Chicken coops are often a perfect home for spiders; the coops are dark, filled with tiny, untouched spaces and replete with other insects for the spiders to feast on. You can minimize the spider population in your chicken coop by employing a few simple repellent methods that avoid the use of insecticides. This helps keep the chicken coop free of spiders while maintaining a healthy environment for the chickens.
Install bright lighting throughout a wooden chicken coop. Make sure as many areas of the coop as possible are illuminated when the lights are turned on. If there is no electricity running to the coop, install solar or battery lighting that is designed for outdoor use.
Make frequent visits to the chicken coop. Spiders thrive in dark, undisturbed environments. Turn on the lights when you visit on dark days to illuminate hiding places.
Keep the chicken coop clean. Give it a good cleaning at least once a week and remove any spider webs. The regular upheaval of the cleaning process will deter spiders from making the coop a permanent home.
Create a natural citrus repellent to spray around the coop. The repellent is safe for the chickens and will not harm the environment. Mix together three cups of water with 1 tablespoon of 100 percent pure lemon essential oil. Do not use an imitation or fragrance oil. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray around the exterior of the coop. Repeat once a week and after any rainfall because the rain will wash away the scent. Do not spray in the chicken coop. While the repellent is not toxic, it can irritate the skin, eyes and nasal passages of animals.
One of the most common spiders found in South Florida is also one of its most distinct. The spinybacked orbweaver spider, also known as the crab spider, is white and black with six reddish spines that protrude from the body. Female spinybacked orbweavers are 5 to 9 millimeters in length, and 10 to 13 millimeters wide. Males are much smaller. They are found in parks and backyards. The spider gets its name from the orb-shaped web it spins.
The most common spider in the Florida region is the orchard spider. Somewhat smaller than the spinybacked orbweaver, the orchard spider has a long abdomen with markings that are green, silver, yellow or bright orange. They prefer to reside in areas that are not well-manicured, such as parks and overgrown lawns. The orchard spider has a distinct, long jaw and often lives in webs clustered near spiders of the same species.
The spitting spider, unlike the spinybacked orbweaver and orchard spider, does not spin webs. In fact, the spitting spider lives in a tubular lair, emerging only at night to spit out a substance that immobilizes their prey so that they can kill them. Spitting spiders are easily identified by their six eyes and domed backs. They are most often brown. Spitting spiders prefer to live in and around trees, or in houses that do not use air conditioning.
Also known as the funnelweb spider, the grass spider commonly lives around homes. These spiders tend to be shy and not easily seen. They get their name for the funnel-shaped web they weave. They have long legs that are banded with rings. These spiders are venomous, but if you are bit, the venom will do little more than cause mild skin irritation.
Locate and remove unused cardboard items from the house. Spiders will often hide in cardboard.
Attach a used dryer sheet to the end of a broom. Use it to remove spider webs from the exterior of your home. Go from room to room in the interior, removing spider webs with the dryer sheet attached to the broom. Use a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to remove live spiders. Clean the vacuum and ensure that the spiders are dead.
Mix 2 tbsp. lemon essential oil and 2 cups liquid lavender soap in a spray bottle. Shake the bottle to mix the ingredients. Lemon oils and lavender soaps are natural spider deterrents.
Spray doorways, windows, windowsills and entrance areas around the outside of the house. Spray areas where the spider webs were found. Move to the inside of the home, and spray around inside doorways, windows, windowsills and other entrance areas.
Place chestnuts around the exterior walls of each room of the house, as well as windowsills, doorway entrances and any other entrances. Chestnuts are a natural deterrent for spiders.
Locate cracks in walls, windows, windowsills and doorway areas outside. Seal exterior cracks with clear silicone caulking. Inspect the interior of the home for cracks and seal with clear silicone caulking.
Cut down high grass near the exterior of the home. Prune excess vegetation near doorways, windows and windowsills.
Seal up your home to keep spiders outside. Replace or repair ripped or torn window and door screens. Install weatherstripping around exterior doors and windows. Inspect for, and caulk, cracks and holes in the foundation.
Clean up the outside of your house and eliminate places for spiders to hide before they come in.
Pick up piles of leaves, trash, garbage and other debris. Move stored building materials such as bricks and shingles away from the house, as well as stacks of firewood.
Clean-up piles of clutter inside the house to give spiders less places to hide. Pick up clothes, shoes and other items and put them away. Vacuum closets, basements and other dark areas spiders like to hide in.
Treat the exterior foundation of your house underneath the roof eaves, around windows, doors and other areas spiders commonly enter with an insecticide. Products that contain bendiocarb, carbaryl, chlorpyrifos, diazinon, propoxur, pyrethrins, resmethrin or tetramethrin are recommended.
Find the source of the spiders. Look for cracks or holes in the foundation of your home. Check for any moist areas around sinks or pipes. Look in storage areas, the attic and the basement. Check near baseboards and under appliances such as the refrigerator, washer and dryer.
Put on a pair of rubber gloves and remove any spider nests that are found. Dispose of them outside before spraying the area.
Grab the canister of insecticide and shake well. Hold the canister in an upright position and point nozzle away from you.
Hold canister about 12 inches from where you will be spraying. Press down on the nozzle. Spray for several seconds, focusing the stream on the spiders or webs.
Wait two to three days. If the spider problem persists, spray infested areas again.