The benefits of outdoor playsets aren’t limited to being a source of fun and enjoyment for children, but age-appropriate playsets have plenty of benefits. From developing coordination, balance, and enhanced muscle control in children under two to improving focus in older children, playsets have much to offer.
However, one thing that keeps parents from bringing home a playset is the fear of it getting infested with spiders. As a result, many parents often ask how to keep spiders off playsets to ensure that the fun time for children doesn’t become a problem for them in the longer run.
Playsets are usually installed outdoors so that they can get infested with insects and spiders. While bites from most spiders aren’t too painful, you certainly wouldn’t want to put your child at any risk. Spider bites usually cause minor reactions, but the reaction can be severe in children with oversensitive skin or allergies. What’s more dangerous is that bites from some spiders can be fatal for children, and there’s no way to tell if the spiders on your child’s playset are harmless or deadly.
It’s better to be safe than sorry, so if you’ve got a playset, you’ve got to ensure that no spiders are lurking around that can bite your child, harmless or harmful.
We’ve put together some natural options to help parents keep spiders off their child’s playset, and therefore, rest assured that their child is safe playing at the playset!
Natural Ways To Keep Spiders Off Your Playset
You should avoid using chemicals in places accessible to children as much as possible. You certainly wouldn’t want your child to come in contact with dangerous chemicals accidentally.
When looking for the most effective ways to keep spiders off your child’s playset, your priority should be to rely on safe and natural methods.
We’ve listed some of the most promising natural ways to keep spiders off your child’s playset.
Diatomaceous Earth Method
The first natural spider preventive technique on our list is the Diatomaceous Earth method. Diatomaceous Earth is an organic substance found naturally in our environment. It’s made from the remains of aquatic organisms that have been fossilized (diatoms), whose basic structure is made of silica. Silica is a common component of various products, including skincare products and pesticides.
Diatomaceous Earth can be used as a natural insect repellent. It’s a food-grade chemical, so even if your child accidentally comes in contact with it, they won’t be harmed.
All you’ve got to do is sprinkle Diatomaceous Earth generously around the playset. This organic substance looks a lot like talcum powder. The powder cuts through its hard exoskeleton when a spider walks over it. It causes the spiders to desiccate. When the spiders lose their protective exoskeleton, they lose all the oils and liquids from their body and eventually die. The spider will also die if it ingests Diatomaceous Earth.
Salt Water Method
The saltwater method is one of the most effective ways to eliminate spiders in and around your child’s playset. While salt doesn’t kill the spiders immediately, it sure will act as an excellent spider repellant.
Mix salt and warm water (2 tablespoons full of salt in 16 ounces of water). Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and spray it generously on the spiders or the nest if you see one.
Saltwater in excessive amounts is harmful to humans too. You can only imagine how fatal it can be for the spiders. Spraying salt and water mixture on the spider won’t kill it immediately, but it’ll eventually help you eliminate spiders from your playset. Saltwater is an excellent spider repellent and an effective spider control method. The best thing about using the salt water method to keep spiders off playsets is that it won’t cause any harm to your child if they come in contact with it.
Peppermint/ Pennyroyal Herb Method
The following method to keep spiders off playsets is the peppermint/pennyroyal herb method. Pennyroyal is an herb that’s known for its excellent medicinal properties. The oil obtained from this herb is an excellent insect repellent and works great to keep spiders away. Unfortunately, oil from the pennyroyal herb is highly potent and toxic. If the spider ingests it, it’ll die almost immediately.
Peppermint oil is also a very effective spider repellent. It’s not as potent and effective as pennyroyal. But since pennyroyal is highly toxic, peppermint oil makes a safer alternative.
Both these oils work great to keep spiders and insects away from your child’s playset. Mix 20 drops of peppermint oil or 5 to 6 drops of pennyroyal oil in about 16 ounces of water. Fill the mixture in a spray bottle and spray generously around the playground and on the playset and rest assured that no spiders will come around to harm your child while they’re playing outdoors.
White Vinegar Method
A mixture of white vinegar and water will kill the spiders almost immediately. White vinegar is acidic. It contains acetic acid that burns the spider as soon as it comes in contact with the spider’s body and, therefore, kills it. You don’t have to worry about the acidic solution harming your children or pets because diluted white vinegar is harmless for children and animals but not so harmless for spiders.
Non-Toxic Pest Control Spray
The most convenient way to keep spiders off the playset is to spray a commercially available pest control spray. However, since it’s your kids that you’re concerned about, you should make sure you choose a non-toxic pest control spray that doesn’t contain chemicals that may pose harm to your children.
DIY and Homemade Spider Repellents
You can also make homemade spider repellents using everyday household essentials. Making your spider repellent will cost you much less, and you can always prepare these repellents quickly if you run out of them.
Some of the most straightforward homemade spider repellent recipes are listed for you below:
White Vinegar, Vegetable Oil, And Vanilla Extract
You already know the burning effect of white vinegar on a spider. Using white vinegar at home, you can make a super effective spider repellent in a few minutes.
