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Old 06-30-2010, 01:57 PM   #1
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Spiders - Good or bad?


I'm looking at a 160 year old home, dirt floor basement, dry laid fieldstone foundation, so there is no way to seal the basement totally from the exterior so bugs can come in through the rocks and through the floor any time. I checked out the house again this past weekend, there are probably two dozen spiders down in the basement and in the webs was a large assortment of other different types of bugs, not sure what types, but looked like centipedes, millipedes, silverfish and others dirt and wood living insects. So these 20 odd spiders are feasting on these other bugs infiltrating the basement. I was down there for over an hour watching the walls and the floor and I did not see a single living bug running around other than the spiders, so its not like its an infestation, just some random bug here and there finding its way inside.

Would you recommend getting rid of all the spiders? or would it make sense to leave the spiders alone to take care of the other insects coming into the basement? Is there a way to treat a dirt floor basement to prevent any sort of insect infiltration? As long as the spider population doesn't explode, I don't mind having a few spiders running around the basement if they are helping to protect the house from other bugs.

Thoughts on this situation?

Thanks

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Old 06-30-2010, 02:12 PM   #2
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Spiders - Good or bad?


I never worried about spiders in the crawl space of my old house
As long as they couldn't get up into the house easily
We have a tight house here & still see spiders inside, not many

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Old 06-30-2010, 02:14 PM   #3
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Spiders - Good or bad?


based on what you said, those spiders are your natural line of defense against bugs. if they seem content to hangout in the basement for lunch, i probably would leave them. i would however put some good anti critter product like spectrazide outside the perimeter of the house. it really cuts down on the amount of bugs that would even make it to your wall. this should naturally decrease your spider population since there will only be a few bugs which will only allow a couple to stay alive.
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Old 06-30-2010, 04:39 PM   #4
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Spiders - Good or bad?


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Originally Posted by racebum View Post
based on what you said, those spiders are your natural line of defense against bugs. if they seem content to hangout in the basement for lunch, i probably would leave them. i would however put some good anti critter product like spectrazide outside the perimeter of the house. it really cuts down on the amount of bugs that would even make it to your wall. this should naturally decrease your spider population since there will only be a few bugs which will only allow a couple to stay alive.

I would agree, leave them to eat all the bad bugs.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:28 PM   #5
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Spiders - Good or bad?


I have a spider web phobia, (yeah I know that's kinda weird, it's all in my head, but spider webs just really bother me) so I kill all spiders I see and constantly remove any spider webs with a broom or shop vac. I also got my house sprayed and cement parged to help cut down on spiders. It helped a lot. The cleanup in the crawlspace was a very good start too, one of the first major downstairs project while the upstairs renovations where being done. It took me a week to go through the crawlspace a few feet at a time while vacuuming every nook and crannie. Found all sorts of weird stuff in there form 1 foot big cocons, huge cob webs, dead beetles that had all their juices sucked out of em, and even a plastic cheese burger.

This probably got rid of 70% of spiders and bugs. Clutter is the biggest thing that will attract spiders and other bugs. Because of my phobia I tend to predict where cob webs will end up so I can avoid them before walking in such area. Areas that are tight, or where something is sticking out are a great place for spiders to make a cob web. If you put a box or something next to the wall, push it all the way to the wall, don't leave a gap. Don't leave something big like a step ladder in the middle of nowhere, place it against the wall.

Sealing all the rim joists help too. I went to do that eventually. Spiders do help kill other bugs though, so if they don't bother you then leave them.

I actually found this guy today - you guessed it, in a cluttered area, when I moved a box. I had to play around with it a bit before I killed it. I could not believe the size of that thing.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:26 PM   #6
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I like spiders, very cool creatures. We have a deal, I don't eat them, they seem content to eat insects. I have lots of spiders in my basement, yet I rarely see insects down there, just goes to show the spiders are better at finding bugs than I am. I also have snakes in my wood shed, ditto no problem, and bats outside the house, no problem. I say leave them in peace, they do no harm.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:05 PM   #7
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Spiders are great for controlling the bad insect but they creep me out. And I hate when they bite me! I'm not a bug!.

After doing a lot of searching online I've pretty much learned that if spiders dont creep you out dont target them right off the bat. They are there because there is a food source. You need to address that source. Meanwhile the spiders are helping you control those bad bugs. I have a lot of bugs around my foundation on a home I just bought. The previous owner wasn't very good at maintenance or cleaning so I have a mountain of work ahead. But I'm going to try and clean out the plants, weeds, etc... too close to the foundation. Hopefully this will clear out some of the bad bugs that have made those areas there home. I found some home made natural spider repellant recipes (pet safe too!) that I am going to try to keep spiders away from the indoors. Its my hope that I can slim down the population and make for a happier balance.

Last edited by Penguinfan; 07-10-2010 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 07-11-2010, 11:21 AM   #8
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Spiders - Good or bad?


spiders are OK except recluses......they are difficult to predict where they will be found next. Widows are much better. Very prediactable...they prefer outdoors almost always, except down a chimney/fireplace. Also, widows are generally docile and run away quickly when disturbed. Only problem is when for example, you stick your fingers under the rim of say, a garbage can where one may have a web, but even there, usually you see the irregularly shaped web BEFORE you grab the can!!

Im alwaays carrying cans with widows to the street for garbage day. Its become a hassle to "KILL" them no matter what, I just let them be......

Oh, they are not fatal. Nothing like the funnel web spiders of Australia!
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Old 08-08-2010, 01:11 AM   #9
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Spiders - Good or bad?


Why are there spiders and web in dark corners of basements? We haven't had a general cleaning for a while. There are so many webs in our basement. Where do they come from in the first place?

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