Finding spiderwebs around your home can only mean one thing. Spiders! There are many different ways these sneaky little arachnids find their way into your home and knowing how can help you to prevent it. A few ways they come in include on your firewood, through an open door, and in cardboard boxes.
Not all spiders are house spiders. As such, most do not prefer to live inside your home, especially if there is no food source for them. Spiders get into your home through garage doors, firewood, gaps in siding, windows, and doors. You can prevent their entry by sealing these entrances.
While there are a few more ways that spiders make their way into your home, there are luckily more ways to keep them out and away! Keep reading to learn how spiders get into your home, and just how to keep them out.
Spiders Enter Your Home Under Doorways
All spiders are predatory and need to eat. Some will come into your home involuntarily, by being carried inside with the firewood, house plants, and even letters and boxes brought in from the store or mail.
They will also enter your home through small cracks and other openings like doors or windows, often when the weather outside is cool. Spiders are known for their ‘spidey sense’, which is how they are able to find every tiny crack that provides an entrance to your home and find food sources.
Any door leading to the outside is a highly probable location that a spider might use to enter your home.
I have a vivid memory of entering my home at night and spotting a large black spider running towards the screen door as it swung open. After kicking it away with my foot, dozens of tiny spiders dispersed in every direction that were riding on the side of the wall. Yikes!
Let this be a lesson in having well-lit porch lights and tightly fitting door seals!
Consider replacing your white lights and mercury vapor lights with yellow “bug lights”. Here are some 23 Watt Energy Saver CFL light bulbs that emit amber lighting while warding off insects and lowering your electricity bill.
Which Doors Are Spiders Most Likely To Enter?
The front, back, and garage doors are potentially the biggest problem area of your home, especially if they do not seal well.
Roll out the ‘not welcome mat’ for these bold spiders entering through your house doors, and be sure to check out our previous article 8 Scents that Spiders Hate (and how to use them).
The next step to ensure that spiders do not try to use the most obvious entryways is to ensure tight door seals. If you can feel the cold air outside around your door, it may be time to replace your door sealer with weather stripping that will double as a spider barrier.
The Home Intuition Store offers 2-pack Self-Stick Foam Insulation Tape which is a weather seal for doors and windows. This is a very versatile tape you can also use to seal gaps in your house.
Perhaps the most obvious place you should also monitor is the door flap at the base of your door. They get chipped, broken, and scratched up by wear and tear. It may be time to replace yours!
Suptikes offers a 2 pack Door Draft Stopper for interior and exterior doors. It seals dust, noise and provides insulation to the bottom of your doors! If it is sealing dust, noise, and the weather, it is a sure bet it has a good seal to keep out 8 legged critters as well!
Garage Doors Are Easy Entry For Spiders
Another place you are likely to find spiders is in the garage! If you have an attached garage, the door connecting to your house is one you want to have a great door seal on, like any door to the outside.
Garages are especially inviting places for spiders because of their dark and often cluttered environment. In this situation, you can view your garage spiders as a home defense strategy to keep unwanted insects out of your home.
For more spider repelling ideas, here are 11 Ways To Keep Spiders Out Of Your Shower And Bathroom!
During the day, turn off the lights and look for light beaming through any cracks of doors or walls. This is your first clue to how and where spiders might creep into your garage!
An important prevention issue for the garage is also about keeping their prey away. During the summer months, it’s nice to work with the garage door open and let the breeze in; but how do we do that without inviting all those summer bugs in too?
Well, you can use this highly-rated product that is a magnetic door screen that will fit a garage door! The UnBugs Garage Screen Door is a self-sealing, magnetic screen door that keeps bugs out and lets the breeze in.
Spiders Come In With Your Firewood
Now, here is a challenging situation. If you heat your home with wood, of course your firewood needs to come into the house!
A common place to find spiders is piles of wood. This is because of the abundance of food often found living inside of them. Invertebrates like beetles, termites, larvae, nymphs, roly-polies, earwigs, and others might nestle inside your firewood; along with spiders, of course.
If you harvest your wood from dead wood in the forest, it has been sitting in a pile for a while, or it is gathering moisture, this problem can increase. If this is the case, you will notice spider webbing in the pile, insects scrambling out from under the bark, and the wood will begin deteriorating.
