This Giant Mistake Is Attracting Brown Recluse Spiders Right To Your Yard

If you live in the Southern or Midwestern United States, then nothing will send shivers down your spine like the thought of having a yard infested with brown recluse spiders. These nocturnal arachnids, while quite looking very ordinary (they are only slightly larger than a quarter and similar in appearance to many other brown house spiders) have a surprisingly venomous bite that can develop into necrosis and require medical care. Because of this, even though brown recluses tend to avoid humans, most homeowners would still prefer to keep these spiders far away from themselves and their houses. Unfortunately, many of us are already doing plenty of things that might be attracting brown recluse spiders including keeping a wood pile.

In fact, according to Forbes, the natural habitat of brown recluse spiders is dead brush, fallen logs, and woodpiles. So, keeping that large pile of firewood near the house for your summer bonfire might be drawing these spiders onto your property. While you might be fine with a few spiders in your woodpile, the problem occurs when winter comes and the critters decide to move indoors to be warm and find food.

How to manage your woodpile

Luckily for all bonfire enjoyers, the threat of brown recluse spiders doesn't necessarily mean you have to never enjoy s'mores again and get rid of your woodpile altogether. Instead, the first thing you should do is make sure your firewood is not stacked directly against your house. This is important because, as Yale Pest notes, if you make the area next to your home an attractive environment for brown recluse spiders, "it's easy for them to find cracks or gaps where they could enter."

The best option would be to keep your woodpile far away from your house on the other side of your property, if possible. Once you've done this, you can make sure to keep your wood up off the ground and regularly rotate the logs to discourage spiders from settling in. Most spiders, including the brown recluse, dislike strong-smelling essential oils and a natural way to deter them from staying in an area is to spray it with a mixture of water and oils like lavender, peppermint, eucalyptus, or lemon.

When you are rotating logs and spraying them with oils, make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands. If you see a brown recluse, you can also try spraying the spider itself with a mixture of water and vinegar which is a great arachnid-killing solution that is environmentally friendly and safe for kids and pets.

Other ways to keep brown recluses away

Besides making sure you aren't keeping woodpiles in or around your home, there are a few other things you can do to make your yard less attractive to brown recluse spiders. The first method is to also make sure you don't have any large brush piles sitting in your yard or an overgrowth of shrubs, bushes, or weeds near your house. This is important because these types of cluttered and tangled natural areas are preferred by brown recluses — and if they are up against your house, the spiders might find a way in.

Another important thing to keep in mind is to try and limit the spider's food source in and around your home. Brown recluse spiders like to eat small flying insects as well as roaches, silverfish, ants, and beetles. To keep them away from your home, you can limit your outdoor lighting so as not to attract small moths and other winged insects. You can also try to manage the number of silverfish, ants, and other pests inside your home by decluttering and keeping any food and trash areas clean. Furthermore, it's also useful to periodically go around your house with a broom or a vacuum to get rid of any spider webs and insect remains to try to encourage any current spiders to move out.