tags: Kitchen Science: Are Spiders Repelled by Conkers?, citizen science, spiders, animal behavior, old wives tales, folklore, conkers, horse chestnuts, funny, Mr Ferguson, Roselyon School, streaming video
This sweet video depicts a series of experiments conducted by a classroom of kids at Roselyon School in Cornwall. In short, they are testing an old wives' tale that suggests that placing conkers -- horse chestnuts -- along skirting boards or at the edges of doorways might deter spiders from entering a building. But does this actually work, and if so, how? The modern scientific brain might wonder whether some chemical odor released by the fruit of the horse chestnut tree or perhaps the waxy glossiness of the kids favorite autumnal twine-suspended weapon sends the arachnids scuttling back to whence they came.