When I was a kid, the words “spider” and “snake” elicited the same reaction out of me as “boogeyman” and “the dark.” As I grew up, I learned that these two creatures are actually beneficial to the environment. Spiders help keep the bug population at bay, while snakes eat rodents, in addition to bugs. That made me realize the importance of their existence, but still, I don’t like spiders and snakes, especially when they trespass into my home. And for that reason, I use several homemade repellents for these creatures.
Years ago when I first moved into my home, I soon learned I wasn’t the only tenant. I had a terrible problem with spiders coming into the house from the basement. When I started down the basement steps one day to investigate the problem, I noticed there were holes in the plaster walls of the stairway. Worse yet, the basement had several cracks and gaps in the walls and around the door and windows. These openings were like “Welcome” signs to insects, spiders and snakes. To keep spiders and snakes from coming inside your home, seal up cracks, gaps and holes in your basement. Don’t forget to check the upper levels of your house as well for openings that creatures can crawl into. A good-quality caulk can do the job quickly and effectively.
To get rid of existing spiders and snakes, use a vacuum cleaner to remove spiders, webs and eggs. Then, place Osage Orange fruit in your basement near the exit doors and windows. Osage Orange, which is commonly known as “Hedge Apples”, contains a chemical called “2,3,4,5-tetrahydroxystilbene”. This natural chemical is effective in repelling spiders and insects.Without a food source to sustain them, any snakes that were living there will automatically leave your basement.
If your infestation of spiders and snakes is heavy, you can mix up a homemade repellent that will speed up the process of eradicating these pests. Simply mix five tablespoons of dishwashing detergent to one quart of tap water. Then, mix in an eighth of a cup of Neem Oil. Neem Oil is a natural insecticide that is available at most health food stores. And finally, add several drops of Peppermint or Catnip Oil to the solution. Mix well, then pour the homemade repellent into a spray bottle and use this in your basement. You can also use it on the outside, around the foundation of your home, to help deter spiders, snakes and insects from entering.
You can also mix together a couple pounds of cheap, scent-free, non-clumping kitty litter with a half pound of moth balls. Place the mix in a heavy bag or in another sealable container and let them sit for a couple days. Then, spread the litter/mothball mixture lightly around the foundation of your home as a homemade repellent for spiders and snakes.
Another homemade repellent to get rid of spiders and snakes is to remove clutter, debris, boxes and containers up off your basement floor, as well as in your home! Spiders simply love items to hide in. This includes clothing, shoes, bags, et cetera. When I worked as a domestic engineer for a married couple, I had to venture down to their basement to do their laundry. They had a habit of pitching their dirty clothes on the concrete floor. Unfortunately, it was common to pick up an armful of laundry and find a snake buried within!
It’s also important to keep your grass mowed down short to deter snakes and spiders. Remove woodpiles, piles of leaves and branches, weeds and trash from around your home too.