Do conkers deter spiders?

I’ve been hearing this homepsun tip a lot recently - placing conkers in the corners of rooms keeps spiders away. It’s the time of year in the UK where they seem to be at their most visible. It sounds faintly ridiculous, but a google search turns up assorted hits saying that it does, in fact, work.

Time to get the SD. Past time in fact, given the arachnobeast currently in residence chez Scissors. Does it work, and if so, why does it work?

ETA: In case you’ve not seen a conker, it’s the fruit (?) of the horse chestnut tree. A hard brown nut-like sphere that schoolboys used to collect in days of yore.

Thanks! I had wondered what the hell those weird nuts were, and what they doing in every room of this house when we moved in last June.

They didn’t deter American spiders. Maybe US spiders are not nut-phobic, maybe the nuts weren’t the proper, Official Spider-repelling Conkers, maybe they were put here for some other reason, or maybe the whole thing is a bunch of nonsense.

I too am wondering if this actually works (and if so, how?), or if this olde chestnut is from the same archaic school of scholarship that determined that sheeps’ bladders could be used to predict earthquakes.

I’ve heard of it, but never heard of anyone using it successfully. The only thing that’s worked for me so far is stuffing bayleaf into corners and hanging them in front of places where the spiders enter the flat.

I can’t help with the conker thing as I’ve never even heard of it, but if you’ve got a spider problem you’ve got a bug problem. Have you thought about spraying for bugs or otherwise ridding yourself of them?

Well, if you have a bug problem, leave them spiders alone. Spiders eat bugs. Spiders are your friends.

You don’t have conkers over there? Small boys don’t spend Septembers seeking out the hardest, most impermeable specimen with which to win conker matches? I can remember how possessing an unbeatable conker was something to be aspired to. There were all sorts of approaches - boiling the conker in vinegar, toughening it up with regular beatings, painting a large ball bearing so that it resembled a conker. But I hear that the real secret of the champion conker was to take a good example from one year’s crop and cure it for a year, giving it a certain leathery suppleness that the newborn conkers of the following season just couldn’t match.

Oh lord, no. We just threw crab apples at each other. I never knew a kid civilized enough to play a game without at least the chance of someone losing an eye.

I think we call them buckeyes. I’ve never heard of the game, though.

I’ve always heard this about horse apples.

You’ve never been in a serious conker match!

Wow! That is so not what I think of when hearing the phrase Horse Apples.
To me, horse apples are effective, if disgusting, kid ammo that will thoroughly piss off Mom, but it won’t put anyone’s eye out.:smiley:

I saw those for sale in the grocery store today, advertised as spider deterrents. Around here we call them hedge apples.

Sounds like Confirmation Bias in action.

Put’s up conkers

Scenario 1 Well, I don’t see any spiders. Guess it works. I must tell all my friends

Scenario 2 Ah, a spider. SQUISH. I wonder what’s on TV.

Around here those trees are called Bodock, probably a localization of Bois D’arc. The fruit is called Osage Orange, and many people swear that keeping these in your house will prevent spiders from entering.

The Bodock wood is much favored by those who make their own archery bows. I tried to cut a Bodock tree down once, and the wood is so tough that it ruined a chainsaw blade.

Hedge apples coming at you at high speed are FREAKING scary too. We had a big Osage Orange (that’s what they call the tree, supposedly named by Lewis and Clark) that hung over our townhouse, and the hedge apples would fall off, hit the roof, gain a LOT of speed rolling down and come shooting off the gutter on to the path to the front door. Put a good 6-7" dent in the cover of our Weber dome grill. Domed steel, and the hedge apple wasn’t even bruised.

It also looks awesome when a squirrel digs one out of the snow and ‘explodes’ it. They tear it apart to get to the seeds inside and you get these little green volcanos.

In my neck of the woods they’re called monkey balls. I’ve heard the same rumor regarding spiders, and that’s the only use I had ever heard of the fruits. I was sort of disappointed - they look so interesting it seems they should be good for something more significant.

Y’all play with your nuts all you want, around here we play Thumpers. There are two versions as I recall. In the first, the fist thumps, one player makes a fist while the other player thumps it with his fingers as hard as possible. In the second, finger thumps, the first player dangles his hand while the second player thumps a finger nail as hard as possible. In either case both players take turns and the first to quit or bleed was the loser. Nothing like a vertical split on a fingernail to make the school day go by faster.

I don’t recall anything about spiders but I do remember my dad driving out into the country to collect a few hedge apples to set out and deter mice. I have no idea whether or not this worked, we seldom had mice but we may have seldom had mice anyway.

Or, get rid of the bugs and the spiders either starve or go away in search of bugs to eat. Win-win.

Birt Dopers–tell me, do kids still play conkers?
I loved it for the brief part of my childhood when I lived in England, but that was half a century ago.

Do British kids still play it?
(and I kinda doubt that modern kids could do it as well as we did, too… you know how nostalgia is…)