Cute robot spider. Cartoon character

Keep Those Spiders Out!

I know very few people who actually like spiders, and if you’re like me, you’re actually dreading the usual autumn invasion of those eight-legged creepers. There’s a saying: “No matter where you are in the world, you’re probably about eight feet away from a spider.” I don’t want to think too long and hard about whether or not that’s true (although I sure hope it’s not!), but here’s what I do plan to do: I’m going to take some measures to keep spiders from invading my home this fall, and you can, too!

Don’t give spiders a reason to camp out in your space:
• Clear your home of insect infestations, the primary food source for most spiders, and they’ll be
less inclined to spin their webs where there’s no food to be found. For example, you can create a simple fruit fly trap using a mason jar and a mixture of apple cider vinegar, dish soap, and water. (See
• Declutter and tidy up your home, garage, basement, attic and even your yard to reduce possible attractions to insects and spiders. Many insects and spiders nest in quiet places where they can hide and be left alone, so simple things like vacuuming, dusting, moving your wood pile away from your home and raking leaves regularly can make a big difference in controlling the critter population.

Make them want to stay away:
• You might be surprised to learn than spiders are repelled by some very common pantry items:
Peppermint, white vinegar, and citrus oils. Just rub a little bit of it around windows, any cracks and crevices that are a potential entry point, doors, and baseboards, or prepare a spray bottle mixture and do the same.
• Spiders also don’t like cedar, chestnuts, and–get this–tobacco. You can buy cedar chips and sprinkle them around the outside of your home (or place them in containers inside your home), place a few chestnuts here and there, or prepare a mixture of tobacco water and spray it where spiders might be likely to hang out.
• For a warm and fuzzy alternative, adopt a cat! Our feline friends are expert spider hunters, and even the presence of a docile cat will deter spiders.

Make it hard for them to get into your home:
• If you were thinking about caulking cracks, sealing windows, and closing up other gaps to make your home snug and warm for the winter, you’re already on the right track to keep spiders out. They can’t get in if your house is sealed tight.
• Fix holes in screens and make sure all doors and windows seal properly when closed.
• When you bring things into your home from your yard or your garage, such as small plants,
cuttings, firewood, etc.., inspect them for spiders before you do.
• Clear a path between plants and shrubs and your home so your greenery doesn’t create a
bridge for spiders to your home or hiding places that are too close for comfort. Spiders can sneak in when a door is open!

For a bona fide infestation, call in the big guns:
• There is no shortage of professional pest control agencies that can help you get rid of a spider infestation, and they will know precisely how to locate the source of the problem and how to best handle your particular situation.
• If you would rather try your hand at getting rid of them yourself, there are several kinds of traps available for catching spiders, as well as pesticides. The downside of using pesticides is that spiders tend to be resistant to many of them, and using chemicals around your home should always be carefully researched. The downside of using traps is that you might have to face some ugly business retrieving the trap with lots of dead–or partially dead–spiders in it.

Keeping spiders outside should make for a much warmer, cozier fall season–or at least a lot less creepy one.

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