Blog: The Gathering Place
by rudenski

People Friendly Spider Control

Place the pot on your stove top and fill it with the dried Lavender, and add enough water to cover just above the flowers. Stir the mixture well.

Date:   6/13/2008 11:26:17 AM   ( 14 y ) ... viewed 17395 times

So you’re having spider issues at home – and you want to know how to encourage the little critters to make the earliest exit without poisoning your entire family?

Over the past several days, arachnophobic family members discovered three different Brown Recluse Spiders wondering about the house. By my silence, I tacitly approved their being tracked down and destroyed. Brown Recluse spiders are highly poisonous and if you have them in your home then you need to find a way to get rid of the one’s you already have creeping around your house and discourage others from coming in. Brown Recluse spiders are hunter spiders who seek out their prey wherever they can find it. If they feel the call of a meal bell in the form of an insect in your house, they may move in. I am not certain but I figure this is what happened with these three currently deceased but formerly potentially-deadly spiders. They were more than likely chasing some pesky flying or crawling insect into my home and decided to set up a permanent residence in my closets and under my bed. It was high time for me to take action. Black Widows are another spider not welcome in my home. I have to draw the line in the sand somewhere don’t I? It’s not that I hold any kind of grudge against Black Widows and Brown Recluse spiders; I would simply prefer them to choose to move on to places unknown – and have that place specifically not be my living room, bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, etc.
No hard feelings.

I was telling you about something well short of a “home invasion” this passing week but you would have thought it was World War III around my house. It looked like a mini-nuke might be in the plans of those in charge of household safety. These have been troubled days and there were dark forces in my household, who wanted to corral an army of pesticide-laden spider killers to make certain that no creepy crawly in our house would survive for more than an instant within the sacredness of our four walls. While collateral damage might be justifiable for some people in foreign lands with strange customs and languages, collateral damage in your own home might very well be someone you love. I couldn’t see putting my little one at risk to get rid of a few spiders and I for one am not angry enough with spiders to poison them and possibly my little baby at the same time. But these uninvited guests did invade my space. What is a health conscious person to do about frightened family members with the onset of arachnophobia, following a Brown Recluse attack, but to come up with an alternative to a blitzkrieg on every known insect in the free world?

There are always going to be more spiders than people, and all spider bites are poisonous. Still, only a few species out the 37,000 known in the spider kingdom are dangerous to human beings. The Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders are two that fall into that category. How do you recognize these tiny varmints? Both have distinctive hour-glass shapes on their backs and, under no uncertain terms, a bite from one of these spiders should not be taken lightly.

The Black Widow is black with the orangish’ red spot on the back and the Brown Recluse is brown but both have an hour glass looking tale quarter. The Black Widow does create a type of web to trap their prey but the Brown Recluse makes no web at all. Many mistake non-poisonous brown spiders for the Brown Recluse. If it is spinning a web then it is not a Brown Recluse. The Brown Recluse spider, hides in dark places instead of hiding up high in webs but its venom may be even more deadly than the Black Widows. If you or someone you know is bitten by a known poisonous spider, take immediate action.

Most people will only see a few different species of spiders in a lifetime, but spiders consume more insects than any other species of anything in the world. Without spiders, the earth might be infested and overrun by flying insects. Technically, spiders, to which I have periodically taken a liking, are not defined as insects. Rather, they are arachnids and Arachnophobia is that ice-cold fear that races through the heart of many an individual upon viewing any species of spider. There is good reason to respect the web-weavers, but ultimately, most are harmless to you and me and they are our friends.

Meanwhile, research has shown many spider species are dying off. It may be that toxins and pesticides are reducing the spider population around the globe. Is there a better way to send unwanted spiders on their merry-web way without killing them all off?

In seeking a potentially family-friendly and safer alternative to spider genocide or relocation of unlucky spiders to spider sanctuaries, I decided to conduct a little research. I have uncovered choice strategies that may bring a smile to the face of even the most extreme bug-hater. It is my hope that you will try out some of these suggestions, and then get back to me with the results. Maybe we could even start a WWJD about Spider's Club?

