Most people hate spiders, either because they’re scared of being bitten by the poisonous ones or because they have arachnophobia. And spiders aren’t exactly discreet – they can weave their webs pretty much anywhere in your house. The good news is that most house spiders aren’t harmful, so you don’t need to worry about venomous bites while you try to get rid of them. In fact, some people actually like spiders because they get rid of other creepy insects in their houses.
However, if you’re not one of them and you want to get rid of every single spider, you need to know what they like (what attracts them to your house) and what can kill them. Spiders prefer somewhat dark places, and your garage is ideal – it has plenty of stuff stored in there, and it’s mostly dark so spiders can have a field day weaving large webs. It can be quite frustrating seeing those spindly legs trailing around every time you go in there, but with a little effort, you can keep the space insect-free.
What Attracts Spiders to Your Garage?
Food and dark, sheltered spaces are the main attraction. Spiders love flying insects, so if you have plenty of mosquitoes and flies in your garage, spiders will almost definitely show up for dinner.
These bugs also find humidity very comforting. If you have a severe pest problem, you may need to use a dehumidifier in your garage.
Spiders can find their way into your garage through windows, doors, and other openings. They may creep in through the driveway or your garden.
What Types of Spiders Generally Creep Into Your Home?
Although there are thousands of different species of spiders, the ones that usually enter your house are harmless. However, some of these bugs can be venomous, so you need to be on the lookout:
- American House Spider – these spiders generally build their webs in basements and other closed spaces (like your garage). They are a brownish-tan color, or they may be gray with brown spots. They can grow up to the size of a small coin. They’re quite harmless, but they weave plenty of unsightly webs.
- Brown Recluse – brown recluse spiders are found in dark crawl spaces and may even be among your clothes. They find their way into your home through grocery bags and boxes, etc. These spiders have an oval brown or gray body and may grow up to the size of about a third of an inch. They have 3 pairs of eyes. Their bite is venomous and can cause various side effects like rashes, fever, etc. If you do get bitten, you need to get checked by a doctor immediately.
- Long-Bodies Cellar Spider – these are commonly known as daddy longlegs. They’re brownish-beige or gray in color and have small round bodies. Fortunately for most homeowners, they are not venomous.
- Jumping Spiders – jumping spiders look for prey during the daytime. They may be black, varying shades of brown or gray. They’re small, at most an inch long, and have thick hairs. Although their bite can sting slightly, they are not venomous. However, some people may have allergic reactions to their bite.
- Sac Spiders – these yellow-beige spiders are oval and about half an inch long. They don’t really make webs and have eight eyes. Although they are not venomous, their bite can cause some swelling and allergic reactions.
- Wolf Spiders – these are probably the most common ones in your garage. Their bodies are about an inch long and brown or black in color. These harmless spiders have hairy-looking legs, but their bites may cause allergic reactions, so you might need to go to the doctor if you’re bitten.
- Hobo Spiders – these brownish-tan spiders have oblong bodies that build webs that look like funnels. They’re generally harmless, but their bite can cause a slight sting.
How to Keep Spiders Away From Your Garage
There are a number of different ways, ranging from simple, easy tasks to chemical solutions that you can use to keep your garage free of spiders and their numerous webs. Pretty much all these tips will also help you learn how to get rid of spiders.
Squash Them with Your Foot
If you don’t have an infestation, the quickest and easiest way to get rid of a stray spider is simply to step on it with your foot. However, if there are too many for you to kill that way, it’s probably a good idea to try some of the other methods discussed below.
Only Keep the Essentials
Many people find that if they have extra space, it’s easier to dump everything there instead of sorting through what is important and what needs to be thrown out. However, the more stuff you have in your garage, the more likely you are to find spiders lurking in tiny corners, building webs in things that haven’t been used in forever. It doesn’t matter what the material is – whether it’s plastic or glass or metal, clean out your garage regularly.
Keep Everything Properly Sealed
Open cabinets and cardboard boxes welcome spiders to build their homes in them. If you are using a part of your garage as a storage space, keep everything in properly closed boxes. Keep everything, from your toolbox to old books, boxed up and on elevated shelves to make it harder for the spiders to reach them and hide.
