Spider Spider on the Wall, in the Bed, on the Curtains, in the Shower . . . .
... is there really an effective natural spider repellant? Every time we visit family in Australia, spiders, especially those we call tarantulas, which are actually Huntsman spiders (and very large by Canadian terms), seem to find a way inside the house or car, and definitely are always found in the wood pile! They just seem to know we are visiting. Anyone who gardens will certainly have many interactions with spiders, most of which can be tolerated as long as they stay outside the home.
Here in Canada, spiders are most beneficial in the garden as they eat lots of harmful insects, although there are some species such as black widow, it is best to avoid at all times if possible. We have a great variety of spiders in our yard and when the night temperatures start to cool in the Fall - they seem to mass migrate into the house. We prefer them in the garden and not in the house especially in the linen closet or bed. Here are a few natural repellants to try.
Here are some ideas to try around the house
- Citrus Oil Spray around door frames and outside of house
- Lavendar Oil is also reputed to deter spiders.
- One repellant I heard of many years ago was Chestnuts – by placing them around the outside entrances (doors and windows) of the house this would keep spiders away. We have a few hundred horse chestnuts to try this experiment
- There are also some commercial repellants available (Read the contents label for insecticides)
- The spiders may come in the basement door where the weather stripping has deteriorated. Replace if needed!
- Spiders dont need a lot of space to get into a house - even improperly fitted wire screens permit entry. Also replace or reseal screens.
For me, the idea is co-existence outside ~ and definitely not ""mi case es su casa" when it comes to arachnids inside home.
- Interesting that of the top 5 most venomous spiders in the world #1 is the Black Widow found in Canada, and #2 is the Red Back found in Australia. Mind you Australia also has the Funnel Web which is on this list
- Always wear gloves when gardening !
- Wash or dust webs frequently from inside and outside the house
- I have been using eucalpytus (lemon is best) oil for many years for rinsing bed linen for dust mites (due to allergies) and insects in general; and dried lavendar sachets in the linen closet and when storing clothes, etc
- A big caution with pure essential oils is that they may stain clothes and mark wood furniture so be very careful how and where you apply natural oils. Also essential oils are flammable.
- Check your bedding and towels before use and the same goes for your shoes and clothing, probably more so in Australia than Canada but still a good rule to follow if a bed has not been slept in for a while. It's a habit I still have and yes, have shaken a spider out of my gardening boots.
- Spiders must like water as they are often found, two by two, in shower stalls in the home.
- I recall as a child growing up in Australia, when huntsman (tarantulas) came into the house my mother simply picked them up in her hands and walked them outside!
- Our updated Canadian version: remove spiders from the home with a (large) glass and a piece of firm paper
- We permitted our university aged child to have not one, but two very large spiders in her bedroom for a three month trial on how much food they ate and how much weight they put on. One of them was a bird eating spider and the other a jumping spider which could jump quite a distance. All for science!
Links & References
- The Black Widow in B.C.
- Another venomous spider in southern B.C. is the Brown Recluse
- More information on the benefits of spiders in the garden
- Incredible. There are 3275 known Arachnids in Canada
- Do we really eat spiders in our sleep?
- Acceptable insect parts in our processed food
- In other parts of the world tarantulas are a human food
- A childhood nursery rhyme not forgotten :
Itsy Bitsy spider climbed up the spout
Down came the rain and washed the spider out
Out came the sun and dried up all the rain
Now Itsy Bitsy spider went up the spout again!