SPIDERS GALORE

Following two nights of large spiders in my house – one hanging on the bedroom curtain, one in the bathroom doorway, I found this . . .

largehouse spider

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: September 18, 2014

A typical house spider

With warnings issued that an invasion of giant spiders could be reaching British homes, we have a look at how to keep the arachnids out of your home.

Rising temperatures and easier access to food has seen the creepy crawlies grow bigger than ever.

And the eight-legged creatures that strike fear into a large percentage of the population are set to move indoors to look for a mate.

Prof Adam Hart of the University of Gloucestershire agreed with researchers from Sydney University in Australia who issued the initial warning.

“This year has been seemingly a good one for the invertebrates which spiders feed on, and it’s quite mild out there,” he said.

Spiders have been thriving in the September sun and families in the north have already reported larger than normal creatures in their homes this month.

What you need to know

Experts say we shouldn’t worry about them, as they are good pest controllers, but if you just can’t stand them, here is what you need to know.

  • Set out glue traps – Place glue boards in dark corners, beneath furniture, in closets, and next to windows and doors. Web-building spiders that spend most of their time along the ceiling are not likely to fall victim to the glue trap, but these are very effective against ground-dwelling spiders like jumping spiders and house spiders. Keep the trap flat to prevent it from curling up into itself. Discard the trap as soon as you collect a few spiders on it. Note that this is ineffective against spider eggs and webs, so you will likely need to use this method in conjunction with other techniques.
  • Deter spiders with horse chestnuts. Place a few horse chestnuts in each corner of the house and in any area of the house where you frequently run across spiders. Chestnuts, walnuts, and the fruit of the Osage orange tree are thought to have the same effect. Little is known about why this treatment repels spiders, and there is no scientific evidence or explanation backing the solution. Some speculate that horse chestnuts have some form of noxious chemical that repels spiders based on scent. To this end, consider poking holes in the chestnut or splitting it in half to release the odour.
  • Spray your house down with peppermint oil – Fill a standard spray bottle with water and mix in 15 to 20 drops of peppermint oil. Spray down all the cracks and corners of your house. The idea is that spiders cannot tolerate the smell of peppermint oil and will run away in the opposite direction when they detect it. As a result, it is most effective when applied to possible entrances to the home. For a more potent effect, you can dab undiluted peppermint oil onto a cotton ball and stuff the cotton ball into cracks or other possible hiding places. Try eucalyptus oil or tea tree oil if you have a thing against peppermint. They reportedly have the same effect as peppermint oil and can be used in the same way.
  • Attack spiders with vinegar – Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Apply it to any area in which spiders gather and spray it directly on any spider you see. Vinegar contains acetic acid, which is thought to burn and kill spiders upon contact. You can also place small dishes of vinegar in dark corners to ward away spiders. The odor alone may be enough to repel them.