Keep the Garage Well-Sealed
Just like you keep everything properly sealed and stored, you need to seal your garage properly as well. Cracks and other tiny holes in the walls and the ceiling are open entrances for spiders to come crawling through. By sealing up any openings, you can keep them from getting in. Then, you won’t have to deal with the problem of killing them.
You can seal up an opening using a few different ways:
- Using Plaster of Paris
- Using a paste made of Vaseline and a little permethrin powder
- Using caulk (easily found in any hardware store)
- Replacing the glass of broken or cracked windows
- Using very fine mesh over any vents, etc. that can’t be completely sealed.
If the gap is too large to seal on your own and your budget won’t allow you to hire a carpenter, then use plenty of flypaper around it to trap any creepy crawlies trying to sneak in.
Clean the Garage Like You Clean Your House
You probably wash your dishes every day (at least you should). Similarly, you need to clean your garage daily as well. Spiders love dusty, grimy spaces, which is where they weave their webs and find all the juicy, delicious insects to snack on.
If you can’t clean daily, aim for at least a couple of days a week. If you live in a particularly dusty area, daily cleaning is preferable. Keep an eye out for any webs and vacuum those up as well. In fact, even if you can’t clean the garage too regularly, just use the vacuum cleaner to suck up any eggs and cobwebs that you see.
Light Up the Place
As we mentioned earlier, spiders aren’t too fond of the light and seek dark corners to settle and reproduce in. However, you may have noticed that they will start crawling out if they see a light bulb switched on. This is when they’re on the hunt. Spiders snack on a variety of insects, including moths that are attracted to light.
If your garage has big windows, use those during the day and keep the blinds up instead of relying on any artificial lighting. Just remember that the windows need to be kept shut so that spiders don’t amble in. At night, keep the lights out at all times unless you’re actually doing something over there.
Use Insect Repellant
You can use either a natural, homemade repellant or a commercial one. Chemical ones will be more effective, but they can be harmful if you inhale them by accident. Plus, with natural ones, you know that they’re eco-friendly.
Some natural options include:
- Essential oils, lavender oil, tea tree oil, or peppermint oil. Just pour the oil into an empty spray bottle (or you can get them in spray form from the store) and spritz it all over the garage.
- Vinegar and coconut oil – vinegar contains acetic acid, which isn’t harmful to humans but its acidic nature can be too much for spiders and can burn them on contact
- Using cinnamon – spiders despise the smell of cinnamon so you can even use cinnamon-scented candles as a spider deterrent.
- Citrus – spiders dislike citrus so much, that even keeping a bowl of fruit is a good way of keeping them away. You can even rub citrus peels on the windows and door or spritz lemon essence around your home
- Mint – you can keep mint plants by the garage door. Package some and place them around the garage, or even use mint tea bags. Alternatively, just use the peppermint oil spray mentioned above. This peppermint oil will also keep your space smelling fresh and minty.
- Liquid dish soap – this is generally always used with one of the other natural remedies since it prevents spiders from crawling out of the trap or sprayed space by making it incredibly slippery. The dish soap may be mixed in a container (something like an open dish) with some vinegar to create a spider trap.
You can even combine two or more of these in a spray bottle and spread them over the walls. If you see a spider appear suddenly, spray it in the face and dispose of it properly. Make sure to get the spray in all the nooks and crannies. If needed, climb on a stepping stool or a ladder and spray along the ceiling as well.
Try Solid Natural Remedies
Apart from natural sprays and other ways of getting rid of spiders, there are some other natural remedies that you can get your hands on quite easily:
- Diatomaceous Earth – this is made from fossilized algae with an outer shell that’s made of silica. This white powder is not harmful to humans and is a cheap and effective way to keep spiders at bay. The silica in this powder has the power to pull out the moisture from insects, dehydrating them completely. Just sprinkle this powder in the spaces where the spiders are most commonly seen. Alternatively, you can also dissolve it in some water and spray it around the room.
