HELP. Lots of spiders in my house. What is normal for a house...

Mia_September 6, 2012

How much spider activity do you have in your homes? What are you doing/what have you done to combat the spider population? How many spiders do people normally find in their houses on a daily basis?

I've read a lot about spiders, and I realize that they are beneficial in keeping the nasty insect population down and that it's almost impossible to eliminate them from a home completely. I'm wondering if what I'm seeing now is the male spiders that are looking for mates this time of year. I DON'T want any spider-mating activity in my don't want another increase in the spider population any time soon.

I have always had lots of spiders in my house ever since I moved in, but I never experienced anything like this in previous homes possibly because this is an older house with crevices for creepy crawlers to get in. I've hired an exterminator in the past, but that didn't help one bit (I had more spiders than ever when we had an exterminator). We've also sprayed the interior and exterior with an insecticide and sealed all gaps we could find on the outside of the house and in the basement, yet that didn't alleviate the problem. Since spiders do not die when they walk on the dried insecticide, all of this spraying with insecticides doesn't seem to help too much. I don't see many insects inside, except for the occasional centipede or earwig (never had those in any other home).

A few days ago, I thoroughly dusted all the walls, ceilings and doors with my Swiffer dry cloths to make sure there were no webs, and then I dusted all furniture and vacuumed my floors and under the furniture. During this cleaning, I found five semi-large spiders. I thought that the thorough cleaning would help, however, it didn't appear to make a difference (I always vacuum at least twice a week anyway). The last straws were a couple of days ago when I had a large spider on my computer screen and then yesterday when there was a spider on my clean sofa and one on the kitchen counter. In the past hour, I killed a spider on my wall near my sofa. I again re-dusted the area tonight. By the way, I've been keeping all my windows closed for the entire summer.

One problem is that I have all wooden floors in this house (except in the kitchen and bathroom), so there are gaps around the radiators (I must fill those gaps soon). Also, several of the wooden floor boards have tiny gaps between them and small gaps where they meet some of the walls/trim, and so I don't know what to do for these tiny gaps because wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. I read that spiders can get in through floor boards (this creeps me out). I have some of my personal belongings stored in boxes in one room that I don't use, and so I just bought some large plastic totes to replace those boxes where spiders can hide. I can't do all of this work overnight, though, and I'm nervous about going through boxes that have been undisturbed.

Anyway, I'm at my wit's end right now. I can deal with finding one spider a week, but not all of these spiders.

Thanks for reading all of this and for any input on my spider problem and for sharing your personal experiences in dealing with spiders.

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I just want to add that I have those electronic pest devices plugged into my outlets, and they apparently don't work at all for spiders.

I found yet another spider on my bedroom ceiling the size of a quarter. I had just cleaned the whole room thoroughly a few days ago and sprayed the perimeter of the ceiling and floor with Permethrin which unfortunately doesn't kill spiders that walk on the dried residue.

Does anyone else scan their walls, ceilings, floors for spiders? I never used to be like this before living here. Ugh.

Anyway, I want to have my whole basement thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom, and this will likely help a bit. I only have a small amount of boxes down there and a washer/dryer and furnace & oil tank. What type of a professional can I hire to clean my basement (vacuum webs, wash floors, walls, etc.)?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:20AM
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I used to rent a home that had a similar problem! OMG, I know what you mean. I though several times I would have a breakdown. It was spiders, ig brown hairy wood spiders - tons of them, they would go into hiding during the winter, its cold here. Anyhow, my advice is this: Diatemaceus Earth. Go to a local Amway or Agway, it comes in a can. You sprinkle it about just like carpet fresh. Vacuum atleast every other day. Get pest control in with an appointment with your landlord. Also, there has to be a moisture issue, or possibility of attic issues? Put a doorsweep on all door bottoms going outdoors. You can get some peel and stick rubber ones for a couple of bucks. It sounds silly, but the space under the door lets in alot of stuff. Pay attention to where your seeing them the most. Point it out to your landlord. It sounds like your getting infested and you don't want it to go past a certain point. Good Luck, be vigilant against the buggers!

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 1:49AM
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You asked what is normal? According to the entomologists at Ohio State University no matter where you are, you are never more than 5 feet away from a spider of one sort or another...LOL

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:08AM
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itsnotworking, thanks for your response. Yikes, hairy wood spiders! I've seen one in the basement a few years ago. Mine are mostly house spiders and the occasional outdoor spider. They are black and super fast. I also get light-colored spiders. I don't know how many different varieties there are in my house.

I have Diatomaceous Earth on my list of things to buy. I was reading about the pros and cons of using it indoors. It can be very dusty to use. I read that if a spider's legs are long, the DE will not get on its body and so the spider will not die. I'd definitely like to spread DE outside around the foundation and in the basement. It has to be re-applied if it rains.

