Humanely evict spiders from a home

This is the time of year when many arachnids are seen weaving intricate webs and wooing mates. If you spot a spider in your house or yard, please leave her in peace — she is likely just roaming about due to the time of year and will soon retreat back into her safe hiding spot.

Spiders are amazing animals. They range in size from tarantulas, which can grow up to a foot long, to arachnids as small as the head of a pin. Some spiders can live for up to 20 years. Their silk is five times stronger than steel and it has been speculated that a spider web with strands the thickness of a pencil could stop a 747 in flight.

If you must evict a spider, do so humanely by placing a glass over the spider and sliding a piece of stiff paper underneath, taking care not to pinch the spider’s delicate legs. Then, release the spider outdoors.

For the hopelessly arachnophobic, keeping insects out of your home is the key to keeping spiders out as well, since insects are their food source.

Keep garbage and your animal companions’ food in tightly sealed containers. Wipe down shelves, countertops, workbenches and floors with equal parts vinegar and water, and clear away clutter.

Seal cracks in walls, near windows and around the foundation. Clear brush and woodpiles around the yard, and cut back grass, bushes and weeds. Chestnut-, cloveor mint-scented oils and lemon juice can also encourage spiders to move on.

Jodi Minion
Wildlife Issues Manager
Emergency Response Team
People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals
Norfolk, Va.