Most spiders won’t hurt anyone. But their webs can cause a mess, and for the majority of tenants, they’re an unwelcome guest in the home. Here’s how to handle them.
Know your enemy
In most cases, spiders pose little to no danger to humans, but some species can deliver nasty bites that may cause medical issues.
You might have a problem with spiders if…
You notice silk-spun sacs around your house, attached to surfaces, on webs or even carried by the mother spider. Generally speaking, if you spot these spider egg sacs, you might soon be facing a spider infestation. These egg sacs can contain around 100 eggs, so you’ll want to act quickly.
Why are there spiders in my house?
Sometimes it’s purely a search for warmth as the weather starts to cool down, but spiders also love to hide in dark and sometimes damp places where they have easy access to a ready supply of insects (ants, flies, etc).
Where will the spiders hide?
Spiders are pretty nimble when it comes to hiding spots so you’ll need to keep an eye out for webs on window sills, ceilings, corners, the ground, crevices and gaps, outdoor furniture, garden sheds, pots and plants, your wardrobe, storage boxes, near sprinklers… the lot. If you start to see more spiders around your home, it’s likely they’re multiplying on the property.
Steps to take against spiders
As the weather starts to cool down in Autumn, spiders will take this opportunity to enter your home in search of a cosy spot to spend the coming winter months. Where possible, you should try to leave them alone, but understandably this is an issue for people with a real fear of arachnids. The good news is that the majority of spider ‘infestations,’ per se, are more of an irritation for tenants who get tired of finding the webs everywhere. More serious situations which involve some of Australia’s more dangerous spiders are the ones to keep an eye on.
To prevent spiders from setting up home in your rental, there are a few simple steps you can take:
* Regularly remove noticeable webs
* Vacuum your place frequently – especially under and behind furniture.
* Look at your walls, under doors and around pipework. Are there any gaps? Fill them in.
* Remove hiding spots for opportunistic spiders. Re-consider leaving garden bags, compost piles, clutter and firewood in piles around your rental.
* Use lighting designed to deter flies and bugs that spiders will try to feed on.
Are landlords or tenants responsible for a spider infestation?
If you’ve read through any of our articles on pest control, you’ll be aware that responsibility for eradicating pests and vermin is a touchy subject. If an infestation breaks out in your rental, it’s quite normal for tenants and landlords to blame the other party and hold them responsible.
As a general rule, any outbreak or infestation will be the landlord’s responsibility and not the tenant’s. However, the tenant is responsible for keeping the property clean and tidy, so if it can be shown that this has not been done and has likely caused the infestation to occur, things can swing around.
That in mind, whether you’re a landlord or tenant, it’s in your best interests to do everything in your power to prevent infestations from occurring in the property. In some cases, this can be done with a supermarket DIY option, but in others, it may warrant professional pest control.
Generally speaking, spider infestations are best left to the pest control professionals – Redback spiders can be particularly dangerous and are a potential liability issue.