But seriously, bug-loathers, I just want the little guys to vamoose from my living quarters, without making any of the humans living inside sick. That said, the tips below are only suggestions. I am not an insect doctor, and I don't play one on television. But I’d sure be interested in hearing about your results. So, let’s commence, shall we?



"Kid-Friendly Pest Control."

Spider-Tip 1] Pick up your clothing from off the floor:

Spiders are usually people-friendly , but some - though friendly - may bite if they accidentally come into contact with your skin. One of the easiest spider-bite prevention techniques one may enlist is mother-approved: Most indoor spider-bites occur when some random family member picks- up days-old clothing from the floor. At this point, a Brown Recluse Spider may decide make and take her stand – and bite you in the process. Let it be known, Brown Recluse spiders are hunters. They do not spin webs so they can move from one hiding place to another in search of dinner. So you have to ask yourself, “Is my favorite shirt a den of chives for spider's?”

If so, they may will conceal themselves in your unkempt room and leap out of your clothing onto unsuspecting prey. If you don't want a startled and unsuspecting hour-glass-shaped predator jumping on and then subsequently biting your loved ones, tell this tale to your children and maybe even your significant other, they may very well start placing their dirty laundry in selected hampers the world over (and that means you college kids, too).

Spider-Tip 2] Push your bed away from the wall:

You may be tasty enough, but spiders are not looking for human prey. They don't have teeth and even if they did, you’d probably give them indigestion. With all the fast food that kids seek out and consume, parents may as well their off-spring that spiders like to eat, fast, kids that eat fast-food. Or that spiders don’t like to fast from eating kids?


So, we return to health-food mode and the process of pushing the bed away from the wall.

While not 100% effective for repelling spiders out of your bed, this process does make traveling between your bedroom walls and mattress a much more convoluted path to achieve. And that’s such a small price for time well-spent to make your bedroom a spider-free place to play.

Spider-Tip 3] Keep blankets and sheets from draping onto the floor:

This simple, yet pertinent step will keep most spiders far from your sleeping loved ones, and may make a fearful mother's slumber somewhat more peaceful. And it costs nothing but a few additional moments of your time, while adding emphasis and new meaning to the words, "tucking in your children at night."

This particular process may not only make your house safer from insect invasion, but also remind your child that you love and care for them. Dr. Phil, while not a insect doctor, might also approve.

Spider-Tip 4] Pantyhose, Sawdust and Catnip:

Studies have found that catnip is ten times more effective than DEET for repelling mosquitoes. Mosquitoes are a primary food for spiders. Scare off mosquitoes and your spiders will move on without poisoning your household. DEET, while much less effective than catnip oil, is readily available and it may not kill you, but it is toxic to insects. Therefore, who knows what the long-term effects of DEET could be on the planet? As such, home grown, less toxic and more effective insect repellents can be made with a little time and some simple to acquire ingredients. Education beats poisoning in the new math too.

, grow some catnip in your garden, or visit your nearest herb-bar and select some bulk Catnip. Fill up your old nylons with cedar wood-chips, and mix in as much catnip as you can grow or get your hands on. Tie off your recycled pantyhose repellent and soak the bag with lemon, orange, and canola oil for several hours. Then hang the nylon pouch near your various home entrances. This will make each entry-way to your living space smell "lemony fresh” or “tangy orange" - and also help prevent the spider's prey from invading that space. If you don't like hanging out your dirty laundry, then move right along to creating essential oils (outlined in to Spider-Tip #6).

The added-benefit of employing catnip is that you may be experience additional visits from surrounding feisty felines. But the main course for spiders, mosquitoes and other flying pesters will be missing from the menu.

In essence, starve the spiders, and your typical "homebody" web-slinger will exit your abode for good. This is a cheap - or almost free but passive - means of protecting your living quarters from spider invasion. Your average friendly-spider may exit your house, too. But at least it will not kill anyone or anything on their way out the door.

