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BS: Natural Insect Repellents

Rapparee 01 May 13 - 11:44 PM
Songwronger 01 May 13 - 09:47 PM
jacqui.c 01 May 13 - 04:57 PM
Rapparee 01 May 13 - 03:19 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 May 13 - 03:10 PM
GUEST,Eliza 01 May 13 - 02:16 PM
gnu 01 May 13 - 02:07 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 01 May 13 - 01:52 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 May 13 - 12:47 PM
Becca72 01 May 13 - 12:41 PM
Jeri 01 May 13 - 12:31 PM
Becca72 01 May 13 - 12:30 PM
JohnInKansas 01 May 13 - 12:26 PM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 May 13 - 12:22 PM
Bee-dubya-ell 01 May 13 - 12:17 PM
Greg F. 01 May 13 - 11:56 AM
Q (Frank Staplin) 01 May 13 - 11:52 AM
Becca72 01 May 13 - 11:19 AM
JohnInKansas 01 May 13 - 11:14 AM
Becca72 01 May 13 - 11:11 AM
GUEST,leeneia 01 May 13 - 11:05 AM
Greg F. 01 May 13 - 11:01 AM
Greg F. 01 May 13 - 11:00 AM
Becca72 01 May 13 - 10:10 AM

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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:44 PM

Learn to love the spiders. Embrace them. Try to understand their inner selves, what makes them what they are. See their inner beauty and accept them.

Then squash them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Songwronger
Date: 01 May 13 - 09:47 PM

Lemon grass and gecko lizards, though you're probably too far north for both. 40k spiders per acre where we live, but not in the areas with lemon grass and some other aromatics. Geckos run around the house at night and convert spiders to little brown pellets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: jacqui.c
Date: 01 May 13 - 04:57 PM

My daughter-in-law, who has the same problem, collected horse chestnuts last year and spread them around the house. I'll have to ask her if they did the trick.

I also have a spider phobia - not logical as is the case with phobias in general - but can be very debilitating and very difficult to get rid of. Rap has the right idea - sometimes it is possible to lessen the fear by watching them and learning more about them, but not the easiest thing to do when just the look makes you want to run screaming. I've now got to the point where I can just about trap them under glass and then slide paper underneath and heave them out into the garden. Used to be that I couldn't even be in the room if I'd seen a spider there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Rapparee
Date: 01 May 13 - 03:19 PM

You could make friends with them. Spiders make loving and cuddly pets.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 May 13 - 03:10 PM

Have you tried treatment by a registered psychiatric consultant?


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 01 May 13 - 02:16 PM

Oh Becca, I feel for you I really do. I have an enormously powerful spider phobia and become completely hysterical if I see one. So sorry for you having seen all these in your house, big hug! Now, chestnut oil is a great deterrent and perfectly natural. They hate the odour and are deterred. So if you can get some, paint it on windows and doors, round skirting boards and in corners. Also, make sure you don't have piles of clothes, boxes, and general stuff lying about on the floor. If the floor is relatively clear, there's nowhere for them to shelter. And vacuum a lot, in every nook and cranny. I get paranoid and pull out furniture, the bed, empty the wardrobe... I swear I can tell when one is in the room even if I can't see it. People who don't mind spiders have no idea how we feel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: gnu
Date: 01 May 13 - 02:07 PM

BWL... I had that feeling that I was being watched. As long as they don't have cams of any sort, I am okay with it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 01 May 13 - 01:52 PM

To actually address the natural insect repellent question, there are many plants which have insect repellent properties. The problem is that the repellent chemicals are bound up inside the leaf structures. To get the repellent chemicals out, you usually have to pulverize the leaves. Simply growing the plants won't often work.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 May 13 - 12:47 PM

I stayed with people in Tapachula, Chiapas. Their house had a band of open tiles just under the roof line. Little lizards lived in those tiles and chased insects, and each other, over the ceiling. Occasionally one would drop on the bed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Becca72
Date: 01 May 13 - 12:41 PM

Thanks, Jeri. I don't have any visible webs, though, and almost never use my outside light.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Jeri
Date: 01 May 13 - 12:31 PM

Need troll repellant. At least spiders are a useful predator and don't creep everywhere. I had a pretty strong phobia, but I grew out of it, or simply gave up. I tend to leave them alone if they're making an effort to hide.