All you need is a cup of distilled vinegar, a tablespoon of vegetable oil, a teaspoon of vanilla extract, and a cup of water. Mix all the ingredients thoroughly and pour the mixture into a spray bottle. Spray the mixture on the spider directly or over any area you suspect might have spiders. Not only is this homemade repellent effective, but it also leaves the playground smelling nice and pleasant!
Peppermint Oil, Dish Soap, And Water
You can make an effective spider repellent by mixing about ten drops of peppermint oil and a tablespoon of dish wash soap in 2 cups of water. Peppermint oil, as you already know by now, is an excellent insect repellant that will keep spiders away from your child’s playset for good. The best thing about this homemade spider repellent is how nice it’ll leave the playground smelling – thanks to the peppermint essential oil!
Listerine Method (Debunked)
Many people might have suggested using Listerine to keep spiders off the playsets. But, no matter how strongly someone suggests you try it, we can assure you it’s ineffective. It’ll not have any effect whatsoever on the spiders.
The primary ingredient in Listerine is eucalyptol, a plant-derived substance. Eucalyptol might have some spider repelling characteristics, but since the strength of this chemical used in mouthwash products is only 1 %, it’ll have little to no effect on the spiders.
Lemon/Citrus Essential Oils (Debunked)
The only essential oils that have proven effective in repelling spiders and insects are peppermint oil, spearmint oil, and pennyroyal oil. All other essential oils, including lemon and citrus, do not affect spiders.
Prevention, Tips, and Tricks
While it’s possible to ward spiders away from the playsets, why wait for the spiders to find a way to your child’s playset in the first place? You can prevent the spiders from making their way to your child’s playground in numerous ways.
Let’s walk you through some preventive tips and tricks that’ll help you keep spiders from infesting the playsets altogether!
Covering the playground with cedar mulch will prevent spiders from making their way toward the playground. Cedarwood has a characteristic smell that’s pleasant and attractive to humans, but it repels spiders and other insects effectively.
Cedar wood contains essential oils, including cedar essential oil, which gives it its characteristic smell. When you spread cedar mulch around the playset, the playground will smell like cedar wood which spiders and other insects hate, and this is precisely what will keep them away!
Make Your Playground Area Unattractive to Spiders
If the playground has anything that might be attractive to spiders, there’s little you can do to keep them away. So if you want to ensure that no spiders are lurking around the playground, ensure there’s nothing around that might attract these creepy crawlers.
Some of the ways in which you can make your playground unattractive to the spiders are:
- Remove rock or wood piles, as spiders often make nests in these spots.
- Get rid of any bushes that may serve as a hiding spot for spiders.
- Get rid of any grasshoppers, mosquitoes, and other small insects. Spiders usually feed on these insects, and when they don’t find anything to eat around the playground, they’ll leave in search of food elsewhere.
What Attracts Spiders?
Spiders are attracted to food. Food for spiders are insects like mosquitoes. Therefore, spiders will be attracted to any spot where there might be other inserts. Spiders are also attracted to quiet locations with easy access to water.
Not all species of spiders are harmful and dangerous, but you shouldn’t take any risk when your kids’ well-being is at stake. And besides, spiders lurking around can give anyone creeps!
Plenty of chemical spider repellents are available today, but these products contain strong, toxic chemicals that can harm kids. The best way to keep spiders off playsets is to use natural methods like salt water and Diatomaceous Earth methods. Peppermint and pennyroyal essential oils can also do the job of keeping spiders away quite well.
Your best bet at keeping the playset spider-free is to ensure your playground doesn’t offer any incentives for the spiders, like good hiding spots or food sources. When there’s nothing in your playground that gives the spiders to stay around, they’ll leave!
Where do Spiders like To Hide?
Spiders hide in quiet and hidden spots that provide them easy access to food and water. Some of the most common places where spiders often hide include garages, areas with lots of bushes and plants, storage spaces, sheds, and light fixtures.
How Do You Keep Spiders Off Kids’ Toys?
Wash the toys with a hose to wash away any spiders that may be present on the toys. Once you’re sure that you’ve gotten rid of all the spiders, wipe the toys with a mixture of water and peppermint or pennyroyal essential oil. The smell of the essential oils will ensure that spiders don’t come crawling back to the kids’ toys.
Spiders aren’t pretty at all. Although the bites of most spiders aren’t harmful or painful, it’s creepy to have spiders crawling around. When it comes to children, you, as a parent, need to be extra cautious to ensure that your child is safe and sound. Unfortunately, spiders can make a home in your child’s play and swing sets.
Spiders will bite your child at the first opportunity they get. The spider bite may irritate the skin, but the reaction may be stronger if your child has overly sensitive skin.
To ensure that your child is safe and that no spiders are lurking around the play set, you should spray a natural spider repellent on the play set every few weeks, even if you don’t see a spider.
It’s always better to practice caution with kids around. Even if you see a single spider, it’s a sign that there might be more around. Don’t wait for the spider infestation to worsen. Treat the infestation at the earliest and ensure your child’s safety.
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