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.