We all want to put out the welcome mat for visitors at our home. But what do you do if you find unwelcome crawling guests like ants and spiders finding their way inside the kitchen or family den? Insects can use gaps in your door and window frames and hairline cracks in the foundation to make their way into your home.

In a viral TikTok video showcasing a home improvement hack, a man uses WD-40 around the exterior of a window to keep ants and spiders from using the location as an entry point.

Is this familiar product in the blue and yellow can the answer to keeping ants and spiders outside where they belong?

Does WD-40 Repel Spiders and Insects?

@tik.tok.made.me.do.it #stitch @GATOR for the win with this bug repellent hack. Thanks!! #fyp #bugs #wd40 #bees #wasps #bugrepellent #hackapproved #jmg8tor original sound – TikTok Made Me Do It

You probably have a can of this reliable fix-it house product in the garage right now. Videos on social media claim that WD-40 can be applied to the areas around window and door frames to create a deterrent for ants and spiders seen near entry points of the home.

However, Ian Williams, a board-certified entomologist and Technical Services Manager with Orkin, does not recommend homeowners use products like WD-40 to deter ants and spiders. “These products are not intended for pest control,” says Williams, adding, “I’ve seen some recent stories and social media posts about using WD-40, applied around windows and doors, to create ‘an invisible barrier’ that pests can’t penetrate. However . . . they rarely contain the answers to why and/or how a recommendation actually works.”

Williams warns against turning to social media for pest control tips in general. “The DIY recommendations shared on social media often mean well, but they are rarely based on science,” he says.

Is It Safe to Use WD-40 as an Insect Repellent?

WD-40 is not a safe insect repellent for people and pets. “It is crucial to follow the instruction labels on all household products, no matter their use around the home,” says Williams. “Misusing household products can cause serious injuries to residents in the home, and they will likely not address the root of pest issues.”

Other Homemade Ways to Keep Pests Out

There are many homemade methods to keep pests out of your home. “Individual insects are actually easy to eliminate with all sorts of products,” says Williams. “Even soap and water if you contact them directly. The key to selecting the appropriate product is something that is toxic to insects, minimally toxic to non-targets (like people and pets), won’t damage surfaces or paint, and will last long enough on a surface to be effective between applications.”

Natural, easy-to-make sprays include a combination of ingredients like peppermint oil, vinegar, citrus peels, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon. These mixtures can be used to make spray solutions, which can be put in a clean bottle with a nozzle and applied to window and door frames, hairline cracks, or gaps where you have observed the activity of ants or spiders.

However, Williams notes that homemade solutions are not the best option. “There are several DIY pest control methods that may help with pests for a short period of time. But to best understand where the pests are coming from and to have a proper treatment solution, contact a professional.”

When to Call a Professional

If there are large numbers of ants and spiders making themselves at home near entry points of your home, it is time to turn away from TikTok hacks and consult a professional. Pest experts are trained to recognize the variety of shapes and sizes of ant and spider species trying to find their way into your home.

“The best way to prevent and treat pests like ants and spiders is to call professional pest experts. Our trained professionals can provide tailored solutions to effectively manage and prevent pest infestations.”

The National Pest Management Association (NPMA) recommends working with a qualified pest control professional who has an understanding of specific pest habits and can identify pest entry points as well as address infestations based on the homeowner’s specific location and needs.

“Pesticides that are registered with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have gone through rigorous testing,” says Williams. “They have labels that describe exactly how to use them, legally, to be effective while minimizing any environmental impacts.”

About the Expert

Ian Williams is a board-certified entomologist and technical services manager with Orkin.


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