What has eight legs and scares the crap out of most people?
One of spider’s favorite places to live is dark areas filled with lots of stuff, like your garage.
I actually don’t mind spiders usually. They eat a lot of insects that would otherwise bug me (pun intended).
But here in Florida we’re home to four species of widow spiders: Two different species of black widows, as well as red widows and brown widows.
After I saw the first black widow in my house, I was done. That’s where I draw the line.
But even if you don’t live in a state that is home to Black Widow spiders, pretty much everywhere in North America has venomous spiders that we need to watch out for.
So how do you keep spiders out of your garage without resorting to burning your house down?
Here’s how you can keep spiders out of your garage:
- Take away their hiding spots
- Clean out their webs and nests
- Eliminate their food supply
- Block their way in
- Use a spider repellent
I’ll go into each of these steps in more detail below, but the entire process shouldn’t take very long. Here are five tips to keep spiders out of your garage for good!
How to Keep Spiders Out of Your Garage
Keeping spiders out of your garage doesn’t take a lot of effort, but it probably mean you’ll need to change a few things in your garage.
Once you’ve gotten rid of any live spiders that you’ve found, just follow these simple steps to make sure no new unwanted guests move in to your garage.
1. Take away their hiding spots
There’s two things most garages have in common: clutter and dark corners.
In other words, a perfect home for spiders.
My garage used to be home to dozens of cardboard boxes where I was storing…well…junk.
So I threw out what I could and relocated the rest to plastic tubs that you can find at Target, Wal-Mart or your local office supply store.
One of the other nasty places that spiders and other bugs hid were inside our golf club bags (which shows you how often we used them).
If you want more info, I wrote a great article that details my process to get rid of some of the clutter in my garage in small, manageable chunks so you don’t waste en entire day doing it.
2. Clean out cobwebs and nests
Once your garage is clean enough to see everything, its time to get out the vacuum. Personally, I do this at least once a year while I’m cleaning and lubricating my garage door. In between, I quickly look at the trouble areas once a week when I’m doing yard work. If I find any new cobwebs, I’ll usually blow them out with a leaf blower.
Not only will you need to suck up any cobwebs that you find, but this is a good time to “clean” any live spiders that you find as well. Spiders don’t have a very strong exoskeleton and can’t withstand the pressure of a vacuum cleaner.
Be sure to look in the corners of the walls, underneath any furniture, behind workbenches and on the garage door hardware.
3. Eliminate their food supply
If you’re focusing on how to keep spiders out of your garage, you might want to think about the other bugs first.
Spiders eat other bugs, so they’re going to make their homes where they have food. Eliminate a spider’s food supply and it will quickly find another home (or die).
You just cleaned out the clutter in your garage, so now you have to keep it that way. Make sure there’s no food or leftovers lying around. It may seem small to you, but it’s a feast to an insect.
After that, you’re going to have to get aggressive with your other garage pests. That means using a fogger or bug bomb to reset your insect population. If harsh chemicals aren’t your thing, there are natural alternatives, but they will usually take longer to see results.
4. Block spider’s way into your garage
Spiders and other insects like mosquitoes can fit into incredibly small openings like cracks in your foundation or doors and windows that aren’t properly sealed.
In my case, it was a slightly larger opening (ahem) that I had to fix.
Not only was this letting bugs and spiders in my garage, but it was sucking all of the cooler air out into the hot, Florida sun.
If you can, patch up any cracks in your walls and make sure there’s a water tight sealant on your walls. Then use a fitted screen or other type of bug netting over any openings that you can’t seal up.
5. Use a spider repellent
I mentioned using a fogger or a bug bomb to take out the spider’s food supply earlier. Now it’s time to deal with the little beasties themselves.
I listed some of the best spider repellents and killers that I’ve used in the section above. No matter what size of a spider problem, you’ll find a good solution there.
Boric acid is a common insecticide that kills bugs when they ingest it. It’s absorbed poorly through the skin, but it can be harmful to pets (and humans) if they try to eat it.
The Terro Spider Killer is an aerosol that can be used to both directly kill spiders or spray in cracks and crevices and use it as a deterrent.
Whether you want to go with a high-powered commercial solution or take the natural route and make your own organic concoction, there are several different spider repellents to choose from.
If you want to go the natural route, grab a spray bottle with either vinegar, common dish soap or peppermint oil.
In either case, spray the mixtures around the edges of the walls, corners, and anywhere that you found spiders or other insects when you cleaned out your garage earlier.
Best Spider Repellents & Killers
Best Spider Repellent: Miss Muffet’s Revenge
I want to be clear about one thing right from the start: Miss Muffet’s Revenge does double duty. It both kills and repels spiders, but it really excels in keeping spiders away so I put it in this category.
Our development was brand new construction. Shortly after we moved into our house a few years ago we started to see black widow spiders that were displaced by all of the construction.
I love spiders, but I draw the line at black widows.
After attempting a few products that just didn’t do the job, I stumbled on Miss Muffet’s Revenge. After one application, the only spiders I found were dead ones.
