Your garage should be a place of quick access to your vehicles and other essential items. You don’t want to share your garage with anyone else, especially creepy creatures such as spiders. Learn all you need to know about spider varieties, ways they are attracted and practical methods for preventing spider infestations.
Why do Spiders Stay in the Garage?
Spiders are naturally attracted to many garages’ dark, dank conditions. A variety of clutter within a garage provides the perfect hiding and nesting places for these invaders. Garages are also inviting because they provide warmth in the winter and a relief from the heat of long, summer days. Spiders tend to follow their prey. If your garage is a haven for insects, including moths and flies, these intruders will soon follow.
What are the Types of Spiders That are in Your Garage?
The best way to rid your garage of spiders is to familiarize yourself with the most common varieties. Most are non-venomous and harmless, though you still do not want to share your space with them. Be aware of certain types that are venomous and eradicate them immediately. Educate yourself about the following common varieties:
- The American House Spider – These spiders are yellowish-brown in color, although their color is highly variable. They have distinctive elongated abdomens. They love to spin webs around windows that provide light sources that attract prey. House spiders are not venomous but are a nuisance because females can lay up to 3,500 eggs in their lifetimes. Remove these spiders quickly to avoid a full invasion.
- Long-Bodied Cellar Spider – These spiders are often referred to as “daddy long legs.” They are pale yellow to light brown, with long, skinny legs and a small body. Long-bodied cellar spiders thrive in high humidity and moisture, such as the corners of garages. These comical-looking creatures are not known to bite and pose no threat to humans. However, you will still want to get rid of them in order not to attract other species.
- Brown Recluse – Members of this species have light to dark brown coloring, with characteristic dark brown violin marking on their backs. Known for their secretive or reclusive behavior, they seek to hide in storage areas and under baseboards and window moldings. Brown recluses only bite in defense, but their bites are venomous and so take them seriously. The bites are not felt at first but can later cause stinging pain and open sources requiring medical attention. Necrosis, or tissue death, is brought on by many brown recluse bites unless given quick medical intervention. Notify anyone using your garage if a brown recluse spider is spotted.
- Jumping Spider – These unique spiders are compact in shape with short legs and are sometimes mistaken for black widow spiders. They are black but are covered with dense hair or brightly colored scales. Jumping spiders hunt during the day around windows and doors because their vision is best in sunlit areas. They are unique because of their range of sight and activity during the daylight hours. These active arachnids are non-poisonous and tend to hide rather than bite.
- Hobo Spider – These spiders have subdued coloration, with a mixture of brown and rust earth shades. They have a distinctive herringbone pattern on the top side of their abdomens, with solid light-brown legs. Hobo spiders are venomous and can cause considerable pain and necrosis near the bite. Their venom can lead to severe headaches and vision problems. Make sure to act quickly if any hobo spiders are spotted and warn others of any sightings.
- Wolf Spider – These spiders are usually dark brown with paler stripes or markings and long, spiny legs. They are often large and hairy, which can frighten many people. However, wolf spiders bite only when provoked or handled, and their bite is not venomous to humans. They tend to run quickly around the floor level of the garage, seeking prey to overpower due to their speed.
Twelve Ways to Keep Spiders Out of the Garage
Now that you have reviewed the distinctive characteristics of the most common spiders, you are ready to eliminate them from your garage. Review this list and choose the methods that are right for you. Take a multi-step approach for maximum effectiveness.
1. Remove Pests
Spiders are predatory by nature. They often follow their prey into the garage. Eliminate other insects that will attract spiders by using eco-friendly sprays and applying naturally occurring deterrents such as salt, baking soda and mint. You will soon have a more pleasant environment all around.
2. Clean Up
Establish a routine for regularly sweeping out and mopping your garage to get rid of tempting scents. Immediately clean up accidental spills that draw a variety of pests. Keep a bucket of cleaning supplies, mop and broom in the garage for easy access.
3. Eliminate Clutter
All pests love clutter because of the variety of places to hide, feed and nest their young. Avoid the temptation to make your garage a “catch-all,” and get rid of as much as you can right away. Donate or toss unwanted items instead of procrastinating.
4. Recycle Cardboard Containers
Cardboard is a staple food and nesting material source for many pests. Begin a routine of breaking down and recycling cardboard containers right away so that you do not unwittingly provide your unwelcome guests with the resources they need.
5. Check Your Garage Door and Windows
Examine your garage door, side door and windows for openings that may allow pests to enter. Look at the outside to determine where insects and spiders may be entering. Apply weather-stripping, styrofoam and other durable barriers as needed.
6. Check for Cracks
Check your foundation, walls and seams for cracks. Apply caulking and sealants to make sure your garage is as air-tight as possible. Schedule a regular routine of examining your garage for openings throughout the year. Address any new problem immediately.
7. Spray Spider Repellent
There are several excellent spider repellents on the market. Shop for those that are ecologically friendly and do not pose a threat to humans and pets. Read the directions carefully and apply precisely as directed. Always keep a supply of spider repellent on hand to immediately address problems as they arise.
8. Allow Natural Lights
Windows are the best way to add natural light to your garage. Ensure that your windows are cleared from shrubbery and debris from the outside and storage items on the inside. If you do not have windows in your garage, consider investing in installing them. Brighten your area and make it more functional with picture, awning and casement windows.
9. Turn off Lights When Not in Use
Lights left on in your garage attract insects such as moths, flies and mosquitos. These pests will, in turn, attract spiders looking for food. Turn off unnecessary lights each day to break this negative cycle. Consider installing lights that will turn off automatically.
10. Apple Cider Vinegar
The acetic acid in apple cider vinegar is harmful to spiders, but the odor alone serves as a helpful deterrent. Dilute vinegar with water in a spray bottle and apply it in areas where spiders are active. Include vinegar as a supply to keep in your garage at all times.
11. Peppermint Oil
Peppermint oil releases a pungent odor that spiders and most pests hate. The oil may be applied directly or diluted with water and sprayed. Peppermint plants also provide a natural spider repellent that is pleasant for people.
12. Essential Oils
Peppermint is just one scent that spiders detest. Other effective essential oils include cedarwood, rosemary, eucalyptus, citrus and tea tree. All of these oils provide benefits to humans while causing spiders to flee. You may apply these oils by using diffusers or misters or by diluting and spraying the solution in problem areas.
You deserve a garage that is operational and spider-free so that you can move about without fear. With knowledge of common spiders and their habits, you are well on your way to establishing a no-spider zone. Many of these methods will help to clear out other pests as well.
Invest in the time to thoroughly examine and unclutter your space and establish regular maintenance routines for your doors, windows, walls and floors. Add natural spider deterrents that are pleasant to you and your family but send your invaders packing. By applying these practical solutions that are right for you, problems with spiders will soon be a thing of the past.