That said, "they don't work". Here's a little video that is in the same vein as John in KS's post.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Becca72
Date: 01 May 13 - 12:30 PM

Ok, so Bee-Dubya - how do I teach the spiders in my house to be better hiders? I'm OK with "out of sight out of mind".


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 May 13 - 12:26 PM

They are also up too high for me to reach to squash reasonably.

As long as they're not bigger than the inlet, a hand vac should give you enough extension to reach an 8' ceiling (although a place as old as you've described might have them at 10 ft). If you can make 'em move, a good vac will probably unstick 'em from the wall and suck them up from a few inches away with the nozzle.

As you said, our cats chased them some at first, but soon learned that they're not very tasty.

The little snakes seemed to like them, and never lost their eagerness, but they're not good at climbing walls.

Maybe a pet iguana would like them? A friend had one that disappeared when it was about 6" long and they spotted it again three years later when it was close to 3 feet, so they must eat some kind of indoor critters.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 May 13 - 12:22 PM

Can't hit the right keystoday, the word is beneficial. Most spiders fall within this grouping.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Bee-dubya-ell
Date: 01 May 13 - 12:17 PM

There is at least one spider within four feet of wherever you are at this moment. It doesn't matter whether you're at home, in a car, in a store, at work or wherever else you may frequent. Outside of inhospitable environments like Antarctica or artificially sanitized ones like operating rooms or microprocessor manufacturing facilities, there's a spider nearby. You don't see any spiders? That's because the smart ones know how to hide.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:56 AM

wanted others to chime in IF THEY WORK

No, Becca - you asked did " Anyone else have any experience in this area?"

And apparently you don't consider "they don't work" helpful. Gotcha.

So you keep on a-sprayin & a-plantin. Let me know how it works out for you, eh?

But then, you read it on the internet, so it must be true & they must work....


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Q (Frank Staplin)
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:52 AM

In our climate with cold winters, a few spiders, ladybugs and a few other bebeficial insects move in and occupy inconspicuous spots until warmer weather returns and they begin to move around.

Most of them I capture and release outside. Those that are active enough to elude me, I leave for another time of "catch me."

Now if you were beset with bedbugs or roaches, I would understand your concern.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Becca72
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:19 AM

Leeneia,

I came home yesterday to 5 in the livingroom. That was just 1 day. I have only been in the apartment since Fall so I don't know what is normal, but I did find them regularly (1 or 2 at a time) all winter.
The size, shape and color vary (it's Maine so I don't suspect any of them are dangerous) and they mostly hang out in the corners, though once in awhile they get bolder.
My cats have no interest whatever in chasing or eating them. They are also up too high for me to reach to squash reasonably. I also have a fairly significant phobia. This is a house built in 1895 and split at some point into 3 apartments. As far as I'm concerned, they can go hang out with my neighbors, I just don't want them in my living space.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:14 AM

While I've had only about 6 decades of experience with "natural repellants" I've also had access to my grand daddy's book on the subject with his handwritten comments on many he tried.

My personal conclusion, including his notes:

There are a few "natural things" that that can slightly reduce your ability to see the critters but almost none that have much effect on how many of them are around.

First recommendation: Spiders only appear where there's something to eat. Quit worrying about the spiders and try to get rid of the smaller insects they feed on, and the spiders will go away.

If you want to reduce visibility of the spiders and don't like spider guts when you stomp one, a small hand-held vacuum cleaner is a good way to snatch them out of sight. The problem is that the smallest and handiest "little suckers" seldom last long as an effective device, so you need a new one at least every year, and the more reliable ones require getting them out of where you keep them, and finding an outlet to plug them in, and by that time the spider usually is already out of sight.

