Spider Control and Exclusion Tips

There are two main categories of house spiders – the hunter spiders and the web-building spiders. Hunter spiders consist of sac spiders, wolf spiders, fishing spiders, parson spiders, crab spiders, sowbug spiders, and jumping spiders. These spiders like being doors and if you find one inside your house, it’s possible that they entered accidentally and are looking for a way outside.

Web-building spiders, on the other hand, are usually found inside your house. Orb weaver spiders are a kind of web-building spiders that love to stay in the garden. These spiders come in various sizes and colours such as brightly marbled, yellow and brown or yellow and black.

Cobweb spiders are responsible for the haphazard cobwebs scattered around your home. They are brownish or grayish in colour and have chevron markings on their abdomen. Cellar spiders are also called Daddy Long Legs.

They like to stay in damp dark places such as the basement. Cellar spiders create random and irregular webs around the house, usually to catch prey such as mosquitoes. Funnel weaver spiders are also called grass spiders and they love to build webs around and in the grass.

Do They Bite?

Common house spiders do not bite, but some uncommon ones such as the black widow and brown recluse spiders might. Spiders don’t have a real reason to bite people and if they did, these critters would not be able to pierce your skin. Here are the species of spiders you should be wary of.

  • Black widow can be easily identified through the red hourglass shape on their back. If they do find their way inside your home, they usually hide in small spaces such as inside your shoes.
  • Brown recluse is usually found in the southern and western parts of the U.S. They like to hide in dark damp places such as wood piles.

How Spiders Enter Your Home

Cracks under windows and doors as well as loose screens are possible points of entry for spiders. They may enter your home while looking for moisture, mates, food, or warmth.

Spiders may also be accidentally introduced to your home’s interior through infested items such as firewood, plants, clothing, and other things stored in basements or attics. Most spiders don’t pose danger to humans, but some species have venom that can cause medical concerns.

In the United States, the two most common poisonous spiders are the black widow and the brown recluse. Black widow spiders have a red hourglass-shaped mark on the underside of their jet-black abdomen. Brown recluse spiders can be identified through the violin-shaped mark on the top of their cephalothorax or the body part that consists of their fused together thorax and head.

Understanding Their Habits, Behavior and Diet

Spiders hide in dark spots. Some are found in damp parts of buildings such as basements and crawlspaces because they like moisture. Other species can be found in dry, warm places. Spiders have two body segments, 8 legs and 4 or 3 pairs of eyes. Many species have poor vision, but there are species like the jumping spiders having excellent vision.

Spiders feed on any prey they’re able to subdue such as insects and other spiders. They don’t have chewing mouthparts and usually use their saliva’s digestive enzymes to break down prey before consuming it. A spider’s gut is also too narrow, so they cannot consume large particles of food. Almost all species of spiders are predators, but one species has been documented to feed on plants.

Female spiders produce an egg sac that contains spiderlings. Males of different spider species court the females. For instance, a male jumping spider performs complex dances to attract a female’s attention. Mating can be dangerous for male spiders because the female may eat them afterwards. Spiderlings moult several times before becoming adults.

Spiders can produce a strong, elastic, and adhesive silk, which they use to spin webs, line dwellings and build egg sacs. The shape and size of webs differ by species. Some webs appear haphazard, while others look orderly. You may also find funnel-shaped and orb-shaped webs. Some species are free ranging and stay in crevices, while others inhabit burrows instead of webs.

Spider Control and Exclusion

There are various ways that you can try to control spiders from getting inside your home. You should know how to exclude them from your home effectively and make use of certain products and some techniques to get successful results.

Some of the things that you can do are the following:

·         Identify Points of Entry

If you want to control the population of spiders inside your home, you have to determine all possible points of entry. Pest prevention is one of the best ways to control an infestation. You can do this by denying them entry to your home.

Spiders often enter through cracks and gaps around doors and windows. Seal or caulk crevices and cracks in the foundation. Inspect and repair screening on all windows and doors to make sure that there’s no tear or hole and that they’re snugly fitted in their frame. Aside from preventing a pest infestation, sealing gaps is also a good way to winterize your property.

