The Real Reason Your House Has Spiders (and How To Get Rid of Them)

Despite the fake cobwebs and fun, sparkly spiders people love to put up every Halloween, no one seems to like the real thing. Plastic arachnids might bring a smile, but barely glimpsed, eight-legged critters scurrying across your bedsheets evoke entirely different emotions—from annoyance to existential terror.

We get it! But while many people are afraid of spiders, the creepy critters are usually a benign presence in your home, and one of the easier pests to get rid of.

We spoke to spider and pest experts to get all the details on why these insects enter our homes and how to eliminate them. Here’s everything you need to know to make your house spider-free (except for decorative purposes) this season.

Why does my house have spiders?

If you’re one of those people who have true arachnophobia, you might want to stop reading now— because you’re definitely not going to like what entomologist Nancy Troyano, of Ehrlich Pest Control, has to say.

“Only 5% of the spiders you see inside have been outside,” she says. “Most of the spiders you see around your house have probably been living there for a while.”

They also tend to come out of their hiding places in fall and spring to mate. So if you’re suddenly seeing more spiders in your home, it doesn’t mean they’ve invaded. You’re just finally becoming aware of them.

As for what keeps these unwanted housemates hanging around, it’s simple enough: food. And in the case of spiders, that means other bugs. So having them around can actually control the numbers of other insects in your home.

“Spiders will always prefer making a home in a quiet and calm environment where they can live undisturbed, and have access to food and warmth,” says Natalie Barrett of Nifty Pest Control. “They also feel safer in cluttered spaces. In homes, their most preferred areas include garages, basements, storage rooms, and attics.”

Besides cozy clutter and an ample supply of bugs, spiders are also attracted to warm and humid environments, like bathrooms.

cluttered attic
Spiders love cluttered spaces like this attic.

c_taylor/iStock

The good news about indoor spiders

There’s good news for spider haters—sort of. Despite how repellent they may look, most indoor spiders won’t actually hurt you.

“The vast majority of common house spiders rarely, if ever, bite people,” says Ed Spicer, CEO of Pest Strategies. “Out of the 40,000 spider species on Earth, about 12 can hurt you.”

In fact, in the U.S. there’s really only two types you need to worry about: the brown recluse (brown with a fat body and skinny legs) and the black widow (black with a distinctive red hourglass mark on its back).

“Black widow and brown recluse bites are rarely lethal to humans,” says Spicer, “but they could very well require medical attention.”

How to get rid of spiders

While spiders are apparently a benevolent force in your home, keeping the bug population under control, the reality is that most of us don’t want them around.

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How To Get Rid Of Centipedes In The House Effectively

In order to get rid of centipedes in the house it is necessary to follow a 2 step process that involves humidity and food supply. Centipedes are invertebrates with an exoskeleton, multiple pairs of legs and inhabit most parts of the world. There are about 3000 known species of centipedes with legs ranging from 15 to over 300.

However adaptable they may be, they always need a moist environment to survive because they lack the waxy protective cuticle of insects or spiders. Hence their preference for rocks, piles of leaves or vegetation, wood and so on. At spring time they come out for reproduction and at fall they are lured into houses seeking warmth and food. Because of their need for moist, they are usually fund in parts of the house that mimic their natural environment like basements, kitchen basins, washing machines or laundry rooms.

The common house centipede is called Scutigera Coleoptrata and like all centipedes is a predator. The house centipede is 1 to 2 inches long and has 15 pairs of legs developed in several molts from an original set of just 4 legs when newly hatched. Other larger centipedes like the tropical Scolopendromorpha are born directly with 21 pairs of shorter legs and flexible segments, can reach gigantic size up to 12 inches (30 cm) and feed on mice, lizards, frogs and even tarantulas, while the house centipede has a rigid segmented body with long and fast legs and feeds on other house pests. Unlike other species of centipedes, the house centipede has good eye sight but catches its prey with the aid of antennae too.

Typical house centipede preys include ants, termites, bed bugs, spiders and cockroach nymphs as well as opportunistic kitchen left overs. They hunt at night and this is the time they are usually sighted. Over all the house centipede provides a good service in that it naturally preys on other unwanted house pests that are objectively far more hazardous than the centipede itself. Just think of the many germs and illnesses transmitted by roaches, fleas (including the historic bubonic plague through rat fleas), or blood feeding bed bugs. Centipedes are not after humans nor are they a health hazard like other pests, however there are 2 reasons why home owners want to get rid of centipedes in the house the moment they see one of them.

One reason is that their presence may be the tell tale sign that there is another infestation on which the centipede feed on. The other reason is just their appearance. Centipedes are quite revolting. Couple this with their speed and manoeuvrability and you have a horror movie like creature alive, right in the middle of your room. Unfortunately, as long as centipedes have no reason to leave, they will stay and multiply. So the solution to eliminating them is to give them a reason to leave.

