7 Cleaning Habits That Attract Spiders
These common mistakes could make your home a haven for eight-legged pests.
When you clean your home, there are likely a few goals you have in mind: making the place look and smell a bit better, reducing mess and clutter, and keeping pests at bay. But pest control experts say that how you keep things clean and tidy—or don't—could make your home look like a welcoming environment for insects, and spiders in particular. Before you find yourself battling a seemingly endless array of arachnids, discover what you should and shouldn't do while cleaning up to avoid a spider infestation.
Don't wait to wash your fruit
Even if you're not planning to eat it immediately, you might want to give the fruit in your house a good rinse when you bring it home.
"In addition to attracting flies, fruit also attracts spiders," says Jordan Foster, a pest expert with Fantastic Pest Control. "Insects find grapes particularly fascinating, so spiders are more likely to weave a web between and around them. Give your fruit a good clean after you buy them from the supermarket to be on the safe side."
Don't leave pet food out
Leaving your pet's food on the floor makes it an attractive spot for bugs to hide out—and where there are bugs, spiders will soon follow.
"If you have a pet, ensure you clean their food bowl regularly. Moreover, store pet food in airtight containers," says Foster.
Don't use lidless trash cans
That open trash can in your kitchen could be the reason you're suddenly noticing spiders in your home. "Spiders enjoy eating insects that feed on leftovers and waste," explains entomologist and pest control expert Ryan Smith, owner of Ant and Garden Organic Pest Control. "Dispose of your house waste properly and you'll not only prevent roaches, flies, and ants from coming, but spiders too!"
Don't forget to wipe your counters after preparing food
If you're not in the habit of wiping down your counters or cleaning debris off your stove after cooking, you might want to start.
"Spiders don't eat human food, but they sure feast on insects that feed on food left in your kitchen," says Smith. He recommends cleaning up immediately after meals to keep spiders and their prey from calling your kitchen home.
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Don't leave laundry on the floor
That pile of laundry on your floor is more than just a trip hazard—it's a prime spot for spiders to camp out, too.
"Laundry makes a great hiding spot for spiders, where they can burrow into the folds of the clothes and hang out until they need to venture to find food, or until other pests who may be in the laundry find their way to them," says associate certified entomologist Fred Willey, owner and president of Invader Pest Management. "It is best to keep used laundry off of the floor and in closed hampers so that it makes accessing this hiding spot more difficult for spiders."
Don't allow indoor plants to get overgrown
Trimming those indoor plants is a great way to keep spiders from hiding out in them.
"If you have lots of potted plants and foliage around the house where spiders love to build webs, it's time to clear and prune," says Foster, who also recommends avoiding planting near the foundation of your home, as spiders hiding out in plants can make their way indoors through gaps around windows and cracks in masonry.
Don't keep clutter around
There's no time like the present to start clearing that clutter out of your home—especially if you want to avoid a spider problem.
"The biggest thing anyone can do to prevent spiders in their home is to tidy up regularly, whether by dusting down knick-knacks or clearing out your clutter," says Megan Cavanaugh of Done Right Pest Solutions. "Spiders like to hide behind things, so dusting and cutting out your clutter are two big ways to eliminate and prevent spiders."