Finding creepy crawlies in the garage makes us want to never set foot in there again! And that goes double for the eight-legged variety. But never fear – we’re going to share the best ways to get rid of spiders in your garage.
Even better, we’ll look at how to prevent those little critters getting inside in the first place. If you’re fed up with scouting out the corners before stepping over the threshold, you’ve come to the right place.
Ready to say goodbye to your spider woes? Then let’s get started!
How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Garage with Natural spider deterrents
You may feel more comfortable using chemicals in your garage than your home. But harsh chemicals still present risks. And the good news is, there are plenty of natural and effective ways to deter spiders from entering your garage.
Here are some of our favorites.
1. Peppermint spray
Spiders don’t like strong smells, so pungent herbs are a great way to discourage them from indoor spaces.
Peppermint is a particularly good option because it’s strong, readily available, and not too expensive. The odor it leaves behind is pleasant to humans too.
To create your spider deterrent, you’ll need some peppermint essential oil, dish soap, and a spray bottle. Just fill your bottle with water, then add the peppermint oil. For a 16-ounce spray bottle, you’ll need five or six drops of oil.
Next add a small squeeze of dish soap. Dish soap is disliked by all kinds of insects, including those that spiders enjoy dining on! So adding some to the mix could help cut down on the arachnid food supply in your garage.
When you’ve added all your ingredients, replace the lid and shake it all up. Now you’re ready to go.
Spray the mixture liberally around your garage. The dark corners tend to be the spots spiders are particularly keen on, so pay close attention to those.
Note that you’ll need to repeat the process when the scent has worn off. That’s likely to mean getting out your spray bottle at least once a week.
2. Citrus spray or lemon peel
The principle behind using a citrus spray as a deterrent is exactly the same as for peppermint spray. The strong smell is supposed to discourage spiders from feeling at home.
If you use lemon juice, the method is essentially the same as for peppermint spray too. Just replace the peppermint oil with a squeeze of lemon. (You can use bottled lemon juice if you prefer.)
Another option is to use lemon or orange peel. Let it dry out, then just place strips around your garage. Alternatively, some people grate it into a powder. That’s a bit more work, but allows it to be more evenly distributed.
One word of caution with this though. Citrus in general and lemon in particular are amongst the most frequently cited natural spider deterrents. But unfortunately – and unlike peppermint-based deterrents – there’s precious little evidence that they actually work.
It’s a cheap and easy method, though. So if you don’t already have peppermint oil but do have lemons at home, it’s worth trying.
A close relative of citrus, citronella oil is well-known for its insect repellent qualities. It’s a great option for keeping away mosquitoes and other bitey bugs. But it’s also touted as a spider deterrent.
Add citronella oil and a small amount of dish soap to water, and spray the mixture around your garage.
Or you could burn a citronella coil for longer-lasting fragrance. Just don’t be tempted to use a scented candle! Leaving candles unattended is a definite no-no. And that’s even more important in a garage, where there’s likely to be flammable liquid around.
We’ll be honest: we’re not entirely convinced by the argument that the smell of citronella puts off spiders. But it definitely works for other insects. And an insect-free garage means there’s no food source for spiders. Hey presto – an arachnid-free zone!
Another plant with a strong fragrance, some people suggest lavender is good at deterring spiders. You can add some lavender essential oil to water and spray it around your garage. As with the other herbal sprays, a splash of dish soap added to the mix helps too.
Alternatively, you could try placing some lavender in tubs next to your garage door. Who knows how effective this really is when it comes to deterring our arachnid pals. But if it doesn’t work, at least it will look pretty!
Another pungent plant, you may be most familiar with eucalyptus as a herbal remedy for colds. But its strong smell means it’s another candidate to get rid of those pesky spiders.
By now you know what to do: add a few drops of eucalyptus essential oil to water in a spray bottle. We’ve also heard some people recommend adding 10 milliliters of vodka or gin to every 200 milliliters of water. We have no idea why that helps – but it’s worth a shot! (Pardon the pun.)
Then just spray your eucalyptus solution around the garage, taking care to apply plenty in the darkest corners.
Chestnuts are another way to deter spiders from entering your garage – yes, really. In this case, it’s not an odor that’s doing the hard work. Instead, it’s an oil inside the chestnuts that the spiders dislike.
The oil in question is called triterpenoid sarponin, and it really works. There have even been proper scientific studies that prove it. Even better, while it deters the spiders, it doesn’t cause them any harm.
The same oil is found in conkers too (the fruit of the horse chestnut tree). So next time you go on a woodland walk in the fall, see if you can collect some spider repellents on your way!
Exactly how you use the chestnuts (or conkers) is up for debate. Some people suggest cutting them up and placing them around the garage. Others say leave them whole, but make sure they’re fresh. We say, try both – anything to get rid of those spiders!
7. Ready-made natural spider deterrents
It’s easy enough to mix up your own natural spider deterrent. But if you don’t have the time (or a spray bottle) you can invest in a ready-made option. And it doesn’t have to be packed with chemicals.
