Once the weather warms up it is common to find your house has become a spider habitat. Alternatively when the weather starts to get a bit colder they seek refuge and the issue arises. Now this is not necessarily a bad thing because spiders are very useful in eating bugs. So unless the spiders that have taken up residence in your house are of the dangerous variety like the Brown Recluse or the Black Widow it may be wise to just live and let live. By trying to eliminate spiders from your house you may just be making it a more hospitable place for numerous other creepy crawlies.
That being said this is a tough situation for me personally because I am borderline arachnophobic after being bitten eight times by Black Widow spiders when I was a child. I won’t go into the heinous details but it was not a very pleasant experience. I am less then thrilled when I see spiders in the house so I am very sympathetic to those who do not want to share their house with eight legged friends. I like to leave the web spinners alone but I usually will try to get rid of hunter spiders, like the Brown Recluse. If you absolutely cannot live with them or they pose a danger to your small children here are a few natural ways to get rid of spiders.
1. Clean house! Spiders like cardboard and clutter, so clean up all cardboard and make sure closets and underneath beds are clean and without places to hide. And do not leave clothing, towels, and other debris on the floor where spiders can find refuge.
2. Clear out unwanted vegetation from around your house, including Ivy or other vines, which are a haven for them. Seal all cracks that may lead spiders indoors.
3. Keep trash bags and bins away from the house where spiders will lay in wait for bugs that are attracted to the garbage.
4. Cover pet food.
5. Use natural deterrents wherever you see spiders (spiders HATE them!):
- Orange Oil
- Peppermint Oil
- Eucalyptus leaves
- Hedge Apples or pieces of Hedge Apples, also called Osage orange
- Pennyroyal on a scrap of cloth
- Baking soda
All of these remedies are cheap, easy, and effective. You may even be able to find Hedge Apples for free if you happen to live where they grow in the public areas. Mix up the essential oils with some vinegar or soapy water and put inside a spray bottle. Spray liberally in the areas where you see spiders (ie around their webs and along walls and corners). You can also mix the EOs with the baking soda and then sprinkle it where you see spiders. Good luck!
Natural deterrents for other pests:
Ants: Bay leaves, cucumber peels sprinkled with salt, Cayenne pepper, chili pepper, dried peppermint, paprika, cinnamon, dried sage.
Flies: Whole or ground cloves in a small muslin teabag, flypaper made with honey.
Tuesday, May 30th, 2006