Spiders in the home can be an annoying nuisance, and the unsightly webs they weave can create housework headaches for you. Many people fear spiders, which are actually quite beneficial to humans. With their insect trapping-and-killing capabilities, they are a form of pest control on their own. If you find sharing space with these arachnids to be more than you can bear, there are easily-obtained ingredients that can be used as alternatives to standard chemical insecticides.
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Chewing tobacco or pipe tobacco added to a gallon of boiling water can be used to make a natural spray to lower the spider population in your home. Place the contents of a standard can of chewing tobacco or a small package of pipe tobacco in the boiling water, remove it from heat and let it cool.
Use a cup of this tobacco water and pair it with one-half cup of lemon-scented dish soap. Add it to any handheld sprayer and you have a natural repellent. Spray corners, around doors and windows, and under your sink to help keep the arachnids away. This spray should be kept well out of reach of children and pets, however, as the nicotine can be toxic. It may not have a good odor when used, but the addition of the lemon oil will help with that -- the smell does dissipate over time.
Use lemon essential oil in your regular housekeeping duties to help repel spiders. Put a 10-to-15 drops in a bucket of water and use that solution to clean around window sills or corners. Quality lemon-scented dusting spray will often contain lemon oil so you can use that on a regular basis in your home, particularly around areas you've noticed spiders inhabiting. You can also add a few drops to your regular cleaning solution for surfaces in your home, such as kitchen counters.
Other Essential Oils
Spiders are repelled by a number of other oils that come from plants. Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint and citronella are all odors that repell spiders. Make a sachet of dried eucalyptus leaves, for example, with a drop or two of lemon or citronella oil added for good measure; keep them in your closets or wardrobe. Set up a diffuser with these scents throughout your house, by windows if possible, to create even less of a welcome for any critters that want to pay you a visit.
Spiders can enter your home along window casings, water pipes and electrical lines. Inspect each and repair any gaps or holes that a spider can get through. A good-quality caulk can seal up imperfections or cracks. Spiders often take up residence in woodpiles; rid your wood of spiders or their egg sacs before you bring it inside. If you notice a spider has set up shop outside your door, consider leaving it alone so it can keep some of your insect activity down unless it is a black widow or brown recluse spider. Those types of dangerous spiders can be treated with the same strategies as their nondangerous counterparts but take care to not get too close.