Spider Problem? This Fragrant Plant Will Send Them Scurrying Away

Spider Problem? This Fragrant Plant Will Send Them Scurrying Away

Spiders are incredibly useful creatures as they eat various insects that can be very annoying, such as mosquitos and cockroaches. Additionally, they aerate garden soil, making it more fertile. However, when spiders come inside homes, it can be a completely different story, especially for people who are afraid of them.

To avoid spider invasions, there are several options available. One can contact a pest control service or create their own spider-repelling spray. Alternatively, the traditional approach of trapping the spider under a glass and releasing it back into the wild could also be used. However, some people may prefer to keep spiders away from their homes altogether. This can be achieved by planting citronella grass strategically around the home. Not only does this plant reduce the potential for spiders, but it also looks beautiful and repels other pests too.

The main reason citronella grass keeps spiders away

A citronella geranium plant

Alina Bitta/Shutterstock

Most people have a citronella candle or torch out on the back porch for use during the mosquito-riddled summer months. That’s because citronella is said to cover up the scents that mosquitos like, such as flowers, perfume, and even particular human blood types. Ideally, when such implements are used a person can sit outside relatively unscathed by annoying insects.

The idea behind using a citronella plant to keep insects away is a more permanent and attractive solution than lighting up a candle. By planting the lemony-smelling plant around a property, the idea is that the insects will be repelled away from the house. Since spiders are always on the hunt for food, they won’t be tempted to go inside the home to search for any juicy mosquitoes or flies. This hopefully eliminates or greatly reduces the number of pesky spiders that make their way inside!

Use this type of citronella plant to keep spiders away

Potted citronella geranium

Tula L/Shutterstock

If you live anywhere that insects are a problem during the warm-weather months, it’s likely that finding and buying a citronella plant is as easy as walking into the local garden supply store. Otherwise, they can be purchased online and shipped straight to you. Just make sure to select the citronella geranium variety called Van Leeni for best results. It not only naturally contains citronellal in its leaves for maximum insect-deterring capabilities, but it also produces attractive purple flowers, and those are always nice.

The citronella geranium plant is also extremely convenient. It can be placed anywhere, as long as the soil drains well. They also like to have lots of full sun, so keep that in mind when selecting locations. Even people with limited planting spaces can utilize strategically placed planters to reap the benefits of citronella geranium. As a bonus, the plants can come inside during the freeze months and then be set back out again once temps start to climb.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.