·         Chemicals

You can apply a residual insecticide to spots where spiders lay eggs or spin webs. Use products that contain pyrethroids such as tetramethrin, bifenthrin, permethrin, and cyfluthrin. Make sure that the product is labelled for such application. This kind of treatment tends to be less toxic and more effective on spiders than the use of a total-release fogger that contains pyrethrins.

·         Manual Removal

Spiders are found with newly laid eggs or individually. You can just remove them manually. Pick up the web and the spider and throw them away. Use a piece of cloth or tissue or wear gloves when you do this.

You can also suck these critters up with a vacuum. Insect sticky traps and glue boards can be placed along baseboards and in corners to catch moving spiders. Getting rid of other bugs can help eliminate spiders. Some glue boards can be folded into boxes so that your other items will not get stuck to these traps.

Most of these traps have no attractants. The most attractive thing for spiders is seeing an insect stuck in the trap. Sticky traps and glue boards only capture spiders. These critters die if they stride through the traps.

However, you cannot cover a lot of surface area with traps, so you should put them where these pests are most likely to encounter them. Dark, quiet areas are the best spots for these traps. For instance, a closet and the space between a wall and bed are common travel areas for spiders.

Glue boards can also help you determine the source of an infestation, allowing you to identify how the spiders enter your home. If there are six spiders caught on the right side of the trap, look toward the right, and look for gaps under or around non-aligned wall sockets or doors. Caulk any cracks you find.

·         Outdoors

There’s usually no need to control the population of spiders outdoors. When you see large numbers of these critters, you can wash them away with a spray of water. You also need to keep these critters from being attracted to the building by eliminating their food sources. Place lights farther away from your house. Use pole lights whenever possible.

You may also want to replace mercury vapour lights with high-pressure halogen or sodium vapour lights. Anything that will reduce the attraction of other insects around or in your home will help reduce the number of spiders. The insects themselves are a major attractant to spiders because it’s their food source. 

·         Sanitize

Spiders will take refuge in items and piles that are seldom moved. This is why people often see spiders in storage areas when searching through or moving stored items that are rarely touched.

Eliminate or reduce these kinds of shelter by getting rid of paper piles, debris, and other seldom-used or unsanitary items. Regular dusting and sweeping will keep areas clean. Remove old and current cobwebs to reduce the sites for these pets to inhabit.

Natural Spiders Repellents

If you want to control spiders without using chemicals, you can try these natural repellent ideas at home. Some of these solutions can be found in your pantry or kitchen.

·         Dish Soap

A mixture of dish soap and water is a natural anti-spider solution that you can make any time. Dish soap disturbs a spider’s egg cycle. Insects don’t like citrus scents, so you may want to use an orange, lemon, or lime-scented soap.

·         Peppermint Oil

Spiders don’t like the scent of peppermint. Add ten to fifteen drops of peppermint oil to water and transfer the solution to a spray bottle. Spray in areas where spiders usually hide such as in closets, in the crevices and corners of your house and under furniture. You can also soak a cotton ball in peppermint oil and keep it in those spots.

·         Vinegar and Coconut Oil

Combine 1/2 cup of melted coconut oil and 1 cup of vinegar. Spray generously onto webs in your garage, house, or outdoor space. Don’t spray directly onto trees and plants. Coconut oil is very reflective and excessively harsh light may kill the plants.

·         Chestnuts

Spiders don’t like the scent of chestnuts. Put chestnuts in possible entry points such as doorframes and windowsills. One of the best things about chestnuts is that they don’t leave any stains or residue behind when spread around your home.

·         Cedar

Cedarwood is one of the best natural spider repellents. You can keep your clothing in a cedar chest or use cedar hangers. Integrate as much cedar into the house as possible. You may also want to hide cedar blocks inside small spaces such as drawers and dressers.

·         Hedge Apples

Hedge apples or Osage orange is a fruit with a lumpy exterior. If spiders are making their way inside your home through the foundation, you can place hedge apples around the foundation of your home.

Hire Pest Control Professionals

Pest control services can help manage pests such as spiders and insects rodents. Every home or business is different, so the pest control company will develop a unique program that fits your situation and keeps your property pest free.