Q:

Do hedge apples keep spiders away?

A:

There is a widespread belief that hedge apples keep spiders away, but there is no scientific evidence indicating that hedge apples are an effective spider repellent. While scientific studies have determined that compounds in hedge apples, when concentrated, are capable of repelling some insects, the natural concentration levels in hedge apples are too low to be an effective repellent against insects or against spiders.

Hedge apples are the fruit of the Osage orange tree, which grow throughout the United States and in the Canadian province of Ontario; their natural origin is a region that includes parts of Texas, Oklahoma and Arkansas. Hedge apples are 3 to 5 inches in diameter; they ripen in September or October, and then they fall to the ground.


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