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Most of us (if not all of us) clean our homes to remove dirt, grime, and protecting them against pests. However, unintentionally, many of us are likely doing the opposite, at least when it’s regarding how we are preventing pests.

It’s that time of year again, the beautiful orange, red and yellow leaves are beginning to hit the ground, and beneath those leaves are male spiders constantly traveling and attempting to find a female mate. With this, many of these spiders will likely find themselves relocating inside and outside our homes.

If you are working to prevent them, please be careful to avoid the following habits that attract spiders.

1. Not dehumidifying humid areas.

Spiders are attracted to humidity, and areas with lots of moisture. Be sure to set up a dehumidifier in your basement, and if you notice moisture in any of your household rooms, remedy it immediately.

2. Leaving lights on.

As tempting as it may be to leave the lights on when it’s dark outside, this attracts insects. Any practice that attracts insects also attracts spiders, because insects are spider food.

3. Leaving trashcans open.

Using lidless trash cans or leaving your trash can open is a bad practice. This can attract flies, which then attract spiders. Preventing other insects will also protect your home from spiders.

4. Keeping houseplants.

As beautiful as houseplants are, and as much as they add to the aesthetic of a clean home, during these months, it may be best to avoid having houseplants. If you insist on them, just be careful to watch for spiders. Since many spiders are herbivores, they will feed on your plants, and much like how insects attract them, plants will too, because they view them as food.

5. Leaving fruits and veggies out.

I am the world’s worst at leaving out a beautiful bowl filled with potatoes on my counter, and apples on my other counter. I don’t know why I do this, I guess because it just looks nice and tidy to me, but with that being said, I recently noticed a little spider fest in one of my bowls. The reason? Yep, you guessed it- because it’s food!

6. Not wiping down surfaces.

Any surface that may have food residue, even if it’s just a tiny bit, will attract pests and spiders. If you are not one to wipe down your counters and stove each time you use them, you could be unintentionally encouraging bugs and spiders into your home.

7. Leaving water in the sink.

I have a bad habit of leaving my sink filled with water throughout the day, as I use the water to wipe down surfaces and rinse and wash my dishes (while changing it out as needed.) BUT- spiders like water too. And having bowls of it and containers of it out, or even having a leaky faucet, can spell bad news for spider haters.

8. Leaving pet food out.

Once upon a time, I would leave large portions of dog food in a bowl on the floor all day long. This way, my dogs always had food. Unfortunately, this also attracts insects, which attract spiders. Try to feed your pets just enough for each meal, to encourage them to eat the food in the bowl, rather than always having pet food available for insects to snack on.

9. Leaving laundry on the floor.

Keeping piles of laundry stashed throughout your home, especially on the floor, can lead to spiders burrowing in the folds and waiting to venture out. This is unfortunately one of the reasons why people tend to get bit by spiders in their beds (because spiders rest in folds) and when they put their clothes on. Be wary of keeping clothing piles on your floors and around your house.