Ask A Builder

Keeping spiders away from houseI need to repaint the white wood exterior of our house which has many spider webs on it. In the past I could add a spider deterrent to the oil-base paint prior to repainting, but this product no longer is on the market. Do you know of any product that I can use to discourage spiders? Martin P. Kuric Richland, Wash.

A: Our paint expert says he knows of no paint additive which will act as a deterrent to spiders. He does recommend, however, that before you begin the repainting project, wash down the walls of the house with a solution of household bleach and trisodium phosphate (TSP). Use 1 cup of TSP to one-half cup of bleach. Add the solution to a gallon of lukewarm water.

Scrub the surface thoroughly with a medium-bristle brush and allow to stand for 15 or 20 minutes. Then thoroughly rinse with clear water. This should remove the webs and serve somewhat as a spider deterrent in the future.

Repaint on a dry surface only and be sure to follow the paint manufacturer's directions to the letter.

For more help on 8-legged critters and web control, get in touch with a reputable pest-control firm. Check the Yellow Pages under the title: ''Pest control - exterminating and fumigating.''

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