Spiders can be a harmless nuisance. However, given the chance, they can easily infest any space, including your balcony. Of all household pests, they are the most prevalent. Moreover, spiders are easily the most feared creepy crawlers globally, which explains why on seeing one, homeowners’ first impulse is to squash them.
Spiders love to spin webs in balconies, mostly in corners and in the spaces between the grills. To prevent them from setting up camp in your balcony, there are a few preventive measures you need to put in place, such as cleaning up and getting rid of other insects.
There are also a few tricks you could use to repel them which will be covered in this article.
To get rid of them for good, though, you first need to first understand the behavior of spiders and why they do what they do.
What are spiders?
These eight-legged creatures come to your house in search of food, warmth, moisture, and mates. Most spiders are harmless to human beings, with a handful of species having venomous bites that may require medical attention. The worst of these are the brown recluse and the black widow. The former has a characteristic mark on the top of the cephalothorax. The latter, on the other hand, has a red hourglass shape found under its black abdomen.
Spiders use openings like loose screens and cracks found under doors and windows to get inside your house. A common reason for seeing spiders in your home is the presence of other insects, whom spiders prey on for food. Sometimes, spiders may accidentally get into your home when you unknowingly bring in infested items like firewood, plants, or even clothing. More often than not, these items were previously stored in places like basements and attics.
Even though most spiders are harmless, it is always best to avoid touching them. They never seek human contact, but will bite if they feel endangered or threatened. Spider venom causes reactions that vary from different species or people, and the symptoms may include a red mark, a stinging sensation, localized swelling, and/or an injury that needs hospitalization. You should always contact your doctor with any concerns.
Keeping spiders off your balcony
Spiders do not like staying in clean areas and this means that keeping your balcony clean will naturally keep them away. When you don’t have spiders to deal with, you are automatically free from cobwebs. Here are some tips that could come in handy:
- Clear clutter: if you have been using your balcony as a means of storage for some of your house items, now is the time for you to keep it tidy. Get rid of those items that you no longer have use of. Spiders tend to form webs in inaccessible corners. Keep away any boxes or packages to prevent spiders from spinning webs in them.
- Prune plants: some homeowners keep flowerpots of plants in their balconies. Spiders may form webs in these plants, causing an infestation. If this proves difficult, it is better to remove the whole plant.
- Dust away cobwebs: webs are the spiders’ homes and, therefore, getting rid of these will force them to go elsewhere. Do this at least once a week.
Getting rid of insects
As mentioned earlier, spiders are carnivorous and depend on other insects for food. Therefore, getting rid of those insects will starve the spiders, and they will die eventually. All this depends on the kind of bugs found in your home, so doing a bit of research will help you exterminate them. You could use the following tips:
- Look at what the spiders are eating. This will help you know what kind of bugs are also living in your house.
- Read other blogs and articles about household pests, with regard to the signs you have observed in your home.
Look out for cracks
Keep an eye out for any cracks that may be potential entry points for spiders into your balcony. On finding the, seal these with caulk to ensure the insects don’t gain access anymore.
Other insects, such as moths and beetles, are attracted to outdoor lighting. Their presence, in turn, attracts spiders, who are looking for food. Try to limit the intensity of night light on your balcony, simply by using yellow bulbs instead of white bulbs.
Borax is a common repellant for ants, but can also be used to keep off spiders because of the way it kills them when they come into contact with it. You need to sprinkle Borax in potential entry points of the spiders and where they set up webs.
Garlic is a good remedy for keeping spiders away, because they do not like the smell that it emits. However, placing full bulbs of garlic will not help with your spider situation. You need to prepare a solution by crushing a garlic clove and mixing it with water. Then, spray this mixture in strategic areas of your balcony.
Peppermint has been known to repel not only spiders, but also other pests. Small insects can’t stand its smell. To use this repellant effectively, make a mixture of peppermint oil and water, then place it in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture all over the balcony wall and floors. Don’t forget about the corners, because spiders tend to make their webs in these. If you can’t get a spray bottle, you could opt to soak cotton balls with this mixture then leave them in strategic places in the balcony.
Spiders hate tobacco and you could use this to your advantage. Loose tobacco leaves can be found at smoke shops or even in some grocery stores. To use them effectively. Spread these leaves in places where spiders tend to occur in your balcony. You could also mix them with water and spray this mixture all over the balcony.
It is also possible to make tobacco balls, simply by mixing the leaves with water and flour. Place the balls around the balcony to repel spiders. Note that if you have kids or pets, it is best to use the spray procedure so that the leaves are out of reach.
This oil comes from the eucalyptus tree, and is great at driving away spiders from your home. Just like peppermint oil, prepare a solution with water, place it in a spray bottle and spray it all over your balcony. You could also soak cotton balls with the solution and place the balls in strategic areas in your balcony. Moreover, eucalyptus oil also repels snakes and mosquitoes, so that is a double win for you.
You could consider placing eucalyptus sprigs in the balcony, focusing on areas where you have seen spiders before. The spiders will stay away because they do not appreciate the harsh scent of the eucalyptus tree.
Vinegar is a very good spider repellent, and works very much like peppermint oil. To use it effectively, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of vinegar and water, then spray it all over the balcony, especially in corners and the spaces between the bars. When the weather outside is hot and humid, you might want to apply this repellent daily.
Because of its scent, cedar is a good spider repellent. If you keep furniture in your balcony, you could consider using those made of cedarwood, and you can be sure that spiders will stay away naturally. You could also get cedar oil, mix it with water and spray it in corners of your balcony.
Diatomaceous earth and baking soda
These two are good at keeping spiders at bay. You only need a spoonful of either to sprinkle all over the corners of your balcony. Don’t forget the spaces between the railings of your balcony, because spiders tend to spin webs here.
When you burn a spider, which has an exoskeleton, the pressure inside it becomes too much for its body to handle, and this causes the spider to explode. Despite being the quickest way to dispatch the insect, this method could be dangerous because of the risk of setting your home on fire. Also, it is time-consuming, especially if you have a whole nest of spiders to get rid of. However, if you have plenty of time, you could consider freezing them with ice.
According to research, the Brown Recluse Spider can live for as long as 2 years, while the Southern Black Widow lives for 3 years.
When spiders get sucked into the interior of a vacuum cleaner, it is very likely to die immediately from the trauma of ricocheting through narrow tubes. If not, it will eventually die from thirst and being suffocated by the dust inside. However, it is important to always empty the contents of the vacuum cleaner after use so that a spider cannot come crawling out.