Debunking the Myth: Do Spiders REALLY Hate Horse Chestnuts?
Natalie Leong, Tiara Safaei
Crofton House
Floor Location : M 113 F

Is the household myth that horse chestnuts, otherwise known as “conkers”, repel spiders true? If so, how effective are they in comparison to other substances? By subjecting spiders to different substances, recording their reactions, and noting species and external environment, we can gather information regarding the effectiveness of horse chestnuts and compare them to other substances that are said to be effective in repelling spiders, such as lemons and peppermint. We will apply our knowledge gained from experimentation to determine the truth and science behind this myth and potentially propose a natural and environmentally friendly spider repellent. While this experiment might seem simple, its goal is to provide scientific evidence regarding this myth surrounding conkers and understand precisely how effective horse chestnuts and other natural ingredients are and why they affect spiders or other bugs and insects in this way. This information and possible products created to enhance the effect of the horse chestnut can affect the use of pesticides in farming, how they affect the environment and household insect prevention. Gaining a better understanding of chemicals, substances, and why they affect creatures affects how effective a potential pesticide or bug repellent will be. When we began this experiment, we realized that it was important to recognize that the most mundane or simple-seeming information can have a much larger effect on future innovation than expected and that when working with creatures or substances, it is important to be exact, and test results multiple times with different subjects and substances in order to obtain thorough and precise information.