How to get rid of centipedes in the house then? Tidy up the clutter in the bathroom, kitchen, basement …

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Gardeners Secrets Revealed: How To Get Rid Of Caterpillars In Your Garden

You’ve got a beautiful garden in which you are growing a wide variety of plants and a few trees very well. But to your horror you discover one day caterpillars munching away on your cabbage, your lettuce, your tomatoes and everything else. All your hard work and effort is being munched away happily by these larvae. Your heart cries out, doesn’t it?

Caterpillars are larvae of butterflies and moths. In other words, caterpillars are the feeding stages of moths and butterflies. Yes, the stage itself is solely a feeding stage in the growth of these insects. They may be small but they eat too much. They eat and only keep eating. They eat the leaves, new buds and shoots and even flowers! There are many different kinds of caterpillars, each eating lots. You should know what kind of caterpillars you are dealing with before beginning your evacuation mission or it will simply be a waste.

There are a tremendous number of ways of tackling caterpillars. One of the most common and simple methods is to handpick them. Caterpillars are most active come early morning or evening – dusk time. When hand picking them, be sure you wear rubber gloves and carry an empty cup or tray with you. Your target should be the bottom side of the leaves. You’ll see egg clusters there. Remove them and also, look for caterpillars. You can pick them out too. These can be discarded in two ways. You could either release them somewhere far off from your garden or you can always kill them in soapy water.

It is always advisable to stay organic when it comes to dealing with pests in your garden. Pesticides can even damage your plants and trees and that is certainly not what you want. Hence, eco friendly remedies are the best. One of the best ways is crop rotation. Also, add lots of compost to your soil and make sure you don’t grow your plants in continuous rows. Releasing a predator into your garden is also a good and healthy idea. Frogs, wasps or lizards feed on caterpillars and protect your garden against them.

The best way to get rid of caterpillars and to control them is to spray the bacterial called Bacillus thuringiensis or BT in short. It is not only the most effective way to control caterpillars but also very eco friendly and does not damage your crops or the environment. BTK is the best type of bacterial for caterpillar control.

Other ways to get rid of caterpillars are neem oil which works wonders and acts instantaneously. Neem is extremely bitter and caterpillars will not dare touch plants that have neem oil sprayed on them. There is also another spray called Rotenone-Pyrethrin that is effective.

There are many ways in which you could get rid of caterpillars before they create havoc in your garden. Try one of the methods mentioned above and your garden will be caterpillar-free for sure.

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How to Get Rid of Sour House Smell

You should start with the basics first; chances are, if you've reached the point of looking for help in terms of getting rid of sour house smells on the internet, then you need to do some serious cleaning. Set aside a day, or a weekend, specifically for cleaning.

If you don't want to or you can't do it alone, enlist the help of those you live with. Perhaps you can also ask for your friends' help. Bribe them with pizza and beer or brochettes and wine if you have to. Afterwards, use the following suggestions to get rid of your house smell, and maintain a fresh, aromatic or at least breathable living space.

Sour House Smell Removal

* Dry out the living quarters first, and then clean out your basement so it is empty of anything that can hold moisture and run it down there as well. Remove cardboard boxes.

* If you have a forced air heating and cooling system with ducts on your home, get the ducts checked. Decades-old houses can have mold, lots of built-up of dirt and other nasty stuff that can cause a foul odor. Your ducts can also be rusting now, so you may need to have them changed.

The newer ducts available on the market today are much more energy efficient. You'll save air conditioning costs this summer by getting new ducts. You can also hire a company that cleans ducts to inspect the ducts you have right now. Some have a camera that can show you what is in your ducts. Be careful who you get! Use a reputable company and check with the Better Business Bureau. Ask them for references. Some only clean a short way and spray a deodorizer. The estimate to get your ducts cleaned can be hundreds of dollars less than getting new ones.

* Check your carpets. Sometimes carpets are steam cleaned unprofessionally and a lot of water remains. This causes mildewing and a related musty odor.

Remove your carpets and put in hardwood or similar type flooring, with area rugs that can be cleaned outside of the home and dried before returning to the area. If your carpets are ten years old, it doesn't hurt to remove them.

* You may have a mold of some sort growing in your carpet or behind your wallpaper. Create a bleach solution (1:10 to start, then up to 1: 4 if it does not work) and gently wash down all of your walls and mop boards. Rent a hot water carpet cleaner and put a bleach solution into the reservoir rather than the soap they try to sell you. Add a drop or two of dish soap, but add no more. It is the water that cleans, not the soap. Adding too much soap will actually make your carpet dirty because it does not rinse out of the carpet and soap bonds with dirt.

* Though chlorinated bleach is very notorious in discoloring a lot of things, you may …

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