Webbed Worries; Addressing the Spider Problem
Spiders often evoke mixed feelings. Some people regard them as beneficial creatures that eat other pests, while others see them as the embodiment of their deepest fears. In the UK, spiders are a common sight in homes and gardens, especially as autumn approaches when they are most visible. For people living with a fear of spiders, this can be a particularly challenging time.
Arachnophobia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arachnophobia is an intense fear of spiders. It is a recognised specific phobia, and the cause of clinically significant distress https://www.verywellmind.com/spider-fears-or-arachnophobia-2671679 including anxiety and reduced quality of life. And it’s more common than you’d think; five in ten https://yougov.co.uk/topics/society/articles-reports/2023/02/27/what-do-britons-say-they-have-phobia Britons (21%) report they suffer from arachnophobia.
Common Spiders and Concerns
- Cellar Spiders (Pholcus phalangioides) https://www.wildlondon.org.uk/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates/spiders/cellar-spider#:~:text=The%20cellar%20spider%2C%20also%20known,the%20wall%20meets%20the%20ceiling. – Affectionately known as “Daddy Long Leg”, these spiders enjoy warm, stable temperatures, so tend to find their way into homes. While harmless, their large size and webbing can be off-putting to many people.
- False Widow Spiders (Steatoda nobilis) – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steatoda_nobilis Although the bites from these spiders are relatively rare, they can cause localised pain and minor health issues (similar to those caused by a wasp sting), raising concerns for some homeowners.
- Giant House Spiders (Eratigena atrica) – https://www.surreywildlifetrust.org/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates/spiders/giant-house-spider?gclid=Cj0KCQjwxuCnBhDLARIsAB-cq1pUMhculGeZ9xo2v6DPpuaSmeYEQFoFp4WaVgy6eWJkht0PiMnZHkMaAjFfEALw_wcB These spiders are fast! They can run up to half a metre per second, which can be an extremely unsettling sight to see when you’re relaxing in front of the TV!
- Zebra Spiders (Salticus scenicus) – https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/wildlife-explorer/invertebrates/spiders/zebra-spider – These spiders can move very fast in a jerking, jumpy movements, which can be startling.
Spider Control Strategies
- Preventative Measures
- Seal Entry points: Ensure that all windows and doors fit snugly. Use caulk to seal cracks and gaps in your building’s walls.
- Regular Cleaning: Regular vacuuming can remove spiders, their webs, and their egg sacs. Dusting and decluttering can also discourage them from setting up residence.
- Reduce Outdoor Lighting: Bright outdoor lights attract insects, which in turn can attract spiders. Use yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs, which are less attractive to insects.
- Limit Sheltering Spots: Trim back trees and shrubs from the side of your home and keep the grass short to reduce hiding places.
- Natural Deterrents
- Peppermint Oil: Spiders dislike the smell of peppermint. Mix a solution of water and a few drops of peppermint essential oil and spray it around your home.
- Lemon and Eucalyptus: Similar to peppermint, these smells deter spiders. They can be used in the same manner.
- Chestnuts: Some believe placing chestnuts around your home’s perimeter can deter spiders, though scientific evidence is limited.
- Vinegar: Like peppermint, a diluted vinegar solution can deter spiders when sprayed in targeted areas.
- Physical Removal
- Spider Catchers: Devices are available that allow you to catch spiders without touching or harming them, facilitating their release outside.
- Traps and Sticky Boards – Strategically placing sticky traps can capture spiders as they move around. However, this method may be unsuitable for those uncomfortable with handling trapped spiders.
For severe infestations, recurring issues, or if spiders are causing you significant distress in your home, it is advisable to consult a professional pest control company for an integrated approach to spider management. At Avon Pest Control, we are sensitive to the needs of our customers, and will help you with your web woes.
Want to remedy your eight-legged headaches? Call Avon Pest Control today, and let us deal with your spider situation for you.