You don’t have to be an arachnophobe to find spiderwebs unsettling. While I appreciate the important job that spiders do (keeping mosquitoes and other insect populations under control), I don’t feel great when I see a mass of cobwebs collecting under my patio furniture.
But what’s a patio-lover to do? Sure, you can sweep them away with a broom. But wait two weeks and you’ll notice that the cobwebs are back in the same exact spot.
Don’t burn your patio and start over just yet — pull up a chair and I’ll tell you how to get rid of your spiderweb problem for good.
Run a tight ship
Unfortunately for the less tidy among us, the best way to keep spiderwebs off of your patio and outdoor furniture is to make the area neat and tidy.
I know what you’re thinking: why would a spider care if my patio is clean?
Well, according to one of the largest pest control companies in the country, spiders love to hide in the following places:
- Inside of vegetation
- Under furniture
- Within clutter
- Under rocks and woodpiles
Does this sound like an area you’re familiar with?
It stands to reason that reducing vegetation, eliminating clutter, and removing any freestanding rocks and woodpiles will naturally help keep spiders away from your patio. If they don’t have a place to hide, they won’t want to stick around.
Keep their food away
Now that we’ve eliminated their lodging, it’s time to try and repel their food source. As we know, spiders eat insects. So you’ll just need to make sure the following insects stay away from your outdoor space:
- Many, many more species
Unsurprisingly, this is easier said than done. However, some simple steps can go a long way in keeping insects away from your patio area.
- Be mindful of when you burning any patio heaters. The carbon dioxide can attract mosquitoes and other bugs.
- Apply peppermint oil to your outdoor furniture cushions.
- Regularly burn citronella torches.
- Replace any blue spectrum light bulbs with their yellow equivalents. Sodium vapor lights also work.
- Invest in a retractable patio screen.
Depending on the severity of your insect problem, you might only need a few of these. If the infestation is bad however, you may have to bring out the big guns.
The most effective way of keeping insects off your patio is to buy a insect-proof retractable patio screen. This will have the added benefit of being a spider deterrent as well.
If your other efforts fail, there’s no shame in going the insecticide route. Especially if you live in a humid, coastal area like Florida, it may be the only option you have. I would recommend pyrethrin (specifically a pyrethrin spray like this one from Sawyer products).
While pyrethrin isn’t completely harmless to mammals, it’s one of the least toxic insecticides available. Many formulas (like the one linked above) are rated as safe enough to apply on clothing and other outdoor gear.
It would feel right at home on the underside of your patio cushions.
In fact, an insecticide like pyrethrin is likely your best option for keeping spiders off of your patio furniture and patio furniture covers.
Simply dealing with the upkeep
This answer cheats a bit. However, there are many reasons why you’d want to keep spiders around in your outdoor area. Not only do they hunt for agricultural pests like aphids and beetles, but they prey on mosquitoes, earwigs, and other invasive creatures.
They can be your friend if you learn to live harmoniously with them.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not going to judge you for wanting to get rid of them. But if you can’t get rid of them, you may be able to appreciate the benefit they’re giving you.
What’s the upkeep, you ask?
You’ll just have to resolve to sweeping away cobwebs every fall. And feel free to sweep more often if the eight-legged creatures get too invasive.