As with any wildlife management strategy, the importance of examining food sources, you cannot ignore water and shelter. The older and more rotten the wood you are burning is, the more decomposing insects could live in it, while also serving as a food source for spiders.
Use freshly seasoned firewood, keep your firewood as dry as possible, and consider what type of firewood you are burning! Cedar is naturally an insect repellent, so mix cedar logs in with your woodpile to keep spiders and their prey away.
If you were ever wondering, you can read more about how smart spiders are here.
Spiders Hide In Cardboard Boxes
Remember how much fun we had as kids playing in cardboard boxes? They are dark, have tiny cracks, and depending on where they have been sitting, other unwanted visitors can crawl in too!
Cardboard boxes are popular for shipping packages and often get left in places spiders could be. Large warehouses, dark shipping containers, delivery trucks, and even your front doorstep! These areas are dark and potentially damp. Perfect for spiders to hide.
Boxes have also become commonly used in grocery stores to transport food and bulk goods home. While it is no fun thinking about spiders lurking around the grocery store, there are likely food sources for them to survive on there.
Consider bringing your own bags to the store. Become more vigilant and mindful of the boxes you bring inside your home and how you dispose of or store them. It’s a good habit to get into. Once I found a cockroach in a banana box brought home from the grocery store!
If you use cardboard boxes for storage, consider upgrading to plastic storage totes. There are many inexpensive options for useful totes, but here is a link to my favorite one, since they have a weatherproof seal and locking hinges that make them great for garage storage.
IRIS 82 Quart Weathertight Storage Box Utility tote comes in a pack of 4, has tightly sealing lids, and is made of durable plastic. Its weathertight seal protects contents from moisture, dust, and pests!
Your Mailbox Is Perfect Spider Habitat
Can you think of anything from inside your mailbox that finds its way into your home, onto your tables and desks? Me too!! Have you ever noticed spider webs in and around your mailbox? Same here!!
This might be a daily annoyance, but can also be a contributing factor to spiders showing up in your home. Spiders come in all shapes and sizes. Imagine a tiny spider egg sack hatching in your mailbox, and those cute baby spiders moving into your mail.
Now would be a great time to revisit my previous article: 8 Scents that Spiders Hate (And How To Use Them) to repel spiders from living in your mailbox! This mailbox scenario makes it too easy for spiders to hitchhike right into your home, otherwise!
Houseplants Make Great Spider Habitat!
Spiders are our allies in battling unwanted insects, and if you are growing plants inside, you will eventually have pests. However, spiders are also messy, leave behind webs and droppings in our window sills.
The good news, is that spiders will eat insects living in or around your house plants.
Where is that happy medium when house plants can thrive inside, and spiders can thrive outdoors? That is where our choices shine and our regular attention matters.
Here are a few tips to keep your plants healthy and pest free, and keep the spiders out:
- Stop over-watering! Over-watering creates the perfect breeding habitat for eggs that have laid dormant in the soil, and for the larvae that would hatch out and become meals for spiders.
- Use sterile potting soil. Sterile potting soil has undergone a heat or chemical process to reduce soil disease, fungus, and insect problems. Soil can be blended specifically for indoor container gardening. Miracle Grow offers a 2-pack of Indoor Potting mix that contains no compost or bark, so they claim it is less prone to fungus gnats.
- Fertilize regularly. By keeping your plants healthy and vibrant, they will be more resilient and naturally pest-free.
- Regular monitoring. Keep a close eye on your plants so if you notice any flies or aphids, you can act quickly. Sometimes your first clue is that leaves start growing differently, or you might notice a sticky substance on the leaves.
- Clean window sills regularly. One common place spiders build webs is in the window sills. This is prime real estate for a spider! If one moves out, another may move in, so keep at it!
Windows Are Entryways And Homes To Spiders
It can be so pleasant to have windows cracked to hear nature sounds, smell floral breezes, and invite some fresh air in. If your windows are not fully sealed with screen protection, they also become easy an entry for spiders.
Check the seal around the perimeter of your screen windows and make sure the screen is snugly tucked in. If you have a hole in your screen, consider replacing it or giving it a little patch.
