It’s the stuff of nightmares for arachnophobes as house spider season fast approaches.
Following the recent outbreak of the deadly false widow invasion a few months back, thousands of eight-legged intruders are now set to creep into Irish homes over the next few weeks. As mating season approaches, and the weather gets colder, spiders will look to seek shelter indoors, and will be on the prowl for a mate. Fear not, as we’ve got the details on how to keep them at bay!
According to experts, the male house spider can have a leg-span of up to 10cm during mating season (about the size of your hand), depending on how much they’ve eaten that year. Males have the urge to mate around this time and usually tend to wander in search of a female. Once mating begins, the female will lay her eggs and the male will die shortly after (phew!)
They’re not known to be dangerous, but they can still bite, so people in Ireland are being warned to check the corners of their gardens, sheds and warm spots in their homes. Although it may be hard to believe, arachnids are actually more afraid of us than we are of them (if that helps), and they play a vital role in our ecosystem, so it’s advised that we refrain from killing them.
So, how can we prevent them from entering our homes? Here’s five top tips to keep the creepy crawlies out:
1. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil is a great repellent as most insects, including spiders, can’t stand the strong scent. Mix 15-20 drops of peppermint essential oil into a spray bottle of water and spray around windows, doors, cracks and corners of your home, once per week. You can also use an oil diffuser for an added boost!
If peppermint oil doesn’t do the trick, you can also try the same remedy using vinegar. Fill a spray bottle half full of white vinegar and half full of water and spray throughout the house. Avoid spraying on varnished surfaces as vinegar may cause surface damage.
This old wives tale is a centuries-old method of keeping spiders out of the house. Apparently spiders are repelled by the noxious chemicals inside conkers, so scattering a few of these on windowsills and around corners of the house should keep them at bay (while giving your home some stunning autumnal vibes!)
Warning: Conkers can be poisonous to pets, so please keep this in mind.
4. Turn off your lights
Although light doesn’t attract spiders, it does attract other insects that spiders like to feast on, so be sure to switch off any outdoor lights at nighttime to prevent spiders coming near your home. You can also close your curtains and blinds at night to stop the light from shining out.
5. Keep your house clean
Spiders love having places to hide so one of the best ways to prevent them is by keeping your house clean and clutter-free. Regular dusting and vacuuming will also get rid of unwanted spider webs.
And there you have it! Follow these five easy steps and you’re sure to have a spider-free home during mating season.