Spider Hack – How to Get Rid of Spiders in the House
Beware of funnel-web spiders in this torrential rain, says experts. Neel Patel from Fantastic Services reveals everything you need to know about Australian spiders – and how to blitz them from the home.
With New South Wales experiencing high levels of rainfall, pest control experts are urging people to beware of funnel-web spiders as they get washed out of their burrows.
Some funnel-webs produce venom, which is dangerous to humans, and bites by spiders of six of the species have caused severe injuries to victims. The bite of the Sydney funnel-web spider (Atrax robustus) and northern tree funnel-web spider (Hadronyche formidabilis) are potentially deadly, but no fatalities have occurred since the introduction of modern first-aid techniques and antivenom. But you still don’t want to risk being attacked by one of the critters!
In Sydney, male funnel-web spiders have a habit of wandering into backyards and falling into suburban swimming pools, where they can survive many hours.
NSW Health says that funnel-web bites should be left untouched, except for the use of an elasticised bandage, and the victim should remain still until medical help arrives.
Neel Patel from Fantastic Services reveals everything you need to know about Australian spiders – and how to blitz them from the home.
Every house has spiders. These small, eight-legged protectors survive by eating flies, mosquitoes, ants, along with other insects and are mostly harmless to humans and pets. Yet often we get the willies each time an arachnid passes by us, and even more so when there is a full-on spider invasion.
Common spiders in Australia
There are more than 35,000 species of spiders worldwide, with the most dangerous ones found in Australia. The most common spider extermination request is for webbing spiders, such as the Daddy Long Legs (Pholcus phalangiodes), which are found everywhere in homes. There are 155 types of huntsman spiders living across Australia and they can grow as to the size of a dinner plate in Queensland
Australia’s 10 most fearsome and dangerous spiders are:
1. Sydney funnel-web
2. Other funnel-webs
3. Redback spider
4. Mouse spider
5. Trap door spiders
6. White-tailed spiders
7. Australian tarantulas
8. Recluse spider
9. Huntsman spiders
10. Common garden orb weaver spider
When to call in the experts? If you have:
- noticed an increasing number or spiders in the house lately
- seen a couple of webs in the corners and wants to know if there are more of them
- have a garden and feels afraid that spiders might come from the outside
What attracts spiders in your house?
Spiders are attracted to your house when they are looking for food, which in their case, consists of insects. A number of species are also drawn to areas with high humidity levels, such as bathrooms, attics or basements. And lastly, just like with many other creatures, severe weather conditions can also force spiders to take refuge in your home. This is the main reason why sometimes you’ll find an outdoor species inside your house.
So, find out what the spiders from your local area prefer to eat, for example, ants or flies, and get rid of the source.
Why there are more spiders during Autumn season?
You have probably noticed an increasing number of spiders during autumn and winter. But what is the reason if they are not coming from the outside? Well, the answer is pretty simple. They’re hungry, and Daddy spider is out looking for a Mummy spider. In other words, it’s mating season. This usually happens at the end of the summer, but it varies for the different kinds of spiders.
How to get rid of spiders naturally
Before you go straight for the kill, our advice is to always try to relocate and get rid the spiders humanely. If they are somewhere near an exit, such as a window, or a door, push them gently with a stick or a ruler for some motivation. If you’re brave enough, you could also just pick them with your hand and release them in the backyard.
However, if you are a bit squeamish and you just want them out of your sight, here is what else you can do to deter the spiders that paid your house a visit:
Vacuum the spiders along with their webs
If you only need to get rid of a few spiders in the corner and not a full infestation, use a vacuum. It’s the best method for people who don’t want to get anywhere near to those little crawlers. Go through the egg sacks and webs carefully, so you don’t miss anything. You can use a broom as well.
Place spider glue traps
Glue traps are usually used for capturing cockroaches and mice, but they will also work for a larger spider infestation. They are in the form of flat sheets, without any edges. You should place them in areas where you have seen a lot of spider traffic. However, if the infestation is big enough for you to use glue traps, maybe it’s time to call for a professional. They will be able to track down the source, not only remove the visible parts.
Use a mixture of vinegar and peppermint oil
Another simple, natural remedy against spiders, is to mix a solution of ½ cup white vinegar, 1 ½ cups of lukewarm water, and add around 10 drops of peppermint oil. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle and apply the remedy to the corners, windowsills, and any other place where you see spiders.
Sprinkle diatomaceous earth
Diatomaceous earth has many useful applications for your home, health, and even pets. It’s made from the fossilised remains of single-celled organisms called “diatoms”, which is where the name comes from. Apply the powder-like substance on the areas where the spiders walk on. To us it’s harmless, but in the spider world, diatomaceous earth is a dangerous, edgy road to walk on, that will only lead to the spiders’ demise.
How to get rid of spiders using chemicals
Natural remedies will work up to a point, but after that, if you want permanent results, it’s time to bring out the big guns. Here is how to use chemicals to get rid of spiders at home:
Spray any corners or cracks with a commercial pesticide
Similar to the diatomaceous earth, spiders need to have direct contact with insecticides in order for them to have any effect. That’s why you need to spray the insecticide only to the places where you know a lot of the spiders walk through. Always read the label before you use the product as it is a dangerous chemical that could lead to accidental poisoning.