Mighty Mint is a commercial spider deterrent made with peppermint oil.
And if you want something heavier duty, consider Natural Armor’s All-Natural Bug, Insect and Pest Killer. That uses a combination of peppermint oil, vinegar and cloves. It’s effective for a full 12 months and it kills bugs – including spiders – on contact.
That seems unnecessarily harsh, however, when you could simply deter spiders from your garage instead. And remember: spiders are a gardener’s friend, eating up greenfly, whitefly, mites, and a whole range of other garden pests.
It’s much better to encourage them outside, where they can play their part in your garden’s natural ecosystem.
How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Garage with Electronic spider deterrents
The problem with spraying liquids to deter spiders is that it has to be done regularly. Once the smell wears off, the spiders will return. And the deterrent effect of chestnuts will end when the oil they contain dries up.
You’ll also have to have a certain amount of courage to use these approaches. After all, to get to those dark and dingy corners, you’ll have to enter the Spider Zone!
If that sounds like a bridge too far, there are alternatives. Enter electronic spider deterrents.
These work by emitting high pitched sounds. The frequency is too high for most humans to hear, but it’s very uncomfortable for insects. Just plug it in, select the spider frequency, and switch it on. The arachnids will soon be running for cover!
Of course, for this to work, you will need a power point in your garage. And it’s important to ensure the deterrent is out of the hearing of pets or even small children.
Many deterrents have different settings and claim to be pet or child-safe. But everyone’s hearing is different, and that goes for animals and little ones too.
Check your pet’s, baby’s or toddler’s reaction when you switch on the gizmo. If they appear distressed, switch it off immediately. This won’t be the right solution for your garage.
Electronic spider deterrents are widely available from manufacturers including Zero Pest, Okutani, and Sroker. Many of them are sold in multi packs. So as long as they don’t distress any little people or furry friends, they can keep your home bug-free too.
How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Garage with Spider catchers
If the idea of getting even vaguely close to an arachnid brings you out in hives, look away now! But if you can stomach getting within a few feet, there are some great spider catchers on the market.
These work on a similar principle to litter pickers. There’s a long arm with a grabber that’s operated by a trigger at the end. The spider is picked up with bristles, so it won’t be harmed. And you can then deposit it outside.
Note that we are not talking here about glue traps, also known as sticky traps. These inhumane inventions cause unnecessary suffering to spiders – or any other creature that gets stuck on them.
The glue doesn’t discriminate between spiders and anything else. We’ve heard of cases where pets have ended up with traps glued to their muzzles. And they’re just as much of a threat to little fingers.
If you don’t remember they’re there, you may even find yourself with a trap stuck to the sole of your shoe. That’s a trap complete with dead or dying bugs. Ew!
Prevention is better than cure
Spiders like dark, dry places – so garages are a naturally attractive habitat. But there are things you can do to reduce the chances of eight-legged critters taking up residence in the first place.
- Remove the clutter. A clean and tidy space means you’re much more likely to spot spiders early on. That means you can remove them before they get established – and before they’ve laid lots of eggs! In particular…
- Don’t hoard cardboard boxes. Spiders don’t love cardboard – but the insects they feed on do. Roaches, earwigs and silverfish all love nothing more than chowing down on a bit of cardboard. And their presence means there’s an all-you-can-eat buffet for spiders too. So ditch the boxes, and you’ll make the environment less attractive for bugs of all kinds.
- Use plastic or metal containers for storage. What do you mean, you keep all your stuff in cardboard boxes?! Now is the time to switch to plastic options, my friend. Yes, they’re not as environmentally friendly. But they’re not as appetizing to insects, either.
- Shut windows and switch lights off at night. Just like cardboard, a lit interior at night is a magnet for creepy crawlies, especially moths. And that means the spiders that feed on them will soon follow. Keep your windows closed up overnight and switch off lights when they’re not in use.
- Fix cracks and small openings. Spiders can wriggle through the smallest openings – but there’s no need to make life too easy for them! Seal up cracks in your garage walls and gaps around door and window frames.
Do all this, and your garage will be far less attractive – and accessible – to spiders.
Now’s the time to add your final layers of defence! Natural spider repellents will deter any persistent arachnids. Peppermint spray (home-made or shop-bought) and chestnuts are the most effective.
And if you have a power point in your garage and want to go the whole hog, get an electronic deterrent too. Your garage is now a fortress against spiders!
Ready for a spider-free garage?
That brings us to the end of our look at the best ways to get rid of spiders in your garage. We hope you’ve found something here that works for you.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t use a number of these techniques together. Indeed, that will give you the best chance of keeping your garage spider-free.
Just remember, spiders play an important part in the ecosystem. And if you have a garden, they should be welcome guests – they’re a scourge to garden pests. So deter them, but don’t kill them. Your plants, and Mother Nature, will love you for it!