What to do if you have spiders in your house
The fact that phobias are irrational does not make them any less real. If you look at any list of phobias, fear of spiders will be at the top, if not number 1. It doesn’t matter that the vast majority of spiders pose no threat or have human-like behaviors like REM sleep. People are still afraid of them.
When you find spiders in your house, it is disturbing, especially if they are in the bedroom. But don’t worry, our DIY expert is here to help you. Beth Allen, founder of HIP Chicks (Home Improvement Project Chicks), shared the best strategies for addressing her spider problem.
Are spiders bad?
Before we talk about how to get rid of spiders, it’s important to understand why you shouldn’t get rid of them. Yes, spiders are predators. And yes, almost all spiders have venom sacs. However, spiders are not aggressive creatures. They won’t attack unless they are in danger or hungry (and people are too big to be considered food). Additionally, most spider venom is relatively harmless. Allen said there are typically only two spiders that are a problem for humans in the U.S.: the black widow and the brown recluse.
On the other hand, the common house spider is actually beneficial to humans. Since a spider’s diet consists of insects, such as cockroaches, earwigs, fleas, mosquitoes, flies, and more, they do an excellent job of keeping the population of nuisance, disease-carrying insects in check.
Spider Control Requires a Two-Two Approach
For some people, their fear or aversion to spiders is strong enough to make them want to get them out of the house. To achieve this, Allen explained, a two-pronged approach is needed. First of all, you must take preventive measures to prevent them from entering. Secondly, you should remove those already inside your home.
How to prevent spiders from entering your house
Clean the interior
The first step to keeping spiders away is to clean the interior. Allen said: “Vacuum and sweep frequently. Don’t let cobwebs, dust balls and dog hair accumulate. Store food properly and be sure to clean up crumbs, clean up spills, and take out trash because you don’t want to create a situation that attracts insects because the presence of insects will attract spiders. The idea is to limit the insect population in your home as much as possible.”
Seal interior access points.
Inspect the area around your windows, doors and baseboards. If you find gaps or cracks, use painter’s putty to repair the holes. Allen told us that many people neglect to caulk their baseboards, which leaves a path for bugs to enter their home.
Clean the exterior
Allen said to look at the area around your home to make sure no trash or debris accumulates. If you have a pile of leaves or keep firewood stacked outside, make sure it is away from the house. Insects love to hang out in piles of leaves, so spiders will also stay there for an easy meal.
At night, Allen reminded, “Turn off the outside lights because that attracts bugs. However, weigh your safety and security concerns. If you have people coming and going from your house at night, you don’t want anyone to fall. And you don’t want your home to be an easy target for burglars by keeping it dark.” She said to consider a bulb with a built-in timer or a bulb with a motion sensor, so the light is only on when you need it.
Allen also suggested using yellow lights to reduce the number of bugs a night light will attract.
Seal exterior access points.
Another task you want to perform is to carefully inspect the exterior of your home for insect-sized entries.
“You’d be surprised how many people have torn window screens,” Allen said. “They are not that difficult to repair. You can fix them with a new screen mesh and a spline tool. You can also get an adjustable time window display.”
Allen noted: “Many people don’t close their sash windows completely. This not only lets bugs in, but can also mean higher energy bills in both summer and winter.”
You should also seal any gaps or cracks you find on the exterior of your home. “People often forget to seal places where utility lines enter the house. You need to evaluate the electric, gas, water, HVAC, and all utilities coming in, whether through stucco, siding, stone, or whatever. Make sure there are no gaps or cracks,” he added.
If you find a hole, Allen said you can fill it with caulk, steel wool and expanding foam, depending on how wide the gap is.
Strengthen your exterior
It is impossible to find every crack that is small enough for bugs and spiders to enter your home. If you want to add a protective barrier, Allen said there are three easy ways to do it.
Peppermint spray: Add one cup of water, three drops of essential oil, and one drop of dish soap to a spray bottle. Use it to spray around the foundation and window wells, or wherever you find bugs in your home.
Vinegar spray: Alternatively, you can use half vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Mint is only preferable because it smells better.
Diatomaceous earth: A third option is to place a line of diatomaceous earth around the perimeter of your home. This will help keep out all the crawling bugs and insects.
How to get spiders out of your house
If you’re reading this article, you’ve probably already encountered enough spiders in your home to make you uncomfortable. That means you’re looking for a way to reduce the population. In addition to the cup and cardboard method in which you individually trap and relocate each spider you find, there are two options that do not involve the use of potentially harmful insecticides.
Glue traps are simply a small piece of cardboard or plastic covered with a strong adhesive. Some also contain pheromones to attract insects to the board. These small objects are placed in out-of-the-way areas along the wall or in corners. Any small critters that climb onto the adhesive plate are trapped and cannot escape.
While Allen doesn’t use ultrasonic devices, he knows other people who rely on them to solve insect and rodent problems. An ultrasonic (or subsonic) pest repeller emits a sound that is out of range of human hearing but aggravates the target pest. This turns his home into an undesirable residence, causing the bugs to leave.
Products you need to keep spiders out of your home
[ Shark S2 Navigator Professional Upright Vacuum ]
This lightweight yet powerful vacuum can help clean dirt, debris, and food from the floor that would otherwise attract bugs.
[ Cobweb Duster with Extension Pole ]
This duster extends up to 6 feet and has a medium stiffness head to allow you to remove cobwebs you may find in hard-to-reach areas.
[ Hand Broom and Dustpan ]
A basic hand broom with high-quality bristles and a dustpan is essential for cleaning crumbs from the countertop and stains from the floor.
[ DAP Alex Painter’s Caulk ]
DAP Painters Caulk is specially formulated for use around windows, doors and baseboards. Creates a flexible, paintable waterproof seal.
[ DAP Dynaflex Ultra-Advanced Exterior Sealant ]
If you need a heavy-duty exterior caulk, this offering is weather-resistant and has lifetime resistance to mold, mildew, and algae. It’s ready for rain in an hour.
[ Ryobi One+ 18-volt Power Caulk Gun ]
If you have a tube of caulk, you will need a caulk gun. This motorized model makes your task very easy and gives you full control.
[ Great Stuff with Smart Dispenser ]
This expanding foam is not only good, but it is also great for filling cracks and gaps that allow bugs and cold to enter your home.
[ Xcluder Rodent Control Fill Fabric ]
For larger gaps, this steel wool is an ideal solution. Creates a barrier that deters not only insects but also rodents.
[ Frost King Adjustable Window Screen ]
Without a doubt, this is the fastest and easiest way to repair or replace a damaged screen. It is simple and can be installed without using tools.
[ Plastic Spray Bottle ]
These highly rated spray bottles are perfect for mixing and applying a vinegar or essential oil solution.
[ GE LED+ Timer Light Bulbs ]
These handy bulbs have a built-in timer so they automatically turn on and off at the same time every day. This can help reduce the interest that flying insects have in your home.
[ GE LED+ Motion Sensor Light Bulbs ]
A bulb with a built-in motion sensor means you never have to worry about turning it on or off. It is activated only when necessary, keeping insect curiosity to a minimum.
[ EcoSmart 60-Watt Equivalent Outdoor Bug Light ]
If you prefer to leave a light on, this yellow bulb operates at a frequency that insects can’t easily see, so they’ll be less inclined to check your house.
[ Real-Kill Household Pest Glue Boards ]
These adhesive plates are non-toxic. They can be placed anywhere where insect and spider activity is suspected to trap and reduce the population.
[ Bell and Howell Ultrasonic Pest Repeller ]
The frequencies emitted by this device are annoying for insects. It makes them leave the area to look for a more suitable place to live.
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