Spiders are a part of life and can even be a beneficial form of pest control in your garden. However, they are generally most unwelcome guest in your home.
Getting rid of spiders entirely may not be realistic (or ideal), but you can greatly minimise their populations in your home by making it a little less inviting for them.
Instead of using chemicals, try any of these natural and safe – yet effective – methods of keeping these critters outside where they belong.
1. Clean and organise
Spiders are attracted to dark, cluttered spaces. If you vacuum and dust regularly, store items in boxes with lids, and generally keep floors and surfaces clear, spiders will be much less inclined to risk venturing inside.
Also, be sure to take out your recycling regularly, and removing those stacks of empty boxes you have saved up. Spiders love to make a home in piles of cardboard, boxes, plywood and firewood.
2. Seal your windows and doors
Spiders are small and sneaky, but they still can’t get in through solid walls. Use a DIY sealant to close up the little crevices that surround so many doors and windows. A watertight home keeps out creepy-crawlies and has the added bonus of reducing your electricity bill.
3. Eat more oranges
Sounds weird, we know, but hear us out. Spiders ‘taste’ with their legs, and if their legs taste something they don’t like – in this case, citrus – they’ll be out the door as fast as their eight legs can carry them. One strategy is to rub citrus on your door and window frames, although we’re not totally sure what the neighbours would think if they spotted you absent-mindedly massaging your door frame with an orange peel.
4. Get a humane spider catcher
A lot of people take a confrontational approach when dealing with spiders (i.e. splat), but it might be better for the ecosystem and your conscience to redistribute them somewhere other than your home. Spider vacuums will suck up spiders into a long tube to be released at your leisure, without you having to get within striking distance.
5. Let in natural light
Spiders are attracted to the dark and the dank, while spiders’ prey (flies, moths etc) are attracted to light bulbs and lamps. Sidestep both by keeping your blinds open and flooding your home with natural light.
6. Use a vinegar-based deterrent
Vinegar spray can serve as organic pest control, specifically for spiders. While it is harmless to humans, it contains acetic acid, which gives it a sour taste and odour, to which spiders are highly sensitive. To use, mix equal portions of vinegar and water in a spray bottle.
To make the smell of vinegar less pungent, you can try soaking several orange peels in a cup of vinegar overnight. Add the infused vinegar to a spray bottle mixed with water. It can be used as a cleaning agent or sprayed on high bug traffic areas.
7. Clean up your exterior
Tidy anything outside your home that spiders might hide in, and use as a bridge to your interior. Think leaves, woodpiles, climbing plants, compost heaps, and even bins. Keep bushes pruned back and weeds trimmed.
8. Get a cat
We might think they’re cute and cuddly, but in the urban ecosystem, cats are apex predators that kill on sight. Just as good at munching spiders as they are mice, cats are all-purpose pest control, though some are more energetic than others. Rather drastic as a standalone measure, it’s probably wise to only get a cat if you also happen to want one.
9. Coexist peacefully (with the non-harmful ones)
We know, this isn’t what you came here for, but spiders are an excellent vanguard against most other varieties of bug. Once established in a home, they rarely venture into the open, and from the safety of their webs dispatch any number of other insects including mosquitoes. If you’re really not a fan of creepy-crawlies, spiders could be an unlikely ally at home.
Just be aware that the spiders in and around your abode are helping to keep the local insect population down. It’s probably not a good idea to enact total genocide unless you want an influx of pesky bugs.
Do you mind the odd spider or two running around? How do you keep spiders out of your home?
– With PA
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