Spiders are creepy. They crawl around in our landscaping. They crawl around in our gardens. They leave webs for us to walk through (face first). And, of course, here in Fort Lauderdale, we have venomous spiders. These are spiders that have venom strong enough to present a medical threat to humans. If you'd like to have fewer spiders in your yard (and even fewer spiders getting into your home) the best way to achieve this goal is to understand why spiders come into your yard and find their way indoors.
Spiders Love Insects
This may come as no surprise but spiders enter your yard to find a bite to eat. One of the things they love to eat most is insects. They like the ones that fly. They like the ones that crawl around on the ground. They'll even eat the ones that live under the ground. If you reduce the number of insects in your yard, you can reduce the number of spiders.
Why This Works
When you get control of the conditions that can inspire lots of insects to live in your yard, it will result in fewer spiders. Obviously, you'll never have a yard that is free of insect activity, nor would you want this. The goal isn't to get rid of every insect. A reduction of insects is enough to keep spiders from establishing themselves in your yard, and it reduces the chances that a spider will find a way into your home by accident. This is what they do. They don't see your home from a distance and think, "Boy, would I love to live in that thing." They crawl around on the outside in search of food, and climb into holes, cracks, and gaps they happen upon.
What An Insect Want
Light. Many insects are attracted to light. They are particularly drawn to white light. Keep lights off and keep shades drawn at night. If you need to have a light on, consider replacing white bulbs with bulbs that cast yellow light.
Trash. Many insects are drawn to the scent of decaying organic matter. If you have a trash bin that has developed an odor, you're going to bring insects into your yard. Disinfect your trash bins to remove this attractive odor. You'll also want to make sure your bins have covers.
Honeydew. Your plants will draw insects into your yard. There isn't much you can do about that. But an unhealthy plant is even more of an attractant for some insects. These insects can be food for spiders, but they can also produce honeydew—a sweet and desirable food source derived from plant sap.
Vegetation. The more vegetation you have, the more insects you'll have. If you remove weeds and other unnecessary vegetation, it helps to reduce insects.
Water. Every living thing needs water. If you have conditions that cause puddles to form near your home, you'll attract insects, invertebrates, and spiders themselves.
General Spider-Management Tips
Once you've taken time to reduce the food that spiders desire, there are a few more things you need to do to make your yard, and the exterior of your home, resistant to spider encroachment.
Webs. If you have webs around your home, those webs aren't just an eyesore. They may have eggs in them. A single web can have 300 eggs in it. That's a lot of spiders waiting to hatch. Remove the webs to suppress spider populations.
Habitats. There are many spiders that hide in the voids of objects in your yard. This might be an object you've stored in the backyard, a stack of construction materials, piles of organic debris, etc. Yard work and decluttering can go a long way toward reducing spiders.
Hitchhikers. Spiders can find their way into your home without ever going through your yard. They can be inside used furniture, boxes that have been taken out of a storage shed, etc. Examine objects before you bring them into your home.
Once you've taken the time to reduce spiders, the last, crucial step is to seal entry points in your exterior. As we pointed out above, spiders get into your home by accident. If you reduce entry options, you'll reduce indoor sightings.
Inspect exterior doors and replace sweeps, weatherstripping, screens and frames that need to be replaced. You may also need to adjust double doors to create a good seal.
Inspect exterior windows, particularly around the frames and the screen frames. Seal any gaps you find.
Inspect around your wire conduits and plumbing pipes that penetrate your foundation.
If You Need Help
Remember that Native Pest Management is always available to assist you with routine barrier applications and targeted colony eliminations. We can help you get the best control possible. Reach out to us today for assistance.