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The Unwanted House Guestby Emma Whitchurch, Nov 2019
Yep, you guessed it… spiders. If we’re being honest, nobody really WANTS a spider living in their house – whether they’re a fan or not! Here’s some top tips on how to avoid this unwanted house guest this winter:
A popular old wives tale says that chestnuts can be placed around the home to deter spiders. Some claim they hate the smell, others claim they keel over in the presence of a walnut. There’s no real evidence to support this though, so use either as a last resort or for a good old playground game.
Where there are insects, there are spiders
As the evenings grow darker, it can be tempting to leave outside lights on which serve as a beacon to the insects in the area. The spiders aren’t attracted to the light, but will follow the insects. If windows are left open with the lights on, expect a lot of spiders to be following those moths.
Essential Oils and Vinegar Sprays
Eucalyptus, tea-tree or even peppermint oils might keep the spiders out. While some might enjoy the smell, the spiders do not. Spray around windows and doors. A similar option is vinegar. With an infinite amount of uses around the house, one of them had to be deterring spiders. Side effects may include deterring friends and family from your extremely fragrant home.
Get a Pet
Preferably a cat. Cats have been used as hunters since humans first began to interact with them, and even the most docile tabby cat will still follow his instincts. While they aren’t going to eliminate the entire spider problem, they’ll catch anything they see sprinting across the living room floor. Use caution if there are poisonous spiders in the house like the False Widow, as they can hurt animals too.
Cedar and Tobacco
With a convenient source of cedar or the money to afford to sprinkle tobacco around the home, these may also repel spiders. Cedar wood will work, so hangars may work in wardrobes. Investing in cedar furniture is only for the serious arachnophobe.
Keeping your home clean
Perhaps the most boring method and the most effective. Spiders love to hide in dark and neglected places, and any leftover food will attract insects that will in turn attract more spiders. Vacuuming or dusting away cobwebs and egg sacs will make spiders less eager to return. Removing plant matter and debris from around your house will also work as a preventative measure as there will be fewer spiders to move inside.