I hate spiders. I know it’s completely irrational but I just hate them and I’d jump out of my own skin if I felt one crawling up my arm. I never had a ‘bad’ experience with one and I’m lucky enough to be spared most insect bites in summer, so it’s an entirely unreasonable phobia.
While there are many I tolerate because they seem non-threatening to me, like a daddy long legs or very tiny spiders, I have a deep-set fear of one of those large, gnarly guys finding his way through my bedroom window and claiming the house for himself. And I’d let him, I’d pack my bags and be out the door so fast.
Since this is something that’s bothered me since childhood, I’ve gotten quite good at ensuring the eight-legged monsters stay outside and it’s been a great relief even when the windows were thrown open during the heatwave. If you’re like me and want to keep them as far away as possible, you only need one thing: lemon juice.
As a teenager, I read somewhere that spiders’ taste buds are in their feet, so if they step on something that tastes horrible to them, they’ll do a full 180-degree turn to get away from it. It’s common knowledge at this stage that spiders, flies and other insects aren’t so fond of citrus scents, hence the rise of citronella candles on our garden tables.
The article I read suggested wiping your window with some lemon juice and I ran straight to the fridge for the little squeezy bottle we had leftover from Pancake Tuesday (as an adult I eat pancakes whenever I want so it’s more likely to be in the fridge these days). Rather than wipe the window I went further. I wiped it on the glass but also the outer windowsill, the inside of the window while it was open and the inside of the glass too, just to be sure.
I’m not exaggerating when I say it was years before a spider dared to step foot in my room again and when I moved into my own house I immediately did the same treatment to those windows too. If you’re extra paranoid, you could even wipe down the front and back doors.
I can’t say with certainty how often you need to redo it. I do it whenever I remember, which might only be once or twice a year, especially coming into winter when my warm home seems even more inviting. If you want to be more cautious, you could add it into your household cleaning routine and give a final lemony layer to your freshly cleaned windows and doors.