WFMW: A Bale of Hay Keeps the Spiders Away

I really don’t like spiders. And I especially don’t like them in my house. My husband tells me that a spider or two is a good thing, since they eat any other bugs that might try to live with us, but I disagree. No bug in my home can be accurately labeled a “good” thing.

Earlier this fall, I was lamenting to a friend that our basement seems to be a general hang-out for spiders of all kinds. I get out the shop-vac, suck them all into oblivion…or I take the bug-zapping spray and attack them one by one…and a few days later, a new spider family has moved in. It drives me nuts.

This wonderful friend shared with me a little “home remedy” that she had read in the newspaper. It goes something like this:

To keep spiders out of your house, set a bale of hay or straw outside your home, not right next to an entrance, but not too far away either…maybe along the side of your house. Spiders eying up your house will instead gladly view the bale as Spider Condo Extraordinaire, and will over-winter in it, cozy and warm, leaving your house free for, well, humans.

I was a bit skeptical. But willing to give it a try.

I picked up a small bale of straw at the local farm market and set it next to our lamp post, along with a fake scarecrow and few small pumpkins, as fall decoration. I didn’t inspect it or think much at all about it, but I recently realized that in the several weeks since I did that, I hadn’t seen a single spider in our house. Not one. Odd for this time of year, when small animals of all kinds are fleeing from the dropping temperatures.


Well, yesterday, I was taking down the outdoor fall decorations, before the pumpkins decided to rot and stink up the front yard. I picked up the bale of straw, to move it around to the side of the house, near the garage door. You’ll never guess what fell off the bottom when I picked it up.

Okay, you guessed. Spiders. A whole bunch of them. They quickly scattered, understandably devastated that their apartment building had been lifted right off of them. I tried to explain that it wasn’t really a disaster, just a relocation plan. They weren’t impressed.

But I’m hoping they’ll find their way over to the straw bale once again, and not even think twice about our nice warm cold, hard basement.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have found no scientific evidence to back up this theory. It’s simply a suggestion given to me by a caring friend. But if it continues to work as it has so far, you can be sure that I’ll be investing in a bale of straw (or two…or three) each and every year. Only because I care about the spiders and want them to have a nice place to live. As long as that place isn’t my house.

Visit Shannon’s for more Works-for-Me Wednesday tips.


  1. That’s very interesting!

    We get several bales of straw for our dog’s house each fall. She lives inside but I like to make sure she’s comfy if she has to be outside.

    Anyway, because its been so warm this fall we haven’t bought straw yet. I’ve had horrible ugly black spiders in the house. We’re definitely getting straw ASAP!

  2. That’s awesome! I’m going to try this, because I HATE spiders!!!!! :-(

  3. Jeni Allen says:

    I’m going to try this. I recently found a gigantic wolf spider on one of baby’s teddy bears that sits on a dresser next to her crib…yikes!

  4. SAHMmy Says says:

    I have the heeby jeebies just from reading about you moving the hay bale! Thinking about making a hay bale perimeter around my yard–we have black widows here! One even wandered into the house a few weeks ago. Aaaahhhhh!

  5. I think I would give you a hug and a kiss if you were standing here, thank you so much for that advice. I am terrified of spiders and when one gets in the house, I’ve been known to leave until someone takes care of it.

  6. texastanya says:

    Too funny! Thanks for the tip, and the humor.

  7. i never mind seeing spiders in my home because I figure all the bugs are their food. funny how we look at it differently.

  8. How interesting. And how smart of you to think to decorate it up with a fall theme. I never would have clued in to that and would have just plunked it there. LOL!

  9. and the world will recognize your readers by the yards decorated around hay bales!

  10. Once Upon a Dream... says:

    That’s absolutely amazing!!

  11. Our garage is a spider HAVEN! I’d do this, except we live in the country, and mice would also take up residence in the straw! Good idea, though!

  12. I’m scared to think about the spiders who would move into their hay bale apartment – and yeah, the mice.

  13. I’m going to try this! Never occurred to me to give them a different place to live – fabulous idea and if it keeps one out, then it’s good enough for me!

  14. Fiddledeedee (It Coulda' Been Worse) says:


    I hate spiders. But, I don’t think we have any bales of hay here in Armpit, Florida. I’ll be researching that. Then I’ll have to run it by the Homeowners Association. Who didn’t take too kindly to what I had the pink flamingos doing in the front yard……

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