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How To Keep Spiders Out! And, Do Hedge Apples Really Repel Spiders?

Autumn is here, and the race is on to find the best ways to keep spiders out of homes, apartments, condos and more!

As temperatures begin to cool off in early fall, spiders become more active in their search for a mate. For many species of female spiders, fall is the time for mating and laying their eggs. They do this so their eggs can overwinter, and then hatch the following spring.

At the same time, spiders also begin the search for winter shelter. And once they do, they naturally attempt to move to one of the most attractive spaces of all, inside the warm and cozy living quarters of your home!

spiders in the house
Whether crawling across the floor, a wall, or on a ceiling, spiders can cause quite the panic when spotted in the house. The good news is that with a few basic tips and tricks, you can keep their indoor visits to a minimum.

So how can you keep them out? Do sprays and repellents work? How about the age old practice of placing hedge apples around the perimeter of your home?

The good news is that there are a few simple preventative techniques that can greatly reduce and in some cases nearly eliminate spiders from your living space.

Here is a look at some of the most effective methods for keeping spiders outside, along with a look at whether or not those hedge apples really work when it comes to driving spiders away.

How To Keep Spiders Away

The Hedge Apple Phenomenon

Although it is officially known as the Osage Orange tree (Maclura Pomifera), the supposed spider-repelling fruit this tree produces is more commonly referred to as hedge apples, monkey brains, or even spider balls.

As the legend goes, the greenish-yellow fruit of this tree is highly offensive to spiders. And if placed in front of doors, around foundations, or in the basements of homes – it sends spiders away for good.

hedge apples and spiders
Hedge apples have long been though to help repel spiders. Although there is little to no scientific evidence to back it up, many still routinely ring their homes with the fruit each fall.

Although many swear it to be effective, in reality, there is zero scientific evidence to support the legend. The same goes for the myth of buckeyes (Horse Chestnuts) from a buckeye tree repelling spiders. It is definitely more legend than truth.

But don’t despair, whether or not you believe in the power of the hedge apple or buckeye, there are a few techniques that are proven to be quite effective for spider control, and it all starts with sealing up the gaps and cracks that spiders use to get inside.

Seal Your Home

Much like with stink bugs, the best way to keep spiders out of your home is to never let them indoors in the first place. And that all starts by eliminating all of their easy entry points.

Worn out weatherstripping, door jambs, and torn screens are all open invitations for spiders. As are vents without screens and windows with broken or damaged caulking. In essence, any crack or open crevice that leads into your home is virtually a wide open door for spiders.

Secure Your Home…

Take a walk around your home and take time to seal openings with silicone caulk. Replace old door jambs and torn or worn out weatherstripping, and make sure doors and windows close tightly. For uncovered vents and vent pipes, use a fine mesh screen to seal them off as an entry point.

basement windows
Basement casement windows can be an easy access point for spiders, especially older windows with broken seals, damaged caulking and loose-fitting glass.

If you happen to have basement casement windows, check that they are closed tightly and sealed off. Basement windows are one of the most common of all entry points for spiders.

In addition, keep wood piles away from your home’s foundation. Wood piles are notorious for harboring large populations of spiders. And the closer to the home they are, the less spiders have to travel to get inside. Not only will all of these help to keep out spiders, but those pesky stink bugs too! (See : How To Keep Stink Bugs Out Of Your House)

Dust & Sweep Often – How To Get Rid Of Spiders

As crazy as it sounds, by simply dusting and sweeping your house more frequently, you will greatly reduce the population of indoor spiders.

Spiders love to hide and build their webs under furniture. Areas with little traffic offer both safety and security. In addition, spaces with heavy dust build up attract spiders searching for small insects and other easy food sources.

spider webs under a chair
Spiders love to build their webs under and behind furniture. And once they do, they can lay the eggs that will become the next wave of spiders to crawl across your floors!

Sweep and dust often, and pay special attention underneath and behind chairs, couches and other furniture. Regularly move the furniture out and dust and sweep to keep cobwebs out. Spraying the floor area (if possible) or corner areas with an equal part of water and white vinegar will also help keep them from coming back to visit.

Damp / Water

Although spiders can live for days without water, they do need moisture to ultimately survive. And that means standing water of any kind is quite attractive to them. It is one of the major reasons they love to take up residence in damp, dark basements.

Eliminate standing water of any kind in your home. This includes slow drips and leaks around faucets, or small standing pools of water around floor drains. If your basement is extremely damp, a dehumidifier can help to dry it out and make it less attractive.

Ultrasonic Pest Repelling Devices

Spiders use vibration to navigate. Although they can see, their vision is actually quite poor. Because of their reliance on sound vs. sight, ultrasonic waves can and do interfere with their ability to navigate, and their willingness to take up residence. Product Link : Ultrasonic Pest Repeller

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Ultrasonic pest repelling devices plug into a wall outlet. Depending on the layout of your home, it can take several of the devices to cover an entire floor plan.

Although not harmful to cats or dogs, the waves will help to drive away spiders, as well other insects. Just one more weapon in the tool bag to keep spiders out. Here is to keeping spiders out of your home this fall and winter!

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