I was suggested the theme, and inspired to write this article, by a recent new starter at Lazy Susan. They almost said to me half jokingly during a product training session “I’ve always wondered how to stop spider webs on outdoor furniture?”.
I guess I kind of had what you could call a blog eureka moment. I’m always looking for things that’ll help our customers, and this is a great example. It is something I do in my own garden, but have yet to share 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 I have a few tips and tricks to share.
Now first off, let me say, I have nothing against spiders. I don’t mind them. However, I appreciate some are scared of them.
Spiders are a vital contributor to our ecosystem. In our gardens, there is no better form of pest control, and they’ll tackle many a common household pest such as grasshoppers, aphids, cockroaches, and mosquitoes.
As a keen veg gardener, I prefer spiders to be present in my garden to reduce the population of unwanted scavenging insects 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. I don’t want them on our Lazy Susan garden table when the family and I are trying to eat, and I definitely don’t want to be cleaning webs off every time a fancy sitting outside.
Of course, you’re never going to get rid of them completely, but there’s a few ways I’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 distict areas. We have a planted area that takes about 75% (which is further sub divided into 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 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 next best way to stop spiders webs on your outdoor furniture.
Plant a few containers with herbs and pop them on your garden table. Plant some pest-deterring flowers such.
I’ve found the best species to keep them away is basil, mint, rosemary and lavender. The advantage is they smell great to us but spider hate them all!
So, clear the patio area of any planting they do like to build their webs in. Move large shrubs, flowering plants any many 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, 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 a 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 to 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 offer 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, 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, its 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 act 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 house to patio area and it should keep spiders away from your outdoor furniture too!