I already have door sweeps installed. There's just too many crevices in this house. I have a fireplace, and they seem to be coming from around that wall and from the crevices where the brick meets the wood mantel. I've sprayed the heck out of the fireplace many times to no avail. The fireplace is all clean with nothing inside it. I really don't want spiders in my bedroom, and I've already seen five of them there in one week - bedroom is clean with no clutter and never have clothing on the floor.

There is some moisture at times in the basement. I haven't been in the attic in a long time, and nothing is stored up there. I'm sure there are spiders in my attic *shudders*. If I get an exterminator, I'll have him/her do the attic.

But like I wrote, I had an exterminator for a while, and it did nothing to reduce the spider population. This house obviously had an issue when I moved in; I would have never moved in had I known.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:28AM
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lazypup, I've read that, too, but it depends where you are sitting/standing. It's not always 5 feet (sometimes closer/sometimes farther).

Some people say that they only see a spider once a month or less. I wonder if it's because they don't have many spiders or if they happen to not see the spiders when they are crawling about. All I know is that in the other homes I've lived in, I rarely saw spiders and didn't find webs indoors.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 8:41AM
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Get a cat, they'll eat them! Kidding, but we also had a problem with spiders after a leaky pipe leading to the upstairs bath required that we cut a hole in the kitchen ceiling drywall. Spiders just seemed to pour out of the hole afterwards so I'd constantly be knocking out webs with my duster. The hole is patched now and it's much less spidery. Maybe you can examine the crevices around your mantel and see if any of them can be filled in?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2012 at 2:32PM
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We have a well maintained 50 year old home, and we rarely see a spider.We do occasionaly have small lizzards. We have a large population of horned lizzards whom I am sure like to dine on outside spiders. We consistantly dust and vacume. What is strange, we sometimes will have a spider or two in our pool.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2012 at 9:46AM
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I've heard that putting those small cedar balls inyour windows will prevent them from coming in that way. Ive actually found that by vacuuming it upsets them and I always see some right after. Suck them up and get rid of the bag because when they lay eggs its a lot of eggs...we removed shutters from our first home and behind each shutter on each shelf of the clapboard was a spider. It was like a condominium for spiders! Needless to say every house we've been in since then, one of the first things we do is remove the shutters! I got a bite on my eyelid once and it was just awful. Got infected and just plain dangerous! I so hate spiders, any kind.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 12:06PM
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I'll definitely buy some cedar balls or chips to see if that helps.

We don't get lizards here, and I don't think that there are too many spider predators. I probably wouldn't mind lizards if they ate spiders.

My fireplace, well, that's going to be a big job to seal all the crevices. Plus, there is about a 1/4" gap between where the top part of the wood mantel meets the wall, and I've seen a few spiders come from there, even though I've sprayed in that gap many times. I think it's too large of a gap to put a silicone sealer or wood filler. Not sure how to fix that gap.

Of course, wouldn't ya know it, last night before I was going to go to bed, I found a spider on the ceiling right above my bed, and I got it with the vacuum. I had a hard time falling asleep after that. My bedroom is very clean; I try to make it as inhabitable as possible for any bugs.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2012 at 7:41PM
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We have horned lizzards, horny toads, geekos and dragon flies, not to mention a large bird population. This time of year we also have yellow crested night herons. When I mow the lawn, black birds follow me around. Hardly anything gets past this managerie.

    Bookmark   September 12, 2012 at 11:52AM
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ugh...I just came back to bed after catching a HUGE spider in the bathroom, and taking it outside. Including legs it was the size of a quarter. AND there was a smaller version stuck in the sink, and an even smaller one nearby. I think my house has too many spiders too. The daddy long legs dont bother me as much. But these hairy brown spiders, and reddish brown shiny ones, and brown ones that are house spiders but remind me of mini black widows.......yuck. I know they are beneficial and will not likely bite me. But they just trigger a primal disgust and fear in me. I think removing webs, sealing openings and crevices, and diatomaceous earthsound good. Around here we always see many more when it is getting colder out side and I think they come in for the warmth. Around here many spiders seem nocturnal, so you see more if you walk around the house in the dark, with a flashlight. Yuck again! I see several spiders each day! I try to catch them and put them outside, but especially at night I might just get them with a wad of kleenex. I always say "I am sorry but I am a mom and I can't have you possibly biting my kids"

    Bookmark   September 22, 2012 at 12:01AM
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lafdr, I give you lots of credit for bringing the spiders outside. You're much braver than I am. I haven't seen any daddy long legs in this house. I've been finding light-colored spiders lately. They're all fast. I'm also disgusted by spiders, and I'm not afraid of anything else but spiders.

I hope to get to the store this week to buy some cedar chips. I'll put some between the window screens and window sashes, since I see some webs in my windows (I cleaned and sprayed insecticide in there, yet the webs keep forming). I'm still finding house spiders almost daily, even though I've been vigilant at cleaning.

I think that there are more spiders wandering around indoors at this time of year because it's the mating season now, and so the males are searching for mates. I should put up a sign: "No spider mating allowed." Need to find some sort of humor in this.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2012 at 12:46AM
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I feel your spider the last week I killed a ginormous spider in my newly finished basement that after much horrific photo-filled internet research I ID'd as a wolf spider. I also had one of those black speedy house spiders crawl from up from a crack in the stairs as I was bringing laundry up.

