Whether you're seeing untidy threads or a complex pattern sparkling in the sun, a spiderweb in the windowsill indicates that a spider is living in your house. Though spiders catch flies and other pests, you may not appreciate the arachnid's skill in web building. To keep spiderwebs out of windowsills, you'll have to take a few preventive actions to keep the spiders out of your house. Wondering what to do if the spiders are determined to live inside? Here's what to know about various methods of elimination.
Discourage Arachnid Invasions
To discourage spiders, begin outside your home. Check the entire exterior for spiders and webs using a flashlight to view dim spots. Then take preventive measures:
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- Change exterior lights, like porch lights, to yellow LED bulbs so they don't attract moths and other bugs.
- Sweep away cobwebs near doors and windows.
- Cut back landscaping to at least 24 inches and preferably 8 feet away from the foundation so there's no easy pathway for spiders to crawl into vents, windows, and doors.
- Rake dead leaves and mulch away from the house to discourage both spiders and their prey.
- Install or repair screens in windows and sliding doors.
- Add weatherstripping and door sweeps to exterior doors.
- Caulk cracks and crevices on the exterior of your home to keep spiders and other creepy-crawly creatures out. For best results, clean the area thoroughly and use a silicone caulk manufactured for exterior use.
Be sure to check under porches and decks and attached spaces, like the garage and/or storage closets. Boxes should be securely sealed with packing tape to prevent spiders from making a home inside. Make sure the lids are securely attached to plastic bins.
Inspect for Spiders
Inspect the interior of your home for spiders. Check behind furniture and curtains, under and behind tables and decorative items, around plants, near ceilings, and around firewood. Put sticky traps along baseboards behind the furniture and under the windows to trap non-web-spinning spiders. Not all spiders produce webs; wolf and jumping spiders are hunters that stalk their prey.
Deal With Errant Spiders
Methods of dealing with spiders that are already inside your home vary depending on your views of an eight-legged roommate. To rescue a spider:
- Get an empty jar.
- Put the jar over the spider.
- Slide a piece of stiff paper or paperboard, such as a cereal box, under the spider to seal off the jar mouth.
- Take the jar outside and remove the paperboard.
- Shake the spider out of the jar or just lay the jar on its side and leave it near a shrub or tree that's well away from the house.
You may have to take firmer measures to keep spiderwebs out of the windowsills. While there are insecticides that kill spiders, spraying indiscriminately in your home isn't healthy for you, your family, or your pets. Instead, try to:
- Sweep the webs out of the windows.
- Smash the spider with a rolled-up newspaper, fly swatter, or a handy shoe.
- Vacuum regularly to remove the spiders and their webs. Vacuuming usually kills the spiders but empty the bag outside just in case.
- Apply a dusting of food-grade diatomaceous earth or a dry pyrethrin product to windowsills and existing spiderwebs. Wear a mask and keep the product out of the reach of children and pets; pyrethrins are particularly toxic to fish and cats.
- Mix equal parts of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Add a drop or two of dishwashing liquid and shake well to make a spider-killing spray.
Spiders are attracted to windowsills because they provide easy access to prey, like flies. Keep flies and other pests out of the house, and this should reduce your spider population. In addition to other measures, consider hanging disposable fly traps on the fence, well away from your home, to keep flying pests away.