Spiders can be seen as friendly allies that help control harmful insect populations, but few people actually want spiders in their homes. Fortunately, there are ways to limit spider infestations.
Spiders often become an issue in the home in fall and winter, as they make their way indoors to get away from the worsening weather. Once in your home, though, they may become a year-round issue. Any spider prevention plan must begin with removing spider nesting sites from the home exterior. Prune back plants growing near foundations, remove brush piles, and sweep away any cobwebs on the porch or under the eaves. Fewer spiders near the house outside means there will be fewer inside.
It's also a good idea to minimize nesting sites inside the home. This means sweeping corners for cobwebs and vacuuming under furniture and appliances. Bathrooms and utility rooms are common areas to find spiders, as the moisture attracts them as well as their prey.
Spiders won't be an issue in the home if there is no prey for them to feed upon, and often, controlling the prey is easier than trying to control the spiders. Prey includes everything from ants and beetles to gnats, moths, and flies. Often, you may not even know you have a prey insect issue because the spiders are doing such a good job at managing them.
Basic home hygiene prevents most prey insect issues. Keep kitchen counters and floors clean, and never let dirty dishes stack up in the sink. Store food in tightly sealed containers, not boxes and bags. You should vacuum, sweep, and mop regularly and make sure windows are well screened to keep insects out. Setting up monitoring traps in pantries and other insect-prone areas can help you determine if there are insects getting into the home and what types are present.
Even with a clean home, inside and out, spiders may still be a problem. This can be most alarming if venomous spiders, like black widows or brown recluses, are a concern in your area. In this case, direct management may be necessary.
A pest control service can set up monitoring traps to determine what types of spiders are in your home. For harmless varieties, a perimeter treatment to prevent spiders from getting inside the home, typically applied once monthly, is usually sufficient. For problem species or severe infestations, an inside spider treatment may also be recommended.
Contact a pest control service if you need more help with spider elimination.