Ugh! I've always hated spiders. When I was a little girl I stepped on one in our driveway but it was the type of spider that carries its babies in a pouch or inside of it. When I stepped on it, it was like something out of a horror movie; hundreds of the creepy little things went everywhere. GROSS! Anyways, the chestnut answer intrigued me so I googled it and found more interesting solutions:
Chestnuts Proved Effective
I, too, live in a wooded area with what I call "man-eating" spiders. Some of those wolf spiders get pretty big! I put chestnuts around the exterior walls of every room in the house as well as on all the windowsills. Friends, who live in the city and share a balcony with a neighboring apartment, put chestnuts under the sliding door to their balcony. They have had no spiders while their neighbors continued to be infested. I've read a couple of newspaper articles about the use of chestnuts to repel spiders, too.
A Good Use for Tobacco
Get a package of pipe or chewing tobacco, soak it in a gallon of boiling water until it cools. Strain the liquid into a clean container. Put a cup of tobacco juice and 1/2 cup lemon dish soap into a hose-end sprayer and spray. I did this at our house two years ago and have been practically spider free since. This works on all kinds of bugs. I thank Jerry Baker, the Master Gardener, for the tip since we were literally being taken over by spiders.
Spiders and Lemons
This is part of an article that I copied on repelling spiders:
"I learned this from the man who trained the spiders for the movie Arachnophobia. Spiders have their taste buds on the tips of their legs. They also hate the taste of lemon pledge. Dust your windowsills and doorframes with the pledge, both inside and out, and any areas where they accumulate. The spiders will find that they don't want to live with you."
The referenced website also includes tips from a spider lover but we won't go there...