House spiders have probably started reappearing in your home, right? The beginning of autumn marks the start of the critters' mating season, so you're going to see more of them about, and if you're spider phobic or just don't like them in your home, it's actually relatively easy to get rid of spiders.
One thing bears noting: the vast majority of spider species found in the UK are not harmful to humans in any way, and even the ones that are (12 species in total) tend to be shy and are very unlikely to bite you. If you're in the US or Australia, it's a different matter, but then you've probably already got some robust anti-spider measures in place. So, without further ado, here's how to cope with spider season.
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1. Keep your home very clean
Spiders like dusty corners and places that haven't been disturbed in a while. They're often found in dark cupboards and inside shoes (eek!). So, make sure you give everything a good shake-out at least once a month, put cedar shoe trees inside your shoes, and vacuum lots (with one of our best vacuum cleaners, of course). Ditto in the bathroom – the more often your bathroom is cleaned, the fewer spiders there'll be in it. And that's a fact. Remember to clean the air ducts in your bathroom, too.
2. Spiders and conkers: fact or myth?
Sadly, it's a myth: there's no scientific evidence to prove that conkers or chestnuts repel spiders. They look nice as an autumnal decoration, though, so why not give them a go, just in case?
3. Essential oils that repel spiders
This one does work, especially if you use citronella, which spiders seem to really hate. Lavender and eucalyptus are also effective. Try soaking a cotton ball in the mix and leaving it where spiders tend to enter your home.
4. Get rid of other insects
Spiders wander into your home partly in search of a mate, but partly for the same reasons you're there: domestic comforts such as warmth and food. And what do spiders like to eat? Insects. So, get rid of fruit flies, lady birds (you may have to vacuum them up, unfortunately), and any other bugs that have taken up residence in your house.
5. Leave them be – they're only spiders
This may sound insensitive to those who really loathe them (sorry, people) – but unless you have a serious infestation (which is unlikely, because spiders tend to be solitary), you are unlikely to be disturbed by spiders in any way. That thing you heard about swallowing spiders at night? It's a myth. So, we say – forget about them, they'll do you no harm.