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How can I control spiders naturally...or do I let them be?


Question details

My compost pile has spiders in it that should pay rent or have their own zip code. They are big and brown and I almost want to give up this entirely. Is there any natural way to get rid of them, or are they beneficial? (Looks can be deceiving....)

All spiders are beneficial.  The Black Widow and and Brown Recluse can be dangerous to humans, so you need to identify the spiders in your compost area.  Citrus oil and Neem oil sprays will kill them if absolutely necessary.  Spiders are carnivors and kill many harmful bugs and insects. Stay natural, David
Those of you who read most post or have ben on this site more than 6 months must be tried of my going on about"Peterson Field Guides-Venomous Animals & Poisonous Plants". I know there are many good books on spider, but this is the one I have & use. I do not kill spiders, because they are so beneficial, unless they are Poisonous & in my garden. In N.America, the black,brown & red legged widow are the same spider with different marking. The brown recluse (fiddleback). Costa Rican tarantula is found in desert soil. Also centipede & scorpions. The Widow family & Brown Recluse hide in clay pots,& other garden supplies that are stacked outside. they do not like plowed ground or out in the open of the garden. Most other spiders are your friend & shoud be left to do their job. You can move them if need be, on a large LONG stick.
Spiders are up there with ladybugs and praying mantids.  They form the vanguard of your natural pest control.  It's good to know which ones pack a nasty or deadly bite, but most of them do not.  In our garden, we give our spiders a lot of respect for the good job they do in patrolling our veggies.  We have a lot of "english garden spiders" and the like.  They spin big, beautiful webs that catch and eat a wide variety of bugs, both the annoying and the damaging kinds.  Unfortunately, lots of the webs are across our pathways, but we just disconnect the anchors on one side and fold it over, making sure that the spider lands safely in foliage.  He'll spin a new one, and maybe we'll get to watch!  We always hope he'll pick a better spot next time, though ;)
hmmm...yes, well my fascination for nature and the cool things they do somehow hasn't managed to help me get past the fact that the petrify me. I just walk around the garden for a few minutes calling out "spider free zone" before I go near any place in the garden that might be a haven for them. ;)
Advice from a recovering arachnaphobe I used to be terrified of spiders and have been known to scream the house down when encoutering one. Living in the Australian bush (countryside) for the last seven years has made me learn that not every spider is out to get me and that they are just part of the food chain. They feed on other insects and without them we would have twice as many flies (already a problem in Australia), mosquitoes and other pests.  Where I live we don't have the deadly funnel web spider - you can ask fellow Aussie kitchen gardener Jay Oval about them - but we have several very venomous spiders who mostly leave us alone. The most terrifying-looking spider, a large huntsman, is, in fact, absolutely harmless to humans. They tend to come in when the weather is wet and can be safely removed by inverting a glass over them, sliding a piece of paper or carboard under the spider to capture it and taking it out into the garden. Even though they give me the creeps because of the way they look,  I have been horrified to see friends reach for the insect spray and nuke them - for what? I have large, brown garden spiders in my garden but if I flick them away with a spade into the nearest bushes they scuttle off, only too happy to be away from the giant in their midst. My advice with your spiders is get a book or get on the web and identify them - it is always better to know what you are dealing with. Unless you have to go digging around in your compost with bare hands/feet leave them alone. If you have a glut of them, Nature will sort it out - some of them will move off in search of more food once whatever is attracting them to you compost heap is finished, or, the local birds/lizards/rats and whatever other creatures are around, will discover them and polish them off. Plus, I assume (as I couldn't see your profile on the the website)  you are going into winter when most of them will try to finD a place to hibernate - maybe your compost heap. Kind regards Mary
Hi Mary Your advice to get a book reminds me of the old 'Who' song 'Boris the Spider'. Glenn
I took this picture in my garden just last week. Looks like he/she's found a meal. I'm all for leaving spiders to do their thing. For the most part their the good guys.  
Hi Everett I,m with you on this one. I think that spiders are the prefect sign that your garden is becoming a fully rounded ecosystem. I must admit though that i prefer them on the plants rather than on me. Regards Glenn
i think it's safe to post here - in California the neighbor children used to come by to impress me with big Black Widow spiders displayed hanging down from their hand on a silk thread. When the spider climbed up, the child sent it down again with a little flick-of-the-wrist, like a yo-yo!  :-)
I had many spiders in my back garden this summer, mostly writing spiders. I left them alone as they can be very benefical.
I had spiders in my garage last year and I was desperate because they comes again and again. Then I called a local pest control and they did a great job. Now my garage is free from all types of pests. I suggest you all to take service of residential pest control in your area to live a pest free life.
It depends on the kind of spiders they are. If they are venomous you should get rid of them, you might find a good solution on how to do it safely on If they are not venomous I don't see how they could affect your compost pile, on the contrary, I think they could be beneficial.



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