Controlling House Spiders this Fall
Spiders are incredible creatures with a special and important role in the ecosystem. The seemingly infinite variety in their species is amazing. Spiders come in sizes from huge to tiny, from brilliantly multicolored to solid black. They trap and eat more annoying and dangerous bugs like flies and mosquitos. Very few US spiders are venomous and most pose no threat to humans. And absolutely none of this will make them a welcome guest in your home.
Few pests are more cringe-worthy than a spider. Movies have been made on the subject and the even have their own identified psychological phobia. Perhaps it’s their strange, eight-legged bodies or the speed and agility with which they scurry that disturbs us so. Maybe it’s the fact that they are so darn hard to kill.
Spiders are not very cooperative when it comes to traditional methods of eradication. They spend most of their time in webs, not in contact with any pesticide-treated surfaces. Their bodies are held high above the ground, at least when compared to other pests. Only their tiny feet come in contact with sprayed surfaces so don’t they pick up much of the toxin. Even if they did, there’s no circulatory system there to bring the toxin into the body and vital organs.
You have to apply a direct hit to spider if you’re using a spray. It isn’t going to conveniently groom it off its body with its mouth like an ant will. It won’t spread it to a nest like a roach might. A shoe or rolled newspaper is typically more effective than a spray when it comes to spiders!
So what can you do to control house spiders, especially in the fall when it seems like they’re in every corner? The best treatment option is often the simplest. Cut off his food.
Spiders are predators. Even the little house spider hunts his food whether he does it with a trap (a web) or by running or jumping on it. Their food is insects. Eliminate insects and the spiders won’t be hanging around for supper.
Integrated pest management controls like caulking gaps and cracks will not make your home less inviting to ants, roaches and flies; they will make it less inviting for spiders too. IPM is an effective and low-risk method for controlling all types of pests. Typical IPM methods include exclusion, keeping bugs out in the first place.
If you’ve cut off the sources of food and are still seeing spiders, here’s one way to find the source of the issue. Try glue traps. Spiders usually like to take safe routes when moving and they move as little as possible. Place glue traps in likely spots like between the bed and the wall or in dark, quiet spots like closets. You’ll soon see where they best like to hide and can look for points of entry to fix like cracks.
If all this fails, there’s always that shoe!