If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re a bit (or very) afraid of spiders. Arachnophobia is one of the most common fears for Brits, and unfortunately for those people, this autumn heralds the arrival of more spiders into our homes.
Experts claim that male spiders return indoors not only to seek warmth from impeding frost but also to mate with female spiders who we don’t usually notice living under our floorboards already. If you believe they are actually out to terrorize you, then this article should inspire you to deal* with the spiders without calling for help from non-spider-fearing friends or family.
*NB: Spiders do not always survive the following methods
1. Vacuum cleaner
Simply use the nozzle end of a vacuum cleaner to suddenly hoover up the spider from a relatively safe distance. This method works particularly well if the spider is located on a ceiling or on the sofa. Potential pitfalls are that the spider will fall if you don’t have a steady hand to guide the vacuum tube and that you have to empty the vacuum container afterwards. After using this tactic I usually continue vacuuming other bits of the house to make sure the spider is dazed and compacted down under more dirt.
2. Hair dryer
This approach is most suitable if you have your spider trapped in the corner of a room. You will require a relatively powerful hair dryer and an electric socket to plug in near enough to the spider’s area. Turn the heat intensity up to maximum and point the hairdryer at the spider. After a few seconds the heat should kill the spider. You can tell a spider is dead by its curled up posture.
The idea behind this method is that you use a large, heavy book in order to crush your nemesis. If the spider is on the floor but very near to the wall/skirting board you will find that throwing a shoe at it nearly always fails because it bounces, leaving the spider unharmed. Place your heavy book, or weighted box on the floor and slide it forcefully against the wall where the spider is. The right angles of the book should match the wall/floor therefore leaving no gap for the spider to hide. A large hard-backed book such as the Oxford English Dictionary normally comes with a shiny plastic cover which is easy to wipe clean afterwards.
4. fly swat
Revel in the irony of using a fly-killing tool to kill a fly-killing creature. This way of dealing with spiders is pretty obvious. The spider should be on a hard, flat surface (curtains, sofa or bed sheets are a no-no) and you should have decent hand-eye coordination in order to hit it. As with flies, swatting the spider too hard could leave a mess, but going too gentle may just startle it and allow it to escape.
5. Hair Spray
Again, you needn’t use this specific item to take on the spider. Wood polish spray, or any aerosol with an alcohol or nasty chemical element should be sufficient to gas the spider when sprayed directly. I suggest a potent hairspray for two reasons: firstly, the smell is enough to make even humans gag, let alone choke a spider, and secondly, it’s less likely to stain whichever surface gets sprayed. A few seconds blast of hair spray should kill the spider, and even if it survives it will be glued stiff.
The vital compound of water is an easy and clean way to get rid of a spider. Spiders often become trapped in baths or kitchen sinks. At our disposal we have taps or showers we can jet our spiders with until they are swept away down through the drain. As with the vacuum cleaner, you may wish to keep the water flowing a little longer after the spider is gone to ensure it has really been transported far, far away.
Building on the traditional method of catching spiders using a glass, a deep, wide brimmed Tupperware provides the arachnophobic person with a little more distance between themselves and the spider. This method requires a lot of bravery as it involves trapping the spider by placing the tupper over it, as well as sealing the spider in and transporting it. Most people throw spiders out of the window, but this is unlikely to keep it out of your house for very long. For this reason I suggest putting the lid back onto the tupper and dumping the hostage far away in another neighbourhood.
So there you have it, 7 ways to deal with a spider all by yourself, covering a range of possible scenarios and using typical household items. All jokes aside, being able to handle a spider when you’re alone without descending into panic is an empowering skill to have, so I hope I’ve helped someone out there to deal effectively with their fear. Have I missed out any crucial tips? Comment below!
- REVIEW: Predatory Thinking by Dave Trott