Mainstream cinema has messed up the ordinary brain forever, mine included.
Perfectly genial creatures – spiders. I know they don’t mean any harm (most of the time), yet can’t stand the thought of sharing space with them.
Worse still, I had to learn the hard way that getting rid of household spiders could be tough. Trust me, I am very particular about cleaning and had never had a major pest infestation.
However, a couple of years back, we were out for a whole 20 days on cruise.
When we returned, I had no inkling that a nightmare would be waiting for me back home.
Nothing looked out of the ordinary at first. Mishap struck two mornings later, with my son bawling and waking us up. We rushed in to find him clutching his arm in pain. There was an angry red mark on his forearm, slightly swollen and he complained of pain.
I instantly knew that it was an insect bite but was not sure what it was. I rushed him to the doctor, who informed us that the bite mark looked like that from a spider.
Spiders! I always detested spiders, and now I hated them.
Different types of household spiders could be dangerous, and poisonous, and I remember that our almost month-long absence had probably given them the perfect excuse to multiply uninhibitedly.
Because I always keep my house meticulously clean, I never had problems with spider control before. But the month-long absence had given them free rein of the house. Nevertheless, I quickly got to work and after a couple of days, my house was finally dust spider and spider-web free.
I did have to employ several tactics, of course, to get rid of them completely, and never having taken up such a massive clean-up undertaking myself, I have decided to make a list of the things that were effective in eliminating spiders. Here is how to keep spiders away.
Initial Steps For Getting Rid Of Spider Webs
At first, you can take a spider web brush and start sweeping the cobwebs. This will work for a while but then the stringy webs could get entangled in the brush. In case that happens, and the webs refuse to come off, hold the brush under a strong gush of tap water.
Spider web is made of something called silk. It is a form of protein secreted by certain animals and insects like caterpillars and spiders. The latter uses them to make their webs and if allowed to grow, they can grow into strong ropes. Yes! The kind you see in haunted homes in the movies!
Next, you should start vacuuming. The vacuum cleaner will work well. The cobwebs will be sucked in, some with tiny spiders and all. I got the entire house cleaned this way in a couple of hours. After the webs were off, you should also mix a floor disinfectant with water and mop the floor.
I was happy that the matter was resolved. Only, the next morning I woke up, I found a small spider web again behind my kitchen door. And I found another one behind the sofa when I started doing my daily dusting. To identify a spider web, you need strong light.
If you see the spiders in daylight, it means that the spider infestation is strong. Spiders prefer to stay in the dark, which is why you cannot see them during the day. But they make it a point to emerge at night and spin their spider nest and hunt for food.
Worried that the problem could again get out of hand, this time I applied a more intensive method to melt spider web.
Does vinegar kill spiders?
You can make a spider killer spray out pepper powder and vinegar and spray it in all the corners of the house as much as possible. The sharpness of pepper powder and the strong citrus smell is too much for insects to bear. It is one of the best ways to eliminate them.
Spraying it in every corner of the house regularly will reduce the propensity of spiders as it dissolves spider web. You should make it a point to spray this mix every alternate day ever since, and there will be hardly any more spiders or cobwebs in the house.
Bleach as spider web cleaner
Additionally, you could also use bleach as a spider web cleaner or also to disinfect your house. Bleach too has a strong smell, and not just spiders, it can take care of several other larger insects in your home, like lizards.
- Simply use one part of bleach powder with four parts of water and spray it in the dark corners.
- Be sure to wear protective gloves and eye gear while spraying.
- Do not go near the wet surfaces immediately after.
However, refrain from using this if there are pets in the house or the children are allergic to bleach. But spiders stop coming back due to bleach.
You can also spread bleaching powder around the house. It will smell pungent at first, but it will keep a lot of insects away, including spiders.
On the other hand, if you cannot stand the smell of bleach or bleaching powder, you can also use baking soda. It is less pungent but if you mix it with vinegar, it gives off a smell of its own. That should keep the spiders away. However, unlike bleaching powder, you will have to use this mixture more frequently for it to work effectively.
Use Essential Oils To Repel Spiders
In case you cannot use chemical disinfectants or cleaners in the house for cleaning because of allergies or breathing problems of any member of the family, then you can always use natural spider repellent options.
Peppermint Oil: I heard once heard one of my distant aunts using tea-tree oil for getting rid of spiders. She was asthmatic and did not want to breathe in chemical-laden aerosol sprays. She also told me that eucalyptus and peppermint oil to repel spiders were equally effective.
Simply pour some oil in a spray bottle and spray the content in the corners which are most likely to be infested with spiders. While the fragrance from these essential oils seems very soothing to us, for reasons unknown, spiders cannot seem to stand them.
Walnuts: Another natural remedy is using walnuts. Spiders detest walnuts and so you can place a bowl of walnuts in the kitchen or the bathroom and that should keep the spiders away.
Diatomaceous Earth: One very effective way of using herbal elements to get rid of spiders is to use Diatomaceous earth or DE. It causes dehydration, eventually killing them. You should use them in hard-to-reach areas and all you have to do is spread it evenly in layers to kill them.
Do not forget to wear protective gloves. Spiders coming in contact with it will die. It will also prevent the reentry of the spiders in the cracks. It is one of the best ways to remove cobwebs from the exterior of the house if you spray the powder around the premises.
How To Keep Spiders Away
While you will eventually be able to clean off spiders and cobwebs after a point, unless you can prevent the entry of spiders in your house or remove them from your surroundings, the problem will never fully go away.
- Hence, make sure you have sealed all cracks and crevices in the house. Do not let them enter the house at night. Moreover, since spiders are nocturnal animals, do not plunge your house into complete darkness after hours. Leave a dim light on in the kitchen or the backyard to keep spiders and other insects away.
- Keep your house clean at all times. Like all pests, spiders are also drawn to decomposed food, leftovers, and pungent smelling items. Clean your sink and never leave out greasy substances. I had heard that mothballs keep spiders away but I did not find that very effective.
- In the same way, do not clutter the space. Spiders thrive in dark and dusty spaces and the clutter provides them the perfect nooks and crannies to hide. Keep your surroundings clean as well and do not let garbage accumulate near the house.
- Allow some ventilation in areas like the basement and garages so that they do not become musty and become a breeding ground for basement spiders.
- Keep your house free from other kinds of insects as well, especially flies. Flies are more of a staple diet for spiders, so having flies in your house will automatically mean spiders would follow soon.
- You can also place citrus house plants inside the house. Lemon plants or even leaving lemon peels in the corner of the house can keep away spiders because they cannot stand the smell.
However, be careful about not using too many indoor plants. Or even if you have them, leave them outside on the balcony or porch. Some plants attract insects like spiders to feed on.
Just in case you see very large spiders in the house, then you should not risk trapping them yourself. You can hire an exterminator to do the job for you. Large spiders can be poisonous, so do not handle them if you are not absolutely sure about trapping or killing them. In case you are bitten by a spider, wash the wound immediately with a disinfectant, apply an ice pack, and go and see a doctor.
By trying a combination of these methods, I eventually managed to get rid of the spiders in my home. It was not an easy task, but I did realize that such rampant growth in any kind of pests would be an eventuality if the house is left unattended for long periods. This was a valuable lesson for me. Not only will I be more careful when I vacate the house for an extended period in the future, I now have a proper plan in place to ensure quick removal of spiders from my house. I hope these steps help you too, just as they helped