September 3rd, 2021 by
If the words ‘spider season’ may as well be ‘chainsaw massacre day’ in terms of the level of fear and dread they trigger, then we have both bad and good news. The bad news is that we are approaching the time of year when spiders have reached sexual maturity and are descending on UK homes in great numbers to find a mate. The good news is that spiders are completely harmless in this country (we understand that this does nothing to quell the nerves of a true arachnophobe) and there are very simple things you can do to deter them from even coming in (surely the best kind of pest control?).
Why do we suddenly see more spiders in homes in the autumn?
While autumn has been dubbed spider season by many, there are actually spiders going about their business all year round. We see more of them at this time of year because they have become a bit bolder and have a mission to fulfil. Having munched on insects all summer, they reach sexual maturity in the autumn and that means time to find a mate. While they would normally prefer to hide away in dark corners, nooks, and crannies, they are forced out in search of love and therefore much more visible. They’re also looking for warmer places so as the weather outside cools, they will seek the warmth and shelter of buildings.
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Reasons you may want to deter spiders
If you have a genuine phobia about these 8-legged creatures then you will need no convincing to do what you can to eradicate them but given that they are harmless, plus they control other insect numbers such as flies and wasps, you may wonder why you’d want to limit them?
Well, there are a few other sensible reasons why controlling spider populations is a good idea:
- Spider webs can make your home look dirty and they’re often out of reach and hard to clean
- Spider webs are usually full of dead flying insects and are therefore unhygienic
- Spiders can mess with your security systems: they spin webs over CCTV camera lenses, making footage unusable, and can trigger burglar alarms when they crawl over sensors
- Spiders are looking to mate so if left free to turn your home into spider ‘Casa Amor’, you may find yourself host to large numbers of baby spiders in the weeks to come and that may challenge even the least spider-averse people
- We all eat around 10 spiders in our sleep every year – only joking; this one is an urban myth, but the others are really valid reasons!
Repel spiders humanely
You can buy all sorts of contraptions to catch spiders or resort to old fashioned bludgeoning them with a rolled-up magazine or sucking them up the hoover, but isn’t the best option to repel them so they don’t come in in the first place, thus not requiring you to deal with them at all?
Repelling also protects your karma as it doesn’t do them any harm, leaving them to go kill flies in the garage or terrorise the neighbours instead.
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Deterring spiders from hanging around your home can actually be done very simply, just using scent. Spiders are very averse to certain smells, including tea tree, lavender, and citrus, but especially peppermint. It is believed that they are sensitive to these pungent fragrances due to the way they use the hairs on their legs to climb. The hairs also help them to taste and smell so they can easily experience sensory overload when walking over such substances.
Diffusing essential oils into the atmosphere can help put them off but you’ll get the best results by spraying the surfaces they like to walk over, in order to physically coat the hairs. Spraying peppermint oil over your walls is only likely to create greasy spots and make your home smell like a dentist surgery so use a spider repellent spray that uses peppermint but smells pleasant to humans, won’t mark your surfaces, and is specifically formulated for this purpose. The best bit is the effects will last for up to 3 months so that will see you right through spider season and beyond!
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