There’s an old folk tale that says placing ‘conkers’ (more commonly known as horse chestnuts) around the house, near doors, windows, and in corners that spiders like to claim may help keep them away.
Tips to spider-proof your home
By Ash Sabinin, Contributor
It’s getting chilly and everyone’s trying to escape the frigid winter wind outdoors, including spiders. Whether you absolutely freak out when faced with an eight-legged foe (like I do) or you would just prefer they not be crawling around your home, here are some tips and tricks to keep those critters away.
The first priority is to ensure no more bugs can come in from outside, so check all your windows and doors for any cracks or crevices that might be letting spiders sneak inside. Any small holes in window screens or gaps left indoors are essentially welcome mats for any crawling critters looking for a warm place to hideout. Another good idea is to eliminate as many hiding spots or potential homes for spiders in your house as possible. Tidy up and dust any dark and cluttered areas, like the garage and closets, it’ll give them fewer places to hide and procreate while also making it easier for you to see and get rid of them.
Additionally, my favourite spider deterrent is peppermint. While most humans find mint to be a refreshing and delightful fragrance, many insects (including spiders) find it repulsive. There are so many ways to make your home smell minty and therefore deter spiders from hanging around, you could light a mint-scented candle or use a diffuser with mint essential oil. If you have peppermint essential oil, another method is to add about 15 to 20 drops into a spray bottle of water and spray around the house; especially around windows, doors and vents. You can also place either small bags or satchels of dried mint (or mint tea bags if that’s more convenient) around the home, especially in corners or areas that spiders like to hide in.
If you don’t enjoy the smell of peppermint, another option is eucalyptus, you can adapt most of the methods I just mentioned to use eucalyptus scents instead. Eucalyptus does a good job of repelling spiders so placing sprigs of eucalyptus around the house or spraying a eucalyptus essential oil and water mixture will also help keep those pests away. If you have a green thumb, planting mint, eucalyptus or even lavender plants around the entrances to your house might also help keep spiders from venturing too close.
If those scents don’t work for you, other natural options are citrus and cinnamon; try sprinkling cinnamon or crushed dried citrus peels around the house. Lighting scented candles or using room sprays to make the air fragrant can also steer spiders away.
However, some people don’t like any of those scents so another way to make your house less appealing to spiders is by turning off unnecessary outdoor lights that might attract flies or other bugs and the spiders that want to feed on them.
There’s an old folk tale that says placing “conkers” (more commonly known as horse chestnuts) around the house, near doors, windows, and in corners that spiders like to claim may help keep them away. Supposedly the oils created within the chestnuts repel spiders but there hasn’t been much research confirming this so I would recommend trying this along with other methods to have a stronger impact. Be careful with this one though as conkers can be toxic especially when consumed by children or pets.
Another idea, although quite a bit more complicated than some of these other methods is to get a cat! However, if you do get a cat, make sure to cover their food as it’s believed the meaty smells can attract spiders which sort of defeats the purpose. Having a cat around to hunt down spiders by themselves will give you some peace of mind, but make sure you get a cat with energy to burn and a hunting spirit because I know my cats couldn’t care less about spiders and might even enjoy watching me panic when I see them.
I’ve always had the worst luck with spiders, they always show up when I’m alone and defenceless and then it puts me on edge for the whole day so if I can avoid seeing them in the first place, I’ll be happy. Hopefully, these tips will help all of us take back our homes from the invading spiders this winter and find some comfort in our spider-free space.