Bug/Spider Prevention

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by tngirl, Sep 21, 2004.

  1. tngirl

    tngirl Well-Known Member

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    HELP! I am deathly afraid of spiders. But, it seems like I attract them. I am particularly sick of going to get my bike out of the storage house, and cowering frm spiders and their webs. What can I do to bug and spider proof my storage houses?
     
  2. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Woohoo! This is my newest latest hobby. (I have a lot of hobbies :haha: ).

    1. CLEAN THE HOUSE! :yeeha: And I mean clean. :yeeha: For example, I just moved some furniture into my newly almost completely painted and redone bedroom :) --- when moving the dresser, I pulled out the drawers and discovered cobwebs. ! So I mean, clean even the insides of dressers. Vacuum under everything, too. :yeeha: And shake out old linens, wash them regularly, etc.

    2. Put mothballs under your place.

    3. MOW AS MUCH AS YOU CLEAN! :yeeha:

    4. Toss all those boxes of papers you're so certain are so important. Spiders love boxes of papers. :yeeha:

    5. Read the thread on clutter and start decluttering. Spiders love clutter almost more than they like scaring people!

    This should get you started.
     

  3. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Do you have a shop vac that you can take out there? Vaccuuming all the webs and spidies out frequently will go a long way towards keeping them out of your hair. If you can, drag everything out and vaccuum it. Seal all the cracks that spiders come thru and then dust with DE. If you have to store boxes in the building try covering each with a plastic trash bag and sealing it.

    I hate spiders too. I won't even pick a blanket up off the floor if it falls off the bed at nite. I'll get up and turn on the lite and then check it for creepies before putting it back on the bed . (Shhh don't tell anybody).
     
  4. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good advice above, except for the moth balls. They are not really effective unless you put them and the spiders in a tight bag. It also isn't a great idea to be breathing them all the time.

    The vacuum cleaner is your best weapon. Use the crevice tool and get the edges where the baseboards cover the carpet as well as any webs and in spots that you normally don't look. Suck up spiders you find. They won't have all their parts when they get to the dirt bag and they are unlikely to get back out. Suck up some DE to make sure they won't survive.

    Make certain door sweeps, screen doors and window screens are in good shape and tight. This is the time of year when annual spiders die and multi-year spiders look for a place to winter. Vigilance at this time of year will reward you through the winter and in the spring. If you have siding that overhangs the foundation edge, check to see if there is a gap under the edge. This is an easy entry for a spider, and there is a gasket material that will close it off.

    As for sheds, heed the advice about clutter. Cut back weeds and plants nearby. Keep a broom handy to brush off your bike.

    Contact poisons such as DE do not work as well on spiders as other insects because many spiders have pointy little feet instead of club feet like insects. They must contact the DE sufficiently for the particles to cut their little bodies. Since DE is a powder, it will only lay on a flat surface. You won't get it to stick to walls and ceilings where you will find spiders. It will kill anything that might be alive in the vacuum cleaner dirt bag if you suck up a teaspoon full.

    The comment about clutter is right on target. And so is the caution about items on the floor in the morning. Most bites are accidental encounters, so tap out your slippers and shake out blankets or clothing.

    If you have a lot of spiders, inspect the webs to see what they are thriving on. You could work to lessen their food supply and thereby lessen the spider population. This could be as simple as changing the porch light to a yellow bug light. (This is usually only effective in the summer.)
     
  5. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    The DE helps indirectly with spider control by helping to kill any insects the spiders might otherwise catch. Thus starving the spiders that escape the vacuum.
     
  6. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The DE will effect other insects, and reduce the available spider food, but the spiders that live through the winter won't starve. Then again, TN weather is less harsh than CO, so the spiders there may need some winter food.

    Now is a good time to apply this, but be careful and don't breathe it. Apply it as thinly as possible, because the thinner it is the less the bugs can detect it before they get into it. Use a bottle like the plastic mustard and catchup bottles with a little funnel shaped top. Don't splooge it out, just puff it. When it's applied correctly, its almost invisible. If you run your finger tip over the surface it should come up with a light coating. A few tablespoons will do a whole house.

    Some spiders stay in their web and some are hunters. The hunters tend to run the baseboards more than through open areas. Concentrate your efforts along these pathways. If you have a basement, it would be great if you could get it in the crack around the edge. It also needs to be dry to function, so don't waste it by placing it where moisture can ruin it.

