Spider season is in full swing now that we’re heading into autumn, so, if you’re looking for ways to keep those pesky creepy crawlies at bay, look no further than your kitchen herbs
Are you finding more spiders in your home at the moment? Don’t worry – it’s completely normal.
The warm and wet weather we’ve been having means that there are plenty more insects for spiders to eat – plus, September marks the start of their mating season.
During the autumn, male arachnids face the prowl in search of a mate – meaning UK homes are set to be invaded by eight-legged friends this month.
Thankfully, online garden centre Primrose has revealed a list of houseplants that naturally repels spiders without the need to spray nasty chemicals.
Gardening Expert Evie Lane at Primrose explains: “There are many old-wives’ tales about how conkers can repel spiders – but many don’t know that a lot of fragrant plants can do just that.
“Most spider-deterring plants have a strong odour since aromatic plants are generally more effective at repelling insects – but they still smell great in your home too.
“The best preventative measure for spiders also starts outside of the home. By keeping the exterior of your home free of any debris and picking up any leaves and woodpiles, you’re clearing any potential hideouts for spiders.
“That means they won’t be lurking near your home come mating season.”
The team at Primose has put together a list of the houseplants that help to keep spiders at bay.
Lemon Balm, often used for adding a citrusy edge to dishes, is a low-maintenance house plant that repels spiders and fruit flies.
Spiders hate anything that smells of citrus – although pleasant to humans, the smell is overpowering and acts as a natural repellent.
By taking a cutting of lemon balm, adding it to water and spraying the solution in any dark areas of your home, it’ll clear out any hiding spaces that spiders love to hide.
The aromatic oils in basil are known to repel not only spiders but other bugs such as ants, summer houseflies and mosquitos.
It can also be used to make a DIY bug-repellant spray if mixed with witch hazel – simply spray the mix onto a surface and give it a wipe down.
The herb can be grown in any area of your home, as long as it gets access to direct sunlight for 4 to 5 hours per day.
The traditional purple perennial is an outdoor garden staple.
Its pleasant smell means it’s commonly used as an essential oil but lavender is also great at deterring arachnids.
If you’ve got lavender in your garden, take a cutting and tie a bunch together and hang it in each room of your house.
Not only will it smell beautifully fragrant, but your eight-legged roommates will also be nowhere in sight.
Fresh mint leaves can also be used to deter spiders.
If you grow fresh mint in your kitchen, pluck a few leaves and add to a bottle topped with spray water and leave to absorb – by spraying this on the entry points to your home, any spiders hiding around windowsills and doorways will retreat rapidly.
Rosemary is faintly scented for the human nose but releases an intense odour to spiders.
Make sure you’re growing it indoors though – rosemary is less cold tolerant so will thrive in a standalone pot in a warmer environment.
The scent of eucalyptus is the driving factor that keeps arachnids out of your home. Add sprigs of eucalyptus around your bathroom, kitchen and living room.
You can also mix a few leaves with witch hazel and water and spray any areas that a spider could hide to prevent them from making webs in any discreet corners or cupboards.
Bright blooms of chrysanthemums contain pyrethrum, an ingredient frequently used in natural insect repellents.
The chemical repels ants, ticks, fleas, spider mites, cockroaches and even bed bugs.
Marigolds will repel nearly every small pest known, including spiders, snails and bugs.
Coming across a spider or two in the home can be a stressful ordeal for arachnophobes – but it’s important to note that killing them is environmentally unfriendly.
By placing fragrant plants throughout your home and investing in a cruelty-free spider catcher, your home will be spider free this autumn.