Are you familiar with hedge apples? They’re a bumpy, green, grapefruit sized fruit that grows on the Osage-orange (Maclura pomifera) tree.
While they’re not edible, they’re also not poisonous.
I put hedge apples all around my house every fall to help repel spiders. I’m not sure there is any scientific proof out there that they help, but they seem to. I’m all for natural bug repellents. Since we have three hedge apple trees on our property I gather a couple bags of them this time of year and drop them around the foundation of our house.
Our house was built in the late 1800’s, so it has many small cracks and places to let the spiders in. Before I put the hedge apples around the foundation we get a ton of big black hairy wolf spiders. Don’t get me wrong, I love spiders, but as long as they’re out in the garden. I hate going into the bathroom, flipping on the lights and seeing a spider run across my foot. Yikes!
I’m a believer in the spider repelling powers of hedge apples. After we put the hedge apples around the foundation, I see very few spiders in the house. I usually remember to gather them because of the number of spiders I see when the weather starts to cool.
Maybe it’s just a coincidence? I heard they repel insects several years ago, and I’ve gathered up the hedge apples every year since. We have several Osage-orange trees, and it’s great to have my own supply.
If you’re looking for more information on hedge apples check out hedgeapple.com. The site shows how to use hedge apples for decorating, and drying.