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There are a lot of things you can do to take on spiders on the homestead without resorting to harsh chemicals. Many people find that a combination of methods is the most effective approach. None of these methods are expensive to use but some can take more time than others.
Read on and I bet you will find at least a few things that you can do right now to reduce and eliminate spiders around your place!
Borax and DE Earth
Sprinkle a mix of Borax and DE behind moldings and in cracks and crevices. This will discourage spiders. We did this when we built our house and it helped a lot.
Diatomaceous Earth Food Grade
Sealing cracks and crevices
Spiders require habitat like any creature. If you create a fabulous habitat for them they are going to thrive. Cracks and crevices in your home are perfect places for them to lurk. Older homes are particularly full of these spaces. Silicone caulk can be used or foams if you prefer. While I guess you cannot call these things 100% natural, they are far better to use than a lot of sprays.
Doors can be weatherstripped with foam strips and a new door sweep. Remember that sealing any cracks and crevices will increase the energy efficiency of your home, too!
Chickens and Guinea Fowl
We go through times of having chickens and then not. I have noticed that our insect population goes up a lot when we don’t have at least a few chickens. We were pretty horrified that the black widow spider population skyrocketed so much after we were chicken free for a season.
Guineas and chickens reduce spiders and ticks a lot! In fact if you have a really big problem it is far better to put up with a bit of bird mess than have spiders.
Reduce clutter and unused spaces
When spaces set unused for a long time, spiders can make their homes. While we all have some storage or things we don’t use often, if you have a lot of stuff that sets undisturbed then you are asking for spider trouble.
Go through your stuff and donate or sell what you don’t need. It can feel quite liberating to free yourself of unwanted clutter and you might be able to raise some money to put towards your preps or at least something you will get more out of!
Dusting and vacuuming disturbs spaces and gets rid of any spider eggs or young ones before they get larger. It can be hard to dust enough on the homestead at times. Between livestock raising, coming in and out during the workday, and any pets running through the house, dusting can be quite a chore but it has a lot of benefits.
A shop vac with a soft brush attachment works wonders and improves the quality of the air in your home. You are not just stirring up dust but actually removing it and no rags to deal with!
Use Essential Oils to Take On The Problem
Spiders do not like some of the essential oils and smells that a lot of us find pleasant to use around the home.
Here is a list of oils you can use in a mist to discourage spiders:
Of course this also means that you might want to consider using cleaning products that already have these oils in them or that you can easily add oils to. You can also just mix some water and oils and spray around your home. Lavender linen sprays are wonderful for making sheets, blankets, and towels smell refreshing.
To make your own anti spider spray, mix 15 ozs water with ⅓ tsp dish soap and 6-12 drops of any of the essential oils on the list above. Spray around areas that you have seen spider activity or where you want to make sure they don’t set up residence.
Use Cedar Mulch For Landscaping
Not only does Cedar mulch look good, it also naturally repels spiders. If you have gardens and shrubbery near your home then spread a little cedar once in awhile, especially if shrubbery is close to doorways.
Plant A Beautiful Anti Spider Garden
There are some highly useful and beautiful plants that you can add to your garden to take on spiders holistically!
- Lemon Balm and Lemon Verbena
- Mint (Any mine will do.)
If you rent a house, live in an apartment, ect then try growing some of these plants in containers and setting where you want to deter spiders.
Get a cat or dog
Cats and dogs actually help deter spiders because they often will not put up with anything creeping around their territory. Cats and small dogs tend to be the most enthusiastic about this practice.
Cats are also very important for keeping away other pets like mice, rats, voles, and moles. Anyone that lives out in a rural area is missing out if they don’t have a cat.
Destroy spider habitats
Big piles of stuff are a spiders playground. This can be wood, brush piles, garbage that sits too long in one place, or older buildings that are unusable or not used. If you have old sheds and buildings on your property that have some wood in them that is still good you can reuse some or you can sometimes get someone to come and salvage what they can and haul things off.
Some reclaimed wood is quite valuable. Larger outbuildings can sometimes be burned by the fire department if they can use it as a learning exercise. The point is that you need to clean things up. This can be a hard thing to do if you have a lot of messes.
My husband and I had to clean up some huge piles of junk relatives left on the property that would become ours and it definitely reduced the amount of vermin and bugs around the place.
