For many of us, spiders may be nice Halloween decorations but are often houseguests we would prefer not to have. Spiders tend to be most pervasive in areas where food and shelter are readily available. So, what’s drawing them to your home?
For Spider Prevention, Think Outside-In
Spider populations inside a home usually begin as an extension of spider populations outside the home. The higher the concentration of spiders outside, the greater the likelihood of finding them indoors. Most spider species feed on other insects, so environmental conditions that are favorable for other insects outside your home also tend to be inviting for spiders.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce the spider population outside of your home.
Remove excessive foliage such as trees, bushes, or shrubs in direct proximity to the home, as these areas create favorable conditions for spiders and other insect pests to flourish.
Trim tree limbs or branches overhanging the roof or touching the siding to eliminate easy access for pests.
Keep all plant life well maintained and manicured during all times of the year to minimize pest harborage areas and reduce spider pathways to your home.
Keep gutters and downspouts free of buildup from leaves or other debris, and water should be directed away from the foundation of the home.
Store firewood away from your home as these stacks that are seldom moved can serve as a favorable habitat for many pests.
Maintain seals and weather stripping to make it difficult for spiders to find a way into your home. Around the outside of your home, inspect for potential points of spider entry including areas around doors and windows.
Seal holes, gaps, or cracks in the siding or foundation as these openings serve as access points for pests.
Minimize the accumulation of spider webs and other insect debris that may form around doors, windows, light fixtures, eaves and gutters.
To reduce the presence of spiders inside your home, consider taking proactive measures to mitigate insect populations outside your home such as an ongoing pest control service plan with a licensed pest control provider in your area.
When the Weather Changes, Spiders Move
When the weather cools and outdoor insect populations diminish, spiders move indoors in search of additional sources of food and more suitable habitats to ride out the colder months. Spiders will establish themselves inside wall voids, beneath cabinets, in basements, corners of ceilings, or in other dark and comfortable locations.
For many spider species, fall is the prime mating season. Not only do spider populations increase during this time, but some spiders also begin to leave their outside habitats for warmer conditions inside homes or buildings. Many pest control providers offer exterior treatments this time of year to help reduce expanding populations of spiders and other overwintering pests, such as stink bugs.
Disrupting Spider Habitats
In much the same way that spiders outside the home are typically there because the environmental conditions are favorable, the same can be said of spiders inside the home.
Once populations have established themselves indoors, the process of getting rid of them entirely can sometimes be painfully slow. Fortunately, there are things that can be done to start moving towards a spider-free home.
Modify the lighting in areas of high spider activity.While this action alone won’t impact the spider populations directly, it may cause them to emerge from their harborage areas and potentially relocate. During this relocation process, they may become more susceptible to the treatment being administered by you or your pest control provider. The lighting may also serve as a deterrent to having them re-establish in this area of your home.
Inspect the house for areas of clutter from boxes or other storage items and consider reorganizing where possible. Because spiders become comfortable in locations of minimal disturbance, the action of moving and cleaning will drive them from their harborages, allowing for quick, easy removal. A vacuum will be a useful tool as you work your way through the home.
Remove all webbing, and other related debris from areas beneath furniture and in other spots that may provide a sheltered spot for spiders to seek refuge. Be sure to also remove other insects or insect parts that could become potential spider food sources.