I have more bugs in general in this house than in my old house - I think probably because I have a basement here and also because this house is 85 years old and there are just more cracks and crevices. I have found that having a quarterly extermination service does help to keep populations down - I always see a rise in numbers as I am nearing the time when I am due for the next treatment. The guy who treats my house is good and very thorough.

One other thing you might want to try - there are these balls called hedge apples that I think are technically a kind of fruit (I think in other parts of the country they're called osage oranges or horse apples). They are green and kind of cool looking - google them. I get them from a tree that's in a park in my neighborhood for free, and put them around my basement as they are supposed to repel spiders and other bugs. At least in my part of the country (Mid-Atlantic) you can find them now through probably early November, which nicely coincides with the cooler temps when bugs start to move indoors.

    Bookmark   September 25, 2012 at 11:40AM
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On the plus side, they will match any Halloween decoration.

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 5:23PM
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jrldh: So very true, plus, the webs are natural rather than store-bought - that's a huge savings right there. Now, you know I'm joking :)

hlg222: I relate to you, too. I haven't seen a wolf spider yet, though I've seen pictures. I'd have a real issue if I saw one of those here. My house is over fifty years old. It's almost impossible to seal all the cracks and crevices. I had Terminex spray every two weeks to a month, yet there was no change in the # of spiders. I'll look into a local company this time. We don't get osage oranges here; I've never seen one in person.

I was going to put cedar chips in my windows, but then I learned that they don't repel spiders. Most cedar chips are not 100% cedar. The diatomaceous earth is good to kill a spider's meal source, but as far as directly killing spiders, well, in order for DE to kill spiders, it would have to get on the spider's body, and since most spiders have long legs, they just walk over the DE and continue to live. The residual sprays don't work directly for killing spiders; you have to get the spray on the spider's body for it to die. But at least the residuals reduce some of a spider's food source. I've sprayed the entire inside & outside perimeter of my house with insecticide, but I've not seen one dead spider inside, and they've built webs right where I recently sprayed. Those electronic pest repelling devices are a joke and a waste of money.

I think the best way to find webs (to remove them) is either when the sunlight is shining on them or if you shine a flashlight on surfaces with the lights dimmed or turned off. You'll be surprised at what you might find with a flashlight :(

I'm so frustrated. After all of my hours of thorough cleaning (floors, walls, ceilings, furniture), I got a silk thread across my face as I walked into the kitchen last night and then a couple across my arms as I walked into the hallway. Found a spider on my bedroom wall, too. So some spiders must have been at work while I was sitting at my desk for an hour. Then I took a closer look and saw some webs across my interior doors/door trim/furniture and other areas that I had just cleaned a few days ago. So I spent my late night washing off all these webs again and dusting the wood floors. I can't stand this house any more, since I hate spiders (I never saw any webs and rarely any spiders in my last place, but that was a condo).

    Bookmark   September 26, 2012 at 11:18PM
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Hmm. I don't know what my pest control company is using, but most of the bugs I find in the house between treatments are already dead, including spiders. When I first moved in, the house was totally infested with "spider crickets" another large and creepy bug, they look like big spiders but jump (AT you!!!) like crickets, and I was second guessing my decision to buy the house. Every time I went down in the basement, I'd see at least 5 or 6 of them on the walls or floor, the storage room walls were covered in them, and I was killing about 3 a week upstairs in the house. It was making me nuts. After the pest control company came out, within a week everything I was finding was either dead or moving extremely slowly, and I have not really had a problem since. I have noticed a big difference with some technicians who are not as thorough as others...the company who services my house had some turnover and I had a couple of visits by new guys who were not as thorough, and it showed in the number of bugs I was seeing.

Your situation sounds awful - if it doesn't improve, I would probably consider moving, if I could (but I REALLY hate spiders!)

Also, I COMPLETELY agree with you about the electronic repellents being a waste of money - I bought a couple when I had mice in the house and they did nothing. I actually spotted a mouse a few feet away one night!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2012 at 11:08AM
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hlg222, that pest control company you have seems great right now. Thank goodness you don't have to deal with those crickets on your own anymore. It's so true that the success of a of pest treatment depends on how thorough a technician is. I think that the guy who treated my house for a year did a poor job. The company kept sending him back to do more treatments, and I didn't think at that time to ask for a different technician.

I didn't see a spider for a few days, and then tonight I found a decent-sized one on the wall by my sofa (I caught it). I'm glad that the spider activity subsides in late October/early November, but I begin seeing spiders again in the Spring.

I've heard other people around here complaining about spiders. Even some of my local stores have thick webs inside near the ceilings, and I don't know why someone doesn't take the webs down. I know that spiders help control pests, but it's kind of creepy to see webs hanging from the ceilings in stores. If I see one silk spider thread in here, I remove it right away.

