The Q&A Archives: Spider Control

Question: How to get rid of spiders inside of house as well as outside? We have cats & dogs so can't use chemicals.

Answer: Spiders are usually considered beneficial insects because they feed on such nuisance pests as flies, cockroaches and crickets. Even the poisonous varieties, such as the black widow spider, are usually not aggressive unless attacked or their egg sac is threatened. If you're being overrun with spiders, it helps to reduce the insect population they feed upon. Remove weeds where insects may hide. If security permits, don't turn on outdoor lights, which attract insects. Be aware that piles of firewood, stacks of containers waiting for plants, and the like are good hiding places for spiders and insects.

Indoors, vacuum up webs as soon as you see them. Use the vacuum attachments for walls and ceilings. Since most spiders are not aggressive, you can place a clear jar over them and then slide a piece of paper or the lid under to trap the spider. Then take it outside and release it.

It's probably best to use a fly swatter on any poisonous spiders indoors. However, I've seen numerous black widows in my garden, but I've never seen one inside.

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