Chances are, you’ve probably heard—or possibly even repeated—the enduring myth that we swallow an average of eight (or four, or some other random number of) spiders each year. While that’s not true, it would not be unheard of for a spider to crawl into your bed at some point during the day or night.
If that’s a concern for you, there are ways to make your bed less welcoming to spiders. Here’s what to know.
How to make your bed less accessible to spiders
Even the most tightly sealed homes have some type of opening to the outdoors, whether it’s a slight crack in a wall, patchy weatherstripping under a door, or a barely open window. Though tiny, these openings make it possible for spiders, insects, and other bugs to gain access to the inside of your home—including your bedroom.
Here are a few easy ways to decrease your chances of a spider wandering onto your bed:
Move your bed away from the wall
You don’t need to position your bed in the center of the room, but if your mattress or frame is pushed directly up against a wall (or two) or a window, spiders can easily crawl onto your bed. Moving your bed even a few inches away from the wall or window can help.
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Also, tuck your bedsheets and any blankets under your mattress, instead of letting them hang down off the side of the bed. If they’re touching the floor, spiders can use them to climb up onto your bed.
Make a peppermint oil spray
Although several types of essential oils (cinnamon, tea tree, lemon) are supposed to keep spiders, ants, and various insects away, peppermint oil tends to be the most effective. To make your own repellant, fill a clean, 16-oz spray bottle with water, add five drops of peppermint oil, a squirt of liquid dish soap, and shake it up.
Spritz the perimeter of your bed frame, under your bed, the windowsill, and anywhere else spiders may congregate.
Keep your room clean
Don’t eat in bed, or do anything else that would attract other insects. Spiders may not want your crumbs, but plenty of other bugs do, and spiders will eat them. Also, keep the area under your bed as clean as possible. Spiders like to hang out in dark, cluttered spaces, so vacuuming under your bed—and storing stuff in sealed containers—won’t make it very appealing to them.