How to limit house spiders

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I’m thrilled for the cooler fall weather. The temperature drop creates prime conditions for my favorite outdoor activities — biking, mudding, hiking, kayaking, reading away an afternoon in my hammock, relaxing near a bonfire. However, not all of God’s creatures feel the same way.

As I’m running out the door to enjoy the day, I’ve noticed an increasing number of spiders making themselves at home.

They don’t bother me too much. In fact, their webs are popping up just in time for Halloween. But I certainly don’t want them moving from the yard to the garage to the kitchen to the living room. I like to appreciate my eight-legged friends outside.

If you, too, want to keep the local arachnids out of your house there are many different approaches you can take.

Natural Remedies

Personally, I prefer the natural route — sans the harsh and sometimes ineffective chemicals. The Farmers’ Almanac and the eXtension.org outline 11 safe methods for preventing spiders from taking up residence in your home.

  1. Spray white vinegar around your house. White vinegar isn’t just a widely-used cleaning agent, it’s also one of the most common ways to repel spiders. While it’s pungent odor and sour taste have mild effects on humans, spiders are highly sensitive to it. Just mix equal portions of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and you’re ready to go.
  2. Keep citrus fruit on hand. Like white vinegar, spiders will avoid citrus fruit. From simply setting a bowl filled with oranges on the kitchen counter to rubbing discarded peels along entryways, citrus fruit can be used in many ways. It will also weaken the smell of a homemade vinegar solution if peels are soaked in it overnight.
  3. Plant some mint. Mint is a known pest repellent and planting it around your home will reduce both the insect and spider populations. Dried mint leaves or tea bags can also be placed in cupboards or other dark places to deter spiders or mix essential peppermint oil with water to spray around your house.
  4. Purchase some diatomaceous earth. You can buy food-grade diatomaceous earth at your local hardware store. It can either be spread by mixing 1 tablespoon into a spray bottle of water or by sprinkling it on the ground around your house.
  5. Use cedar. Cedar has been known to get rid of spiders and other bugs, so spreading fresh mulch around the bushes or flowers you have planted near your home will minimize the number of inhabitants. Just be sure to keep it fresh, as the oils contained in the wood are the natural repellant. Old, dried out mulch can provide a habitat for insects.
  6. Place horse chestnuts around the house. Known to repel spiders, chestnuts are a good choice because of their long shelf life.
  7. Clean out any current cobwebs. Removing old or occupied cobwebs will deter spiders from moving into or staying in your space.
  8. Take out your recycling regularly. Some of spiders favorite places to call home include piles of cardboard, boxes, plywood and firewood.
  9. Keep a manicured yard. Spiders and other insects love to hide in piles of leaves grass clippings and stacks of wood. A clean and groomed yard is less inviting to the critters you’re trying to keep at bay.
  10. Check your entrances. Covering any small cracks spiders or other insects could enter will help you keep your house void of any unwelcome guests. Additionally, installing tight-fitting window and door screens will prevent bugs from entering.
  11. Install yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs. These lights are less attractive to insects and thus draw fewer spiders to the area when put outside entrances.

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Sara is Farm and Dairy’s online content producer. Raised in Portage County, she earned a magazine journalism degree from Kent State University. She enjoys spending time with her daughter, traveling, writing, reading and outdoor recreation.

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