"Spiders are People too"? "Starve a spider, feed a…?"

Maybe not the appropriate clichés – and it may not be "Hug a Spider" month at your house. But, in my estimation, repelling spiders - instead of killing them, is better for one's karma. And your newly-freed spiders will at least be able to get back to their former outdoor activities.

Spider-Tip 5] Kid Friendly Insect Repellent:

Gather some dried herbs, citrus peels, and spices (i.e. Lavender, Eucalyptus, Dried Orange and Lemon peels, or Rosemary), and sprinkle them around the areas where spiders may enter your home (or hide), and you will have a wonderful aroma that will repel insects from your home. This inexpensive step will not only make your living space less inviting to spiders, but you will have interesting conversational pieces to show friends and family on their next visit. (Lavender, Eucalyptus, Dried and Ground Orange and Lemon peels are particularly uninviting to spiders, and may freshen your home so much that that it may feel, oh – you know – homey, uh…Homey.”

Spider-Tip 6] Poor Man's Essential Oil:

Add some essential oils that repel insects and spiders to your pantyhose repellent. Place the essential oil enthem in your closets, under beds, in your attic and in the basement. As such, you will also be driving-out spiders from their favorite inside hidey spots.

I chatted with my favorite hippy herbalist, and she said we could create our own bug-repelling essential oils from plants we grow at home or from inexpensive dried herbs (by the ounce). Creating our own essential oils is fun, and it’s much less costly than fake scents that bottled in some aerosol container.

Use Kid Friendly essential oils to scare away spiders and their prey. Some essential oils are particularly noxious to bugs and spiders. Yet, they make your home smell sweet and beautiful, depending on your margin of taste.

Some aroma-appealing herbs, fruits, and spices repel spiders, and many insects that are food to spiders. Starve those spiders, and they will move on to "bigger and better" insect food stands. Here’s how:

Step One: Place a pot on your stove top and fill it with the dried herbs, fruits, and spices that are known to repel spiders or insects. For example, if it’s Lavender, then add enough water to cover just above the flowers. Stir the mixture well Find a small glass baby food jar (or other glass jar with a lid), and fill the bottle about a quarter full of your favorite herb (that you’ve by now ground into a fine powder). Purchase some inexpensive Vodka, fill the bottle, and wait for one minute. This way, kill two spiders with one stone, and/or save the penguins and make your house insect-proof at the same time. Woodstock may have the start of an herbal revolution. But human parents in this century have more practical applications for "herbage."

Step Two: Starve them out. Any sensible spider will never stay in a home where there is not enough food to go around. Spider's food is other insects. Prevent flying insects and tiny little insectoids' from entering your home, and any self-respecting spider will pack their bag, walk out the door, and won’t come around your house no more (i.e. They will not survive, thank you very much, Gloria Gaynor).

Step Three: Have you ever had a pet spider? I have. I actually like most spiders. I even give them names sometimes. George was the name I gave to my most memorable pet crawler. George was a rather large spider of an unknown species, who was friendly, but he also knew his place. And his place wasn’t mine. He stayed up high on the ceiling and moved from room to room, but didn't creep into my bed at night. I often admired George's web-spinning and bug-capturing abilities. I even helped him out from time to time, by tossing the occasional unlucky wounded fly his way. George was by far my "most favorite" spider. Yet, he ultimately was a Georgette when, after several weeks of less-than-usual activity as an honored guest in my home, hatched a brood of teeny-weeny baby-spiders. I was okay with that, too. But Georgette's kids were not as congenial as their Mom, went away, and found new places to play. George/Georgette left along with her brood.

George the spider was friend of mine. Spiders consume copious or ginormous (and yes ginormous is a word) quantities of mosquitoes and other insects around the world every day. That alone is enough of a reason to like spiders. When they spin webs, and not all spiders spin webs, but those who can, are sometimes artisans with an amazing ability.
And that process, in the end (and I do mean the end) can turn out to be kind of amazing, too.

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