How to Get Rid of Spiders
Spiders are one of the most feared creatures in the world, with nearly 50% of women and 10% of men in the United States displaying traits of arachnophobia, the irrational and intense fear of spiders. The truth is though, that these eight-legged foes are a lot less menacing than they appear (with the exception of the toxic black widow and brown recluse). Most spiders are quite harmless and highly beneficial to the environment in terms of insect control. Regardless, they can turn into a real nuisance when they decide to make residency in your home. This article addresses the best practices on how to get rid of spiders.
Please note, the majority will find that spider identification can make all the difference when it comes to getting rid of spiders.
To get rid of spiders in the house, a thorough home inspection is necessary, both indoors and outdoors. On the outside of a home, they can be seen constructing webs around light fixtures, windows, and door frames. Many insects are attracted to light, making any light fixture a suitable hunting ground. Spiders will often lay eggs and nest in trees – spiderlings (baby spiders) will hatch out and float on the wind to the higher levels of your home through a process known as ballooning, where they can pass through the screens and enter through the window rails.
Nearly ALL house spider infestations can be traced to hatching eggs. Look beneath common furniture items in areas with heavy activity - messy webs and egg casings can be sucked up with a vacuum hose. You will be surprised at what you find.
The long legged cellar spider is by far the most common spider to infest homes and basements. A thorough inspection of the home will reveal the areas with highest activity.
The first step in getting rid of spiders would be to identify the source. Cracks around windows, screens, and doors should be sealed where appropriate. Spiders inside the home can be swept or scooped up with a vacuum, and the spiders can be killed with a non-staining spray labeled for spider control. If you don't have anything at the house, just mix a little bit of soap and water into a spray bottle. To catch and release, place a cup over the top of the spiders body and slide a piece of paper underneath, releasing it outdoors. Webs on the outside should be removed from around light fixtures, downspouts, and eaves.
- Eliminate potential harborage sites around the home. Removal of harborage sites around the exterior (wood piles, plant debris) and proper exclusion techniques should be used before opting to purchase insecticides.
- Doors, windows, and plumbing voids should be sealed and caulked. Too many times, spiders will enter the home through windows and doors. Ensure window screens are properly fitted.
- Ensure plants are properly trimmed. Spiders prefer to inhabit the plants around your house. Any branches touching the home should be trimmed.
- All webs and egg casings should be removed, inside and out. Spider egg sacs can hold several hundred baby spiders. If they have hatched, then there are tons more around the house.
- Glue boards or homemade traps should be placed on the inside of garage. That’s because most infestations start in the garage. Large nocturnal hunters like the fast and hairy wolf spider prefer garages for shelter and hunting. Make sure the boards are placed right next to garage doors. They are lined with a sticky adhesive that will catch entering spiders.
Be wary before making any purchases - there are plenty of gimmicks and products claiming spider control without any scientific evidence that they actually work. There is no evidence to support the merit of ultrasonic spider repellents. The same is true for Osage hedge balls, a fruit many sources claim are used to ward off spiders. Most of the techniques listed above focus on making sure that openings around the home are sealed, which is preferred over chemical treatments. Foam sealants should be used for larger gaps.
In severe cases, spider control may require the the assistance of a professional. However, if you are the proactive type, there are many spider killers available at the appliance store. Remember that the product label is the law, and all product directions should be followed closely. Focus most of your treatment efforts in the garage or basement paying close attention to corners and areas immediately behind furniture.
Using a flashlight will greatly improve web visibility. Do not expect to get any real work done without one.
In some cases, activity around the home may be directly related to heavy insect activity (crickets, flies, etc). The same can be said for a home surrounded by trees.
- Treat around all windows, rails and sills. Spiders will hang out by the windows for cooler temperatures and to catch prey. Be sure to check behind the curtains and drapes as well. Thoroughly inspect bedrooms and closets.
- Check to make sure there are no gaps beneath the sink. Home builders will often fail to seal the plumbing lines in the bathrooms and kitchen.
- Apply product on all inner door seams. This is especially important if light is coming through. Check along wall corners or beneath furniture as well.
- Pay special attention to cabinet corners and voids. The temperatures in your walls are at room level all year – these holes provide access from the insides of the wall.
- Treat heavily in garages and basements. Focus most of your treatment efforts in the garage or basement paying close attention to corners and areas immediately behind furniture or large objects.
So long as you are thorough in your search for the source, spiders inside of the house can be controlled relatively quickly. Individuals and families whose home is surrounded by trees will fare a lot better using exclusion and sealants than chemical treatments and cleanliness alone. Remember, the goal here is to remove any eggs, webs, and to ensure that all points of entry are properly sealed.