Actually, I've been considering selling this house for more reasons than just the spiders. It would be great to no longer have this spider problem, of course.

    Bookmark   October 2, 2012 at 3:19AM
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How often do any of you see new webs (silk strands) in your house after having removed the previous ones?

I was just sitting on my sofa writing, and then I noticed something. It was a spider hanging a few inches from my leg! I jumped away and moved the sofa to the wall and caught the spider with a glass as it crawled down its silk strand to the floor. I'm surprised I didn't see it on the ceiling before it made its descent. And if I wasn't sitting there, the damn thing would have ended up on my sofa. So then when I walked into the bathroom, there were a couple webs cris-crossing in front of the door that weren't there two hours ago. And there's now new webs in the kitchen and in my bedroom. I just examined the rooms two days ago and ran the vacuum along the doors and walls, and there were no webs.

I don't understand why I keep finding new webs so often. This is the worst I've ever had it in this house. I can't be wiping down walls, ceilings, etc every day.

I seriously can't take it here anymore. I'm all alone here dealing with this. I've complained all summer to my family members who own this house (I have a small ownership), and they have done nothing at all. If I only had clothes to move, I'd be gone tomorrow. This is all making me sick. I've never experienced anything like this in my life. I know some may say, it's just spiders, but I am afraid of them and don't want them in my living space. Plus, these are not tiny spiders.

There are way too many cracks and crevices in this house that can't be filled, so spiders have too many hiding places. I'm sure the basement has plenty of spiders, and I won't go down there. I don't know what's going on in the attic (I don't have anything stored up there), but there are some hairline cracks in my ceilings that may be an entryway.

I'm really disgusted right now. Sorry that I needed to vent. Is there anyone else out there who is dealing with a similar situation?

    Bookmark   October 5, 2012 at 2:38AM
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Have you ever tried hedge balls (also called osage oranges)? They are available for purchase in the fall of the year (I just bought 10 last week). You place them throughout your home/they repel spiders. Maybe other bugs too, the only bugs I ever see in my finished but mostly unused basement are dead. I replace them (the hedge balls, not the bugs!) every year. Worth a try.


    Bookmark   November 1, 2012 at 8:56PM
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this thread is really creeping me out.

knowing this is not reassuring at all:
According to the entomologists at Ohio State University no matter where you are, you are never more than 5 feet away from a spider of one sort or another...LOL

I recently had a spider start crawling across
my face when I was asleep. woke up throwing
something across the room. once the light was on
I saw it was..shudder..a spider.
this happened twice within a 3 week period.

I bought flea bombs for the room (didn't have
the problem in other areas of the house)
put twice the amount they specified..
no more far.

so here is what I can help with.
spiders build their webs where air moves.
find a'll find an air leakage
site behind it.
if they are building their webs at ceiling moldings
then it is the gap behind the molding where the air
moves. caulk top of molding to ceiling, and bottom
to wall. caulk cuts in corners.

spiders like to come in at plumbing penetrations
cause it is dark & cool.
plumbing penetrations can be hard to seal..esp
at sinks where escustions are installed to
cover the hole where the pipe comes in.
there is a product called Thumb Gum that is
a rope caulking. use this to seal escustions
to walls, and to pipe.

plumbing penetration for tub is really big
you'd have to use metal flashing caulked
& screwed in place to seal this large of an area.

at the fireplace gap..use backer rods to fill in
the gap that is larger than caulk will seal.
(anything over 1/4" wide needs filler before caulking)
stuff the backer rod in the gap then caulk both sides
of the backer rod to the brick & wall area.

spiders like return air chases because of the air
movement. so check in there too. clean surfaces
to be caulked prior to caulking.

with any caulk job, you need to let the caulk dry.
then go back and examine caulking for any missed
areas, or places where the caulk shrank as it dried.

I do a LOT of caulking in my work. I like a water based
caulk for easy clean up. long life caulk that goes on
white and as it dries turns clear.
Dap's Alex brand 25 or 35 year life is what I use.
wet your finger to push caulk into gaps, I usually
caulk with a wet washcloth to wet my finger..
and clean up as I go along.

not only will the caulk keep critters out, it
also is sealing air leakage into your home.
so it will be easier to clean, heat & cool.

don't know what to tell you about gaps in
flooring. other than sealing it from underneath.

ok..hopefully I won't have spider nightmares
or visitors tonight.
and GW'r who emailed me to post here about
another creepy spiders in my house thread..
we are square now.
thankfully no one attached any spider pictures.

and yes I know..spiders are our friends
(as long as they aren't in my my house)
have a good weekend everyone.

and best of luck.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2012 at 10:00PM
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Thanks for the responses...

justretired: I'd try hedge apples but they aren't native to this area where I live, and I've never seen them in the stores. I'm so glad they work for you.

energy_rater_la: I hope you don't find any more spiders in your bed with you. Thanks for all the advice you posted. That's a lot of great information, and I'll refer back to it. This seems like a huge undertaking with this house. All of the radiators have gaps where they meet the walls, and the gaps need a sealant that can withstand the heat of the radiators and can adhere between metal and plaster walls. And like you wrote, any gap larger than 1/4" needs a filler, so I'll put a list together to get the proper materials when I go to The Home Depot.

