If you have a child who enjoys playing on outdoor toys such as swing sets, yard slides, or activity centers, you will want to do your best to keep them safe while they are enjoying themselves. Since these play items cannot be brought indoors at night, they are prone to having lurking spiders crawling upon them in an attempt to make webs to capture their meals. Spiders can bite if they feel threatened, leading to raised up skin, itching, and pain. To help keep this scenario less likely, follow some of these tips to keep spiders away from your child's playthings.
Watch The Placement
If your child's activities are located in a shaded area, they will be more susceptible to crawling critters of all types, including spiders. Spiders are less likely to crawl upon surfaces exposed to sunlight, making it important to place your child's playthings in an area where sunlight shines upon them. If there are tree limbs blocking the sun, consider cutting back a few so rays peek down at your child's outdoor area to help keep creepy crawlies away. Do not however, cut back all foliage in this area as then spiders will have no other areas to build their webs, making the equipment their prime focus for capturing food.
Eliminate Food Sources
If there area is free of mosquitoes, beetles, and other spider food, they will be less likely to stay in the area. Light citronella candles and set them on a nearby table to keep the area scented. This will deter insects from the area. Make sure to cut the lawn regularly to help keep ticks, ants, and other insects away.
Hire a pest control service (like Suffolk Pest Control and other companies) to eradicate insects from your lawn. Ask them to use green products that will not be harmful to your child after they are applied. Once spiders realize food sources are limited, they will move on to more heavily populated insect areas. It is better to remove the smaller, harmful insects and allow spiders to remain as they are beneficial in keeping insect numbers down.
Divert To Other Areas
To help keep spiders away from your child's outdoor area, have them attracted to other areas of your home or yard by using lighting. When lights are turned on, spiders will head toward them in an attempt to capture insects that are also attracted to the light source. Keep these areas lit overnight and have your child play on the equipment in the morning hours when spiders are still located near their nighttime webs.
Use Moisture To Deter
Do a spot check of your child's activity areas before allowing them to play on outdoor toys. Spray toys down with a hose to scatter any spiders that may be lurking on the undersides of swings or slides. Consider wiping down plastic items with essential oils to deter spiders. Add a few drops of peppermint oil, citrus oil, or tea tree oil into a spray bottle of water. Add a dash of dish detergent to help disperse the oil evenly through the liquid. Shake well and spray the surfaces of the toys. Dry with a clean piece of cloth. Spiders will stay away from these scents.