How to reduce spiders in your gutters
While spiders can be helpful in your garden, they’re a nuisance in your home. Believe it or not, most spiders are harmless to humans. However, if you’re like most people, you don’t want to share your home with them. We’ll go over the spider species you need to worry about and then cover some of the most common commercial and do-it-yourself methods for getting rid of spiders.
Of course, the easiest way to get rid of a spider infestation is to pick up the phone and call a professional pest control service. If you need help getting rid of spiders, you can reach us at (CPS number.)
Spiders you should avoid being in contact with
Perhaps the best news about spiders is that very few are actually dangerous to humans. Of the many species of arachnids in Australia, check out the ones below that have venom that can cause health problems to humans.
5. Trap Door Spiders
Starting off our list is the Trap door species. Their venom is only mildly effective on humans, causing localized pain. They are so named for the burrow they make in the ground, with a “door”. The spiders are dangerous when children and adults are digging around in the garden unaware of the spiders.
4. The Mouse Spider
8 species of the mouse spider exist in Australia. They have similar venom to the Funnel Webs, however, there have been no recorded deaths from its bite, largely in part because the Funnel Webs Antivenom has been effective at treating the Mouse Spiders venom. They are often found in burrows and are rarely aggressive.
3. The Redback Spider
Noted by its black body and defining red stripe, the redback is responsible for some 2000 bites annually, although thanks to advances in Anti-venom, there hasn’t been a recorded death from any spider bite since 1979. Symptoms of its bite include intense localized pain, weakness, nausea, and in more serious cases, convulsions and possibly death.
2. Other funnel Web Spiders
Thought you could breathe a sigh of relief because you don’t live in the Sydney area? Guess again. There are up to 40 species of Funnel Webs in Australia, 6 of which have been reported to cause severe envenomation. Did we mention they can also live in trees 30m off the ground? Drop bears aren’t all you need to worry about falling onto you…
1. Sydney Funnel Web Spider
Found nearly exclusively in Sydney, this spider is often considered the most deadly in the world. With fangs that can pierce through fingernails, and one specimen reaching 10cm stretched out, this spider is serious business. A single bite can kill a human in 15 minutes. Its venom, Atraxotoxin, shorts out synapses in the brain and interferes with the relaxation cycle. This causes spasms, accelerated heart rates, numbness of the mouth, and death.
A few more may cause painful bites, but mostly, spiders are harmless to humans. In fact, they actually eat nuisance insects like mosquitoes, fleas, and flies. Additionally, a spider infestation won’t cause structural damage to a building.
That’s not to say you should welcome spiders into your home. A single egg sac can contain hundreds or thousands of spiders, so an infestation can occur and spread extremely quickly. Ideally, spiders would stay outside and help keep your yard free of harmful pests. However, they do sometimes come indoors in search of food or shelter. When that happens, it’s time to start looking into how to get rid of them.
And, of course, if you suspect you may have brown recluses or black widows in or around your home, you’ll want to make sure they’re gone.
How to Get Rid of Spiders Indoors
There are several effective methods of eliminating spiders from the inside of your home, as well as ways to keep them from returning.
The first method is the simplest: get rid of spiders and their webs with brooms or vacuums. Most spiders aren’t tough enough to live through the experience of being sucked up into a vacuum cleaner, and you can get rid of their webs at the same time. Of course, this will probably only be effective on its own if the infestation is small, but it’s a good first step.
Unfortunately, fogger insecticides are usually ineffective against most spiders. Instead, spider traps, which contain chemicals that attract spiders and a sticky coating to keep them there, are the better choice. They’re generally flat sheets of heavy paper with no raised sides. Place these glue traps in out-of-the-way spots around your home, like in corners, by baseboards, and behind furniture.
Traps will kill the spiders that get stuck on them, but they won’t wipe out infestations that already live in hidden places. For this reason, traps are usually a better way to identify the type of spider you’re dealing with and the exact location of the infestation than a method of elimination.
There are plenty of indoor insecticides that will kill spiders on contact. However, you need to pay close attention to the kind of insecticide you purchase and how you use it. If you purchase a spray that kills on contact, remember that it won’t take care of any spiders you don’t see. You also need to make sure that it’s safe for indoor use, and if you have children or pets in the house, that it won’t be harmful to them. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for using the product.
