As days get shorter, leaves change colour we may begin to dream of heart-warming soups... there's little doubt that autumn is upon us. However, with this change of season comes an element that many of us find less desirable – the annual migration of spiders from our gardens to our homes.
Spiders are repelled by strong scents that, happily, many of us already use as home fragrances. Peppermint oil is a particularly popular remedy, just add 15 to 20 drops of the essential oil to a spray bottle filled with water and spritz around the house. Other good options for this include tea-tree, lavender, rose and cinnamon. Changing the oil that you use regularly can help to ensure that the remedy continues to be effective.
Should the essential oils not work, this is another version of the same remedy. Fill a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water and spray in corners, cracks and crevices to ward off spiders. Be careful to avoid varnished surfaces as vinegar can be somewhat harsh on their appearance.
Make sure spiders don't get into your house in the first place by moving anything that they would be likely to hide in away from any exterior walls. This could include leaves, grass clippings, vegetation, compost or woodpiles. Check door openings and window sills for any cracks that spiders could crawl through and seal these with caulk. Also fix torn window screens and cover vents and chimneys with fine mesh.
Plant a eucalyptus tree in the garden
As well as being low maintenance and smelling wonderful, the strong medicinal scent will repel spiders. If you don't have room for a eucalyptus tree, you could plant mint or lavender underneath or near windows, as again the strong smell will drive spiders away.
While light itself doesn't attract spiders, it does attract the insects that spiders feast on so turn off the outside lights to prevent spiders coming near the house. Stop indoor lights from shining through outdoors by using opaque blinds and shades. If you do need to keep the lights on, use yellow sodium vapour lights as these are less likely to attract insects.
Another scent that spiders are said to detest is cedar. Hauling a cedar plant into your home isn't exactly practical, however, there are many products on offer to give this one a try. Many stores offer a range of (cedar) options to hang in wardrobes or put in drawers or corners. Sand them down every now and then to refresh the scent, what's more the woody aroma is said to repel clothes moths too.
… and I just couldn't resist sharing this Spider Web Cake! It's a low carb, sugar free cake and could be perfect for Halloween ...
All the best Jan