It might be Halloween at the end of this month, but it is not all ghastly ghouls and goblins. As the weather cools and there is less for them to eat outside, house spiders make a return to our homes at this time of year and are often seen in our kitchen cupboards, bathrooms and dark corners. If spiders make your skin crawl, you’re probably not keen on sharing your home with them and will want to be rid. Most spider species are not harmful to humans in any way, so, what can you do to get rid of spiders without killing them?
1. Lemon Peel
Spiders hate citrus, so it’s the perfect weapon. Rub lemon peel all over your windowsills, bookshelves and anywhere they might like to hide. This is an easy way to move them along, and out of your home! If you are also looking for a way to get rid of spiders in the attic or garage, this could be an easy solution. Rubbing lemon around skirting boards and door frames should do the trick.
2. Essential oils
Spiders hate the smell of many essential oils – which is great, given that many people like them. Peppermint oil does wonders at repelling them (as well as mice, slugs, and other critters). Try soaking cotton balls in the stuff and placing them strategically in places where spiders have been seen. You can also try citronella, lavender, eucalyptus, or a blend of all three.
3. Physically remove spiders from your home
The most popular method for catching spiders in the home is to use a jar or a glass. This is a humane method that allows you to catch spiders without killing them and get rid of them fast. You can use any container for your DIY trap, but the best spider catching tools are transparent, not too big or small and not too heavy or fragile. Once you have the spider trapped, you will need to slip a piece of paper under the jar. Takeaway menus and thin card work particularly well, because they give you a more solid base than paper. Carefully slide the paper under the container and then lift the jar and paper together, being careful to keep the spider trapped. Release the spider outside, leaving a good amount of distance from your home.
4. Get rid of other insects
Spiders wander into your home partly in search of a mate, but partly for the same reasons you are there: domestic comforts such as warmth and food. Unlike humans, spiders love flies, clean fruit to deter fruit flies and wheel your bins to new places as far away from your house as possible, keep them closed at all times to keep spiders well away from your windows and doors.
5. Spiders and conkers: fact or myth?
Sadly, it’s a myth: there’s no scientific evidence to prove that conkers or chestnuts repel spiders. The old wives’ tale suggests that horse chestnuts (also known as conkers) contain certain chemicals that spiders find unpalatable. But are spiders actually scared of conkers? A 2018 study found natural compounds, like horse chestnuts, to be effective in deterring spider settlements. Place horse chestnuts in the corners of your house where you experience high traffic levels of spiders. Cut a few holes in them if you can to further release any chemicals. It might not work, but it’s certainly worth a try if all else fails and they look nice as an autumnal decoration too!
Happy Halloween and Have a great weekend
Clinton and Fiona