How to Get Rid of Spiders in the Basement
LESLIE: Now we’re going to talk to Wayne in Virginia who’s got some unwanted visitors at the house.
What’s going on, Wayne?
WAYNE: Hi, how are you?
LESLIE: I’m well, thanks. Who’s there that you don’t want?
WAYNE: Thank you for taking my call. I’ve got a basement that’s unfinished and I have a number of spiders that seem to find it to be a pleasant place to live. And trying to cut down on the cobwebs and things that get on my tools and other things. I’ve sought a solution to that and I had a friend mention a temple orange and another item was camphor cakes. And I was told that a temple orange is not an orange but it’s some sort of a fruit that you wouldn’t eat but spiders don’t like it.
TOM: You know, that sounds like some commercial products that they’re recommending and, certainly, there are pesticide products that will help with common household bugs. What’s interesting that’s happening in the pesticide industry is that the actual products that are being used are getting more and more and more specific.
Now one of the reasons that we may see more spiders in our homes today, as well as other insects, is because of that specificity of the products that are out there. It used to be that there were sort of broad-spectrum pesticides that killed everything at once but now, as we’re becoming more careful about how we handle pesticide, you’re finding that you have to use specific products to take care of specific insects. And while I don’t recognize the products that you mentioned, I know that there are products that are professionally applied that control those as well. So there’s over-the-counter and there’s professional and, in my estimation, you’re almost always better off using the professional products because they can do it once, do it right, and they don’t come back again and they’re not going to over-toxify your basement by spraying a bunch of stuff that you don’t need.
LESLIE: Well, and it also doesn’t put you in any danger because you’re not applying the pesticide itself.
WAYNE: And that’s why I was hoping there was a natural – let’s say a more organic thing – as a homeowner that I could use like the camphor cakes or one of these citrus fruits that may give off an odor that the spiders find offensive and would seek residence elsewhere.
TOM: Wayne, I understand that you would prefer to have a natural solution but the problem is that it’s just not that effective. If you want to control spiders in the long haul, you need to use a product like diazinon or Dursban and they’re both professionally-applied products. And what happens is these products stay around for enough time so that as other spiders start to walk through them and on the surfaces that have been treated, that they get lethal doses as well. So it’s just not possible, in my estimation, to find a product that’s completely natural that’s going to be as effective as what you would like it to be to control spiders. Does that make sense to you?
WAYNE: Yes. Yes it does.
LESLIE: And the orange that you were talking about is called the osage orange – o-s-a-g-e – and they say it’s mildly effective, so that’s an option. There’s also something that’s called a cobweb eliminator which is completely – you know, it’s biodegradable; it’s nontoxic; it’s 100-percent natural. And it’s like a liquid that you put on the walls so that spider webs can’t attach. Well, it’s not going to get rid of the spiders but it’ll keep the webs from forming.
TOM: Yeah, but if you control your moisture and try to keep it as dry as possible and if you have it professionally treated, then I think that’s going to be a lot more comfortable for everybody. You won’t be – you’ll be fairly bug-free and you won’t have to worry about these other products.
WAYNE: And what would be the frequency of application of this? Is this an annual application, six months or …?
TOM: Probably about every – you would probably do it in the spring and in the fall.
WAYNE: Twice a year, then. OK.
WAYNE: Well, thank you very much.
TOM: You’re welcome, Wayne.
WAYNE: I enjoy the show.
TOM: Thanks so much for calling us at 888-MONEY-PIT. Thank you. Thank you for saying that. 1-888-666-3974.