What's a hedgeapple?
Do they really repel spiders?
Natural spider control?
While reading a book on natural remedies, I took special note of a statement that hedgeapples (also known as horseapples) will repel or kill spiders. Wow! ...let's give it a try since our partially-finished basement seems full of spiders.
The book highlighted these points...
- For hedgeapples to work against spiders, they have to ripen naturally and be collected from the ground beneath the tree in the fall.
- You need to use one hedgeapple per room (two for larger rooms) for them to be effective.
- Place the green hedge apples in pie plates or something similar to keep them from marking furniture or upholstery.
- You need to let them lose most of their green coloration since it is this decay process that makes them work. They may last up to three months under the right conditions.
(Research indicates that horseapples contain ELEMOL, similar to insect repellents in DEET)
Only the female trees bear the "brain-look-alike" fruits.
The first year we tried using hedgeapples to get rid of spiders there was a noticeable drop in our basement spider population. They appear to work.
The second year we tried it, after taking a year off, the collected horseapples were too old to be able to keep around very long -- gnats clustered on them -- so they had to be disposed of.
The third year's test ran from November to March and I found small aluminum loaf pans worked well for holding the hedgeapples. One or two hedgeapples were placed in each pan, and pans were placed on both ends of each floor of the house.
1 or 2 per pan
Dried hedgeapples after 4 months. Spiders are gone!
I only saw one spider during the first or second month of the test, none after that. There's not much of an odor to these hedgeapples as they slowly dry out, just a faint smell similar to when they were fresh, which isn't bad.
Fall of the year draws near when you will begin seeing these green wonders scattered beneath trees. Collect the undamaged ones that have naturally ripened if you want to try this for yourself.
My sincere apologies to Spiderman - Bob