Spiders. Sure, they are good for keeping local populations of various insects at bay, and sometimes they can snack on pesky lizards or frogs that might invade your garden. As much as I can appreciate the good work that spiders do for us, I can’t help but get super squeamish when I see one in my house! Yes, sure, eat those mosquitoes, but do it outside! I don’t want you lurking in the corners of my home, thank you very much. Here are my favorite ways to keep these creepy crawlies OUTSIDE where they belong!
1. Seal your doors and windows (AND your outlets)!
Spiders are small (usually). Spiders are clever. Spiders will find that one small crack next to the laundry room window and make their way to the living room faster than you can blink. Walk around your home and look for any cracks or crevices that lead to the outside, or to the inside of your drywall. This can happen frequently around the electrical outlets and light switches. I once found a large crack just behind the edge of the downstairs bathroom door. It wasn’t visible to anyone but the spiders who lived between the walls. Fill those spaces with caulk! For vents, chimneys, or floor vents, install a wire mesh behind them to help keep out those sneaky critters.
2. Be mindful of outdoor lights!
Those lights will attract tasty bugs that spiders love to eat! Consider moving your porch light a bit further away from your front door to lessen the chance of these spiders coming inside. If you can’t move your porch light, you can spray a spider repellent around the area to help deter them.
3. Keep your house tidy!
Having clutter around your home is a spider’s dream! With so many places to hide, it can be impossible to tell whether or not you have any spiders lurking about. If you can’t help the clutter, or there are some things you just can’t move, try to dust these areas every few days to discourage the spiders from returning. I keep a stack of mail on the counter, but I never find the time to sort it. I frequently find small spiders scurrying for cover when I search through it, so I know this feeling! Be mindful of your clutter!
4. Eliminate hiding spots!
Having plants indoors is a lovely way to decorate, but it is also a lovely way to give unwelcome spiders a cozy home. Be sure to check your indoor plants frequently for bugs and spiders. They will crawl in the dirt and make webs under the leaves. Check these plants daily for any leaves or fallen debris around doors and windows – don’t let the spiders win!
5. Spray peppermint oil!
Yes, spiders hate peppermint! They also aren’t a huge fan of vinegar. If you don’t like using store-bought spider repellent, you can make your own to spray along doors and window! In a spray bottle, mix 1/2 cup of white vinegar, 1 1/2 cups of water, and add 20 – 25 drops of peppermint oil. Ta-da! This should keep the spiders away for a while. Spray this mixture every month or so, and spray after any deep cleanings.
6. Plant eucalyptus!
Or basil, or lemon grass, or peppermint! Plants that repel mosquitoes will also deter spiders – if only for the fact that there won’t be as many mosquitoes to munch for dinner! A eucalyptus plant is low-maintenance, and if your area can support one, try it out! It smells nice, too!
7. Get professional help!
If you find the spiders have overrun your home, and no amount of peppermint oil and sweeping can keep them at bay, it’s time to call a professional! If you have pets, children, or a dangerous species of spiders invading your home, it’s time to get help. Some companies will require you to leave you home for several days, so be mindful of your schedule!
The spiders in my home are small and harmless, so I only worry about sweeping them away from the corners of the rooms once or twice a week. There are a lot of mosquitoes where I live, so I’m glad for the extra “backup” at times – that doesn’t mean I won’t squash a large spider the moment that I see it, but I’m a little more lenient towards the smaller invaders.
What do you do to keep spiders out of your home? Do you have some tips and tricks that aren’t on this list? Spiders are great for keeping the local insect population at bay…but it’s very unsettling to find a large spider lurking under the couch! Eep!
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