17 Sep 10 Natural Ways to Keep Spiders Out of Your Home
Most species of spider are harmless to humans but if you’re one of the many people who doesn’t like to share their home with any eight-legged friends – but don’t want to resort to causing spiders any harm – follow these top tips for keeping arachnids at bay.
As days get shorter, leaves change colour and we begin to dream of heart-warming soups and berry liqueurs, there’s little doubt that autumn is upon us. However, with this change of season comes an element that many of us find less desirable – the annual migration of spiders from our gardens to our homes.
As the spiders flee dropping temperatures and travel further afield in search of a mate, autumn represents the time of year you’re most likely to encounter an eight-legged visitor scuttling around your home.
1. Essential oils
Spiders are repelled by strong scents that, happily, many of us already use as home fragrances. Peppermint oil (£1.99, Amazon) is a particularly popular remedy, just add 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spritz around the house. Other good options for this include tea-tree, lavender, rose and cinnamon. Changing the oil that you use regularly can help to ensure that the remedy continues to be effective.
Should the essential oils not work, this is another version of the same remedy. Fill a spray bottle (£2.73, Amazon) with half white vinegar and half water and spray in corners, cracks and crevices to ward off spiders. Be careful to avoid varnished surfaces as vinegar can be somewhat harsh on their appearance.
3. Get cleaning
Spiders like to have places to hide and one of the best ways to prevent this is by keeping your house neat and tidy through regular tidying, cleansing and de-cluttering. Opt for plastic storage containers rather than cardboard boxes as these are harder for spiders to crawl into. Also dust and vacuum regularly to rid your house of unwanted webs.
4. Protect the exterior of your house
Make sure spiders don’t get into your house in the first place by moving anything that they would be likely to hide in away from any exterior walls. This could include leaves, grass clippings, vegetation, compost or woodpiles. Check door openings and window sills for any cracks that spiders could crawl through and seal these with caulk. Also fix torn window screens and cover vents and chimneys with fine mesh.
5. Get gardening
Plant a eucalyptus tree in the garden. As well as being low maintenance and smelling wonderful, the strong medicinal scent will repel spiders. If you don’t have room for a eucalyptus tree, plant mint or lavender underneath or near windows, as again the strong smell will drive spiders away.
Spiders supposedly hate all citrus scents, so rub citrus peel along skirting boards, window sills and bookshelves. Use lemon-scented cleaners and furniture polish, and burn citronella candles both inside and outside of your home.
7. Turn off your lights
While light itself doesn’t attract spiders, it does attract the insects that spiders feast on so turn off the outside lights to prevent spiders coming near the house. Stop indoor lights from shining through outdoors by using opaque blinds and shades. If you do need to keep the lights on, use yellow sodium vapour lights as these are less likely to attract insects.
Old wives’ tales have it that spiders are repelled by chestnuts. While not scientifically proven to work – like a peppermint spray is – scattering a few conkers on windowsills and in the corners of rooms certainly won’t do any harm and many people swear by it as a spider deterrent.
Warning! Conkers can be poisonous so please consult your vet before putting these in your home if you have pets.
Another scent that spiders are said to detest is cedar. Hauling a cedar plant into your home isn’t exactly practical, however, but there are many products on offer to give this one a try. John Lewis offers a range of options to hang in wardrobes or put in drawers or corners. Sand them down every now and then to refresh the scent, what’s more the woody aroma is said to repel clothes moths too.
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