How to get rid of spiders at home

October 22nd, 2015

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How to get rid of spiders at home

A recent meeting at Appliances Online HQ was gatecrashed by a surprise visitor – a spider!

Lowering him or herself down on a web, this arthropod wasn’t able to add much to the meeting agenda other than giving our poor graphic designer a fright.

Huntsman-spider-in-handThis wasn’t our meeting visitor – this is just the least-terrifying close-up spider image I could find. (source: Bryce McQuillan on Wikimedia Commons)

Sharing your home with spiders is all part of living in Australia, but there are limits. While most spiders are only a true threat to their insect prey, a few species can be dangerous to humans and pets (if you’re not sure whether an eight-legged visitor is venomous, consult an animal control professional or exterminator).

If your home’s spiders aren’t respecting your personal space, here’s how to get rid of them… OTHER than whacking them with a really big boot, setting the boot on fire, and nuking the site from orbit (it’s the only way to be sure):

Why are spiders in my house?

How’s the weather outside? If it’s been raining, there’s an increased chance of indoor spider activity. Some spider species appreciate dry spaces just as much as we do (remember Incy-Wincy?) and prefer to make their homes in these areas.

858px-Mosquito_2007-2source: Alvesgaspar on Wikimedia Commons

Plus, more rain means more puddles, which means more breeding insects (like mosquitos), which means more food to go in the web.

Use smells to discourage spiders

You can discourage spiders from taking up residence in certain areas of your home by giving these areas a spray with an unpleasant-smelling substance.

Red_Spray_bottle_1440426 source: Nevit Dilmen on Wikimedia Commons

A spray composed of citrus-scented essential oils and dish washing liquid is a popular combination.

Remove potential and existing spider habitats

You can try to keep spiders from getting inside your home by sealing up the cracks and crevices that facilitate their entry.

Regularly check any dark, concealed spaces around your home for signs of spider inhabitation. The gaps around appliances, such as underneath the fridge or down the side of the stove can be likely spots.

800px-Cobwebs_on_fence source: Rdsmith4 on Wikimedia Commons

Remember that some spiders live outside and just commute indoors on occasion. Be vigilant in the garden, getting rid of old vegetation and woodpiles where spiders like to make their outdoor homes.

Keep things clean

Remove spider webs where you find them, and keep your carpets clean just in case there are any spider eggs among the fibres.

Dyson Handheld Vacuum Cleaner DC59ANIMAL

A vacuum with a crevice tool is useful for cleaning those hard to reach spots, and a well-balanced stick vacuum can be used to clean cobwebs from ceiling corners.

Peaceful relocation

For spiders that are already indoors and getting all up in your business, I’ve had some success in the past with the old glass-and-paper technique.

800px-Brazilian_Spider_ILF_04_glass source: Ilovefoxes on Wikimedia Commons

Just catch the spider underneath a glass cup, carefully slide a sheet of paper underneath, and keep the whole thing sealed as you carry it outdoors to release the spider back into the wild.

Be careful if you choose to try this – you may want to wear gloves. And don’t risk trying this if the spider seems aggressive or frightened, or you think it may be venomous.  This leads us to…

Get professional help

Not from a psychiatrist (though that may be helpful for recovering from your newfound arachnophobia), but from an exterminator.

800px-Barack_Obama_with_Spider-ManThe White House has a HUGE spider problem.

This is probably the best option if you have a recurring problem with spiders colonising spaces in and around your home.

Mark joined Appliances Online in November 2011 and has since learned more than he ever expected to know about appliances. He enjoys looking for new and unusual ways for to solve everyday problems using typical household appliances. When he’s not toiling at the desks of Appliances Online and Big Brown Box, he tries to find time to write the next big bestseller and draw satirical cartoons, but is too easily distracted by TV, music and video games. Mark’s favourite appliance is the Dyson Groom Tool, as he loves the concept of vacuuming your dog. Google+

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