We are in the midst of spider mating season, and the eight-legged creatures can be expected to be making themselves known in households across the UK until October.
As one of the most commonly feared animals, spiders might not find themselves all that welcome in many homes.
Arachnaphobes will be keen to defend themselves from the creepy crawlies, and rather than simply killing them, it is best to use humane methods to deter the spiders’ infestation.
There are a number of ways to deter spiders using natural ingredients.
One way that is sworn by is to use peppermint oil.
A study published in the Journal of Economic Entomology tested whether the scents of chestnut, lemon, or peppermint really do deter act as a deterrent and discovered that that chestnut and peppermint do have a deterrent effect, whereas lemon did not.
Some peppermint oil in a spray bottle, topped up with water and a small amount of dish soap works to repel some breeds of spiders, the research found.
Spray it around any area that you would expect to see spiders and it will create a barrier that will put them off, without harming them in any way.
However, this method is not completely reliable. It only had some effect on the latrodectus geometricus and araneus diadematus types of spider and did not affect the steatoda grossa spider.
If you want to go for the chestnut strategy, you need to simply scatter the nuts around the house in places where you would expect to see spiders. The smell is supposed to repel them.
If neither of the above methods work, you can try something similar to the peppermint solution, only with white vinegar instead of peppermint oil.
This can also be sprayed around the house to repel the spiders without harming them.
To go to more permanent lengths to deter spiders, you can plant a eucalyptus tree in your garden. The medicinal scent will put the creepy crawlies off.
Similarly, cedar wood puts spiders off. So if you plan to invest in new furniture, that’s the wood to go for.
You can also buy spider repellents made from cedar to put in areas where the creatures are known to spend time. Sanding these to refresh the scent every now and again ensures they keep working.