The best part was that I never needed to spray again. Because I got rid of the black widow spiders that moved in, they couldn’t lay eggs and I stopped future infestations as well.
My one complaint is that Miss Muffet’s Revenge only comes in a 64 ounce bottle. That’s great if you have a large area to protect. One bottle will keep spiders away from your entire home and garage for up to 12 months. But if you only have a small spider problem, you probably don’t need that big of a bottle.
That said, I can’t recommend Miss Muffet’s Revenge enough. If you want to protect your entire home, there’s nothing better.
- Immediately kill spiders and keeps them away for up to 12 months
- Safe for Indoor and Outdoor Spider Control
- Remote Sprayer Targets Spiders Up to 10' High
Best Spider Killer: Raid House & Garden Insect Spray
If you’ve got a smaller spider problem or just want to kill single spiders when you see them, then I recommend Raid House & Garden aerosol spider killer.
Occasionally we do get individual spiders wandering in our house and garage. Normally I try to catch them and take them outside but occasionally that’s not possible.
When that happens, I reach for a can of Raid.
It works on contact, so you’ll need to spray it directly on the offending spider. It kills even black widows and brown recluse spiders in a few seconds.
The bottles are small enough (and cheap enough) that I keep a few in different places throughout the house. For small spider problems, this is all you need.
- Kills Aphids, Boxelder Bugs, Caterpillars, Climbing Cutworms, Crickets, Flies Japanese Beetles, Leafhoppers, Mosquitoes, Roaches, Spiders, Silverfish, Sow Bugs, Water bugs, Webworms, Whiteflies
- Kills bugs on contact
- Won’t damage house or garden plants
- Leaves no lingering chemical odor
Best Way to Clean Out Cobwebs: Terro Cobweb Eliminator Spray
Terro Cobweb Eliminator is another product that does double-duty. It can act as a contact pesticide, meaning you can use it to kill any spiders that you find, but it’s best as a web remover.
Spider webs are one of the hardest things to keep out of my garage. It seems no matter how hard I try, I inevitably find a Daddy Longleg spider sitting on a web in one of the corners.
When you spray it on the wall, the Terro Cobweb Eliminator adds a thin coating so that spider webs can’t stick to them.
- Prevents future web formation and keeps spiders from coming back
- Offers long-lasting repellency against new cobwebs
- Works immediately and offers residual effectiveness
Best Spider Fogger: Raid Max Deep Reach Fogger
I’ve always considered foggers to be a nuclear-option. They pump a high concentration of pesticide into the air so that anything living in the room has nowhere to hide.
Foggers can be dangerous to pets, so I’ve always been reluctant to use one. Several years ago, I had a bug problem in the apartment I was living in at the time, and my last resort was a Raid fogger. It did the job well and killed everything, but I was alwasy concerned how much of that I was breathing in later.
If you do decide to use a fogger, be sure to seal off any vents, windows or doors that lead back into your home. The last thing you want is for those chemicals to find their way into your home’s air supply.
One can of Raid Max fogger will cover en entire two-car garage. It’s rated for a 25′ by 25′ room with an 8′ ceiling (about 5000 cubic feet).
If you’ve tried all of the other solutions, this is one sure-fire way to get rid of spiders, and any other insects that call your garage home.
- Kills: Spiders, Mosquitoes, Flies, Nuisance Ants, Large Roaches, Ticks, Silverfish, Roaches, Asian Lady Beetles, Water Bugs, Stink Bugs, Boxelder Bugs, Crickets, Earwigs, Carpet Beetles
Can I Fumigate My Garage For Spiders?
Yes. There has been some discussion over the years about this, but it’s been proven that fumigation is an effective way to get rid of spiders.
According to Pest Control Technology magazine, there was recent study done to test whether fumigation was effective against several species of insects, including the Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders.
While they found that all of the adult spiders were killed, they did caveat the findings by saying that it’s not currently known whether fumigation works on spider eggs.
Does Salt or Vinegar Kill Spiders?
Salts will kill many insects and plants by dehydrating them, which is why bugs shrivel up after being sprayed with salt-water. Boric acid, mentioned earlier, works in this way since it’s chemical compound is a salt.
Vinegar (acetic acid) will kill spiders and other insects and is one of the most common natural pesticides (pdf source). It is a contact pesticide, however, so it only kills spiders that are sprayed with a vinegar solution.
Do Ultrasonic Pest Repellents Work On Spiders?
No. Save your your money!
Studies have shown that they had no effect on spiders. While ultrasonic devices have some effect on certain insects, like crickets, spiders and ants were unaffected.
As this video shows, they’re not that effective on mice either.
In fact, back in 2001 the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent warnings to over 60 companies for making deceptive or downright false claims about their products.
If you’re looking to keep spiders out of your garage and home, stick with one of the proven methods we talked about earlier.
Does WD40 Kill Spiders in your Garage?
Many people try WD40 to kill spiders because they’re using it in their homes already.
While WD-40 can work as both a spider repellent and pesticide, although there are better options out there, as this video shows.