Spiders are usually harmless. Only a few spiders have venom that can severely injure or kill a human or pet. Most spiders typically don’t even seek out humans to harm them and only bite for defensive reasons. Furthermore, spiders are very beneficial in gardens and around homes: their primary food source is pests like mosquitoes, flies, termites, cockroaches, moths, and earwigs. These pests spread disease, eat garden fruits and vegetables, and damage building materials, linens, and other property. A single spider might consume several thousand of these pests in a year.
That said, serious allergic reactions to even mild spider bites can be life-threatening for susceptible individuals. Those most likely to be affected are young children, small pets, the chronically ill, immunocompromised individuals, and the elderly.
Of course, not everyone likes living near spiders for other reasons. Beyond the points mentioned, proximity to arachnids is often a source of extreme anxiety for people who simply can’t stand the idea of being around creepy crawlies. Given these issues, how can people prevent spiders from entering or staying inside of their homes?
Here are 3 Ways to Keep Spiders Out
Block Entry Points
Before you begin any other task, you need to block all of the gaps and other openings around your home where spiders get in. According to Arete Atlanta Pest Control, spiders typically make their way into a home through open or poorly screen windows and doors, as well as through gaps and cracks around window frames and doors. They may also come in through the attic, basement wall and foundation cracks, and gaps around vents and pipes. To block these openings, use fine mesh screen, silicone caulk, weatherstrip, foam sealant, cement, and/or mortar. When you’re finished, perform a thorough inspection to make certain that you didn’t miss any potential entry points.
Clean Up Everywhere
Seek out the hiding places of spiders and other insects and pests that have already taken up residence and remove them and any cobwebs with a vacuum. For example, look for webs in the upper and lower corners of every room and inside of heating/cooling and exhaust vents. Additionally, clean up and store or dispose of indoor and outdoor debris and objects that spiders often hide in, such as cardboard boxes, piles of paperwork, old leaves, branches, tree stumps, and any plants or objects leaning against or touching the sides of the building. Since spiders don’t like to have their webs and nests disturbed, many of them leave a home entirely after a single cleaning session to search for safer spots to make their webs. To maintain a mostly spider-free home, repeat this process every week.
Alter Lighting Habits
Spiders typically stick to outdoor lawns and gardens as long as you don’t attract them in any way. When you turn on outdoor lights at night near your home, the light attracts the prey that spiders enjoy eating, such as moths. This is the reason that many homeowners and renters find a lot of spiders right outside of their doors near their patio and walkway lights. When they open their doors to enter and exit their homes, the spiders typically crawl right in. One way that you can reduce the number of spiders near doors is by moving lights further away from your home and placing brighter lights in nearby gardens where spiders can easily hide among leaves and branches and pounce on prey insects that are attracted to the light. Another (less complicated) way is to replace your porch light with a warm-colored LED, which according to research attracts less insects than even commercial “bug lights.”
Hire a Professional
If all else fails and you find that you still have a spider problem, turn to a professional for assistance. A pest control specialist will evaluate the situation, including the number and types of spiders currently infesting your home. An exterminator typically starts with manual removal and then uses natural and chemical barrier and extermination sprays designed to kill the insects and other pests that spiders eat. Many pest professionals also install specialized traps that making catching spiders and other major pests easier.