Friday, July 23, 2010

Treasures of the internet

Did you ever start out looking for something on the internet and through a random series of clicks find out something you never knew? Here's what happened to me.

I've been noticing small groupings of white spots all over our terra cotta tile on the front porch. I never knew what this was until a spider made a web between the screen and glass of one of our windows and I noticed the same spots appeared under the web.

It's spider droppings...or if we're being crude, it's spider poop, on our front porch tile. 

Just to double check my hypothesis, I started Googling "spider poop"  (it turned up some surprisingly tame results). Apparently spider poop is a big problem for people who detail boats. It's tough to remove. I learned this as I was power-washing our front porch and nothing was removing these white spots.

Various boat detailers were offering up noxious chemicals to take care of this problem, but then one guy had a suggestion that amazed me:

Paint the ceiling  where your boat is stored sky blue.

Apparently this does something causing the spiders not to build webs there and can even deter wasps and other bugs. They think it's the sky, which is not a good place for bugs to hang out in order to not get eaten. I remember lots of sky blue ceilings on porches when my husband and I went to Key West, and it's a popular color for wrap around porch ceilings, especially in the South. The color is called "haint blue" (haint's being evil spirits, and the blue was also meant to drive them away) When you Google the topic of sky blue porch ceilings, reviews are mixed. Some people say it helps with the critter population, others say the bugs couldn't care less. There a possibility that the make-up of paint, since paints in the "olden days" were made with lye, which is a natural insect repellent. Modern paints without lye would not likely have the same effect.

 (image from Apartment Therapy

I was on the fence about painting the porch ceiling a color. I had been thinking about doing a nice blue shade up there, and had finally decided that I was just going to go with white, because blue wasn't part of the color scheme out there. But now I'm seriously considering trying the blue to see if it fools the spiders.

Because I need to prove my mental dominance over spiders...

1 comment:

  1. My mom's porch ceiling is blue! But it's also screened-in, soooo... And our closet ceiling is blue, but that was more a case of me being goofy, because no one ever sees it. Anyway, do it! Do it for SCIENCE! P.S. this is Emma.