Right now, it appears that the spider activity has ended for the season, except I found a spider's drag-line inside near the front door this week. I haven't seen a spider in a couple of weeks (knock on wood). I'm not looking forward to Spring when spiders will be active again, though.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 9:57AM
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I spoke too soon. With the recent mild temps, the spiders are coming out. I found two spiders in my kitchen a couple of days ago, and I woke up today with webs in the kitchen. I just want a break from spiders!

I've never seen webs in November before this year.

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 1:41PM
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We have a lot of spiders too, our pest control guy says spiders are hard to get rid of as they don't clean themselves much so don't ingest the poison. We also have lots of scorpions and same issue there. It does get less with pest management but we see a lot more of them the first week or so after treatment.

I know it sounds like a lot to go over and seal, but consider this will also save you some heating/cooling costs to seal these areas. Give you something to do over the winter;)

I think if you break it out into a few smaller tasks or seal one thing a day, it will seem more manageable.

For large gaps you could also add some wood trim and seal around the wood with caulk. My daughters room has the least amount of bugs in it because I went through there and caulked around all the trim like where the quarter round meets the floor. I did it as an experiment and plan on doing it for other rooms as well.

Look at pipe insulation to put around the radiator pipes. There are different thickness available, then you can use caulk to seal the outside perimeter of it or use expanding foam if it is still a large gap. Then you can add escutcheons or trim to cover it. Or you could skip the insulation and put escutcheons on and caulk around it and to the pipe.

They have escutcheons that come in two pieces so you don't have to disconnect the plumbing to put one on. I'm guessing the first one would take you a little time, but after that you'd do the rest real quick. I've linked below to examples of a two piece escutcheons.

Here is a link that might be useful: Link to google image search of escutcheons

    Bookmark   November 17, 2012 at 3:55PM
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lyfia, thanks so much for all the info and advice. I didn't know that there are two-piece escutcheons. It is overwhelming when I think of caulking the whole house, so you're absolutely right that it's best focus on doing one small area at a time.

That's really good to know that caulking your daughter's room made a big difference.

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 9:54PM
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The poster writes,

" The problem is that I have all wooden floors in this house (except in the kitchen and bathroom), so there are gaps around the radiators (I must fill those gaps soon). Also, several of the wooden floor boards have tiny gaps between them and small gaps where they meet some of the walls/trim, and so I don't know what to do for these tiny gaps because wood expands and contracts with changes in humidity. I read that spiders can get in through floor boards (this creeps me out). I have some of my personal belongings stored in boxes in one room that I don't use, and so I just bought some large plastic totes to replace those boxes where spiders can hide. I can't do all of this work overnight, though, and I'm nervous about going through boxes that have been undisturbed."

I have been told by a very experienced exterminator we will never seal our houses tight enough to keep out any critters. Think about it, if we sealed enough to keep out a bug or egg barely visible we wouldn't have any air to breath. Sealing our homes well is a good thing but sealing it up so a bug can't get in is impossible. I cam probably name dozens of places in a building envelope one would never be able to seal. For example vent openings. You don't want to seal these, think soffits and roof vents that prevent mold from growing and wood rotting in our attic spaces. For a 1400 sqft house the roof vents alone should have 7 sqft of opening, that's just the roof plus another 7 ftsq for the soffits. And one thinks putting items in plastic totes will contain bugs? Sorry, nope.

Because 1 exterminator wasn't successful doesn't mean it doesn't work. We live on the shoreline of Lake Erie, are surrounded by trees and spiders. We successfully are virtually spider free all season long, but do see spiders in the dead of winter if we don't respray in the fall, which we don't, not worth the expence for a few spideys.

Spraying will help a lot when done with the correct formula. Spiderman, the name of our exterminator company, has to tweak his formula through out the spider season.

Don't give up, you don't need to share your space with the multi legged little burgers, but you will NEVER be able to get them all, and will never be able to seal your home enough to keep them out, unless you have decontamination rooms at each door opening.

    Bookmark   December 14, 2012 at 4:39PM
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What the person is referring to as hedge apples, in Texas it is referred to as a Boise D'Arc tree, which is pronounced as "bo-dark". These trees have large green fruit. The best thing with which to plug gaps is steel wool.

    Bookmark   December 16, 2012 at 1:00PM
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I don't remember seeing spiders in the winter here before, but I just saw one crawling on my living room wall. It's probably due to the mild winter so far, and I'm afraid that means that we'll have lots of spiders again in the spring just like this past year.

I had mentioned plastic storage totes because at least they are better than cardboard boxes for storing items in. So plastic totes will help prevent spiders from setting up house inside the storage containers, and the totes can be easily dusted. I'd rather not store anything in cardboard boxes any more.

