Autumn is beginning, and cinnamon drinks, pop-up costume stores, and school fundraisers aren’t the only upsetting things beginning to make an appearance. You’re likely seeing spiders around the house. Popular lore dictates that this is because the spiders are coming in from the cold. Except, think about it — it isn’t any colder this week than any week of summer. You’re seeing more spiders because they’re roaming about looking for a mate. So, you’re not just seeing spiders in your house, you’re seeing horned-up spiders in your house. That fact likely doesn’t help your attitude if you’re already afraid of arachnids.
I’ve got a pretty chill relationship with spiders. I mean, I don’t want to be put in a coffin full of them to win money from Joe Rogan or anything, but I’m not one to lose my mind when I see them. Not so much for my wife and daughter, both of whom want to nuke the house from orbit when they see the skinniest daddy long legs harmlessly bopping along.
The spiders that are plentiful in the Chicago area also take out plenty of insects, and usually build their webs where a lot of bugs are getting into your house. So rather than squish poor Charlotte, why not take measures so they find someplace else to feed!
Escort them out.
Don’t murder these things. Killing them not only curtails their ability to eat many times their weight in pests, but it results in angry ghost spiders floating around rattling webs made of chain. Put a cup over them, slide a card under the cup and carry them to your most annoying neighbor’s door.
Seal the entrances.
No, I don’t mean bar the doors like you’re defending a farmhouse from zombies – I mean caulk or silicone cracks and leaky windows. You can also put rubber stoppers on doors so spiders don’t feel they can waltz in on all those elegant legs.
Don’t invite them to dinner.
If there are no bugs for them to eat, they likely won’t tie a napkin around their neck and park themselves in your dining room. Call the exterminator or put our bug traps to keep flies and mosquitoes out of your house. Those filthy things are more likely to bite you than any spider. Spiders rarely walk through exterminator poison anyhow and the chemicals you’d need to actually kill spiders are more than you want around the family.
Sweep away webbing before it gets bigger.
It might feel mean to sweep away a web after they did all that hard work, but it’s worth it. Sweep your corners, rafters, and crannies early and often before the spider has made a major infrastructure investment.
Keep a clean yard.
If you’ve got a yard, keep it trim and raked. Keep bushes and plants away from doors and windows. This way, Shelob or Aragog won’t be tempted to leap from a leaf into your business.
Bonus Tip: Peppermint?
People keep telling me this is a thing, but anytime I hear essential oils, I essentially roll my eyes. You can give this a shot, but my guess is you’ll just have a house full of spiders that smells like toothpaste.
Follow Matt at The Paternity Test Comedy Podcast.