    There is a wettable powder form of DE on the market now. You mix the powder with water and spray. When the water dries a thin film of active DE remains. With a small hand pumped garden sprayer you can coat surfaces above and beyond the floor. If you can find this stuff, you can spray it in all those places that Grrrrrl mentioned to clean, as well as on active webs, along baseboards, in corners, plus inside and outside around the doors and windows. Although I have never used this product inside, I use it in the garden because it is one of the few pesticides listed for use in an organic garden.
     
  7. MarleneS

    MarleneS Well-Known Member

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    Move everything out of the building and vacuum...and then put everything back??And Dust and all that other cleaning stuff?? Hasn't anyone every told you guys that spiders are our friends?? I think of them as my little army of pest controllers....

    Also frees up all that vacuuming (murdering spiders??) and dusting, and decluttering everything...for things I like doing.....

    Like re-reading "Waldon Pond".....

    Marlene
     
  8. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Wellll.... they can control pests outside then. Have you ever found a black widow crawling on your hair? Kinda makes you unhappy with ANY spiders in the house or around it!
     
  9. Little Quacker in OR

    Little Quacker in OR Well-Known Member

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    :) There are a lot of places that have spiders that are not dangerous to people, I live in one. I like spiders but I also recognize that someone who is deathly afraid of them is not going to change their mind no matter what common sense tells them. It is just the way we are.

    So, cleaning is the way to go. Have fun and good luck..it must be terrible to be so afraid of creatures, who for the most part, do nothing but good for us.

    LQ
     
  10. countrygrrrl

    countrygrrrl PITA

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    Marlene, I have a cousin whose daughter required skin grafts and physical therapy after the bite of a brown recluse last year. And I have two students this semester alone who've been bitten by them.

    This may not sound like many, but it's sure a lot more than I've ever heard of before. I don't intend to be another victim, esp. since the preventative measures are so, so very simply and really quite innocuous.
     
  11. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    If I NEVER have another black widow in my hair, it is still ONE TOO MANY! They have the whole world to spin in, they can stay out of my HAIR!
     
  12. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I'm like the plumber with leaky faucets at home. Spiders don't bother me. I don't have a problem going through a crawl space full of spider webs, and I don't do preventive spray on my own house. Spiders are beneficial, but so are wasps. I earn my living helping those who are bothered by these "pests." I have become very tolerant of other's paranoia concerning these pests. Yet, if I find a wasp nest on my shed door, I spray it. If a spider gets too close, it's history. More than 90% of home owners do their own pest control and in doing so, they use more than triple the amount of pesticide needed to accomplish the mission. Thats where I fit in. Those that are scared to death of this or that and don't want to subject their family to an overdose of pesticide love my service. Brown recluse spiders are not the only spider that causes the rotting flesh. It's how they eat their prey. But, don't try to tell anyone here that brown recluse spiders don't live in CO. Their doctor said that's what bit them. The greatest irony to me is how people build structures that are perfect for pests, and then soak them in poison instead of fixing them.
     
  13. perennial

    perennial Well-Known Member

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    Go bug,

    I live on the northeast and have seen these HUGE spiders making webs everywhere outside - is it because of the time of year, there seems to be much more of them.

    Thought my FIL was going to faint from my scream - we are staining the outside of the house and what drops down but the biggest spider!!! I have gotten over our little harmless inside house spiders I find and even small outdoor ones - it's the fat ones that freak me out - YUCK! Don't know if we have brown recluse here in eastern MA?

    I will say the webs have been incredible lately - the outdoor ones you see early in the a.m.
     
  14. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    Sticky spider traps in dark places work fairly well. I buy the traps at Fred Meyers.

    Here in the NW, not only do we have giant slugs,, we have lots and lots of spiders. I use the Vacuum cleaner to get rid of them. Splating a 4 inch spider on the wall, would mess the paint up.
    I do not like them in the house, outside is fine. That is unless they make a large web at the front door to the point I have to take it down to get out. Sheesh...

    Best thing to do,, like most have said,, is keep everything perfectly clean.
     
  15. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My guess is the time of year. They sense the weather is changing and are hoping to fill up before winter when they won't catch much. I am most familiar with CO bugs, so I can't really speak accurately about those you see. I do know some will live for years, and it takes time and food for them to become huge. There are only a few non-poisonous spiders out of thousands. Some don't have big enough jaws to bite people, but most kill and eat their prey in the same basic manner. Their poison liquifies the bodies of their victims so they can suck out the juice. Some people are more sensitive than others. And doctors are self proclaimed experts. I can't tell you how many people swear they were bitten by a brown recluse and use their doctor's word as proof. It doesn't matter that no one has ever found one in CO. I would bet the stain you're using is pretty rough on any spider, and the odor would chase them out of the crevices in the house structure. Just continue to keep your eyes open.