The thing about spiders and residual sprays is that if a spider walks on the dried residual insecticide or pesticide, the spider will not die. So an exterminator can kill any spiders he or she sprays, but after the spray has dried, the spiders will not be killed as they walk over it (they don't groom themselves, so they cannot ingest the poisons). This house has been sprayed so many times (inside and out), and it didn't make much difference, probably because of all the gaps and crevices of this old house. But I will think about hiring a different exterminator towards springtime to try it again.

Frankly, I'm ready to move out (been wanting to move for years, but life got in the way). I've never lived in a place that had spider drag-lines forming across doorways and across rooms with all kinds of spider activity.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2012 at 3:01AM
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I've heard that spiders do not like citrus, mainly lemons. That is how they handled spiders in the movies. A lot of research told me (I have a spider problem like you, but not nearly as bad) has led me to get some lemon pledge & chestnuts. Dust window seals, baseboards & doors (inside and out) with lemon pledge & lay chestnuts along windows in-between screens and along doorways on the outside. I only have wolf spiders, but I have small kids (2 years & 4 months). We just started having a problem with them, I can't imagine how you feel. Hope you get your problems taken care of soon!

    Bookmark   January 3, 2013 at 5:11PM
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spiders build and live on the webs they
construct. find a find
an area where air leaks into the house.

a couple of weeks of not vaccuming/dusting
will be ample time for spider to build its web.
then caulking the crack will eliminate the
good feeding ground for the spider.
this is a long lasting solution.

wolf spiders would give me a heart attack.
just to see one in my house, wouldn't matter
if it bit me!

spiders outside..fine with me. inside...
not fine with me. while even in my well
sealed house it is only the big (2" & bigger)
that I kill. overkill. wrap in toilet paper
and double flush down toilet.
I try to remember...spiders are our friends,
that they are God's creatures & the wive's tale
that killing a spider is bad luck.
does't always work for me.

a lady I know is recovering from brown
recluse bite. nasty wound. and a small

in summer I find black widows & garden spiders
(golden orb spiders). I know where to look
for the black widows..but the garden spiders ...
I've toppled off the back of the riding mower
more than once. even knowing that I should
do a walk through of my yard before cutting grass,
they sometimes catch me by suprise.

to all of you with spider problems,
from the bottom of my heart...
best of luck!

    Bookmark   January 4, 2013 at 3:19PM
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lisaportillo78: I'm so sorry that you have wolf spiders. I've not seen any here, but I can imagine how you might feel about them. I hope to never see one in person.

energy_rater_la: I'd have a heart attack, too, if I saw a wolf spider. Oh, if I walk outside in the very early morning (spring to fall), I most likely will get a web across my face from a drag-line/web that runs from a tree or electric lines to something close to the ground. Never experienced this years ago in any home. If you have lots of spiders in your yard, maybe carry a broom with you and brush away all the webs before you start yard work. I wish you luck as well. I can tolerate spiders as long as I don't have them in my house, in my car, or coming into contact with me.

Unfortunately, it's a myth that Lemon Pledge, hedge apples/horse chestnuts repel spiders. But catnip oil helps to repel spiders (I'll have to get some). Here's one of a number of sites regarding spider myths (warning: there is one small photo of a spider): I'm not too thrilled to learn of this myth regarding a clean home: "Myth: A pristine home environment eliminates spider populations. At Washington State University, researchers found that house spiders -- those that hatched inside the home -- were different from their exterior counterparts. House spiders have adapted to deal with a 'poor food and water supply.' As a result, even the cleanest home may have a few resident spiders." I would think that cleanliness must have some affect on spider populations.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2013 at 7:51PM
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I'm in CA so may be different than rest of country, we tend to be dry most of year out here. I have had plenty of spiders so I just use "sticky" mouse glue traps. Come in several types. Box or flat piece with goo all over. Any will work if you keep away from kids & animals so inside fireplace you don't use, in cabinet cats can't get in etc. Best in areas you see the most spiders. Can get 2 or 4 traps for $1 at Dollar type stores & you might get some larger critters too so don't be surprised. Mouse or small lizard.

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 5:17PM
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Don't know if this works, but a friend just sent me this as a helpful hint. Won't hurt to give it a try.

Natural spider killer or preventer... take one cup of vingar, one cup of pepper, a teaspoon of oil and liquid soap. Put it into a spray bottle and spray along the outside of your outside door and along windows; refresh after it rains.

