Like many kinds of arachnids, spiders are found almost everywhere. They can live in places with tough climates, except in sea habitats or in snow-covered Antarctica. There are over 40,000 species today and because spiders ensnare and eat many varieties of more devastating pests, several kinds of arachnids are beneficial to farmers and gardeners. However, these animals are considered by homeowners as pests. As summer approaches and days get warmer, spiders are forced to find shaded areas. This is why people often perceive an increase in spider population during hot months as more of these animals attempt to gain entry into the cooler interior of homes. They usually like kitchens and restrooms or any sheltered area near water sources. Although there are individuals who don’t mind that they are coexisting with arachnids, some do not like these animals outside and most especially inside their homes as spider webs can be a chore to clean up. More importantly, many species are venomous, which make them potentially dangerous. Though spiders rarely attack or bite people, it is still more prudent to get rid of spiders, particularly if these are black widows or other poisonous types, like the brown recluse.

A number of things can deter spiders from entering homes. Here are some easy-to-do ways to discourage spider populations from invading properties.

Cleaning Tips to Prevent Spider Invasions

Spiders like wood and items made from wood. So, they can typically be found in or near cardboard boxes, piles of paper or inside cabinets. Opting for plastic containers is one way of eliminating areas that are attractive to these animals.

Screens and tiny door or window holes should be patched up since these can be used by spiders as entry points. Another way to keep spiders away is by cleaning doors and windows with a blend of ammonia and water. You can also use kerosene. Wipe on the substance and let dry. This leaves minute deposits that spiders don’t like.

Proper garden or landscape maintenance is also a must. Don’t allow plants to grow uncontrollably. Dense vegetations are wonderful hiding places for these animals. A lot of pests that spiders prey upon also live in thick foliage. By trimming vegetation and keeping areas clean, there will be fewer bugs. When only a small number of insects are available, web spinners will also leave and find other areas where they’ll have plenty of food items.

Plants that Keep Away Spiders

A variety of plants can repel bugs. As for spiders, they usually avoid eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint, and citrus scents. If plants are not available, purchase essential oils. Because these kinds of oils have very strong aroma, only a few drops are often required. Then, mixtures should be sprayed in areas where spiders will most likely enter a home, as well as on corners and other nooks and crannies. Vinegar can also help in stopping spiders. This can be mixed with vanilla to reduce its acidic smell.

Nature-friendly Pesticides

Most bug sprays that work on other insects also destroy spiders. But with increasing concerns regarding the detrimental effects of pesticide use on the environment, people are now turning to natural earth-friendly ways for spider removal. An example of a safe pesticide is diatomaceous earth or DE. Sprinkle this substance on or near areas where spiders are most likely to pass through. DE is quite sticky so spiders, and many other insects like ants, will get attached onto it. When animals can no longer move, they cannot forage for food as well. A reminder – though DE is not a poisonous substance, it readily clings to mucosal membranes, like the covering of the respiratory tract. Hence, users must wear masks for protection.

The author, Claire Wallace, is an expert in pest control in Houston and surrounding areas. Her specialty is in spider control and eradication.