As we wave goodbye to the last few days of August and, therefore, summer (sob), we’re turning our attention to what autumn has in store for us. While we love us a cardi and a cosy night in, we’re not such big fans of the dropping mercury and darker evenings, But even that pails in comparison to what is perhaps the biggest peril of autumn: spiders.
Yes, you know autumn has hit when you start spotting those unwelcome eight-legged friends roaming the halls, looking for a warm place to stay. And whether you’re a ‘jump on the sofa and scream’ sort of person or the designated spider-catcher of the house, we’d all rather they weren’t there to begin with.
So with ‘spider season’ looming, Lucy Askew, spokesperson for Hillarys.co.uk, has shared her top tips for keeping spiders at bay this autumn and winter.
1. Conkers in the corner
Lucy says that, while not scientifically proven, many people the world over swear by popping conkers in the corners of their rooms to keep spiders out. It’s thought that they give off a noxious chemical that will cause a spider to curl up and die within just one day of them coming into contact with it. It’s lucky conker season comes at the same time as spider season then, isn’t it?
2. Keep on top of cleaning
It’s simple logic; spiders are looking for bugs and flies that they can eat, Lucy says, and these are not going to be as present in a house that is as clean and tidy as possible. By keeping up to date on your dusting and hoovering, you are not only going to keep cobwebs at bay, you are also keeping spider’s food options to a minimum.
3. Turn off outside lights
Insects and bugs that spiders love to eat are the ones that are most attracted to light, so keeping your lights on will only bring them all to your door and inside where they can get in. For the same reason, keep windows shut to keep bugs, aka spider food, out.
4. Citrus smells
It’s believed that spiders detest the smell of citrus fruits, so Lucy advises placing slices of fresh lemon or lime or rubbing the peel of either across your windowsills and doors as a natural bug repellent. If lemon isn’t the scent for you, you could try essential oils, such as peppermint, cinnamon or tea tree oil, to keep the spiders away.
5. Peppermint tea
Speaking of peppermint, we’ve heard that some people swear by putting peppermint tea bags in the corners of the room. Simply make your brew as normal, then pop the used teabag in places spiders might come through e.g. cracks in the wall, corners of the room and door frames. You can leave the teabag where it is for up to 4 days before replacing it. Alternatively, some people spritz brewed peppermint tea around their house with a spray bottle to deter unwanted extra inhabitants.