This Popular Flower Could Be Bringing Spiders to Your Home
Experts say this beautiful flower can attract creepy crawlers to your garden.
Even though spiders are largely beneficial, many of us find them scary or gross or just not fun to be around. What we may not realize, however, is the things we're doing that could be putting these arachnids in our vicinity. Experts say that one of the most popular flowers that people plant in their yards can actually attract spiders. These creepy crawlers can also easily hide on the flowers if you trim the plant and take it indoors. Read on to find out which flower you may want to avoid.
Spiders are attracted to sunflowers.
Most humans are attracted to sunflowers, and it turns out spiders are, too. The plant's unique height and shape are especially enticing for spiders to take shelter, Leslie Vincent, resident horticulturalist at Atkins Garden Shop, says. Andrew Gaumond, horticulturist, botanist, and director of content at Petal Republic, adds that, "Spiders are often drawn to taller plant specimens given the added leverage these afford spiders to spin larger and more lucrative webs," which makes sunflowers the perfect spot for them. This means other tall plants such as hollyhocks, delphiniums, and foxgloves could be bringing spiders around as well.
According to Gaumond, sunflowers also attract a variety of other insects that spiders like to make a meal of. Some spiders, such as the crab spider, "have also evolved to camouflage themselves amongst the bright petals of the sunflower and lay in wait for incoming insects," he notes.
Spiders are more likely to be found on sunflowers in the garden, but can sometimes be on indoor sunflowers.
Spiders are much more likely to be found on sunflowers in your garden, since the flowers are taller out there and boast a bigger selection of snacks for the spiders to eat. But Bryan McKenzie, a landscape designer and gardening expert, says you might find spiders on sunflowers in your home, if they snuck in with the plant.
Before bringing sunflowers into your home, do a quick scan for any unwanted insects and arachnids. On the other hand, as McKenzie notes, "It can be hard or impossible to notice insects that hide inside until you bring the flowers home and see them crawling from the inside."
Spiders are good for your garden.
These botanical experts note that spiders are, of course, good for your garden. "Spiders are generally a great addition to any garden as they are natural predators to any other bugs or insects that may be harmful to your plants," Vincent points out. Gaumond says that spiders play an "essential role in your garden's ecosystem." And McKenzie notes that even if you don't personally care for them, there's no real reason to control spiders that hang out on sunflowers outdoors. However, if you don't want to see the creepy crawlers, there are ways to get rid of them.
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You can use homemade insecticides against spiders, both indoors and outdoors.
To keep spiders away from your sunflowers, Vincent suggests spraying the plants with a mixture of two grams of vegetable oil and a cup of water. Alternately, Gaumond recommends using a homemade insecticide that's a mixture of two drops of dish soap, a splash of vinegar, and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray this mixture on the foliage and any visible spider webs.
He adds that planting citrus trees nearby could also help scare away spiders, since citrus scents are a potent repellent of spiders. And if you're trying to keep spiders away from your sunflowers indoors, McKenzie says a mixture of one-and-a-half teaspoons of dish soap and one quart of water in a spray bottle could help keep the critters at bay.