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Bay Leaves & Spiders

By Cynthia Gomez
Keep spiders out of your home with bay leaves.
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Spiders can send even grown men out of a room screaming like little girls. Regardless of where you live, you’ve likely encountered a spider or two in your home. The good news is that you can keep spiders away easily using the same bay leaves you throw into Italian sauces, stews and soups.

Purpose

While most people cringe at the mere sight of a spider, those who have pets or small children may dislike the idea of spraying chemical-based insecticides around the house to get rid of spiders. Thus, a natural remedy like bay leaves may be the more attractive, safer option. While the effectiveness of bay leaves as a spider repellent has not been scientifically evaluated, it has gained fans the world over as a natural pesticide.

How It Works

Fresh bay leaves from the bay laurel plant are the key to making this an effective strategy in your fight against spiders. Cut the leaves in half and place the halves in areas where you see cobwebs or where spiders tend to appear, such as windowsills, cupboards and closets. Replace the leaves roughly each month with fresh ones.

Limitations

Don’t use dried bay leaves like those found in the spices aisle of your local supermarket, as they are not nearly as effective as fresh bay leaves. Also, even the freshest bay leaves, used in bulk, may be ineffective at keeping spiders away from open spaces like yards, because the leaves will likely dry out too quickly. However, if you have a green thumb, consider planting some small bay laurel bushes in your backyard or other outdoor area overrun with spiders. Bay laurel grows in moist soil and sunny to partially sunny conditions.

Added Benefits

While it’s not understood why spiders generally dislike bay leaves, these little leaves aren’t just good for keeping spiders away. They also act as repellents of other types of bugs, such as weevils, moths and ladybugs, which can make themselves at home in your home.

 

About the Author

 

Cynthia Gomez has been writing and editing professionally for more than a decade. She is currently an editor at a major publishing company, where she works on various trade journals. Gomez also spent many years working as a newspaper reporter. She holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from Northeastern University.