Spider season is in full swing. I've seen them hanging out in the garden. Gangs of them, with their little suitcases, ready to move in. Because autumn is the time of year spiders descend upon our homes.
As the weather turns, so do the spiders. Into squatters. Experts have warned there are even more this year due to an unusually warm spring. We need to brace ourselves and protect our homes.
A couple of (spider) seasons ago, on a warm September evening, I was sitting watching telly and one ran across the room. He was a big 'un. We'll call him Boris in honour of the late, great, John Entwistle. He survived. My boyfriend rescued him and put him outside. As he set him free, he told him "You've had a lucky escape. Run before she gets you!"
Had I been alone he would have been doomed to the Hoover. I'm not in the habit of killing God's creatures. I'm an animal lover and vegetarian. I know we need spiders and that they catch flies. I'm actually quite partial to a tarantula. I could definitely hold one in my hand. I just don't like them running around my house 'surprising' me.
As Boris was the size of a digestive biscuit, the next generation are likely to evolve into being as big as an Eccles cake.
With this in mind, I decided to do an investigation on how to keep future Borises at bay. I've been spider-free for two seasons now...
I discovered that spiders don't like the scent of lemons. At this time of year, I go about the house with some citronella (aka lemongrass oil). Jif or fresh lemons won't do, it has to be a strong scent. I splash it around all windows and doors, in the sink and a couple of times around the bed, just in case, for double protection. I also splash it the bath. Particularly around the over flow...
Contrary to popular belief, spiders that suddenly appear in the bath don't come up through the plug hole however as it's too wet for them, and they don't always fall in to the bath. They usually get in through the overflow pipe. It's dry, warm, and easily accessible. I have evidence. A friend was once relaxing in the bath and one crawled out.
Conkers, they don't like those either. Collect some conkers, cut them in half for a full aroma, and place them in each corner of the room. Spiders favour the corners and outer edges of the room so if they feel threatened by the conker they'll either leg it outside or run into the middle where you can place a glass over them, put a bit of card underneath, and safely disperse them outside.
However, spiders like dust, so take care, especially during September and October, to keep the house dust free.
But for any arachnophobes out there, the approach of winter has some benefits.
Come November, spider season is over because it's too cold for them - and sadly they die.