This last couple of weeks has been crazy for spider season. Every day I seem to be battling through cobwebs to get into my shed. I usually end up with them all over my face, which isn’t pleasant.
Why are there so many spiders around now?
As the calendar flips from late summer to early autumn, love is in the air for spiders! During this romantic period, male spiders step out, becoming noticeably active and visible, in search of their female counterparts. And where better to seek romance than our cozy homes, which also double as fantastic spider habitats?
Spiders—while ecologically vital and often harmless—might not be everyone’s cup of tea, especially when they decide to claim residency in our homes. But did you know that nature has its own answer to deter these eight-legged wanderers? That’s right, certain plants act as natural spider repellents. Dive with me into this verdant guide and discover how to create a spider-less sanctuary without resorting to chemicals.
- Why it Works: Lavender, while pleasant and calming for humans, is less so for spiders. Its strong scent acts as a deterrent.
- How to Use: Place pots of lavender by windows, entrances, or any spider-prone areas. Bonus: it promotes relaxation and sleep for us!
- Why it Works: Much like lavender, the strong aroma of mint (especially peppermint) is off-putting for spiders.
- How to Use: Plant mint around your home’s perimeter or grow it in pots indoors. As a caution, mint can be invasive in gardens, so pot planting can be more controlled.
- Why it Works: These vibrant flowers contain a chemical called pyrethrum, a common ingredient in many insect repellents.
- How to Use: Position them in areas you wish to be spider-free. They’re not just effective, but they add a burst of colour too!
- Lemon Balm:
- Why it Works: The citrus scent, loved by many of us, is a no-go zone for spiders.
- How to Use: A versatile plant, grow lemon balm either in your garden or in indoor pots. Remember, it can spread rapidly, so regular pruning is advisable.
- Why it Works: This aromatic herb is another scent that spiders would rather avoid.
- How to Use: Whether it’s by the windowsill, in the garden, or as part of your herb collection, rosemary stands as a fragrant sentinel against spiders.
- Why it Works: The potent aroma of eucalyptus leaves is not to spiders’ liking.
- How to Use: If you’re in a suitable climate, consider planting a eucalyptus tree. Alternatively, scatter leaves or use eucalyptus oil as a natural repellent.
Additional Tips for a Spider-Free Space:
- Diverse Planting: Use a mix of these plants. Not only does it increase the spider repellency but also adds aesthetic variety to your space.
- Maintenance: Ensure your plants are healthy and thriving. A wilting plant might not emit the strong scents that repel spiders.
- Complement with Cleaning: Regularly clean corners, under furniture, and other hiding spots to deter spiders from making webs.
In summary, it’s entirely possible to strike a balance with nature. By strategically placing these spider-repellent plants, you can enjoy a less “spidery” experience without harming these fascinating creatures or the environment. Time to roll out the green carpet and show spiders the exit—in the gentlest way possible! 🌿🕷️🚫
Brian Sheridan has an allotment in Edgbaston and is a competitive grower. Brian is also a keen photographer and loves cooking. Brian and his wife Mary will also be running a stall at Edgebaston artisan market this year, selling products made from the allotment, including his award-winning relish!