Spiders are anything but endearing. Except, of course, for the loveable Charlotte from E.B. White’s classic Charlotte’s Web — and we don’t think she’ll be coming over any time soon. Big or small, house or garden variety, the sight of an eight-legged creature can cause anything from mild concern to major panic.

While the majority of house spiders are generally harmless to humans, they play an important role in trapping flies, mosquitoes and other flying insects. However, it’s best to err on the side of caution and keep your home spider-free.

You may (or may not) be happy to hear that simply cleaning regularly is the most effective method of spider control. Clear all existing webs and spiders from inside and around your home, and make sure doors and window screens are shut tight so they can’t crawl inside. De-cluttering the backyard and trimming back overgrown gardens near the house will also give them fewer places to hide.

Spiders are attracted to dark, quiet places, so keeping your home clean and clutter-free is essential. Outside areas needing attention are porches, garages and sheds. Underneath the house and inside the pool filter box are other favoured habitats for spiders, so make sure they’re cleaned regularly. Spiders also love piles of wood, so avoid stacking timber close to the house.

Regularly spraying these spider-prone areas is another great way to keep spiders at bay. Good-quality surface sprays such as Mortein Kill & Protect Odourless Surface Spray 350g will kill on contact and control webs around the home for up to six months. Spray around doorways and windows to keep spiders from crawling inside.

Handy hints:

  • Shake out boots, shoes, clothing and laundry before handling.
  • Always check inside shoes that have been left outside before putting them on.
  • Take care when working in the garden and teach children not to poke around among rocks or under the house.
  • Never strike a venomous spider. Click here to find out the most dangerous spiders. Doing so may simply knock it to the floor, where it can easily escape. The spider may also fall onto your hand or another part of your body.