. The eggs incubate for some 20 days in a small, round papery sac that’s attached to the mother’s web. After hatching, the baby spiders stay in the cocoon for up to one month.

While black widow spiders are venomous and can cause severe pain and nausea when they bite humans, they are not considered aggressive unless threatened. In fact, the male black widow is reclusive and hardly ever seen by humans. Black widows are prey for birds and other spiders.

What Is Neem Oil?

Neem oil is a natural pesticide that is extracted from the seeds of the neem tree. It is yellow to brown in color, has a bitter taste, and a garlic/sulfur smell. The oil has been used for centuries in traditional medicine and agriculture in India, and is now widely recognized as a safe and eco-friendly alternative to chemical pesticides.

Neem oil contains several components, with azadirachtin being the most active one for repelling and killing pests. It works by disrupting the hormonal system of insects, preventing them from feeding, mating, and laying eggs. Neem oil can be used to control a wide range of pests, including aphids, spider mites, thrips, whitefly, scale, and Japanese beetles.

In addition to its pesticidal properties, neem oil also has other benefits. It can be used as a skincare product due to its anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. It is also used in toothpaste, cosmetics, soaps, and pet shampoos.

When using neem oil as a pesticide, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully. The oil should be sprayed on foliage in the morning or evening when beneficial bugs are dormant and not feeding or pollinating. It should not be used in the middle of the day when the sun and heat could burn the sprayed foliage.

Neem oil is safe for the environment and does not harm birds or beneficial insects such as bees, butterflies, lady beetles, and earthworms. However, it’s important to avoid using neem oil around pets or pet areas as it can be toxic to them.

How Does Neem Oil Work As A Pest Control?

Neem oil is an effective pest control method because it targets the hormonal systems of insects and arachnids, preventing them from feeding, mating, and laying eggs. The active ingredient in neem oil, azadirachtin, is responsible for these effects.

When neem oil is applied to pests like black widow spiders, it suffocates them by covering their bodies with oil that blocks their breathing openings. This can cause the spiders to become disoriented and eventually die. However, it’s important to note that mature adult insects and spiders may not be killed by neem oil and may continue to feed and reproduce.

To use neem oil as a pest control method, it’s important to accurately identify the pest you’re dealing with and make sure it’s listed on the product label. Neem oil can harm beneficial insects as well as pests, so it should be used carefully and according to label instructions. It’s also important to note that neem oil can damage plants if not applied correctly, so it’s best to test the product on a small area first before applying it to the entire plant.

Neem Oil Vs. Chemical Pesticides: Pros And Cons

When it comes to pest control, there are many options available, including chemical pesticides and natural alternatives like neem oil. Here are some pros and cons of each:

Chemical Pesticides:


– Quick and effective at killing pests

– Widely available and easy to use

– Can be applied in large areas


– Harmful to the environment and non-targeted species

– Can leave chemical residue on plants and in soil

– May require protective gear for safe use

Neem Oil:


– Safe for humans, pets, and beneficial insects

– Eco-friendly and biodegradable

– Can be used as a preventative measure


– Takes time to see results

– May require multiple applications for effectiveness

– May not be as potent as chemical pesticides

How To Use Neem Oil To Repel Or Kill Black Widow Spiders

Using neem oil to repel or kill black widow spiders is a simple process that can be done at home. Here’s how to do it:

1. Purchase pure neem oil from a garden center or online retailer.

2. Dilute the neem oil with water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Typically, you’ll want to mix 1-2 ounces of neem oil with 1 gallon of water.

3. Fill a spray bottle with the diluted neem oil solution.

4. Spray the solution around your home or garden, focusing on areas where black widows are likely to hide or enter.

5. Reapply the neem oil solution every 7-14 days, or as needed.

In addition to using neem oil, it’s important to take other preventative measures to keep black widows away. This includes keeping your home and garden clean and clutter-free, sealing up any cracks or gaps where spiders can enter, and removing any potential food sources such as insects or other spiders. By using neem oil and taking these precautions, you can effectively control black widow spiders without resorting to harmful chemicals or pesticides.

Precautions And Safety Measures When Using Neem Oil

While neem oil is generally considered safe for use on plants and around the home, there are a few precautions and safety measures to keep in mind.

Firstly, neem oil should always be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This includes diluting the oil properly and using the appropriate amount for the size of the area being treated. Using too much neem oil can lead to plant damage or harm beneficial insects.

It’s also important to wear protective clothing when applying neem oil, including gloves and eye protection. Neem oil can cause skin and eye irritation, so it’s best to avoid contact with bare skin or eyes.

When using neem oil indoors, make sure to ventilate the area and avoid spraying near food or food preparation areas. Neem oil has a strong odor that can be unpleasant, so it’s best to use it in a well-ventilated area.

Finally, while neem oil is generally safe for humans and animals, it can be toxic to fish and other aquatic creatures. Avoid using neem oil near bodies of water or where runoff could enter water sources.

By following these precautions and safety measures, you can safely and effectively use neem oil to control black widow spiders and other pests around your home and garden.