Figure this is as good a place as any to ask.
Recently, I've unearthed a nest of black widow spiders living on my back porch, near my exercise equipment. There's a couple adults and an egg sac, though I can't tell if it's hatched or not. They're not exactly being clandestine, and they're in fairly close proximity to places my family hangs out. And since there's eggs, there will be (or are) a lot more of them. I have reason to be concerned about my pets, since my cat tries to play with insects and arachnids of all stripes with abandon and has been stung/bitten by several things for her troubles, and we're getting a dog in a few weeks. Also, since they're near my
equipment, I get a mild case of the jibblies myself (I like spiders, but am wary about the more venomous ones).
So I am looking for a way to get rid of black widow spiders and their eggs that is pet and people-safe.
I've done some searching already, and I've seen people recommend citrus and eucalyptus oils, though they seem to vary on whether or not it kills them or simply drives them off. Also, there's not much on the proper protocol for using
them—mix in water and squirt it at them? Rub it around their living space? I know eucalyptus oil is easy to come by (I can just walk down to the pharmacy and buy some), but it's more dangerous than citrus oil, I think. I've seen a lot of stuff recommending their use, but not a lot on the right procedure, as it were. And will it work on the eggs? Google seems to reveal a number of different answers, but some seem kind of dangerous (burning?). So I'm wondering if anyone has first-hand experience.
Also, if it's at all possible, I want something that won't immediately drive off every
spider in the area. I like my friendly little wolf spiders and daddy longlegs*
, but if it can't be helped, well... I hope some of 'em come back, and don't bring the nasty venomous ones with 'em.