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Nov. 20, 2018
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How to reduce spiders on your dock

By Bev Knight
 
One of the most common complaints of lake residents is the uncanny ability of spiders to cover your dock in webs. 
 
In planning for a day at the lake, most of us have swept down a hundred webs on the dock only to find them right back in the same place the very next day. Frustrating, right? While they help control the pest population around your dock by eating bugs, they are still an annoyance that most of us would like to minimize.
 
You may be inclined to reach for a can of Raid; but, that could pollute our lake and is definitely NOT allowed by the Corps of Engineers. Here are a few natural ideas that might help minimize your spider population.
 
One easy solution is to introduce a colony of ladybugs to the area around your dock. These are nature’s vacuum cleaners for unwanted garden pests. They eat spider eggs and baby spiders. They also eat aphids, spider mites, scale, many soft-bodied insects and even mildew.

Did you know you can order live ladybugs on Amazon? For a little over $5, you can get 1,500 live bugs to help minimize your spider problem. Before you release them, spray the area’s vegetation with water because they are more likely to stay if there are wet plants in the vicinity. Then release them and watch them go to work. This is a great project to do with kids. It teaches them that nature has an incredible way of balancing the populations of its creatures, and that there are definitely alternatives to chemicals in controlling pesky critters.
 
Another option is to create a natural spray that repels spiders. You may have heard that a simple mist of peppermint oil, water, and a few drops of detergent will repel arachnids. But there are other elements that are also repugnant to spiders. All of these would be mixed with water to make a spray then sprayed in a fine mist directly on the surface where the spiders spin their webs. Examples include boiled tobacco, pepper, cloves, turmeric and more. Certain essential oils can also be used.

They need to be in a glass spray bottle because some react to plastic, and be sure to Google the essential oil you are considering to make sure it isn’t toxic to fish. It’s a tiny quantity, but you still want to be mindful of its impact on the ecosystem. Add a few drops of dishwashing detergent and spray away. To spiders, that would be like building your home on a skunk’s nest, so hopefully they will choose to relocate in the woods where they can flourish.
 
We all want to keep the lake clean and free of chemicals. With a little effort, you can redirect your local spider population to the nearby woods where they can eat all the insects they want. Then you can enjoy your dock without getting a face full of spider webs.
 
Bev Knight is the lead agent for Lake Lanier specialists the Good Life Group, Keller Williams Lanier Partners. To find more articles as well as search for Lake Lanier homes, you can visit her web site at www.HousesOnLanier.net.

Posted online 10/29/18
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