The Beautiful Flower You Should Be Growing In Your Home To Keep Spiders Out

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The Beautiful Flower You Should Be Growing In Your Home To Keep Spiders Out

As temperatures start to drop, usually from September to October, spiders tend to make their way into our homes uninvited. Most of us don’t want to share our living spaces with these eight-legged creatures, who come looking for warmth and food. Although most spiders are not harmful to humans and their bites only cause minor irritation, encountering venomous spiders like the black widow or brown recluse is something that we’d rather avoid. There are several ways to keep spiders away, but today, we’ll focus on an unconventional method – marigolds.

The marigold plant is a natural wonder, with beautiful blossoms in an array of colors that can easily brighten up any indoor space. From white to red, orange, yellow, copper, and even mesmerizing combinations of these hues, the marigold can enhance the aesthetics of a space while giving it a warm and lively feel. However, this flower is not just visually appealing – it also works as a pest repellent. A 2021 study by BMC Veterinary Research found that marigolds emit a strong, pungent odor because of the terpenes in their leaves. This scent is believed to be highly offensive to spiders, discouraging them from entering spaces where marigolds are present. While it might seem like a magic solution, the effectiveness of marigolds depends on proper planting and careful maintenance.

Growing marigolds for optimal spider control indoors

transplanting yellow and orange marigolds

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You’ll find marigolds in a myriad of sizes. While the towering variants can reach 2 feet, the compact alternatives (think Safari Scarlet, Discovery Yellow, and Red Cherry) are excellent for interior spaces. Two popular marigold-cultivating techniques prevail: from seeds or stem cuttings. Pot selection is the first crucial step for seed nurturing — choose one with drainage holes, then fill it with a well-draining, nutrient-rich potting mix. Scatter your seeds, cover them lightly with the potting mix, and your marigold journey begins.

Marigold’s watering regime is a delicate dance. Drowning them in water summons rot and fungi. Conversely, waiting until they face drought leads to wilting and death. So, water when the top soil layer dries out, or let a moisture meter guide you. Marigolds, like true sun-worshipers, crave their daily rays. A sun-drenched window is an idyllic spot for them, although you could use grow lights as an alternative. Caution: monitor the sun exposure and keep the plants away from direct heat sources, as excess temperatures can burn the leaves.

Even heroic marigold knights need some nutritional backup. Initially, a balanced slow-releasing blend of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium will provide your marigolds will do the trick. If you’re propagating this flower from stem cuttings, the trimmed cuts must be submerged in a glass with 3 inches of water and nurtured in a brightly lit spot. Refresh the water frequently and witness the birth of new roots, marking the perfect time for transplantation.

Other natural ways to keep spiders out of your house

spider deterring alternatives

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Fancy a quicker spider deterrent? Plenty of natural alternatives to marigolds can keep those eight-legged invaders at bay. First on our list are essential oils like peppermint and eucalyptus. Their remarkably strong aroma is no picnic for your eight-legged house intruders. Keeping spiders away using essential oils requires only about 15 drops diluted with water, then applied with a spray bottle. Then we have vinegar ― its acetic acid reacts with their bodies upon contact, and its scent is not quite a favorite either. A concoction of equal parts vinegar and water will do the trick here.

Equally, when rubbed on surfaces, citrus peels give off an unpleasant odor to spiders, making them suitable decoys for your problem areas. The vitality of diatomaceous earth can’t go unnoticed. While to our eyes, it’s merely powder, to spiders, it’s shards of glass ruthlessly piercing their exoskeleton, causing a fatal leakage of fluids. Remember to keep the areas where this powder is applied dry.

Another natural spider repellent is homemade garlic spray, thanks to its odor. Blend four garlic cloves, dilute the puree with water, let it sit for a day, and then strain it into a spray bottle. Saline solutions also swoop in this battle, empowered by their dehydration prowess. Spraying an ounce of salt dissolved in a gallon of warm water fits the bill. Lastly, cracks and holes that provide entrances for spiders are better sealed off.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.