While most of WA’s house spiders are relatively harmless, there are a few species that can get quite aggressive when cornered.
Red-back, white-tailed, huntsman, and wolf spiders are all commonplace in gardens, sheds, and sometimes homes across the state. These species, alongside harmless garden orb-weaving spiders and daddy-long-legs, tend to migrate indoors in spring to find a comfortable spot for the humid summer months.
While it is nearly impossible to eliminate every individual spider in your house, there are some easy and natural ways you can start to eradicate them.
Clean and declutter your home
As with any bug problem, the first step is to consistently dust and clean your home to prevent insects from entering. Spiders often nest in dark, warm places, so make sure you always keep your home clean and free of excess clutter, including areas hidden from view, such as behind or under furniture.
This also extends to your garden. Avoid keeping piles of firewood or other debris outside to prevent spiders from building a nest. It’s also wise to store your bins at least a few meters away from your house to prevent spiders from slipping through cracks to enter your home.
Seal gaps around your home
To help prevent spiders from migrating indoors from your garden, it’s essential to seal any gaps between walls, underneath doors, or cracks in window frames to ensure there are no discrete access points.
Make sure you replace or fix torn window screens, and if possible, cover vents with a fine mesh material. Also, avoid leaving windows without screens open for long periods of time.
Get rid of spider webs
If you notice spider webs indoors or outdoors, you’ll need to act fast to remove them. If left unattended, other spiders can be attracted to the same areas to create their own webs, resulting in your population of spiders quickly multiplying.
If you spot webs anywhere in your home, use a vacuum cleaner to remove them. If they’re too high to easily reach, twist them around the end of a broom to remove them – a cobweb broom is ideal for this – then use a duster to clean up any excess silk. For webs in windows, spray water on and around them, then use a cloth to wipe away.
As spiders feed on insects (which are attracted to light sources), it’s important to turn lights off when they aren’t needed to limit gathering areas for all bugs. This is crucial for outdoor lighting, where bugs can congregate more easily. If your outdoor lights aren’t required, keep them turned off.
Spray peppermint oil
Considered ‘natural insecticides’, certain oils can repel spiders due to their strong odor. Because spiders smell and taste with their legs, spritzing natural oil (in particular, peppermint oil) on surfaces around your home can help deter spiders from sticking around.
To do this, add about 20 drops of peppermint oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spray it around your home’s spider-affected areas.
Be wary of what you bring inside
If you’re bringing items like shoes, clothing, or toys indoors from outside, give them a good shake before carrying them in. Spiders can easily crawl into these items and be accidentally brought into the house.
If you have permanent outdoor equipment like sports gear, shoes, or bike helmets, store them in a secure plastic container so spiders can’t nestle in them.
By: Tatum Stafford
Courtesy of RAC