Earlier this year it was definitely the case to decorate our homes with insect illustrations on everything from wallpaper to chinaware. Now as the autumn really takes hold I am certainly not a fan of finding the real thing in my bath – or anywhere else in the house, especially the eight legged kind.
It’s definitely true that spiders seem to take refuge in our homes as the days get colder and sometimes wetter. For some this prospect instils a complete fear. Arachnophobics have a real fear of spiders; it can bring on a panic attack.
But there are ways we can attempt to discourage them from sharing our homes.
Start in the garden
Move potential spider refuges from around the exterior walls of your house. Things like a wood store, piles of autumn leaves, compost, grass clippings etc. You could also plant mint or lavender under your windows as spiders aren’t keen on their strong perfume. We’ve also heard planting a Eucalyptus tree for a similar reason can help. It hasn’t worked in our garden – the spiders attach their webs to it!
Also make sure that cracks in door openings or window sills filled – these are inviting access points for our eight legged friends.
Turn off outside lights placed on or by your house. These attract other insects which tempt the spiders to come after them.
A clean and tidy home
We’re sure your home is clean and tidy but paying special attention to this can help to deter spiders if they have taken shelter with you. So make sure your vacuuming and brushing routine is regular; don’t leave dirty dishes or food out – this attracts other insects which in turn attract spiders; don’t forget to vacuum away any cobwebs that appear as these can contain spider egg sacks.
Spiders love to hide in dark corners so don’t make it easy for them. If you have any areas that need a good declutter, there’s no time better.
Following the theme from outdoors, using strong smelling essential oils to detract spiders. The most effective of these seems to be peppermint but tea-tree, lavender and cinnamon also claim to have the same response. Add about 15 to 20 drops of your chosen oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spray around your house.
Another way with strong smells is to use lemons or lemon perfumed furniture cleaners. Burning citronella candles inside and outside will also help. If your phobia is bad you may want to consider rubbing your window sills and skirting boards with lemon or other citrus peel.
Apparently spiders aren’t keen on the smell of garlic either. If you can bare it, you could crush some cloves and add to water to spray in the most likely areas. Personally I’ll stick to the citrus or the peppermint.
Another deterrent is vinegar. All the guides suggest using white vinegar and water in equal proportions. Again use a spray bottle and spritz all those cracks, corners and crevices where spiders might be tempted to hide. Don’t spray this mixture on your beautifully polished furniture though as it can do damage.
Yes it’s a good excuse to wander and collect this seasons great fallen produce of the Horse Chestnut tree – conkers. Put these shiny brown nuts in corners, on window sills, make a display of them in a bowl. Many people swear by this natural deterrent.
One thing’s for sure, anything that stops us having to share bath time or bedtime with these intruders is fine by us.