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 9:17AM
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I hear your pain. Your comment resonated for me that you are not afraid of anything else, just spiders, as that is how I've always been. At certain times of the year I often wake up with spider bites, and these bites often inflame and take long to heal. I suspect they are from the small fast light-colored spiders I call biters; I suspect that in part drives my fear. In the basement I find larger sometimes brown but often fast black spiders with long pointy legs. Every year or two I will find an absolutely enormous one that will make me ill to see it, and I had better be able to kill it in order to function in my own home. Even when I do, I have real trouble going back into the basement. On a number of occasions I have bombed the basement with foggers, but really am concerned about chemical residue for me and also my cat, and so do not want to do this anymore. (we leave for the day) although I have found many dead spiders after each bombing. But, I do notice fewer spiders of late, and attribute to 1. spraying foundation 2x a year now, and I think most importantly, 2. completely removing vegetation from around the foundation. I have removed everything from 2 1/2 sides of the house, and hope to complete by the next year or so. I also hope to hire someone to caulk around the inside of the sill plate/openings someday, but haven't found anyone yet. BTW, I don't watch action/thriller or horror movies, but for me Arachnophobia is my go-to horror movie I watch every few years!! I could not continue to live in your house if I couldn't resolve the issue. Good luck!

    Bookmark   January 30, 2013 at 3:45PM
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I have virtually no experience with anything other that an occasional spider. One of my jobs to help my wife is to thoroughly vacuum the entire house once a week. I use attachments to go along base boards and along ceilings. In addition, I use a shop vac to clean the garage. I use a Dyson especially formulated for dog hair as we have two Corgis. I would suggest that as fast as you see spiders or webs, that they get vacuumed up. It helps to be proactive.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2013 at 10:07AM
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I have a small lake cottage that the spiders LOVE.

As strange as it sounds crab apples do a great job of keeping spiders away. I just wish they worked for mice too.
I just set crab apples on a small piece of aluminum foil (for easy clean up later) around the house in out of the way/out of site locations. When the apples have decomposed/dehydrated just use the aluminum foil to wrap them up and throw away.

Good luck!


    Bookmark   February 6, 2013 at 3:17AM
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We live in the Midwest and have lots of spiders including the Wolf variety. Yuck. Especially now that I have a very curious 2 year old she'll stop and look down the tiny holes in the ground. Sometimes I'll see a bunch of beady eyes looking back at us. Then I grab her hand and we run!

My grandma lives in a rural part of the Missouri Ozarks and two years ago just before I pulled in her driveway there was something huge and black in the middle of the road. From a distance I thought it was a weird looking skunk that didn't have a stripe or something. Then I slowed down and realized it had 8 LEGS!!! No one believed me! I swear on my life it was a gigantic tarantula (my dad did tell me they're all over down there because of the very rocky and wooden undisturbed areas.

We did have a lot of spiders at an apartment, and I wiped ammonia across the window and door sills. Sure it may have stripped the paint a little, but I don't remember having another spider.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 5:15PM
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"something huge and black in the middle of the road. From a distance I thought it was a weird looking skunk that didn't have a stripe or something. Then I slowed down and realized it had 8 LEGS!!! "

and there tonights nightmare.
harry potter sized spiders.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2013 at 5:40PM
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Just wanted to let you know I also tried those electronic pest devices that plug into outlets. Our backyard led into the woods but I was not happy finding one spider a week inside. I was the same as you with the cleaning and bug spray and even the professional pest control. Nothing worked. I am also scared of spiders so I tried the devices that plug into outlets. I special ordered them off a website and made sure that I used a product that the brad was familiar to me which was Black and Decker. It said to allow up to 2 weeks for them to have the desired effect. Spiders were listed as a pest they are supposed to repell. However, being the type of person to check the walls etc... when I enter a room due to my fear of spiders (as long as I can get to them to kill them I am ok), the problem is I began to see more spiders once those things were plugged in. I went from seeing one a week to seeing 3-4 a day. Maybe the electronic devices were only drawing the spiders that were already in my home out into the open or maybe not. All I know is there were spiders everywhere. It was as though those things were attracting them not repelling them. Instead of only giving them 2 weeks to work I kept thinking maybe it is just me so I gave them 2 months to work and finally my boyfriend admitted to me that I am not nuts those things were bringing more spiders in not keeping them away. So I unplugged every one of them took them out of every room and then I stopped seeing the spiders. I not only went back to seeing them only about once a week it ended up being more like 1-2 times a month. This happened within the day after removing those things from my outlets. Let me know if you find something that works in case this ever happens to me again. Thank you

    Bookmark   September 20, 2013 at 1:57PM
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It sounds strange, but I found out (by accident) that the best way to get rid of spiders (& every other bug) is... more spiders. Namely Daddy Long Legs. They are hunters and voracious spider eaters. They'll eat just about anything & don't bite people. I remember putting sticky traps down. Other spiders would get caught in them but all I'd find the next day were 8 legs & no body. Apparently the DDL can walk right across the traps to get an easy meal. They are to bugs what snakes are to mice. The downside is that they poop out ugly webs but they don't string them across doorways. They look like cobwebs but are easy to spot and knock down. It only takes a few spiders to clean house. They spend the days in a corner and hunt at night. I had 3 or 4 at a time in my house and NO other kind of bug. I even gave them names (the one in the living room I called Fluffy.) If you see a pair of them getting amorous just slurp them into the vacuum cleaner (that'll take the romance out of their eyes!) When spider season is over just slurp your herd of daddy long legs into the vacuum. They are easy to find during the day.
It's an odd solution, but an effective one. That house was in the woods in Washington state (spider central) and leaked like a sieve. But I still never saw any other bugs than Fluffy and his friends.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 2:18AM
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I learned about daddy long legs from my 90 year old grandma who lives in the Ozarks. Trees, water, and rocks. Eh. They seem to after just about everything but Black Widows and big Brown Recluses which she also has. My grandma would slap the hand and give a stern lecture to anyone who killed a daddy long legs.

