It’s that time again! Spider season. Mid-summer is the special time of year when a spider’s biological clock starts ticking harder than Marissa Tomei’s. August is usually the prime time for male spiders to start seeking a mate to extend their lineage. Spiders are usually solitary, but when it’s time to find their special someone, they begin to emerge in droves. I know some are going to rail against the murdering of these eight-legged freaks, but for us arachnophobes, we see things differently. Here are some easy ways to keep Charlotte and her web from bothering you and your family.
- Keep a Tidy Home
Everyone knows the phrase, “A clean home is a happy home”, but have you heard, “A clean home is free from spiders”? No? Well, it’s true. The cleaner your home is, the fewer places spiders will have to hide or play. Spiders love cold dark places, so your basement or cellar is a perfect hiding spot. Removing all cobwebs and regularly cleaning duct work can help prevent arachnids from setting up shop. Getting rid of clutter and moving storage bins will help because they won’t feel safe if they are constantly being disturbed.
- Peppermint and Horse Chestnuts
If you are looking for a natural repellant, nothing will work better than peppermint oil. Mix a small amount of oil and dish liquid in a spray bottle with water. Spray window sills and around the base of your home inside and out. If you repeat this weekly, it will help keep spiders away. A not so proven method of repelling spiders is the use of horse chestnuts. Horse chestnuts look a little scary and are in fact very poisonous, but it seems like any evidence is anecdotal. There are a lot of people who swear by horse chestnuts, and houses surrounded by the plant seem to be spider free.
- Clean Your Gutters
That statement is a little misleading. Cleaning your gutters won’t completely remove your spider problem. The theory behind cleaning your gutters, however, will absolutely help. Removing a spider’s food source will starve the spiders away. Cleaning up a cluttered yard or removing brush can go a long way to getting rid of spiders. Any place that gathers standing water will be a breeding ground for insects and a buffet for spiders. So make sure your gutters aren’t clogged. This will eliminate another area for creepy crawlies to breed and eat.
Ok, so spiders aren’t ALL bad (see image above). They can provide some benefits. They will help control mosquito, ant, and termite populations. But for some of us, the trade off isn’t enough. Following our hints will go a long way to getting rid of your spider problems, but an exterminator might be needed. It is also wise to be careful approaching or killing spiders you aren’t familiar with. Almost every state has at least one poisonous spider. While most aren’t life threatening, a bite might be extremely painful.