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What attracts spiders and how to get rid of them?

starbrightstarbright Posts: 4,660Registered User Senior Member
edited May 2010 in Parent Cafe
Inspired by the moth thread, I have a question of my own. For years we have had spiders and spider eggs embedded on our front porch. I know it sounds gross, but a casual visitor would not notice, and it's a very big porch with a high ceiling :)

We have power-washed it all away numerous times, but they always come back. I have no idea how to fix this problem, or why we have it in the first place.

Any help out there?
Post edited by starbright on
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Replies to: What attracts spiders and how to get rid of them?

  • dragonmomdragonmom Posts: 4,282Registered User Senior Member
    I hate to say it, but if you have spiders the underlying problem is the bugs that they are feeding on. If it's flies and mosquitoes, more power to the spiders. If it's ants and other creepy crawly things, think about finding some less toxic sprays and dousing the whole porch with them.
  • LergnomLergnom Posts: 6,719Registered User Senior Member
    Spiders are your friends. You should encourage them to be there because they live on bugs. They pose no threat to you.

    It has been difficult for toxicologists to study spider bites because spiders don't bite people - unless stepped on or in some desperate defense. We are incredibly huge to them, not food, just something to run from. When people point to a big bite and say it's a spider bite, they are wrong. It's just a big allergic reaction to some bite, maybe a fly of some kind, likely a mosquito that has some saliva you are really sensitive to.

    Again, they are your friends.

    You should read about them. There are web spinners, trap door web catchers, jumpers that literally hunt and jump on prey. Amazing little things.
  • OnwardOnward Posts: 2,005Registered User Senior Member
    I agree with Lergnom. If spiders are outside, leave them alone, they are eating flies, mosquitoes and other insects that bother you. Go ahead and knock down the webs that are bothering you but don't spray for spiders. Remember the birds that you enjoy ( I hope) live on all these creatures.
  • midmomidmo Posts: 3,720Registered User Senior Member
    Okay, you guys sound like my husband. "Leave the spiders alone" and all that. So I do, but if I pick up my watering can and a brown recluse comes crawling out of it again, I may change my mind. We also have black widows around here.

    So, most spiders are our friends, and even the brown recluses and black widows are when they don't bite you. But I have friends who have been bitten by brown recluses, and the results are very bad. Google some pictures--or not, if you don't have a strong stomach.

    As for why they are on your porch, it is because of a food source. If you leave your porch light on, some insects will be attracted to the area, and I think that may exacerbate the spider problem.

    I do find spiders fascinating. In fact, I find insects fascinating, also. But, be cautious if you live in an area where there are a few toxic types.
  • starbrightstarbright Posts: 4,660Registered User Senior Member
    Thanks for all your thoughts. Clearly this does gross me out, I have a thing about spiders. I guess they are eating other bugs (but why oh why do we have so many bugs as food then on our porch?). I've never had such a problem on the back porch, the rest of the house, other porches of houses I've lived in.

    But yes, they are only outside. And I know (intellectually at least!) they are not harmful. I just can't stand the look of the webs, the piles of nests, the little ones in bundles scurrying about. Yuck.
  • haydenhayden Posts: 3,594Registered User Senior Member
    Although normally I agree with leaving spiders alone when they're outside, I have to say midmo's situation does present the exception. I may force myself to live with orb spiders on our patio, but I would draw the line at brown recluse spiders and black widows. Unless they paid for the patio bricks, they're out.
  • BunsenBurnerBunsenBurner Posts: 16,747Registered User Senior Member
    I do not mind spiders catching flies and mosquitoes, but boy do spiders poop! I'm so tired of washing the siding of the house under the lights! Rant off.

    We have no spiders or any insects in the house. No moth problems either - my cats catch and destroy all creepy crawly creatures that get inside. The cats even ate all the moths on the front porch, so the spiders population went down!
  • binxbinx Posts: 4,318Registered User Senior Member
    I hate spiders. We do have poisonous ones around here, and there are also tiny ones that bite. I do try to clear them off my front porch - they like to make webs. I do not use my front door myself, but my piano students do, so I am usually informed when there is an obnoxious web nearby. I don't kill the spiders (although neither do I take pains to be gentle), just take down the webs. They can build them elsewhere!

    Although in October, I usually tell my students they are my Halloween decoration.

    The only time I was grateful for a spider web was in Germany. We were there during their record heat wave some years ago. Our hotel did not have A/C. The only way to breathe was to have the windows open. And German windows don't generally have screens. But the mosquitoes were awful. To make matters worse, Germans don't use top sheets, so the only way to stay covered all night was to use a heavy duvet.

    Fortunately there was a huge web just outside our window, and we were grateful for it.

    Our first house there was infested with them - huge black things - body was .5-1 inch big, with thick legs. Very nasty looking. German spiders are not poisonous, and people thought we were silly for not liking them.
  • FLVADADFLVADAD Posts: 1,598Registered User Senior Member
    When I lived in Virginia I was amazed at the variety of spiders we had around our house. I did not go out of my way to kill them, but honestly, didn't care much for their company.

    Now I live in FL and see spiders every once in awhile, but nothing like in Virginia. Now the creatures I've been trying to cope with are the snakes. We get quite a few around my property. They are there for the same reasons as the spiders -- there's a food source. We like to believe it's not us, but my wife has her doubts :).

    Same general rules apply though. We try not to kill any except the poisonous ones. Fortunately, most are pretty harmless to humans. Even still, I think I coped with the spiders a little better.
  • midmomidmo Posts: 3,720Registered User Senior Member
    Well, I wrote above about our spiders. We have snakes, too. Once in a while a 4 ft. black rat snake will crawl out of the woods into my yard. They are not poisonous, but they do bite; for instance, if you try to get one into a bucket with a stick so the kid next door will stop shooting at it with a BB gun, it will bite your hand and you will have to go get a tetanus shot.

    The copperheads are venomous. Don't reach into a woodpile without gloves. I missed one by two inches a couple of years ago.

    Its dangerous here. And I live in town.
  • idrinkwateridrinkwater Posts: 13Registered User New Member
    why is this on college confidential?????
  • FLVADADFLVADAD Posts: 1,598Registered User Senior Member
    Wow midmo! Yikes! I live on a pond and conservation so we get water moccasins. However, my favorite is the scarlet kingsnake. They are kind of shy, but pretty. Unfortunately, easily confused with coral snakes which are deadly-- you have to remember the color patterns:

    If black touches red he's a friend of Fred :)

    If black touches yellow, he'll kill a fellow :(
  • FLVADADFLVADAD Posts: 1,598Registered User Senior Member
    why is this on college confidential?????

    You're in the Parent's Cafe'. We talk about everything here. You have any advice on spiders?
  • opera-momopera-mom Posts: 382Registered User Member
    LOL....gotta love this thread...I don't have any specific advice on spiders but would just like to add....if you think you have a spider bite make sure you visit your friendly doctor...many people think they have a spider bite when in fact it is a staff infection (often MRSA) which will need an antibiotic...
  • starbrightstarbright Posts: 4,660Registered User Senior Member
    lol.

    Wow you guys, I'm feeling a lot better that I only have to contend with ordinary, harmless spiders (and a bit pathetic too, to have made such a fuss...).
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