Spiders are some of the least liked insects in the world. If that weren’t enough, they also leave their homes behind which results in sticky messes for you or your family to clean up. They may get rid of flies and other pesky insects around your house, but it’s never fun cleaning up their cobwebs. Before going on a spider-killing spree to clean up your home, remember the purposes they do serve, such as getting rid of pesky mosquitos and flies. Rather than killing them, lightly pick them up with a paper towel, or brush them into a cup and place them outside so they can keep those buzzing insects away in their own space.
Lucky for most people, getting rid of cobwebs is a fairly easy task and can be done in several ways. The real challenge is finding all the small crevices where the cobwebs might be hiding from you.
1. Use a vacuum.
The vacuum is one of your best cleaning friends in your day-to-day life, and it is also a great and easy solution for getting rid of cobwebs. Simply attach an extension nozzle to the vacuum and suck up all the webbing in sight.
Common locations for cobwebs are in the corners of rooms, in doorways, or close to windows. Popular locations for spiders to gather around are unfinished basements. These are often damp spaces with lots of room in the walls for them to build their nests. Not everyone can afford or needs a finished basement, so if you have an unfinished one it can help to run the vacuum through the cracks in the walls to suck up any uninvited guests.
2. Use a broom and brush.
If you don’t have access to a vacuum, you can use a duster broom with a large handle to get the hard-to-reach corners of the room and brush away all webs. For all tight corners that a vacuum or duster might not be able to fit, you can use paintbrushes to get around any small obstacles. If you happen to knock down any of the webs onto fabric or your clothing, a lint-roller can be used to collect the debris and leave your cleaning get-up a bit less dusty than it already is.
3. Use some sticky tape.
If you feel like getting creative, try attaching tape to the ends up your cleaning tools and waving your cleaning tool of choice around the webbed areas, but be careful not to peel any paint away from your walls if it’s in a well coated area. Use a tape that’s not TOO sticky in order to do this well!
4. Use a bleach solution.
If you don’t want to get your hands dirty at all, you can lightly mist a diluted bleach solution over the webbing that will work to dissolve the webs. Contrary to popular belief, the rain does not wash the itsy-bitsy spider out. Lightly spraying cobwebs with water alone won’t work: this will actually only drip through the webs and have little effect.
5. Use pressurized water.
If outdoors, you can spray cobwebs away with pressurized water from a hose or pressure washer. As suggested, rain is not a guarantee for getting rid of cobwebs, which are usually designed to withstand a little rain. This might still leave some webbing behind, but it’s a step in the right direction!
6. Prevention is the best cure.
The best method for getting rid of cobwebs is preventing them from being built in the first place. Staying on top of a spider infestation can stop the problem before it happens. If there’s no mess to clean up, then your work is already done for you. There are several ways to keep spiders outside and clear of your house, but it’s also important to know when to use these solutions.
Like us, spiders want to keep warm in the winter, so they typically seek shelter indoors during mid and late fall. Unfortunately this happens to be around the time of Halloween when the cobwebs might actually be appropriate, but I think we can agree it’s better to deal with them before they get out of control for the rest of the year.
7. Seal any points of entry.
Before winter arrives, have your windows, walls, and doors properly insulated to eliminate any cracks the critters might be able to slip through. Not only will this keep bugs out, but it will also result in less heating needed throughout the house, thus reducing energy costs for your household.
8. Get rid of other bugs.
Another reason spiders seek shelter is that their food tends to seek shelter indoors, just like they do. If you can get rid of all pests in your house, there would be no food source for the spiders and they would eventually change locations or die from starvation. Spiders aren’t the only things you don’t want in your house, so why not deal with them all at once?
9. Use a lemon cleaning solution.
An interesting fact about spiders is that their taste buds are actually located at the tips of their legs. They have a worse tolerance for citrus than most humans, so coating frames of doors and windows with citrus spray is a great way to keep them out. Try imagining a spider’s legs puckering more than your mouth would after sucking on a lemon.
A word of caution should be given to some homeowners: make sure to identify the critters before getting too close. For North Americans, this issue is very rarely a problem unless certain venomous spiders are bought from specialty stores. If you’re from the Land Down Under, you’re more than likely used to seeing a few big spiders every now and then, but be careful handling them as they have the potential to cause serious or even fatal harm.
Species to avoid include the Black Widow, Funnel Web, Red back, Brown Recluse, and many others. If you have any doubts about what kind of spider you are dealing with, check an online database or ask an expert; it’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Some of you may also be wondering what exactly a cobweb is. A cobweb is essentially an abandoned home of a spider that they have moved on from. The mess they leave behind is sticky and attracts dust and pollen, making your home appear more like a haunted house than a comfy living space. Of course, on some occasions the spider is still using the cobweb as well, which is concerning for some people. The fear of spiders is a very common one, so if you feel you can’t deal with them yourself, don’t be afraid to ask a friend of relative to help you out. Once you’ve dealt with the spiders and their webs, the only thing left to do is clean the rest of the house!