The theme of this article was suggested to us and we were inspired to write it by a recent new starter at Lazy Susan. They almost said to us half-jokingly during a product training session “I’ve always wondered how to stop spider webs on outdoor furniture?”.
I guess we kind of had what you could call a blog eureka moment. We're always looking for things that’ll help our customers, and this is a great example. It is something many of the team do in our own gardens, but we have yet to share it on this blog.
Sometimes, I suppose the obvious to one isn’t so to another person. Fortunately, if spiders are a bit of a problem in your own garden, then we have a few tips and tricks to share.
Now first off, let us say, we have nothing against spiders. We don’t mind them. However, we appreciate some people are scared of them. In our experience, wood is their favourite material but you will still often find them drawn to our metal garden furniture too.
But all that said, spiders are a vital contributor to our ecosystem. In our gardens, there is no better form of pest control, and they’ll tackle many common household pests such as grasshoppers, aphids, cockroaches, and mosquitoes.
As a keen veg gardener myself, I prefer spiders to be present in my garden to reduce the population of unwanted scavenging beasties who can damage my crops too. And if I can do this without the need for chemical sprays etc, then win-win!
That said, I prefer to keep them off my outdoor furniture. We don’t want them on our Lazy Susan garden table when our family and friends are trying to eat, and we definitely don’t want to be cleaning webs off every time we fancy sitting outside.
Of course, you’re never going to get rid of them completely, but there are a few tips and tricks we’ve adopted to reduce them settling on my outdoor furniture…
Lazy Susan’s advice on how to stop spider webs on outdoor furniture
If you have spider webs on your outdoor furniture, then the primary reason is they’re simply looking to catch food. They’re opportunistic predators, and the purpose of their webs is to simply catch insects.
The way to humanely stop them is to reduce the opportunity for them to utilise your patio furniture set as a place to do this.
Encourage them to use the parts of your garden where you want them to eat insects.
The following are all methods you can easily apply to your own outdoor spaces:
1. Keep your patio clean and tidy
It sounds simple, but trust me, spiders do not like a clean and tidy garden.
I’m fortunate that my outdoor space is divided into distinct areas. We have a planted area that takes about 75% (which is further subdivided into the veg garden, storage etc) and the rest is a patio/outdoor living area that's directly accessed from the rear of the property.
You can open it all up to so the patio is an extension of the kitchen/diner. I simply treat that patio space as an extension of the home by keeping it clean and tidy. Sweep up and give a regular wash down with warm soapy water.
Nothing too time-consuming. Just get rid of any loose debris. Same with my outdoor furniture in the summer months (it's stored in the garage at the moment), a regular wipe down with nothing more than warm soapy water.
I’ve found the more often you wash away any webs, the less likely spiders are to return.
By keeping the patio area clean and clutter-free, I’ve also reduced the spaces for them to hide and build their webs too.
2. Keep the lights on
As I say, spiders are opportunistic. They’ll wait until the coast is clear and it is safe to build a web. That’s why they like dark corners etc.
If you find they are drawn to the outdoor furniture on your patio, then leave the lights on for a week or two at night. Force them to the darker parts of the garden.
3. Use mother nature to your advantage
For me, aside from keeping things clean and tidy, this is the next best way to stop spider webs on your outdoor furniture.
Plant a few containers with herbs and pop them on your garden table. Plant some pest-deterring flowers or herbs such as Basil, Lavender, Mint or Rosemary. The advantage here is they'll smell great to us but spiders hate them!
So, clear the patio area of any planting they do like to build their webs in. Move large shrubs, flowering plants and any potted plants that provide places for both spiders and insects to hide.
Divide your outdoor space up and keep them away from your outdoor furniture. Encourage them to use the parts you don’t sit. Any shrubs or planting around the periphery of your patio, trim it back and keep it tidy.
4. Burn citronella candles or torches
Spiders also hate the smell of anything citrus, so using lemon-scented cleaners and burning citronella candles or torches all help to keep them away from our outdoor furniture.
That regular wash down of the patio I mentioned earlier, a squirt of lemon washing up liquid in warm water is my go-to solution. Cheap and simple and it works a treat.
I will also regularly apply a light coat of car wax to my Lazy Susan set, and whilst I don’t use lemon-scented wax, it definitely helps to further repel them.
In the summer, I will often light a citronella candle or two if the family and I are planning to eat outside, especially if that is likely to run into the evening. It not only keeps the spiders away but also any other flying pests away.
The London Candle Company sell a great range that I would definitely recommend you check out. Their bamboo torches and garden candles not only look good but they also keep those pests away.
5. Spray essential oils on your outdoor furniture
As I mentioned above, spiders aren’t too keen on mint, rosemary or basil. If you don’t want to grow it, then you can purchase an essential oil to replicate it.
Neals Yard offers all three as an essential oil, just go for the one you want your patio to smell of. Add a few drops to a spray bottle filled with water and instant natural repellant.
I like the fresh smell of their peppermint oil, which gives your outdoor space a freshness that soon dissipates from the air but keeps them off the underside of my chairs and tables.
I’ve seen others recommend using vinegar in the same way, and whilst I’m sure it will work in repelling spiders, I’m not sure I’d want a patio smelling of it.
6. Spider-repellent sprays
You can also buy proprietary sprays that prevent spiders from being able to spin webs on various surfaces.
Personally, I prefer to use the methods above. Low cost and they’ve been a great success on my own patio area.
However, if they don’t translate to your outdoor space, e.g. you can’t separate planting from the seating area as I have, then these spider-repellent sprays are definitely worth trying:
This is a natural peppermint oil spider repellent It comes in a 500 ml trigger bottle, and whilst a little more expensive than making your own, it's ready to go.
Zero is another natural mint formula that comes supplied in a trigger bottle, ready to spray around your patio or even on windows and doors in the home to create a natural barrier against spiders.
If you don’t fancy a minty smell, then maybe technology is the solution. Especially if they’re coming into your home from the patio area?
Plug in this ultrasonic and electromagnetic device close to the doorway and the combination of the two acts as an effective spider deterrent.
PestBye® claim it covers a standard four-bedroom house (approx 2000 sqft), so place it in a socket close to the access from the house to the patio area and it should keep spiders away from your outdoor furniture too!