How to Keep Spiders Out of the House
Spiders are at the center of countless myths and superstitions. Despite frightening the wits out of many people, it's claimed that finding a spider in your home is a sign of good luck and prosperity. Arachnophobes would likely disagree, though – as would any unfortunate arachnid that finds itself on the wrong end of a rolled-up newspaper.
Squishing spiders in the home is inadvisable. As well as being messy, it's pretty cruel. Spiders have been inhabiting the Earth for over 400 million years. It's their planet, and we're just living on it. Occupying your property rent-free is bad manners, but it shouldn't be a death sentence.
Instead, work to keep spiders out of your home in the first place. There are a variety of techniques to achieve this, and everybody will win. Your home will be devoid of creepy-crawlies and cobwebs, and the spider population will avoid a wholly unnecessary cull.
Spiders are renowned for having multiple eyes, so many assume that arachnids use this to negotiate the world. In reality, spiders are nearsighted and have comparatively poor vision. They rely more on their sense of smell, which is picked up through the legs.
You can turn this to your advantage, as there are numerous scents that spiders loathe and despise. Create a diluted solution of any of the following aromas. Spiders will give your home a wide berth, without being harmed.
Apply these scents to anywhere you think spiders may gain access to your home or gather. You’ll see results in no time at all.
Spiders do not gain access to your home by knocking on the door and waiting for a response. They crawl in through tiny cracks in your walls and ceiling. If you're serious about maintaining a spider-free environment, you'll need to embrace DIY.
Invest in a pot of filler and move all the furniture in your home. Take a good look at your walls and you'll likely find a range of hairline cracks. These, in and of themselves, are not serious concerns. They do provide an easy entry point for spiders, though. The arachnid will be clambering up an outside wall and immediately discover access to warmth and food. You can hardly blame the spider to seizing the opportunity to enter.
If you cover these cracks, you'll make it significantly harder for a spider to enter your home. Consider adding a deterrent scent on top of the filler for extra protection. You could also use a barrier-forming pant, such as bitumen paint, during redecoration. This will serve the twin purposes of protecting your wall from water damage – which leads to cracks – and keeping spiders out.
No matter how arachnophobic you may be, spiders are more afraid of you than you are of them. That's a cliché, but it's true. Just put yourself in a spider's eight shoes for a moment. You are considerably larger than them, and you're armed with an array of makeshift weapons.
To this end, spiders will do whatever they can to avoid detection. This means they'll be drawn to busy, cluttered corners of a home. That dusty stack of books that you haven't thumbed through for years? That's spider heaven. Anywhere the spider can hide, it will – and it’s likely to lay eggs once it feels comfortable. The only way to prevent this is create large, open spaces. Spiders will avid these for their own protection.
Combat this by keeping your home as clean and uncluttered as you can. Avoid placing furniture in corners of rooms as this provides an optimum hiding place. Vacuum regularly, removing food crumbs from rugs and carpets. Give soft furnishings and ceilings and regular dusting too. The cleaner and tidier a home is, the less hospitable it becomes to spiders.
Spiders are not attracted to light. The bugs that spiders feast upon, such as flies, cockroaches and moths, are though. This can make a well-illuminated home ground zero for the creepy-crawly circle of life. Spiders will always be tempted to enter territory that contains a reliable food source.
It's not realistic to live the remainder of your days with the lights off in your home. Do take care to switch lights off when not in use, though. You could also consider investing in dimmer switches. The less bright the lights in your home are, the less tempted insects will be to enter.
Consider the exterior of your home, too. If you have outdoor lights, you'll be attracting all manner of wildlife. Don't leave these lamps on unnecessarily. This way, spiders will be drawn elsewhere in their quest for food. There is no shortage of nourishment – the insect population of Earth outnumbers humans by some 200 million to one.
It’s not just light that will attract six-legged visitors into your home. Bugs are famously opportunistic. If you leave fruit or other sustenance lying around, you will risk an insect infestation. As above, this will lead to spiders following their predatory instincts and inviting themselves in for a snack.
Keep food in your refrigerator, freezer or behind a solid cupboard door. Empty your trash cans and recycling on a daily basis. The more food smells emanate from your home, the more tempting it will be. If you keep a fruit bowl, cover it up at night.
This is one instance where you may actually want spiders in your home. So-called, “pantry pests” are prone are stubborn and resourceful, and will contaminate any food they do not eat. Spiders control the population numbers of these bugs, preventing them from overrunning your home. If you’re not keen on any kind of multi-legged lodger, however, keep your food supplies as secure as possible.
Finally, you could consider adopting a cat. Man's other best friend is a natural predator to anything smaller. While cats are more commonly associated with disposing of rodents, they'll also take out spiders. A cat with a strong prey drive will be unable to resist chasing anything that moves quickly. They will hound spiders out of your home, quickly sending a message that your property is now feline territory.
This is an approach to take with a little caution. Firstly, remember, a cat is not just a four-legged spider-slayer. It will become part of your family. If you cannot meet the needs of a pet, it is not fair to bring it into your home. In addition, some cats are just plain lazy. They're likelier to ignore – or even befriend – spiders than hunt them.
You also need to consider what spiders are setting up home in your property. There are only three species of venomous spider native to the United States. These arachnids can be deadly to a cat if bitten, though. If you suspect you have poisonous siders in your home, call in a professional exterminator.