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How to Reduce Spiders Around Your Home

By Chris Williams on September 19, 2013.
Spider web on street

Question

We seem to have a constant problem with spiders in our house. I know they feed on insects but I don’t really see a lot of insects inside. I’m tired of spraying insecticide all the time. What can we do to keep spiders out?

Answer

You may have discovered that insecticides are not very effective against spiders anyway. For one thing, they’re not insects, and if they’re web-building spiders, they rarely leave their webs to come in contact with treated surfaces. You probably have more insects indoors than you realize; many are only active at night. The number one control for spiders is to reduce the presence of insects that they feed on. If they have no prey, you have no spiders. Consider having a pest control company do a professional inside treatment to eliminate insects and spiders. Then follow the steps below to prevent spiders in the future.

Steps to Make Your Home Less Habitable for Spiders

  • Remove, reduce, or shield outside lighting. Yard lights and porch lights attract flying insects which attract spiders. Use shielded lights, lower wattage bulbs, or sodium vapor or yellow lights.
  • Draw curtains or shades at night so that indoor lights do not attract insects and spiders to windows. And make certain window screens are tight and doors have sweeps to keep insects out.
  • Firewood, stacked lumber and stone, and other clutter should be moved away from your home’s foundation (wear gloves).
  • Clean up piles of “stuff” in garages, attics, and basements. Boxes and stacked items should be away from walls.
  • Vacuum corners of rooms and seldom-used areas to remove webs and help prevent buildup of insects and spiders.
  • Spiders are usually more common in damp areas like basements so drying out or venting such sites will make them less desirable for spiders and their prey.
  • Remove as many spiders, webs, and egg sacs as you can. Use a vacuum or specialized long-handled duster to remove spiders and webs. Don’t leave egg sacs in webs as they are likely to hatch and reinfest your home.

Photo credit: barockschloss / Foter / CC BY

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