Getting Rid of Spiders
Spring has arrived! Or has it? At this writing on March 29 we woke to a hard frost here in Ohio. (Mother Nature, you are a naughty girl and a tease.) Anyway, the arrival of [pseudo] spring is accompanied by the arrival of creepy crawlies. Earlier in March, we posted about getting rid of stinkbugs. Today, we’ll tackle getting rid of spiders. Personally, I don’t mind them so much as spiders deliver many benefits to both our ecosystem and inside our homes. They like to feast on pesky insects – and ones I really dislike – like roaches, aphids, moths, and earwigs. This spider feast helps keep their population in check. Did you know that if left alone, spiders will consume most of the insects in your home, providing effective home pest control? Yet there are those that have an intense dislike – shall we more accurately call it loathing? – of these eight-legged creatures such as two family members who, to prevent their public embarrassment, shall remain unnamed. I will say, however, that a video of their antics when stumbling across a spider of any size, could win me $10,000 on America’s Funniest Home Videos.
Back to the matter at hand.
Here are some methods to help control any spider population in your home:
- Set spider traps. Sticky glue traps designed to catch and kill spiders can be effective if you place them in high-traffic areas. Here is a link to the best spider traps available in 2023. Warning: there’s a pic of a spider at the link along with the list. Keep traps away from kids and pets and be sure to check and change them often.
- Remove webs. You can use a vacuum if yours has a hose attachment to remove spider webs. Remove the webs as soon as you see them. If there are any spiders in the web, toss or empty the vacuum cleaner bag or clean out the dirt compartment into a small trash bag and take to the dumpster.
- Use essential oils. This is a great way to repel spiders without chemicals. Spritz the deterrent anywhere you’ve noticed spider activity. Reapply regularly.
- Use vinegar. Distilled white vinegar is also an excellent natural spider repellent. Fill a spray bottle with a half and half mixture of vinegar and. Again, spray the mixture into the corners around your home. Reapply every few days.
- Check window screens. If you leave your windows open during the day and/or evening, check your screens for tears or holes. If you’re in an apartment, let your management office know if your screens need repair.
- Use store-bought insecticide. Use store-bought insecticides and spray treatments along the baseboards, in the corners of your home, and under furniture. These insecticides form a barrier that repels or kills spiders. They can be an effective method to deal with serious spider infestations. Keep in mind that many contain chemicals or toxins that are unsafe for kids and pets, so it’s important to use them carefully and to read all label directions.
- Keep a tidy home. Read our Spring Cleaning Extravaganza – Dusting blog post for tips on getting your home thoroughly clean, then clean regularly. Clean homes make it harder for spiders to find hiding spots that allow them to take up residence.
- Use a spider catcher. To rid your home of spiders without killing (squishing – ewww) them, buy a spider catcher. This clever device is a hand-operated wand designed to pick up spiders in gentle, flexible fibers, and hold them securely until you can release them outdoors. A spider catcher will be most effective if you use it in conjunction with home remedies like peppermint oil and vinegar.
- Clean up leftovers. After prepping and eating meals, clean up promptly. Food crumbs and other kitchen messes will attract pests like ants and beetles, which will attract the spiders who eat them. Wipe your counters and tables regularly, and wash all dirty dishes within a few hours.
- Declutter. Clutter provides hiding spaces for spiders. And you don’t want any jack-in-the-box surprises when hunting for that People Magazine. Toss old magazines, and newspapers (does anyone actually read a physical newspaper anymore?), mail, cardboard boxes, and piles of clothes.
- Smart storage. Store items in airtight plastic containers instead of cardboard. In addition to preventing spiders from hiding inside the boxes, plastic bins will keep your belongings safe from dust, moisture, mold, and mildew.
- Hand trap. Trap the spider in a jar or glass and set it free outside, but carefully look at the markings. Learn to identify dangerous spiders here. If it does not appear to be a poisonous spider, place a cup or container over it, and then carefully slide a piece of paper or a note card under the mouth of the container. Keeping the paper in place with your hand, quickly flip over the container so the spider lands at the bottom and then walk it outside at least 10 feet from your house to let it go. Never attempt to pick up brown recluses or black widows.
- Foggers are ineffective at getting rid of spiders.
- Spider trapsare non-toxic and cost-effective, but can be less effective against larger infestations.
- Spider sprays kill on contact and are easy to use, but leave a residue.
- Natural spider repellent is non-toxic but requires more frequent reapplication.
- Keep cats or even frogs as pets, since they hunt spiders. If you live in an apartment, alert your local management office if you adopt a cat as pet fees may apply.
- Remove vegetation within eight feet of the perimeter of your home. Shrubs, trees, and ivy provide shelter for spiders and harbor insects they use for food.
Wishing you a spring and summer of complete and spider-free enjoyment of your home – unless of course, you wish to train them like researchers at the University of Manchester who trained a regal jumping spider named “Kim” to leap on demand. It’s the first time a spider has been successfully trained to jump. Here’s how they did it.
Shout out to AJ Wright for the inspo!