Handy Tip: Always test a surface before spraying a lot of anything onto various surfaces around your home. You don’t want to find out that you have ruined the finish or fabric of something you like. Oils can stain and vinegar is acidic.
Use vinegar or vinegar based cleaning agents
Spiders are no fan of vinegar. While the smell of vinegar is not always appealing, it does dissipate quite rapidly. By the time vinegar is dry you will not notice the smell at all but you will be a step closer to having no spiders in your home.
Baking Soda Mixed With Diatomaceous Earth
DE and baking soda are great because you can use them virtually anywhere including areas where you store and cook foods. Sprinkle this behind cabinets and in cracks and crevices to keep spiders at bay. Baking soda also helps absorb odors so that is a bonus.
Tobacco Leaves Or Emulsion
Spreading tobacco leaves around your home can help rid it of spiders. You can ball them up and make a spider ball that you can toss back in closets and other areas.
You can also create a spray by blending tobacco leaves and water and spraying in cracks, crevices, and other areas. The emulsion works best for those that are concerned about kids or pets getting a hold of tobacco.
Tomato Leaf Spray
To make a spray from tomato leaf simply grind up a handful of leaves and add to 2 cups of water and 1 tsp of cornstarch.
Just remember that whatever is on your tomato leaves is going to be sprayed around your home so if you treat your tomatoes with any pesticides there may be residues.
This long lasting solution is natural and safe to use in food areas when applied correctly. The bottle claims it will stick around for up to 10 years which is far better than a lot of solutions. This is definitely a product that you want to wear a dust mask or respirator to apply.
Doctor Doom Fogger
While the name sounds chemical like, pyrethrum is actually used a lot in organic food production. Pyrethrum actually comes from the dried heads of Chrysanthemum flowers. It is great stuff because it is highly effective at getting rid of a lot of different insect pests. Doktor Doom Foggers are made with pyrethrum and come in different sizes so you can buy the right one for your space.
Make sure to get the right size. The biggest cans do a very large space but if you have a lot of different rooms with seperate walls you will be best off using a series of smaller foggers.
The disadvantage of foggers is that you do have to cover some things and people and pets will need to stay out of the house for awhile but since pyrethrum breaks down quickly the reentry time is much lower than with traditional chemical foggers. Greenhouse food growers use this up to a day before harvest.
Always Wear Gloves when reaching back in a place like a wood pile or any area that has not been in use for a long time.
Cleaning up or chopping or moving firewood are the times when I have run into the most Black Widows. Under rocks or in piles of rock and wood are prime habitats. Any area that has not been kept up or used for awhile is also a prime spot.
Got an old outbuilding on that new dream property? Get ready for some spiders. Wearing thick gloves will prevent bites. Also make sure to wear long sleeved shirts and pants and tuck them all in when dealing with an area that is infested.
Under houses in crawl spaces and basements you can run into spiders even when it is very cold outside. Just because you have had hard freezes in your area doesn’t mean it is not warm enough for spiders to make it under a few feet of wood or rocks and under a house stays plenty warm!
If you get bit by a spider…
Sometimes it takes some time to really get any infestation under control. If you are moving into a new place out in the woods or anything like that. The good news is that most spiders are not incredibly poisonous or anything like that.
There are some that hurt and they can become infected if not treated. Activated charcoal mixed with some coconut oil and spread on a bite will help draw out any irritants. This remedy can be messy so you will want to cover it and apply the mixture every 4 hours or so.
This will even help with the worst of spider bites, that of the brown recluse and black widow. The activated charcoal prevents the poison from spreading to a larger area of tissue.
Make sure to seek medical attention especially if the person is a child, elderly, or has a compromised immune system.
The Dreaded Basement Or Crawl Space
If there is one area that is hard to eliminate spiders from it is any basement or crawlspace. Those with bare earth or exposed insulation are perhaps the worst because there is just so much surface area and dirt can be more of a challenge to treat.
With enough spraying it is possible but you need to be consistent. While plenty of people strive for all natural solutions within the home, the basement and crawlspace area is one spot where a lot of people break down and use a bug bomb or something similarly strong.
A fogger can reach places more easily and you don’t have to spend a lot of time crawling around. Use the Doktor Doom foggers if you want a natural solution.
What do you do to take on spiders around your home? Please share with us in the comments below.
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