Funny we have moved to NE Iowa to a 175 year old farmhouse and I have not seen any daddy long legs. I wish I had some. Maybe I could go to my grandmas house and trap some. I just got through the harvest round of mice killing, but I guess that's another story.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 9:15AM
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I learned about daddy long legs from my 90 year old grandma who lives in the Ozarks. Trees, water, and rocks. Eh. They seem to after just about everything but Black Widows and big Brown Recluses which she also has. My grandma would slap the hand and give a stern lecture to anyone who killed a daddy long legs.

Funny we have moved to NE Iowa to a 175 year old farmhouse and I have not seen any daddy long legs. I wish I had some. Maybe I could go to my grandmas house and trap some. I just got through the harvest round of mice killing, but I guess that's another story.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 12:42PM
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I learned about daddy long legs from my 90 year old grandma who lives in the Ozarks. Trees, water, and rocks. Eh. They seem to after just about everything but Black Widows and big Brown Recluses which she also has. My grandma would slap the hand and give a stern lecture to anyone who killed a daddy long legs.

Funny we have moved to NE Iowa to a 175 year old farmhouse and I have not seen any daddy long legs. I wish I had some. Maybe I could go to my grandmas house and trap some. I just got through the harvest round of mice killing, but I guess that's another story.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2013 at 12:46PM
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Me again. The never-ending battle continues. I am moving out of here in less than a year. I think (*hope*) my next place will be better, since it won't be an older house with lots of crevices. And since I've never experienced anything in my life like in this house, I'm hoping it's just this particular house and this plot of land. I've never seen drag-lines crossing doorways or going across rooms during the night like gives me the creeps. I clean any drag-lines immediately.

Then again, I hear about other people who have lots of spiders as well. And something about the bat population being down, the mild winters, more insects for spiders to feed on...all having to do with an increased spider population.

I haven't seen any daddy long legs in a while. Those things scare me, too. But if you're not afraid, then perhaps it's good to have them around for spider control.

I try to keep things in perspective in that at least we don't have those large Australian huntsman spiders here. Or tarantulas. And I haven't seen a wolf spider, brown recluse or black widow (*knock on wood*). If spiders would just stay on the ground and not crawl on walls/ceilings and hang from things and hide in crevices, they would be more bearable for me.

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 4:42AM
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Is anyone else finding spider drag-lines inside your homes? I found one late last night in the kitchen going from the top of the fridge to the ceiling. It must have been made while I was in another room, because it wasn't there an hour before. Spiders are making these drag-lines during the night. I remove the silk threads right when I find them, but I hate it when I walk into one in the dark. Plus, I found two spiders yesterday. This spider stuff is giving me issues...

    Bookmark   October 10, 2013 at 5:26AM
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We just sold our house but we had an awful spider problem but only on the first floor. The half upper story was usually pretty clear, but had the occasional spider. The first floor.. I was constantly running into spiders and they were light colored and they would be on my countertops. But we never really had webs... they just would crawl everywhere and a couple times they would drop down in front of my face! I feel for you, we are building right now and I hope to never deal with that many spiders again. When I saw them I would just get the vaccum and suck them up..

    Bookmark   November 7, 2013 at 12:38PM
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gosh mia, so sorry you are still dealing with this.

Many years ago when I was a student there were cockroaches in my apartment. I had never seen one before and went to a small local pharmacy hysterical. The sold me a box of boric acid (it looks like corn starch) and honestly I made a perimeter around every room, in every corner, in all the windows. Then I started to see dead cockroaches. Needless to say, one semester and I was out. It was a shame really, lovely turn of the century row house with fabulous fireplaces turned into apartments. But yikes, I was afraid I'd bring them home with me. I think I threw almost everything out when I moved, and kept everything else in my car for a week in subzero weather.

At any rate, search for boric acid and spiders, and I sure hope it helps you. I lived alone, and I don't know if you have kids or pets, so that might influence how liberally you dust this stuff around.

And make sure there aren't any bushes, tall grasses, or anything too close to the house that might be a breeding ground with easy access into your house.

I hope this helps! Please keep us posted! Stay positive!

Here is a link that might be useful: Will Borax Kill Spiders?

    Bookmark   November 10, 2013 at 10:50PM
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2 teaspoons Peppermint Oil
1 cup water

Mix in a spray bottle and spray around the outside of doors and windows and anywhere else they might enter the house. Supposedly they hate peppermint oil.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2013 at 1:55PM
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