We were blessed with some beautiful weather this past weekend, slightly chilly but not too bad otherwise, and I was able to get my grill out and have the first steak of the season. More on that in another post.
With steak season, though, comes spider season. I hate spiders, and the only reason exterminating them entirely isn’t on my supervillain to-do list is that I’d much rather destroy mosquitoes, bedbugs, lice, ticks, and fleas first.
We have a few trees near our house, including one that unfortunately comes much too close, inviting in tree spiders. Tree spiders are usually yellow or brown in color, get to about half an inch in size including their legs, and show up everywhere. We also have these nasty fast black ones that appear from time to time, and a few other miscellaneous varieties. On top of that, there have been hatches of baby spiders upstairs, especially in the area right around my work desk. Clearly they must die.
This year I want to get a jump on the suckers and spray surfaces down with something that will kill them dead. The only catches are that I don’t trust most pesticides to be pet-friendly and shutting the cats in the basement is not currently an option. On top of that, my wife is sensitive to most such chemicals because of her MCS, so it has to be something mild and relatively pet-safe (although I do mostly intend it for ceilings) but still strong enough to kill any spider it comes in contact with—if not immediately then quickly.
Sadly, searching for pet-safe pesticides keeps leading me to the domain of spider repellants. Now I’m all for repelling them too, but let’s be honest: That’s the pansy option. That’s the emergency fallback if nothing kills them adequately. I have respect for most living things, but by no means all, and my rule on spiders is simple: If it’s in my house, in my car, in my garage, on anything I own, or in any way ever comes near me, it must die. It’s applied Darwinism; otherwise they’ll never learn.
I have no intention whatsoever of playing nice with these things and simply encouraging them to stay out of my way. I want them out of my house completely. Now if there was some kind of super-repellant that also didn’t bother the cats (or me, or my wife), I’d probably be willing to live with it, but citrus oil is an anemic option—it’s for spot treatments, ostensibly keeping them out of places you don’t want them to go but doing nothing to avoid proximity entirely.
I’m open to suggestions as to what I should do, but I want to do something this year rather than just try to take down each individual baby spider as it appears and deal with tree spiders at a rate of killing one or two a day when we see them. I want them to stay the heck out of our house, and if not then to die within seconds of exposure.