Note: Even though it’s not harmful, make sure to buy food-grade diatomaceous earth and don’t inhale any of the dust that this product gives off.
- Chestnuts – horse chestnuts are a good way to keep spiders away. Keep them on the windowsills and in any dark spots where you’ve seen spiders or their webs. They last quite a while and don’t rot easily, so you won’t have to replace them too often.
- Cedar – spread the cedar chips around your garage the same way as you would with the chestnuts. The good news is you don’t have to keep replacing them, and they’ll leave a nice scent around your house.
- Eucalyptus – Plant eucalyptus sprigs around the house to keep spiders away from your garage.
Get Rid of the Other Insects
If your garage has moths or flies or mosquitoes fluttering around, they’ll attract more spiders. If you can get rid of these pests, then the spiders won’t have anything to feed off of and will eventually leave in search of food.
To get rid of these other insects, use flypaper, bug spray, and, most importantly, keep the garage free from any dirt.
Allow Your Pet (or Pets) to Roam Free
If you have any cats or dogs or other animals, set them loose in your garage. They’ll happily kill spiders and simultaneously have a delicious bug snack.
Keep Your House Clean, Inside & Out
Leaves, grass, and woodpiles are popular insect hangout spots. Make sure any bushes around your house are properly pruned and trimmed. Keep the space outside your garage clean and free of fallen leaves and broken bits of grass. If you keep your porch clean, spiders are less likely to find their way into your home.
If you have a serious spider problem, you may need to remove any plants or vegetation nearby completely. This includes any potted plants and garden space that may need to be filled up. Remember, you only need to resort to this if they keep finding their way back into your garage, even after you get rid of the spiders.
Get Help from a Professional
If you can’t keep spiders out of your garage, no matter what you do, you may need to hire an exterminator for proper pest control who will fumigate the garage (and maybe the rest of your house, too). Once your space is pest-free, remember to maintain proper hygiene and keep the garage well sealed to prevent them from returning.
Getting rid of spiders isn’t all that hard, but it can take some time. You just need to use the right methods and stay consistent. Only use chemical repellants as a last resort since you have to be particularly careful, especially if you have pets.
Remember the main requirements for a spider-free house:
- Keep your garage clean
- Don’t be a hoarder
- Keep proper lighting and get rid of any other insects scurrying or fluttering around
- Keep the garage well-sealed.
You need to follow all these tips properly to keep those creepy crawlies out of your garage for good.
We’ve uncovered some common questions that people have when trying to keep spiders out of their garage:
Do Spiders Poop?
When people are trying to figure out if they have a rat or mouse infestation, they generally start off by looking for animal droppings. However, spiders don’t actually poop – they dispel uric acid from their bodies.
If you see any solid bits, they’re actually the spiders’ eggs. If you find these, you need to get rid of them immediately to prevent the spider population from growing.
Do Mothballs Keep Spiders Away?
As the name suggests, mothballs are used to kill moths and other insects. Since these insects are the main source of food for spiders, you can use mothballs to keep spiders out of your garage. Mothballs may also directly exterminate the spiders lurking around. In fact, they’re so effective that you’ll be able to keep the spiders away for at least a few months.
You need to be careful with mothballs since they can be toxic to humans and pets. Naphthalene is basically a pesticide that dissolves in the air.
Are Black Widow Spiders Found in Garages?
Black widows have shiny black bodies with a red patch on their belly. These spiders are extremely venomous, but they don’t bite humans unless they’re disturbed. The good thing is that they don’t generally make their way into your home, but they can sometimes creep into your garage through the garden or driveway.
You will need a strong, chemical repellant to get rid of black widows since you don’t want them to walk around your garage for too long.
Do All Spiders Spin Webs?
Not all spiders catch their prey by making webs. Those that don’t weave webs may hunt down their prey and pounce on it to kill and eat it. This is important to remember if you’re checking your garage for a spider infestation since you won’t always find spider webs. For some, you have to actually see them to know they’re there and then take the appropriate measures to get rid of them.