As for the type of insecticide you should use, slow release kinds and wettable powders are proven to be most useful as opposed to total release foggers, which aren’t as effective.
If you have small kids or pets, you need to be extra careful. Ingesting those insecticides can be lethal and requires immediate medical assistance. Keep them out of children and pet reach.
Get a professional spider control service
If you are afraid of dealing with spiders or you think your home is infested with them, it is best to consult with a professional. Fantastic Services follows a 4-step process:
- Survey. A professional pest control technician will come to your property at day and time suitable for you. He will carefully inspect the property, all the entry points, and the level of infestation.
- Treatment. The exterminators come fully prepared with all the right equipment and pesticides. Before the treatment starts, they will give you thorough instructions on what you need to do prior to and during the session. Then all spiders, including their eggs, present at your property will be effectively eradicated.
- Observation. Depending on the type of treatment you will have a number of follow up visits, in which the technician will come to your property and evaluate the results of the treatment.
- Prevention. All possible entry points will be sealed as part of the service, in order to prevent the same problem from happening again. You will also receive a full report of the service and also will be instructed from the professional on how to keep your house spider-free in the future.
Here is what to do in order to keep spiders out of your house:
- Get rid of all the clutter. Similar to many other pests, such as mice and cockroaches, junk and clutter are like heaven for the spiders. There they can roam free, multiply and live happily without you noticing until they decide to start travelling. The most preferred places are piled junk under the kitchen and bathroom sink, under your bed, between the wardrobe and the ceiling, piles of old newspapers and magazines, and storage boxes.
- Vacuum regularly and keep your home clean. If spiders have nowhere to hide, they won’t have a reason to invade your home. Wipe down kitchen surfaces after each use, because the small bits of food are very likely to attract other pests, food for the spiders. Pay special attention to all the corners, lights, windowsills, and ceilings. When you vacuum, make sure to go through all the tight spaces like under your sofa, bed, and nightstands. And, of course, as soon as you see a web or a spider, suck it with the vacuum, as that will kill them instantly but make sure to throw away the vacuum bag afterward. Air ducts are also a popular spider hostel, so clean them properly at least once every season.
- Don’t keep any outdoor lights on. Same as the food particles, light is something that will not attract spiders directly, but it will lure all of their favourite food, such as moths, flies, and other insects. Try to block the light that is coming from the indoors, as well, by using blinds or shades. If you insist on having a light on the outside, switch to yellow sodium vapour lights. Their light is not as attractive for the insects.
- Relocate plants and outdoor debris from the side of your house. Wood piles, bags of mulch, vegetation and rock are very appealing places for spiders. So if you have a full on infestation, consider moving your plants, shrubs, trees, etc. to the far end of your garden. Remove all of the debris where spiders might live, because even if you don’t mind them staying outside, as soon as it gets too cold or too hot, they will move to the nearest place possible. And in that case, their new home will be your house. If you have any crawling plants like ivy, either get rid of them or move them somewhere else.
- Seal every possible spider entry in your home. Do not give those pesky crawlers a chance to settle in your home. Patch up and seal all the cracks you have on your walls, doors, and windows. Place mesh over the vents and seal the fireplace when it’s not in use. Pay special attention to the kitchen, attic, and bathrooms, as they are a preferred hiding place, because of the high moisture levels.
- Employ scents spiders don’t cope well with. The smell of peppermint is not the only scent that spiders can’t handle. They also aren’t big fans of citrus, garlic, cedar, eucalyptus, and lavender. Plant mint, lavender, and eucalyptus, and place them around the house, close to the windowsills. That way it’s almost certain that spiders will try to look for another route in. You can also light citrus aroma candles, and if you are cooking something with garlic, don’t turn the extraction fan on so fast. Let the spiders feel the smell and run away in terror.
- Get a cat. Having spiders in your home on its own is not a reason to get a cat if you don’t have one already. But if you are making a list of pros and cons, you should definitely add this to the advantages. Cats are playful creatures that love hunting down all sorts of living things, including spiders. As soon as they spot one crawling beneath the sofa, it’s hunting time. They never give up until the pray is apprehended and are able to spot the crawlers, even with limited light sources.
- Natural and harmless methods will work best if there is just a couple of spiders in your home, not a full invasion.
- If you see the crawlers spreading into more rooms, and their numbers growing bigger, first try eliminating all of the food and shelter sources. If they do not leave the premises, consider turning to a pest control specialist.
- Always be super careful when using pesticides, as the chemicals in them can be very dangerous to your family and pets. Put on protective gear if you are using spray-based insecticides.
Fantastic Services’ spider extermination starts with a careful premises inspection on a room-by-room basis. This helps the pest controller to determine the type of creepy-crawlies that have invaded your home and to identify the locations that they may use as hideouts. For details on other pest control and cleaning services, visit fantasticservicesgroup.com.au