One of the drawbacks of having a long, hot summer is the number of spiders that subsequently come out to play when the winter arrives. Experts are warning people across Europe to expect more spiders than usual in their home this year, and that’s something that horrifies a large chunk of the population. Not just because of a phobia, but because of the sudden increase in cobwebs.
Cobwebs can pop up anywhere in a home, and within just a matter of hours. In many cases, they aren’t visible until light from outside shines in a certain direction — or until the cobweb begins to attract dust.
Fortunately, there’s nothing difficult about removing cobwebs. In most cases, a long attachment of your vacuum cleaner or a feather duster will do the job. However, the latter involves disturbing dust, which isn’t a great idea if you have people with dust-related allergies or respiratory problems.
Here are a few tips for minimising the number of cobwebs in your home this winter.
Mind the gaps
Spiders can squeeze through miniscule gaps, cracks and joins around your home — many of which are invisible from a distance. Look for these gaps, and close them wherever possible. Make sure all of your windows are properly sealed, as well as any vents you have. Check all your exterior doors are fitted properly, and aren’t leaving gaps in the frame. Also, check floor edges, skirting, light fittings and walls for openings.
Spiders absolutely detest peppermint, which makes it a great weapon to have in your home. Create a solution of peppermint oil and water, and pour it into a spray bottle. Where you notice openings or areas prone to large numbers of spiders, spray the area with the solution liberally.
Be vigilant while cleaning
Perform a detailed check of all your walls, ceilings, skirting, door frames and cornices every few days. You’ll need to take a very close look for cobwebs, however, as they aren’t always easy to spot. If it helps, use a torch. When you find a cobweb, don’t simply “dust” it away — as this can send dust everywhere. Either vacuum it using an appropriate attachment or scoop it up with a microfibre cloth. If you use a feather duster, twist it so the web wraps itself around the feathers gradually.
Don’t wait until it’s time to clean to look for cobwebs; keep an eye out for them as you go about your daily business. The longer they’re left, the more insects and dust they’ll collect — leading to problems for allergy sufferers in the home.
Make problem areas a priority
The corners of ceilings, light fittings and skirting are all particularly susceptible to cobwebs, so check them regularly. It’s also a good idea to check underneath tables, chairs and furniture regularly. Spiders also like to spin their webs on lamp shades, house plants and ornamental features.
Storage areas and items that are stored away are also at risk. Toy boxes, wardrobes and drawers should be checked every few weeks too. This isn’t just about finding cobwebs; it’s about stopping any nasty surprises when you or your loved-ones are least expecting them.
Move vegetation away from your home
Spiders love trees, shrubs and large plants, as they provide the perfect environment for spinning webs during the summer. But when winter arrives, they tend to look for warmer environments to find mates. And if a warm bedroom is just a matter of feet away, you can be sure that’s where they’ll head. To reduce the number of spiders getting into your home from outside, cut back trees, shrubs and any plant life that is growing within 10 metres of your property. This won’t eradicate the problem, but it could alleviate it.
No amount of preventative measures will ever keep spiders away completely, so dealing with cobwebs is a cleaning fact of life for everyone. But by implementing these measures, those dreaded cobwebs should become fewer and farther between.