That dreaded time of the year has come around once again – spider season.
The weather has begun to cool, and we’ve retreated back inside during our now shorter evenings – but, unfortunately, so have the house spiders…
Whether you’re a landlord, looking to keep your properties spider-free during void periods, in order to prevent any nasty surprises during inspections, or you’re an arachnophobic tenant, facing these creatures can be unnerving. With this in mind, we’ve looked into the most common tips to help keep those unsightly arthropods out of our homes:
Natural remedies can be found in your cupboards
Some people swear by the natural deterrent of water and vinegar. It is suggested that you should fill a bottle with half white vinegar and half water, then spray this concoction around any gaps in the floors, walls and windows. It is warned that you do not spray it on any varnished surfaces, as this could damage them. Green Pest Solutions suggests that the odour alone can be enough to repel spiders, therefore placing dishes of the solution in corners and underneath furniture can prevent them from getting comfy and making themselves at home.
Another option is to mix oils, such as peppermint, tea tree or cinnamon, with water and apply as mentioned above. 15-20 drops in three to five cups of water should do it. An extra tip is to swap around which oils you use, so that spiders don’t get used to one particular scent.
Doing one of these techniques daily should make those spiders think twice about infiltrating your personal space!
Keep your house clean
This isn’t so much a prevention technique, but more of a cure. By regularly tidying the property, this can prevent spiders from setting up shop. They are quick to rebuild any webs that you hoover up, so you’ll have to keep on top of the cleaning.
It can be worth sorting out any clutter as well; otherwise you’ve left the perfect environment for the little creatures to find a nook to hide away in.
Don’t forget to move furniture, as it can also create suitable areas for them to sit in. Have another good hoover, and consider keeping furniture away from walls and corners, to limit possible hiding places.
Let there be light?
This one we couldn’t quite decide on. Some make the point that you should keep the lights off. We all know that insects are attracted to any bright lights, which means that you are essentially providing any spiders with room service. Keeping the lights low or off could help. If you must have the lights on, then making sure any windows are closed should help.
However, it is also equally discussed that spiders prefer dark nooks and crannies, so illumination could be the key… It may be best to try out both methods, and see which has the best results.
And finally, here is one technique that, although popular, does not affect those little creeps, like hearsay would have us believe:
The old conker trick
Everyone and their grandma has heard of this one, but does it actually work? There is no scientific proof to support that this is so, but you may be familiar with the idea that conkers contain a noxious chemical that sends spiders scuttling.
Science Focus has made the point that “spiders don’t eat conkers or lay eggs in them, so there is no reason why horse chestnut trees would bother to produce spider-repelling chemicals.”
Back in 2010, a group of primary school children from Cornwall won a prize from the Royal Society of Chemistry for their experiment to disprove the conker technique. By creating environments that essentially gave spiders the option of going near conkers or avoiding them, it was concluded that horse chestnuts had no effect at all.
We would be interested to hear your thoughts on this topic. Have you noticed any method work particularly well? Or do you think we just need to get over our fears and accept that spiders are our our teeny tenants, living rent free, whether we like it or not…