Photo credit: this beautiful (spider free) home belongs to Sharon Hornsby. Used with permission via Sharon's Instagram feed @hornsby_style
With autumn just around the corner (or let's face it, here already), my attention has turned to those small (though occasionally whopping) home invaders: spiders. At this time of year, spiders seem to move into our homes en masse, and if you live anywhere near a recently harvested field, it's an even bigger problem.
So what can do you to keep these spindly little creatures out of your home? I did a little bit of research and can recommend the following steps to keep spiders out of your home...
A tedious tip if ever I shared one, I know. But do you remember that last heart-stopping moment when you realised a spider had crawled beneath a cupboard door only to hide in the darkest depths of all your 'stuff', never to be seen again?
Set aside a little bit of time to do some general tidying up and de-cluttering. The less piles of stuff you have, the fewer places there are for a spider to hide.
Turn Off the Lights
Turning off the lights to prevent spiders from coming into a home isn't a tip I'd ever heard before, but when you think about it, it makes perfect sense...
Spiders aren't attracted to the light in your home. But, the insects they eat for dinner are. So, with fewer lights illuminating your home, the fewer insects you can expect to attract. And fewer insects? That means fewer spiders.
Of course, you'll want some lights on in your home for a cosy ambience (and, yep - actually seeing what you're doing and where you're going), but consider turning off the ones in other rooms - particularly your bedroom - if you're not using them. And hey - it's better for the planet and your bank account.
I'm not sure if this is just some old wive's tale, but if you're afraid of spiders, it might be worth giving a go... Rumour has it that spiders strongly dislike the smell of peppermint. So, buy some peppermint oil and dilute it to an amount that's safe to use in your home without damaging furniture or furnishings. Then, spray it liberally around windows, door frames and anywhere else spiders might enter your home from.
Understandably you probably won't want your house to smell like toothpaste, but it could be worth trying if you really, really don't like spiders.
Also, it's rumoured that spiders also really don't like citrus - so if peppermint isn't for you, consider using lemon oil or orange oil. At this time of year (the run up to Christmas), smothering your house in orange and clove actually sounds pretty amazing, doesn't it?
I'm not going to pretend that household work is ever fun, so the frequency you choose to dust your house is something I'll leave entirely down to you... but, if you can squeeze it into your schedule, you might find it helps to reduce the number of spiders that are settling in your home.
Regular dusting will mean you're keeping on top of those spider webs before your eight legged friends get too comfortable in your home, so it's a good idea to vacuum webs away as soon as you notice them, too. And if you're having trouble removing webs from an uneven ceiling, try using a lint roller or a paintbrush wrapped in double sided sticky tape.
Seal Up Gaps
A final tip I came across is sealing up gaps that spiders might be able to enter your home through. That could mean closing up old pipes that lead to the outside, fixing a crack or finding an alternative for that dusty old extractor grate. But, this is pretty far down the line when it comes to implementing spider prevention methods... try the other options first to see if they do the trick.
What Do with a Spider Once You've Found One
Some of us squishers, some of us a screechers (demanding a partner 'gets rid' of the offending spider for us), and some of us are removers. If you fall into the final camp (or would like to), here's what to do once you've found a spider:
- Gently scoop the spider into some thick paper towel before placing them outside. You'll need to do this very gently.
- Take a clean glass jar (an old mayonnaise jar will work perfectly) and a piece of paper. Gently, scoop the spider into the jar using the piece of paper, pop the lid on, then release the spider outdoors - preferably in a flower bed or hedge.
- Try using a specially designed spider-catcher.
You can also try a plug in ultrasonic electric pest repeller like this one to keep them out in the first place.
But if you're happy to leave them? (Or at least the little ones?). They might do some good for your home. Spiders actually eat pests such as fleas, earwigs and other creepy crawlies you don't want living alongside you, making spiders a natural form of pest control.
Please let me know how you deal with spiders in the comments below - I'm all ears!
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p.p.s This home looks too clean and gorgeous to ever have spiders living in it, doesn't it..?