House spiders aren’t just widely-feared by the arachnophobic members of your household but are pesky home invaders that can build unsightly webs in the dusty corners of your home. For most, the webs house spiders construct are more of a nuisance than the spider itself. Because these creatures build a tangled web to hunt for prey, once the web has served its purpose, it’s abandoned. Eventually, a house spider will migrate to a new location where it can attract new prey, only to leave another web cluttering your home.
Despite widespread fear, common house spiders won’t cause any harm to you or your family. However, not all types of spiders are quite so innocent. Depending on where you live, poisonous spiders may be native to your area. For example, the black widow spider—common in areas of the Northeastern United States—can pose a medical threat to humans with the powerful neurotoxins found in its venom.
To get rid of spiders in your home, you’ll need the right pest control strategy to ensure that both common house spiders and poisonous species alike don’t infiltrate your territory. This guide will review some of the best ways to purge these eight-legged pests. The following tactics include sealing off open cracks, keeping your house clean, turning off your outdoor lights, and clearing vegetation. There are also some effective natural methods like using conkers, peppermint oil, and vinegar that you can use to ward off pests.
Before you plan your pest control plan-of-action, let’s outline the pros, cons, and basic first steps.
Schedule regular pest control visits
Spiders can infest a home, especially in older homes where spiders have had plenty of time to breed within your walls. Oftentimes, spiders don’t survive in modern homes due to low humidity and fewer insects to consume for food. If you do find your home plagued with scurrying spiders, you’ll want to contact a professional exterminator for any pest control in Salt Lake City.
Once you connect with a local pest control company that meets your quality standard, you can schedule routine visits on a weekly, monthly, or bi-monthly basis. For those homeowners with minimal time to spare, you’ll want to set up an automatic pest control service. Don’t settle for anything less than a team of experts that are well-versed in the nooks and crannies of your home.
Seal up your home
You may be wondering: How do those pesky spiders get in anyway? Spiders will pass through cracks and openings around your doors and windows and may even enter through the smallest holes or cracks in your foundation or drywall,
You can fill in these large gaps of space around your home using caulk to effectively prevent spiders from invading your personal space. Another way to eradicate spiders and other pests that may enter through openings in your home is to seal the entry port of your attic, your vents, and chimney with fine-mesh insect screens.
Keep your outdoor lights off
Lights will inevitably attract insects such as earwigs, mosquitoes, flies, and moths. Since these are a few examples of a spider’s favorite meal, spiders are sure to flock to these areas bathed in artificial light, in no time.
By switching off those lights, you’ll prevent these spiders from approaching your home, eliminating the temptation to enter the unsealed cracks of your exterior. If you aren’t willing to switch your lights off, consider using yellow sodium vapor lights, which are less likely to attract insects, and thus, less likely to draw-in food sources for looming spiders.
Clear vegetation near your house
Do you want your garden to be spider-free but don’t know how to go about it? It’s easy. Spiders tend to prefer fuller gardens to build webs and set-up camp. If there’s an abundance of foliage and potted plants around your home, then it’s time to clear and prune your garden to avoid web-building spiders. If you’re hoping to take pest control into your own hands, avoid placing any vegetation around the perimeter of your home or consider transplanting them across the yard away from any entrances.
Keep a clean house
Tidy homes offer fewer places for spiders to hide, even when they do manage to slip inside. Declutter your home regularly by removing old newspapers and dirty clothes, as they can be the ideal hiding places for spiders like the American House Spider.
Be warned that spiders love making homes in cardboard that’s piled up around the house. From cookie packaging to boxes that were delivered to your doorstep, you’ll want to dispose of any cardboard immediately after use. If you don’t want to have to worry about cardboard attracting spiders, use plastic storage containers, instead. Unbeknownst to most, plastic packaging is difficult for spiders to crawl.
Use traps and non-toxic pesticides
Place several sticky traps throughout your residence. It’s not guaranteed that these traps will eradicate the problem entirely, as they don’t contain pesticides. Still, they are laced with a spider-luring aroma to catch them, which means you can see and positively identify the kinds of spiders roaming your home.
Following your installation of sticky traps, the next step is to apply pesticides to eliminate the bugs/potential prey that can attract spiders. Consider using a non-toxic pesticide, particularly in homes with pets and children, to prevent accidental poisoning. Since these pesticides work only upon direct contact, be sure to apply the solution regularly to get rid of the spiders completely. Be sure to use pesticides in areas where bugs are likely to be found, such as corners and other hard-to-reach places.
Use horse chestnuts
There’s no scientific evidence or explanation to back this solution, but it has been suggested that chestnuts (conkers) contain chemicals that spiders find unpleasant, based on their scent. If you side with this method, be sure to place these horse chestnuts in the corners of the home and other areas you frequently encounter spiders. Consider drilling a few holes in them to release the chemicals even further.
Spray peppermint oil
Mix 20 drops of peppermint essential oil in a spray bottle filled with water to make a natural spider repellent. Spray the mixture in the cracks and corners of your house to clear your home of spiders without killing them. This method is effective because spiders can’t tolerate the smell of peppermint oil and run away when they detect it.
If you’d prefer not to drain your stock of peppermint oil for pest control purposes, you can try eucalyptus oil or vinegar, which are used similarly and can produce the same effect.
The bottom line
When all else fails, you can also spread a fine layer of diatomaceous earth anywhere and everywhere you expect to find a spider. Diatomaceous comes from naturally-formed fossils of a water creature known as a diatom, and it’s safe for both people and pets.
Overall, no homeowner wants to live among pests that can carry disease or inject a potentially-lethal dose of venom, so controlling them is not an option. A secure pest-control plan is a must-have. Remember, a sign of spider infestation can also be a sign of more extensive pest infiltration. Managing your spider infestations may, unknowingly, help target other pest problems in your home.
*This is a collaborative post. All views and text are mine.