Thursday, October 4, 2012

Day 4 ~ Hedge Apples

A couple of years ago I was in search for a natural spider repellent. A quick Google search lead me to this odd fruit. The folklore boasts of the hedge apples abilities to repel spiders, yet others will say otherwise. I didn't do a spider count before or after the hedge apples were introduced to my home so I can't give you any scientific report to back up either claims. It seemed to help so when I saw a basket of the citrus-y-smelling, non-edible fruit at the grocery store last weekend I loaded half a dozen in my cart.

I blame my cobweb problem on my 107 year old house. I don't know but trying to keep up with the daily web removal is a bit maddening (ok, maybe I'm being dramatic here. There are worse things than spider webs). I'd rather not add chemical pollutants in the form of a bug bomb to my house. 

Known by many names, such as Osage orange, hedge-ball,  hedge apple, and horse apple, this strange looking fruit grows on small trees called the Osage Orange tree. The tree was often used as a living fence by planting a row of trees and trimming it into a hedge became a thick, thorny barrier for livestock.

The wood from the tree is hard and durable so it has been used in fencing, furniture and in archery bows (another quick Google search will bring up several instructions and YouTube videos on how to make an Osage bow). The fruit, although not poisonous, is definitely not something that you would want to bite into (trust me, I tried it). Birds won't even eat it. 

Have you used hedge apples or have other natural suggestions for ridding the home of spiders? I'd love to hear!

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  1. Oh my gosh! I can't believe grocery stores are selling these things! Here in rural S.E. Kansas they are EVERYWHERE!!! I have never heard them used as a spider repellant. However, I have heard that mice don't like the scent so if you have a mouse problem you can simply throw a dozen or so under your house to detour mice from entering your living area.

  2. Interesting, such a strange fruit. It would be great if they did repel spiders. Lots of people (especially in UK say horsechestnuts(conkers) repel them, but I've tried and my local spiders don't agree. There is a post with links on my blog.