The British autumn, a godsend amongst the country’s poets, can also be a living nightmare for arachnophobes. The reason – that’s when spiders set out to search for their soulmates. And, usually, these romantic meetings tend to happen in the cosy environment of a human home.
So, what can you realistically do against the mounting hordes of spiders as the streets get covered in withering leaves? Well, quite a lot, actually. Here are six tips from Dmitri, a professional at Fantastic Cleaners (London), for you to use this season in order to persuade all six-legged creatures to keep a respectable distance from your home!
Maintain a Spider Web-free Home
Now, we are not saying that you should clean your premises three times a day. However, putting your vacuum cleaner to good use every couple of days will ensure that any missed bits of food will be thoroughly taken care of. For best results, make sure to equip your vacuum cleaner with a flexible attachment that can rotate up to 90 degrees, and pay special attention to areas behind and below your furniture, radiator, worktops, and cupboards to eliminate webs and egg sacs.
Make it your habit to frequently scour your ceiling for webs. You should also make an effort to keep all surfaces dust-free, since dust and clutter tend to go together. And there’s nothing spiders like more than a secluded, clutter-riddled spot of your property to weave their nets in. If you spot any dead insects, such as flies, millipedes, and woodlice, dispose of them immediately to deny the arachnids a free meal, otherwise you might need spider exterminators.
Still bothered by pesky spiders? Let’s move on to tip #2.
Ditch Cardboards for Plastic Boxes
Getting plastic lidded boxes or similar containers will help you to better organise your belongings and will make them impregnable to the insolent, eight-legged insects. This is especially useful if you have big stacks of old books or have the habit of leaving food on the table. Just don’t go overboard – you don’t want to play Jenga every time you want to read your favourite novel.
Seal Suspicious Cracks and Openings
Spiders can fit through surprisingly small cracks and, once inside, will usually scurry towards the damp, dark corners of your home. Those will usually be your kitchen, bathroom, or basement.
To prevent this, start by inspecting your walls and the areas around pipework for cracks and fill them in with a quality sealant. You should also consider sealing off window and door gaps, since that is how the insects will most commonly find their way in. Fix or replace torn window screens as well and cover your vents in fine mesh to put another barrier between you and the invaders.
Declutter the Area Near Your Home
Think of yard clutter as a spider’s country home. Things like firewood piles, rocks, compost heaps, garden bags, construction materials and other clutter make for perfect spider hideout spots. Once the temperatures drop, the insects will migrate to their main place of residence – your own home. Deter the freeloaders by removing any clutter and overgrowth from your yard.
Use Sunlight to Your Advantage
Light plays a much bigger role at keeping creepy crawlies away than you may suspect. By lifting your blinds or curtains during the day, you will make your home a less attractive proposition to flies and other insects. This, in turn, will limit the food sources available to the spiders and they will be eventually forced to relocate. However, artificial light can still attract swarms of moths and other insects, so make sure to close your windows at night before flipping the light switches on.
Try Out a Few Home Remedies
Use scents spiders absolutely despise
There are many things that spiders will not dare approach even if their lives depended on it. Peppermint, eucalyptus oil, and tea-tree, for example, are just a few of the things you can use against them. Simply grab a spray bottle, dilute your chosen substance with water, and spray the area where you last spotted any spiders. If that doesn’t do the trick, you can also try using undiluted vinegar. Just do yourself a favour and check if all windows are widely open first.
Leave the spider hunting to your cat
Some see cats as selfish and rather lazy animals, but this couldn’t be more further away from the truth when it comes to spiders. However, this may not be the best option if you have spotted false widows in your home, since their bite can be potentially life-threatening to your fluffball!
Don’t throw away the citrus peels just yet
“What good can come out of keeping lime or lemon peels,” we hear you ask? Well, it turns out that spiders dislike their scent. A lot. Place the peels on window sills, on top of your bookshelf, or in other places that you think could feel inviting to the insects, and voilà – no more spiders!
Conkers – a useful remedy or a waste of time?
You may have heard from your grandmother or read somewhere that conkers are the arch nemesis of spiders. However, it’s high time that we debunk this myth. In fact, a group of school children in 2010 already did this for us! As of yet, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that spiders find conkers even mildly unpleasant, so you’re better off using garlic or vinegar instead.