There are also residual insecticides that allow you to put down a barrier around your home. Generally, you apply these pesticides around the baseboards and corners of your home, or anywhere else you suspect spiders may be living. Any spiders that walk across this barrier will be killed, though the chemicals may only remain effective for a short time. Again, check the packaging to determine how best to use these products and how long they’ll last.
Get rid of spiders under the eaves of homes
Spiders commonly build their webs in unwanted places and are considered a pest to many homeowners as a result. They are often found in woodpiles or in gardens, but also thrive in homes and buildings. While cleaning your gutters will not totally keep spiders at bay, it will definitely help. Cluttered gutters are full of all the food that spiders love to eat. By cleaning your gutters, you are removing the food source for the spiders. This will starve the spiders or have them looking for food elsewhere, in someone else home. By making sure your gutters aren’t clogged you can eliminate the buffet and breeding ground for spiders planning on moving into your home. Combine a variety of different methods to successfully rid your house eaves of nuisance spiders.
Moisture is a catalyst for pest activity. Many bugs will be drawn to your property if you have moist conditions. Spiders are no exception. Most spiders prefer humid or damp locations. You can resist them by reducing moisture by:
- Cleaning your gutters and repair damaged gutters, splash blocks, or downspouts.
- Trim landscaping.
- Fix leaky pipes and exterior fixtures.
Attach a spray nozzle to a water hose and spray the area under your house eaves with water to knock down and destroy spider webs, egg sacs, and spiders.
Spray a liquid insecticide under the eaves and directly at all visible spiders, as most sit in the middle of their web without coming into contact with a surface area. Read and follow all label directions carefully before applying any insecticide to your house. Reapply the insecticide under your house eaves on a regular basis to keep nuisance spiders at bay.
Replace all light bulbs around your house with yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs. According to the University of Rhode Island Landscape Horticulture Program, using yellow or sodium vapor light bulbs at outside entrances will help reduce night-flying insects which attract spiders.
Once you’ve eliminated or repelled the spider infestation from your home, you’ll want to make sure it doesn’t reoccur. The first step is usually sealing up any cracks or holes spiders may use to enter your home. Use caulk where appropriate around doors, windows, wires, cables, and faucets. Patch holes in door or window screens, and make sure your vents and chimney are covered with insect-proof screens, as well.
To help prevent spiders, make sure you clean your home regularly, picking up clutter that may serve as hiding places. Vacuum thoroughly and often. Also, ensure that you keep food in airtight containers and clean up crumbs and dirty dishes as soon as possible. While spiders don’t tend to feed on human food, the insects that spiders eat often do.
How to Get Rid of Spiders Outdoors
Indoor prevention often goes hand-in-hand with outdoor spider removal and prevention. Remember, however, that many spiders play an important role in keeping other insect populations down, so don’t be overzealous with spider elimination unless it involves black widow or brown recluse spiders.
Again, there are plenty of over-the-counter synthetic pesticides that will kill spiders. However, make sure these same pesticides won’t kill helpful insects like bees or butterflies, or even the very plants you’re trying to grow. Also, make sure that children and pets stay away from areas with toxic insecticides while they’re drying.
You can also find less toxic outdoor insecticides, though these may require repeated applications. Diatomaceous earth is also effective when sprinkled around the outside perimeter of your home.
While shrubs and other plants may look good up against the outdoor walls of your home, they provide shelter for spiders and the insects they eat. If you have repeated spider infestations, you’ll want to keep all vegetation at least 8 feet away from the outside of your house. Wood and rock piles, too, tend to harbor spiders and insects, so move them away from your home.
Finally, since your goal is to keep spider food sources far away from your house, consider installing sodium vapor light bulbs in outdoor sockets. These lights tend to attract fewer insects, which will in turn attract fewer spiders. Alternatively, you could simply keep all outdoor lights off until they’re necessary.
Spider infestations, particularly indoors, can be hard to treat on your own because female spiders and their egg sacs often remain hidden from view. If you try the above methods but you’re still struggling to get rid of spiders, you should call a professional for help. Pros have the training and equipment needed to root out infestations at the source. As such, pest control methods used by professionals tend to be more effective and longer-lasting than DIY remedies.
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