Waking up in the morning and finding a spider bite is not enjoyable. While the majority of spider bites in British Columbia are from spiders that are fairly benign, such as the zebra spider, house spider, and the black-footed spider, the more harmful black widow and brown recluse spiders are also living in B.C.
Spiders can evoke a lot of emotions in people. Fear, panic, and anxiety are all common. Although we are fortunate to live in a climate where most native spiders are not poisonous, most people do not want spiders in their home. Some commercial spider repellent treatments of the past have relied heavily on chemicals, which is something else humans don’t want an excess of in their home.
Natural spider repellents are not only safe for you and your loved ones and pets, but they also keep the spiders away. Poisonous or not, an infestation of spiders in your home needs to be dealt with. If you frequently see the same spider species, egg sacs, or large webs or tunnels (depending on the species of spider) you may have an infestation and should call an exterminator, in order to have the spiders dealt with safely and effectively.
The occasional spider sighting may not be cause for alarm, however most people could still do without seeing a spider in their home at all. The good news is that there are several natural spiders repellents to help keep your home spider free.
If you spot any cracks or crevices that are easy spaces for insects to crawl into, seal them off. Most hardware stores will have inexpensive sealants; however, you can also contact an exterminator for a professional job if you feel overwhelmed or unsure of what to do. Frequently vacuuming and dusting your home is also an effective way to help reduce the number of spiders in your home. Spiders are attracted to dark corners and dusty areas to make their webs. By keeping your space dust and clutter-free, you are taking away a spider’s favorite homes.
Moving your compost bin further away from your home, is also a good strategy, as spiders will frequent the bins to catch flies and other insects that are attracted to compost and food scraps. If you keep a small compost bin in your kitchen, store it in the freezer, to keep it away from any unwanted insects and spiders.
A tried and true method is to place horse chestnuts, also known as conkers, in the corners of rooms. Spiders are said to find the chemical compounds found in conkers abhorrent. Cedar blocks and chips are another natural spider repellant, which have the added bonus of making your home spell pleasant and woodsy.
A mixture of half white vinegar, half water in a spray bottle sprayed on windowsills, doorways, and other potential entry points, is a great natural spider repellant that is inexpensive, and nontoxic. Mint, citrus, and lavender essential oils can all be used as well. Instead of diluting them with water, simply place a few drops on windowsills, doorways, the corners of rooms, and any other areas in your home where spiders might frequent.
Installing screens on any windows and doors can also ensure that insects, and spiders preying on them, do not enter your home.
While many people use “bug bombs” or “bug foggers”, please note that these devices can be harmful to humans, especially in smaller spaces. They also contain chemicals and will coat the room in a very potent scent, which will repel spiders but can also be potentially unsafe for humans and animals to breathe, especially young children and birds.