For the smaller spiders, the insects they feed on are likely to be extremely tiny, and not easily seen. One thing that seems to help is to scrupulously remove every place that might be slightly damp including especially any little cracks and crevices. An ordinary circulating fan directed at cracks where there might be dampness deep down sometimes will dry dampness you can't see to a level where the food bugs (or at least more of them) will leave.

As there are very few natural predators that will eat spiders, the options there are limited to having bunches of little birdies of an appropriate kind flying around in your home (potentially somewhat messy, according to enthusiasts of aviculture) or inducing a family of common small snakes to take up residence (likely to be a hazard for family pets as most are only interested in spiders while they're young, and eventually move on to larger meals).

There actually are few "extreme measures" that are particularly helpful for spiders. One professional exterminater quite a while back informed a former spouse - on her third call to complain about seeing "a spider" -

"There is NO INSECTICIDE I can legally use inside an occupied residence that will kill spiders. The best I can do is hit 'em with a shot and get them drunk enough so they'll follow me out to the truck for another shot.

"I'll spray 'em if you want, but I can't kill 'em. And I'll have to bill you for additional time if I sit out in front to see if the follow me."

Get rid of all the other bugs (that you don't see) and the spiders (that you're seeing) will go away.

While I can applaud and encourage your aversion to "commercial insecticides" there are some, if you select them carefully, that may be effective on the "spider food" with minimal side effects. There are NONE that I've heard of, natural or commercial, that are very effective for use directly against the spiders themselves, with or without all the nastiness.

John


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Becca72
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:11 AM

Greg F - get a life. How about helpful answers or just don't bother coming onto someone else's thread? I think my opening post stated I had done research online and wanted others to chime in IF THEY WORK.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:05 AM

How many spiders are we talking about here? 5? 20? 250? It could be there has been a 'spring hatch' and that the population will soon go down.

What are they like? big or little? bold or shy? harmless or not?

Keep in mind that if there are spiders in your building, that they are preying on things that you want around even less - cockroaches, flies, and silverfish come to mind.


It may not be true that they are coming in from outside. They may be living their entire life cycle inside your building, and in that case lavender and mint planted outside would be a waste. By the way, did the people who said those plants would repel spiders give any proof?   


Mint: I have mint on the side of my house. It is invasive and hard to kill. Mine is surrounded by concrete and can't do too much damage, yet I wish I had never started it. Do not plant mint on somebody else's property.   

Your cats may chase and eat any spiders they find. That solves the problem, though you may prefer not to watch.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:01 AM

PS: Spiders aren't insects.


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Subject: RE: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Greg F.
Date: 01 May 13 - 11:00 AM

planting lavender or mint will naturally repel spiders.

Yup. And wolfsbane will repel Werewolves, too. Just as effectively.

Guess you've never seen spiders crawling on or weaving webs on Lavender &/or mint, eh? Suggest looking more closely.

peppermint oil with water ... will keep them out.

Sez who?

Of course, you could just squash 'em as you find 'em. Flyswatters work well.


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Subject: BS: Natural Insect Repellents
From: Becca72
Date: 01 May 13 - 10:10 AM

I moved into my apartment in mid September and noticed a few spiders over the winter. However, now that Spring has sprung, they're freakin' everywhere! I came home last night to 5 of the little bastards in my livingroom. With this I cannot live. I've been doing some online research and have found that planting lavender or mint will naturally repel spiders. I also read that mixing peppermint oil with water and spraying the inside window/door frames and cracks and crevices will keep them out.
I sprayed the peppermint mixture this morning. Now my whole place smells like a candy cane and we'll see if there are any spiders when I get home.
Anyone else have any experience in this area? I have cats and am chemical-sensitive (plus I hate the idea of it) so the last resort for me will be to have an exterminator come. I'm sure my landlord will let me plant as an alternative to the expense of having the place sprayed, too.


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