Check out this Adhesive Window Screen Repair Kit Tape! This low-cost fix will help you repair holes in windows or doors so quickly and easily. Simply cut the tape to size and apply it to a clean screen for a long-lasting and effective fix.
This product can also be used to fix other unwanted gaps around your home where you need to create an insect barrier. Good screening can be very effective in keeping all creepy crawlies out of your home.
Cracks And Crevasses Are Prime Entry Points
If you are not sure where to look for cracks and crevasses, take a walk around the perimeter of your home and look closely at the siding and foundation. Also, if you have a basement or crawl space, investigate those areas too.
Leaf litter, vegetation, and other stuff leaning against your home is an invitation for insects and spiders. As an added problem, it could also cause your siding to rot from added moisture and lack of good airflow.
Rotting siding and trim create cracks and crevasses for spiders to enter your home. Keep the sides of your home clean and clear of clutter. Also, keep landscaping plants at least a few feet away from your home’s structure.
The Illinois Department of Health suggests “Maintaining a rock or gravel border about 2-feet wide around the foundation is best because vegetation and mulch attract insects and give spiders a place to build webs.”
Remember, prevention and regular care of your home’s exterior structures will save you time, money, and headache. Seal cracks and crevasses with caulk, or try the weatherproofing sealant of adhesive screen tape mentioned previously.
Managing House Spiders Populating Your Home
The good news here is most house spiders are relatively harmless and can be managed with regular attention to your home’s cleanliness.
Here is what to do when you find a spider inside:
- Vacuum regularly: This is an effective technique to control spiders since their soft bodies likely will not survive tumbling through the vacuum roller head and hose. Be sure to use the vacuum attachments and vacuum corners and in those dark, hard-to-reach areas!
- Clean up clutter inside: Remove stacks of newspapers, old magazines, and other miscellaneous piles lying around and collecting dust that could also provide cozy hiding places for spiders to live comfortably.
- Sweep out windows and cobwebs: By having a routine of cleaning out old webs and places you know your spiders are living, you will quickly see the indoor spider population diminish.
- Patch up cracks and crevasses: Seal up your home to keep the outside spiders outside!
Now, onto more fun stuff.
Here’s what to do to prevent spiders outside:
- Clean the exterior of your home: Sweep, mop, hose, or vacuum webs and spiders off buildings regularly, especially around doorways and windows!
- Repair any door seals and screens: Start planning today to reduce the number of spiders in your home in the future. Check your doors and windows!
- Get organized: In your garage and indoor storage areas, consider replacing cardboard boxes with plastic totes, or sealing boxes tight with tape. Place boxes away from walls and off the floors, if possible.
- Remove garbage from your home: It is especially important to do this if you put food scraps in your trash can, as it will often attract flies, which will then attract spiders.
- Do not let water sit out overnight: This is especially true for those saucers under your houseplants, or any area you believe there to be a suitable habitat for spiders!
- Use yellow “bug lights” on porches: Since we know how important it is to have well-lit porches, consider replacing your white lights and mercury vapor lights with yellow “bug lights”.
If you’re interested, check out our guide on the 8 Best Outdoor Sprays For Spiders!
If you are feeling overwhelmed about a spider infestation, leave it to a professional to handle it.
Check out our nationwide pest control finder to get connected with an exterminator near you in seconds. Using our partner network helps support pestpointers.com. Thanks, bunches!
Thanks so much for reading! I hope you have awakened your ‘spidey sense’ and you feel better prepared to seal up and protect your home. Do not let it become a scene from the movie Arachnophobia!
Simón, C.P., (2020) What Do House Spiders Eat?
Potter, M. F. (2018, October 4). Eliminating Spiders Around Homes and Buildings. Retrieved from Entomology at the University of Kentucky: https://entomology.ca.uky.edu/ef623
Guarisco, H. (1999). House spiders of Kansas. Journal of Arachnology, 217-221.
Zack is a Nature & Wildlife specialist based in Upstate, NY, and is the founder of his Tree Journey and Pest Pointers brands. He has a vast experience with nature while living and growing up on 50+ acres of fields, woodlands, and a freshwater bass pond. Zack has encountered many pest situations over the years and has spent his time maintaining and planting over 35 species of trees since his youth with his family on their property.
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