Even just hearing the word “cobwebs” can evoke feelings of eerie haunted houses and Halloween decorations, even though it’s not quite spooky season just yet. But as much fun as decorating with cobwebs and novelty spiders can be, no one wants to deal with cobwebs collecting dust in the corners of our homes. Learn how you can get rid of those pesky cobwebs – and keep them from coming back.
What Are Cobwebs?
As their name suggests, cobwebs are a type of spiderweb. However, not all spiderwebs are considered cobwebs. Cobwebs are the work of the Theridiidae family of spiders, commonly known as “house spiders.” This family is composed of over 200 species of spiders commonly found in houses and apartments. Known as “tangle web” or “cobweb” spiders, they weave messy, disorganized webs in corners and crevices, unlike their organized, circular, orb-weaving cousins. Their webs are woven from sticky, rather than woolly or fuzzy silk, to capture the small insects that comprise the bulk of their diet. As the spiders move around, they spin thin safety lines behind them, creating the thin threads that you may have noticed collecting dust along walls or crown moldings.
Cobwebs form when a house spider’s web is abandoned, and its sticky threads are left behind to collect dust, pollen, and dander until they become visible. Odds are, that cobweb you just noticed has been in use for a while, capturing mosquitoes, gnats, and small moths, and it wasn’t noticeable until its inhabitant moved on to greener pastures, leaving it to gather dust.
How Do I Get Rid Of Cobwebs?
There are a few tried-and-true methods for getting rid of cobwebs in the home. An eco-friendly microfiber duster with a long or telescoping handle can be a great tool for reaching into corners, behind televisions, above ceiling fans, or underneath furniture, where cobwebs can tend to form.
This can also be a great time to break out your vacuum’s attachments. Your vacuum can get into corners, around appliances, and under cabinets or other furniture – all areas where house spiders love to set up their traps.
In a pinch, laying a microfiber cloth over a broom or mop can also help you get to hard-to-reach corners to wipe away cobwebs. Remember that any corner, ledge, cabinet, houseplant, lampshade, window treatment, or other surface can be a great place for a spider to set up shop, so think creatively as you hunt for existing webs. The more webs you can wipe out, the easier it will be to keep cobwebs from returning.
How To Keep Cobwebs From Coming Back
Getting rid of existing cobwebs may feel like the easy part – after all, they’re easy to see and wipe out. But keeping them from returning can be the trickier task, and it starts with spider prevention.
Spiders don’t tend to want to set up camp in your home – their natural habitat is the outdoors. Most spiders that find their way inside do so accidentally, through gaps in windows and doors. Start by checking the outside entry points – the outdoor corners of windows and doorways, and under the eaves of your home, for active and abandoned webs. Clearing spiders out of these areas outdoors can prevent them from accidentally wandering inside. Check window screens and thresholds for gaps that can allow insects inside, and repair potential entry points. Make sure you thoroughly dust window treatments, including blinds and curtains, where spiders can hide.
Regular dusting also helps to prevent cobwebs from forming. Using the top-to-bottom method, dust your home every week or two. Wiping down surfaces in your home helps to discourage spiders from finding corners in which to spin webs, and getting rid of dust helps to keep pollen, pet dander, and other dust from flying into the air, where it can settle on abandoned webs. A home HEPA filter can also help with this project, keeping the air inside your home cleaner and less likely to circulate visible dust.
You can also discourage spiders from setting up camp in your home’s nooks and crannies by using essential oils, or our old eco-friendly, all-purpose household cleaning hero, white cleaning vinegar. Spiders hate vinegar – a solution of vinegar and water sprayed into corners or outside along windowsills and thresholds will discourage them from hunting inside your home. If vinegar’s scent is too strong for regular use indoors, a mixture of peppermint essential oil and water in a spray bottle, sprayed into corners and in spaces where you’ve noticed cobwebs, can discourage spiders from coming back.
Sweeping Dimensions: A Cleaning With a Conscience
Ready to keep your home from looking like it’s Halloween all year round? Questions about eco-friendly ways to keep insects and other household pests outdoors where they belong? Here at Sweeping Dimensions, we focus on handling all sorts of cleaning and housekeeping projects, so you can focus on the other things that matter most to you.
A big part of that is making sure our clients’ wants and needs are met at all times. That’s why we make a point of always having sustainable and environmentally friendly cleaning solutions on hand and ready to use.
We also believe in passing along our green cleaning knowledge, whenever we can. We love to talk about all things cleaning and organizing, including the strategies that can make taking care of your home a more sustainable practice. The more people we can bring together in our mission for a greener world, the better off all of us will be!
So, if you ever have a question about comparing cleaning products, or making a green switch in your home, don’t hesitate to get in touch – I am always happy to talk shop! At SDCS, we are sincerely passionate about these issues, dedicated to finding real solutions, and always eager to keep the conversation going.
Want to set up a green cleaning for your Chicago home? Don’t hesitate to reach out for your FREE service estimate!
Looking to exchange ideas on reusable alternatives to sponges, or share how you’re going to focus on sustainability this year? We’d love to hear from you! Get in touch via email or on social media to let us know your thoughts.