When one spends almost their entire life living within a 10 mile radius…
And when that 10 mile radius has always been within a city…
And when one fantasizes about living outside of the city on a nice patch of land full of quiet and nature…
One generally doesn’t think about all that “nature” might entail.
Like mosquitoes and spiders and dragonflies and fruit flies and regular flies and ants and centipedes and creepy crawly things that I don’t know the names for because I have never seen such things ever before in all of my 37 (almost 38) years in this fine county of mine.
Now, most bugs and creepy crawlies I can deal with. Mosquito bites suck (literally) but are pretty harmless. Dragonflies are pretty, flies are a pain in the rear and centipedes are gross. Lizards, especially baby lizards, are even cute (though I still don’t want them inside).
Spiders, however, are not my favorite piece of nature. Can I handle them? Sure. Do I run away screaming? Nope. Most of them are gently picked up (using a cup or jar or bowl) and carried outside to live their lives in nature. Where they belong.
Black Widows, however, are an entirely different story.
I hate them, deeply. Like, crush them with my shoe or anything I can find quick without a moments hesitation.
So, when we moved into our new house and the landlord said he thought he saw one by the fence in the back yard, I cringed a little but thought, “I can handle one Black Widow. No big deal! I’ll just squash her!”
But one Black Widow turned into a few that were creeping around in our back yard and hanging out on our window sills (outside, luckily).
And those few turned into…well…I’d guess at least 30-40 that were discovered and stomped upon over the course of a single day as we took to our backyard and cleaned up what seemed like years of debris…leaves and sticks and wooden benches…that had become a perfect haven for my most hated enemy!
So, faced with the truly horrible truth that the nature I sought after was infested with blood thirsty Black Widows and who knows what other kind of crazy spiders, I took to Facebook and asked for help. Then, I promptly began researching natural ways to get rid of spiders in and around ones home.
What I found is simple enough and can be done quickly, with nature in mind and without breaking the bank and hiring an exterminator to come out and kill every last living creature on the property.
Most spiders like safe, dark places to call home like wood piles, leaves that have collected along the perimeter of your home’s foundation and old boxes living in your garage, closet or outdoor shed. By cleaning everything up and de-cluttering your home, you will be removing their homes and displacing them. The key here is to keep it that way so they don’t come back.
While the cobwebs you find in most top corners of rooms may be unsightly, they are usually home to beneficial spiders (you know, the ones that eat the other creepy crawly things), so if you don’t mind a few harmless cobwebs, keep them!
Peppermint, Citrus, and Vinegar
Add a few drops of peppermint or citrus essential oils to a spray bottle of water and spray it along any potential entrance points to the house (windows and window sills, doors, cracks and crevices, etc.) to deter the spiders from ever getting in!
The same is true for white vinegar. Just mix water and vinegar (half and half) in your spray bottle and get to spraying. If you have some lemon vinegar laying around, all the better!
You can also use products like Lemon Pledge to dust your window sills and door jams to keep spiders at bay.
If you happen to be lucky enough to have a few feathered friends on your property, let them loose to clean up some of your creepy crawlies while upping their protein intake (this is especially helpful if they’re molting 😉 ). Chickens are wonderful pest controllers and will be happy for the work.
Yes, acceptance. Try as we might, living in a rural setting requires a thickening of the skin and the realization that a healthy ecosystem includes all kinds of creepy crawlies…both the harmless and the potentially harmful.
It requires one to do what can be done to claim a house and a yard as their own and then to surrender to the fact that spiders and bugs and creepy crawlies of all kinds are just a normal part of living closer to nature.
It’s a good thing it’s pretty out here 😉