Natural Insect Repellents
Natural Insect Control
Safe and Natural Pest Control
Nature's Insect Repellent
Wondering if you have any solutions for preventing or repelling spiders. We just moved to a wooded area in the Midwest where wolf and tree spiders are prevalent. We're pregnant with our first child and need a safe, non-toxic solution. Any advice you could provide is appreciated!
I, too, live in a wooded area with what I call "man-eating" spiders. Some of those wolf spiders get pretty big! I put chestnuts around the exterior walls of every room in the house as well as on all the windowsills. Friends, who live in the city and share a balcony with a neighboring apartment, put chestnuts under the sliding door to their balcony. They have had no spiders while their neighbors continued to be infested. I've read a couple of newspaper articles about the use of chestnuts to repel spiders, too.
In general, spiders are safe and organic insect control for your house. Except for black widow and brown recluse spiders, they pose no danger at all for your child. Besides providing natural insect control, spiders are an important part of the diet of insect eating birds.
We live with and love our spiders except for the occasional black widow. We consider them an integral and important part of our immediate environment. Indoor spiders are generally shy and reclusive and just want to be left alone. Wolf spiders are active hunters that are like miniature tigers. They are fun and interesting to watch. Their main enemy is mice, and their main defense is being really ugly. Dogs and cats react to their appearance like we do.
If I haven't convinced you to live with your spiders, you can control them in the house safely using Victor brand safe insecticide for crawling insects. It comes in an aerosol can. The only active ingredients in Victor insecticide are mint oil (safe and smells nice), a little bit of detergent to penetrate the victim's chitin exoskeleton, and a bit of oil to make the ingredients last longer in the environment. Victor insecticides are sold at Home Depot, and they have a web site.
Get a package of pipe or chewing tobacco, soak it in a gallon of boiling water until it cools. Strain the liquid into a clean container. Put a cup of tobacco juice and 1/2 cup lemon dish soap into a hose-end sprayer and spray. I did this at our house two years ago and have been practically spider free since. This works on all kinds of bugs. I thank Jerry Baker, the Master Gardener, for the tip since we were literally being taken over by spiders.
This is part of an article that I copied on repelling spiders:
"I learned this from the man who trained the spiders for the movie Arachnophobia. Spiders have their taste buds on the tips of their legs. They also hate the taste of lemon pledge. Dust your windowsills and doorframes with the pledge, both inside and out, and any areas where they accumulate. The spiders will find that they don't want to live with you."
You could be our next door neighbor! We live in the Midwest in a woody area with wolf spiders, too. They were everywhere in the house and yard! Do you know that wolf spiders carry venom? They are a cousin to tarantulas and look just like them too! I have small children and two cats and did not want to use poison sprays. My solution might be a bit pricey as an initial investment, but in the long run is the most inexpensive and safest solution to the problem. I purchased those electronic bug devices that you plug into the wall. They are not cheap. They run about $35.00 each for a good one. I purchased three - one for the basement, one for the main floor and one for the upstairs. They work constantly emitting a high pitched frequency that is undetectable to humans, cats and dogs.
My initial investment cost me $100.00. Since that time, two years ago, I have never purchased another can of bug spray. I have never seen another bug or spider in my house except the occasional fly that comes in when my kids leave the door open! My neighbor purchased one to get rid of her carpenter ants that infested her attic. Since that time, the ants are gone. CAUTION: These emitters work on a high frequency noise targeted to specific critters. Be careful when purchasing them to know which frequency the device is targeted. Some are designed to get rid of mice and rodents but do not purchase them if you have mice, hamsters or gerbils as pets in your house! Likewise, if you have a pet spider or snake, be careful not to purchase a device targeted to these creatures.
I live in Texas and have found the fruit from the bois d'arc tree or also known as osage orange tree (the fruit we call horse apples here) are a great repellant for spiders. I don't know if you have these trees in the Midwest. But if you do, try quartering the apples and place one quarter in each corner of a room. The spiders just disappear. I used this when we moved into a house that had been unoccupied for a year and the spiders were in total residence. Within a week, they had all left!
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