'Tis the Season for … Spiders?

Halloween is fast approaching. Bring on the ghosts, the bats, the witches, the spiders! 

Most homeowners, though, would prefer those spiders to be the fake black rubbery kind, not the real ones.

There are more spiders around in the fall when they head indoors in search of winter hibernation sites, but the vast majority of spiders in Minnesota are harmless—really just a nuisance more than anything. Still, many people cringe when they see one. (There is a reason, after all, that people decorate with spiders around Halloween. According to some myths, spiders are associated with Halloween because of their ability to weave webs, once considered a “supernatural quality.” My take on it is that most people just think spiders are plain ol’ spooky. Unless, of course, you’re a man with spider abilities. And then people think you’re the World’s Greatest Superhero.)

Personally, I think spiders are fascinating. I credit my favorite children’s book, Charlotte’s Web. They’re not only beneficial to the environment by keeping the insect population in check, but they have some crazy traits. Did you know that hungry female spiders have been known to eat their male suitors? (So much for courtship.) And they just sort of instinctually know how to spin those intricate webs. And most spiders have not two eyes, but eight. And some can fly on strands of silk, known as “ballooning.”

Ok, ok. I’ll stop. I can empathize when others do not share my enthusiasm. I get it. Spiders look creepy.

If your beautiful home has more spider webs than a haunted house, and your peace of mind is suffering, you can take control of the situation. Here’s how:

  • Remove papers, boxes, bags, and other clutter to minimize favorable spider sites.
  • Eliminate any food source that might attract insects. Don’t leave dishes in the sink, don’t leave food on the counters, etc.
  • Replace regular bulbs with yellow bulbs. Insects don’t like the yellow light. No insects = no spiders.
  • Clear away webs with a broom and destroy any egg sacs (look around windows and in quiet corners).
  • Treat baseboards, cracks, and crevices with an insecticide treatment if necessary. Read the label very carefully.

You can also call a Minnesota Pest Control expert to come out and do an inspection and spider-focused treatment. Here are some local companies that offer residential pest control services:

In the meantime, remember that spiders are more scared of you than you are of them. If you can learn to live with them, they’re the perfect house guest: they stay out of your way, they don’t ask for anything, they eat annoying bugs, and in some cultures, they’re considered good luck.

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