For most of us, encountering a spider hanging out next to us on the patio furniture is no kind of fun. The hairy legs, spindly body, and multiple eyes that seem to stare at us like we’re dinner all come together to give us the creeps.
Never mind that the vast majority of spiders are harmless. Never mind that they are an important part of the ecosystem. Logic has nothing to do with the fear of spiders. And if you’re one of those people that isn’t bothered by a surprise spider visit, I salute you. For the rest of us, this article is all about how to keep spiders out of patio furniture.
Some spiders are very dangerous— particularly for elderly people and children. Black widows and brown recluse spiders have a nasty bite that can be life-threatening for some. Other spiders are completely harmless. No matter the type, one of the tips below is sure to help you keep your patio furniture spider-free. Or as close to it as possible.
Make Your Patio Unattractive to Spiders
The absolute best thing you can do to keep spiders out of patio furniture is to make it unattractive for the arachnids. There are two steps to this. One involved the area around the furniture. The other involves the furniture itself.
The Area Around the Furniture
Spiders like areas with debris and dirt. They love to see discarded pool toys or backyard game components that haven’t been touched in weeks or months. They mean places to hide, places to catch prey, and places that aren’t usually moved or jostled. This is why keeping your patio clean is a great way to deter spiders. If you have stuff sitting on your patio that isn’t used often, put it in storage. Get a dedicated sealable bin for toys, gardening tools, or other outdoor accessories.
If you have a woodpile near the patio, move it away from the house. Sweep up. Even spray the patio off, if it’s dirty enough. A nice, clean area is no spider’s idea of an ideal home.
The Furniture Itself
Now that you have your patio cleaned up, let’s take a look at the furniture. Unfortunately, some patio furniture is spider heaven. The more little hiding spaces, the more likely you’ll get spiders. Wicker patio furniture is the best example of this. The wicker design allows for plenty of places for spiders to lay eggs, hide out from big bad humans, or spin webs.
This is not to say that you should throw out your wicker furniture. Not unless you really want to. It just means that staying spider-free will take just a bit more work than if you had different furniture. But don’t get me wrong; there is no such thing as patio furniture designed to keep spiders away. Crossbars, nooks, and cushions all offer decent hiding places for arachnids. Which brings us to the next tip.
If you clean your patio furniture regularly, you’re much less likely to develop a spider problem. This doesn’t have to be an involved process, either. It can take a few minutes, once every two weeks or so. You can put some gloves on, grab a paint stirring stick, and start poking and prodding those places spiders are likely to be. Namely, under the furniture. This will sweep away any webs lurking underneath, telling any spiders in residence that it’s no place to build a home. But the trick is doing this regularly.
You’ll also want to clean the cushions regularly, as well, by washing them. Although you don’t have to do this as often. Once a month should work well. In the meantime, you can simply shake them out to jar any insects loose. Just make sure you do it out in the yard, and not on the patio.
Homemade Spider Repellent Spray
In addition to keeping your patio and furniture clean, you may want to try a repellent spray. You may even have everything you need in your house already. All it takes is some essential oils and water. But not any essential oil will do. Spiders don’t like citrus, cinnamon, or peppermint. For best results, mix 7 or 8 drops of essential oil with every 1 cup of water. You can put this in a spray bottle, shake it up, and give your patio a spray every few days.
In all honesty, there is no guarantee that this will work. Many people online claim that it works like a charm while others say it has no effect. I’ve never tried this method myself, but I thought it worth mentioning since it’s so easy. Then again, not even commercially-made spider sprays are guaranteed to work, which is what we’ll discuss next.
Commercial Spider Repellent Sprays
There are plenty of options when it comes to commercial spider repellents and killers. Some, of course, are insecticides, which you should avoid if you have pets of children that may get into them. Others are all-natural and safe for use around pets. It’s up to you which way you go. Here’s one of each that I recommend.
- Miss Muffet’s Revenge – This pesticide is good for both indoor and outdoor protection. Simply follow the instructions on the label to protect your patio and home from spiders.
- Mighty Mint Spider Repellent – This all-natural, non-toxic repellent is essentially the same spray that you can make at home. For those who don’t have essential oil handy or don’t want to bother mixing it. However, you have to spray this around the patio every few days for it to work effectively, just like a homemade spray.
Electronic Spider Repellent
Last on my list are these ultrasonic insect repellents. There are several different types of these, but most are made for indoors. According to the company, this pack of 2 from Brison will work outdoors as long it has an outlet to plug into and it is protected from the rain and other moisture. It’s worth a shot if you have a covered patio! Plus, this one isn’t for spiders alone. It will keep all kinds of bugs away!