The One Chore You Need To Regularly Do To Keep Spiders Away From Your Home

Whether it's itsy bitsy or as big as the web-slinging superhero, a spider can be a real nuisance as a housemate. Sure, the eight-legged creepy crawlers are great at eating other insects, but behind every arachnid lurking in the dark corners of your basement, there are typically many more. Fortunately, there is a way to evict these unwanted house guests without spending a ton of money or exposing your family to harsh chemicals. The solution — good old-fashioned dusting.

Routine dusting is kryptonite to the myriad of spiders you might commonly see in your home. The nimble pests thrive in messy spaces claiming them as their own and proliferating in numbers that would send little Miss Muffet into a full-blown meltdown. Female spiders produce sacs containing hundreds of eggs that hatch simultaneously. Meaning a spider infestation is not out of the question if you provide the ideal environment for females to continually propagate. 

Perhaps you've spotted an errant spider scurrying across your kitchen island or peeking out from under your couch but aren't quite sure if your home is officially a haven for an army of arthropods. To find out, simply look up. Unlike ants, spiders are not attracted to leftovers on your counter, rather they prefer quiet, poorly-lit ceiling corners, which provide optimal anchor points for building webs. Regular dusting eliminates these finely spun gossamer homes and returns yours to a clean and safe retreat.

Why dusting keeps spiders at bay

Prevention is key when it comes to keeping spiders from turning your home into their own. A clean and tidy house is not only unappealing for spiders — because it prevents them from hiding in dust bunnies — it also eliminates their food source. Spotless kitchens that lack fruit flies, pristine pet dishes void of hovering flies, and immaculate recycling containers without a single mosquito, create an environment that makes it nearly impossible for spiders to multiply. 

Moreover, since spiders are the hermits of the insect world happily hiding in closets and under furniture, any effort to sanitize these areas is downright offensive to them. Spiders seek out dusty spots in your home as a form of preservation. Clumps of debris act as a safe spot for their nests while the isolation of hard-to-reach areas increases their chances of going undetected.

Dusting is a proactive means of reducing spider populations provided it's done on a regular basis. Ideally, aim for a biweekly dusting of areas where cobwebs accumulate, including wall corners, light fixtures, ceiling fans, stairwells, crawl spaces, and under sinks and furniture. However, if you live with pets that shed excessively or you make a habit of keeping your doors and windows open to allow fresh air in, consider dusting on a weekly basis to minimize dust growth. 

Tips for dusting away spiders

Spider webs can be eliminated by attaching an extension wand to a vacuum cleaner to reach high corners and confined spots behind furniture. However, be especially careful when attacking spider webs containing egg sacs. Start by moving the wand attachment from the top of the spider web to the bottom making sure to hover over the sac until it's completely consumed by the vacuum. Next, don't attempt to empty the vacuum canister in your home; rather, dispose of its contents outside in a separate garbage bag to ensure live spiders don't make their way back indoors.

In addition to a vacuum, cobwebs can be removed with a feather duster, broom handle, or mop. However, if you have textured walls or ceilings this task may be a bit challenging as cobwebs have a tendency to firmly adhere to uneven surfaces. In this case, wrap duct tape – sticky side out – around a paint roller and wipe it over the web. Another dusting hack is to use a lint roller. Finally, for smaller crevices in air vents, or if webs are tangled around door hinges, sweep them away using a small paintbrush or toothbrush.