September 3, 2004 4:49 PM   Subscribe

Attack of the Spider Monsters! What seemed like a normal amount of spiders in my apartment has turned into something more horrible. Since they're all very tiny right now, I'm assuming an egg sac opened up somewhere. ick. I have a small child and two cats. What can I use to get rid of the spiders, that won't harm my family? Besides buying a dozen wooden shoes, and hiring a team of clog dancers.
posted by FunkyHelix to Science & Nature (11 answers total)
I'd spray heavily on a day when you can take the kid and cats out for a long drive (or lock the cats in the bathroom or something, and leave all the windows open.)
posted by amberglow at 5:13 PM on September 3, 2004

i know boric acid works for roaches but baby spiders can usually be swept out with a good cleaning unless you have a bad carpet sitution.
I feel your pain as anyone who has stuff in storage knows. if you can't set things that may be infested outdoors, you may have to go for the bug bomb of which i think they would have a safer version at a whole foods or something.
I'm pretty sure i had some in my office area under the comp table by the window but they're gone now with nothing. if they can get out, most will. i don't know what kind of spiders they are but the cats should be safe.
avon skin so soft is suppose to be crawlly repellant but i only know for certain how it repels ants.
besides the two rare deadlies, they're not usually a problem.
posted by ethylene at 5:19 PM on September 3, 2004

Allow me to recommend a product I mentioned in the AntFilter question a few days ago: EnviroMan's Bugs 'R' Done. Kills spiders just as well as ants, and, again, it's all food-grade ingredients, so it's totally non-toxic (except to bugs, of course).
posted by gokart4xmas at 6:32 PM on September 3, 2004

Uh... Are these spiders poisonous?

When I clean house, I take down any tatty-looking webs but I do my best to let the spider who spun them go free to respin. I live in an area where the mosquitoes carry West Nile Fever. I know the West Nile Fever carrying mosquitoes are rare, but the mosquitoes are NOT, and they're DAMNED ANNOYING!---so I'm delighted whenever my household spiders take 'em out before they bite me (or before they keep me awake all night trying to fend 'em off).

So far, there are only two poisonous spiders in NJ, and I know what they look like. All other spiders are my buddies.

Before you bug-spray your household spider AND your family and pets, please get a spider guide and check your spiders out. The life you save may be your own.
posted by realjanetkagan at 8:27 PM on September 3, 2004

I won't kill spiders either, if I can avoid it. I grew up HATING critters. Partly I just don't like making big bug smears on my walls, but for the last couple of years I've just felt better for not killing stuff. For some reason spiders make me think of house cats: I imagine them to be unobtrusive, independent types that prey on pests. I ignore the little ones and try to evict the big ones. Unless I think they may, you know, jump onto my face while I'm catching them, stun me and suck all the fluids out of my still-living body.
posted by coelecanth at 10:21 PM on September 3, 2004

I kill spiders in my house but I don't kill them outside. If they go in the house it's a level playing field.
posted by Keyser Soze at 12:05 AM on September 4, 2004

A small vacuum cleaner, like a dust-buster, or something. Preferably with a clean bag, or a model that doesn't use bags - like the ones that clear up spills.

Keep it handy. See a spider - schlupp. Eject outside.

posted by Blue Stone at 4:42 AM on September 4, 2004

The two widely distributed poisonous spiders in the US are either not in your area at all (Brown Recluse) or are very rare and not poisonous when young (Black Widow). The Black Widow link has some control suggestions although I'm certain that your spiders aren't Black Widows.
posted by TimeFactor at 7:14 AM on September 4, 2004

We had a similar problem with spiders, and purchased a Riddex. It's an ultrasonic pest repeller that drives insects batty, and will cause them to vacate the premises. It doesn't appear to bother our cats in the least, which was our main concern. The Riddex brand appears to be no longer available, but several large companies, like Black & Decker, now make these.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:31 AM on September 4, 2004

Why are your cats not killing the spiders? My cat would be having a field day. Maybe you should think about a new cat.

The two widely distributed poisonous spiders in the US are either not in your area at all (Brown Recluse) or are very rare and not poisonous when young (Black Widow).

I live in Texas, and there are Brown Recluse spiders and Black Widows everywhere. I love spiders - except for those two. I kill at least one or two every week on my back porch.
( Black widows, for some reason, love nesting in my BBQ pit.)
posted by bradth27 at 8:05 AM on September 4, 2004

Response by poster: I had three spiders I didn't really mind because they stuck to the window, and seemed to be a sort of orb spider with complicated webs. However these tiny spiders are everywhere. The webs are turning up in all sort of odd places, my elderly mother and son have spider bites up their arms and down their legs, and my one cat is allergic to spider bites. So as helpful as they are, the cons are pretty high for me. Too high to be kind and leave them alone. I'll check out that one spray though, as it seems okay for pets and kids. Thanks!
posted by FunkyHelix at 10:22 AM on September 4, 2004

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