Why did the spider go online? To create a new web-site! But when spiders decide to set up their “web-sites” in our homes, it’s no laughing matter. While spiders play an important role in the ecosystem by keeping insect populations in check, many people find them unnerving and would prefer to keep them outdoors. If you’re looking to get rid of spiders without causing harm, this article will guide you through identifying common household spiders, understanding why they come into your home, and how to safely remove and prevent their return.
Identifying Common Household Spiders
Before you attempt to remove any spiders, it’s essential to identify the type of spider you’re dealing with, as some can be dangerous. Here are four common household spiders:
- American House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum): Small and brown with a round abdomen, these spiders create messy, irregular webs.
- Cellar Spider (Pholcidae): These long-legged spiders are also known as “daddy long-legs” and prefer dark, damp areas like basements.
- Wolf Spider (Lycosidae): A larger, hairy spider that hunts its prey on the ground rather than building webs.
- Jumping Spider (Salticidae): These small, curious spiders have excellent vision and can jump great distances.
Most household spiders are harmless, but it’s best to treat all spiders with caution and avoid handling them directly.
Why Spiders Come Into the Home
Spiders typically enter homes in search of food, shelter, and mates. They’re drawn to dark, quiet areas where they can hide and find prey, such as insects and other small creatures. Some common factors that attract spiders to your home include:
- Access to food sources: A house with an abundance of insects will naturally attract spiders seeking a meal.
- Clutter and hiding spots: Spiders love hiding in cluttered spaces, such as piles of clothes, boxes, or stacks of paper.
- Cracks and gaps: Openings in the walls, doors, and windows provide easy access for spiders to enter your home.
- Moisture: Damp areas, like basements and bathrooms, can attract certain types of spiders that prefer humid environments.
How to Get Rid of Spiders Without Harming Them
If you encounter a spider in your home and wish to remove it without causing harm, follow these simple steps:
- Use a glass and paper method: Place a glass over the spider, then slowly slide a piece of paper under the glass until the spider steps onto it. Gently lift the glass and paper together, keeping the spider enclosed, and carry it outside to release.
- Employ a spider catcher: This tool has long bristles that can gently trap the spider without hurting it. Simply place the bristles over the spider, twist the handle to close them, and carry the spider outside to release.
- Encourage the spider to leave: If the spider is in an accessible location, you can gently prod it with a soft brush or a piece of paper to encourage it to crawl onto the object. Once the spider is on the object, carefully transport it outside.
How to Prevent Spiders From Coming Back
To minimize the chance of spiders returning to your home, implement these proactive measures:
- Keep your home clean: Regularly vacuum, dust, and declutter your living spaces to eliminate hiding spots and reduce the number of insects that attract spiders.
- Seal entry points: Inspect the exterior of your home for cracks and gaps, paying close attention to windows, doors, and vents. Seal any openings with caulk or weatherstripping to prevent spiders from entering.
- Maintain your outdoor spaces: Keep the area around your home free of debris, such as woodpiles and leaf litter, which can provide shelter for spiders. Trim back shrubs and bushes near your home to minimize potential hiding spots.
- Use natural spider repellents: Certain essential oils, like peppermint, lavender, and eucalyptus, can deter spiders. Mix a few drops with water in a spray bottle and apply it to entry points and areas where you’ve noticed spider activity.
- Install window screens: Ensure all windows have tight-fitting screens to prevent spiders and other insects from entering your home.
- Control indoor humidity: Use a dehumidifier in damp areas, such as basements and bathrooms, to make the environment less appealing to moisture-loving spiders.
By following these tips, you can effectively discourage spiders from taking up residence in your home while also minimizing the need for removal efforts in the future. Remember, spiders are a valuable part of the ecosystem, and these humane approaches allow them to continue their beneficial work outside your home.
In conclusion, managing spiders in your home doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By identifying common household spiders, understanding the reasons they enter your home, and employing humane removal and prevention techniques, you can maintain a spider-free living space. As a bonus, keeping your home clean and clutter-free not only deters spiders but also contributes to the overall maintenance of your living space. Don’t forget to regularly clean and inspect appliances like washing machines and fridges, as these can sometimes be overlooked hiding spots for spiders and other pests. With these tips in mind, you can coexist with our eight-legged friends while ensuring they stick to their own “web-sites” outside your home.