Central Illinois Pest Control Blog

How to Get Rid of Spiders in Your Garage | American Pest Control

March 27, 2020

How Can You Get Rid of Spiders in Your Garage?

How can you get rid of spiders in your garage? You can kill them with a broom or vacuum cleaner, reorganize your garage, eliminate their food sources, kill them with chemicals, block their entrances to your garage, and/or call a pest control expert to destroy the infestation.

Many homeowners maintain an uneasy truce with spiders, thinking “They have their area, and we have ours.” Letting spiders thrive and multiply in your garage might seem inevitable, but spiders can endanger your family, self, and pets. It’s better to make your whole home a spider-free zone, including your garage.

Types of Spiders

What types of spiders are you likely to encounter in Central Illinois? In our garages, we might see:

  • Cellar spiders (also known as daddy longlegs)
  • Cobweb spiders (including the black widow)
  • Brown spiders (including the brown recluse)
  • Sac spiders

Some of these are dangerous, and some are relatively harmless. You can learn the basics of how to identify each type, although spider experts and pest control specialists are the best for definite identification.

Cellar Spiders

Cellar spiders create webs in the corners of structures. You’ve probably knocked down a few of them from the ceiling or cleaned them from the floor in your garage. You can recognize cellar spiders from their:

  • Body Size: Up to 1/4 of an inch in length
  • Webs: Asymmetrical or sheet-like
  • Legs: Long and fragile-looking (giving rise to the nickname “daddy longlegs”)

They’re not dangerous, but you might still want to get rid of cellar spiders in your garage. They can be a nuisance, leaving behind webs and making a mess.

Cobweb Spiders (Including the Black Widow)

Various types of cobweb spiders create webs of different levels of strength and complexity. These spiders often live in dark, out-of-the-way areas, such as your garage. They tend to hide behind boards or boxes.

The most significant type is the black widow spider because it has a venomous bite. You might recognize a black widow by its:

  • Color: Shiny dark brown to black
  • Markings: A red or orange hourglass design on its underside, and red or red-white marks on its back (occasionally)
  • Body Size: 1/10 to 1/2 of an inch in length
  • Total Length: About 1 and a 1/2 inches, including legs

The bite of a black widow can cause moderate to severe physical reactions, including nausea, back or belly pain, shock, and others. You or your family members should seek medical attention if bitten.

Brown Spiders (Including the Brown Recluse)

There are many types of brown spiders in the US, and most of them live in warm areas, not in Central Illinois. But if you do see a brown spider in your garage, you may as well look to see if it’s a dangerous brown recluse, which would have these features:

  • Color: Ranging from tan to dark brown
  • Size: Can cover a quarter dollar coin
  • Markings: A very recognizable violin-like pattern on the back
  • Legs: Long, smooth, spindly legs
  • Eyes: Three different pairs

The venom of a brown recluse is quite dangerous, causing the death of tissue. Some people also react to it with fever, nausea, rash, pain, and chills. Children are even more vulnerable to bad reactions than adults.

Sac Spiders

Sac spiders weave their webs into one-inch tubes, instead of making flat webs. These spiders rest inside of their webs during the day and leave them to hunt at night.

Unfortunately, sac spiders often abandon their own webs, leaving them lying around the house or garage, especially near corners, intersections of walls and ceilings, and window and door frames.

You might see a common yellow sac spider in your garage, which you could identify by its:

  • Color: Pale yellow
  • Size: 1/4 of an inch in length, legs included
  • Behavior: Often runs quickly at night

Sac spiders will bite if handled. This can be painful, and some people can react with swelling and redness. But the reactions usually go away within a couple of hours.

Guide to Identifying Spider Bites

How can you identify a spider bite? Is that a welt from some other source, or did a spider sink its mandibles into you? The signs of a spider bite can include:

  • Damage to the skin
  • Swelling or itching around the bitten spot
  • A red welt
  • Physical reactions such as nausea, sweating, difficulty breathing, etc.

Most spiders in the US don’t have strong enough fangs to fully puncture the skin, which protects us from their venom. Many bites only cause redness or itching that stops pretty quickly.

Dangerous Spiders in Illinois

Some spiders can bite through the skin if they are provoked or threatened. If you see either of the following spiders in your garage, get rid of them:

  • Brown recluse spiders
  • Black widow spiders

The full range of physical reactions from spider venom include:

  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • High blood pressure
  • Headache
  • A rash
  • Pain near the bite
  • Muscle cramps
  • Red or purple blisters
  • Breathing problems
  • Sweating
  • Swollen lymph glands

If you are bitten, you can help your doctor if you can take a quick picture of the type of spider. He or she will know better how to treat you using that information.

Home Remedies for Mild Bites

If you’ve gotten a small spider bite that is only causing mild symptoms, you can try one or several of these methods to get some relief:

  • Clean the bite with hot water and soap
  • Elevate the bitten area (such as putting your leg up on some pillows)
  • Put an ice pack on it for about 10 minutes at a time
  • Take an antihistamine, which can help to reduce itching
  • If you get a blister, put an antibiotic ointment on it

If the symptoms persist, though, visit a doctor. If the bite is infected or you have one of the major physical symptoms of a serious bite, you might even visit an emergency room. Getting treated within several hours of the bite will give you the best results.

Ways to Get Rid of Spiders

What are ways you can get rid of spiders in your garage? The best methods include:

  1. Physically catching and killing spiders
  2. Cleaning out their hiding places
  3. Ridding your garage of spiders’ food sources
  4. Blocking spiders’ entrances to your garage
  5. Getting professional pest control services

Catching and Killing

You can use a broom, fly swatter, or rolled-up newspaper to knock down spiders and/or smash them. They also die instantly if you suck them up with a vacuum cleaner wand attachment. These methods work well for spiders you can see, but remember that a lot of spiders hide in dark places.

You might have a limitation on what you can do in your garage—maybe because of sensitive keepsakes or a child’s play area—that can prevent you from using chemical spider killers. In that case, smashing them might be your only option.

Cleaning

Want to know how to get rid of spiders in your garage? Would you believe it includes getting rid of unused items in your garage too? Spiders thrive in dark, close, dusty environments. To root them out, you can clean and organize your garage.

If this process seems like it would take too long, split your garage into quadrants and just tackle one area at a time, maybe over a series of weekends.

While cleaning, carefully look under workbenches, around the hardware of your garage door, behind boxes, etc. Wear gloves if you are allergic to spider bites. Try to move furniture around to eliminate hidden, dark places.

Finally, you can reorganize the items you’re keeping. Replace cardboard boxes with plastic containers with tight-fitting lids. If you can, put them up on metal shelves. If you have to keep your cardboard boxes, you can seal them up more tightly with duct tape.

Destroying Food Supplies

Rid your garage of insects that spiders eat and any other sources of food. This can involve putting screens or mesh over windows or holes in the walls to stop insects from flying in. Without insects to eat, spiders could lose interest in your garage. Using insecticides to kill insects might also be necessary.

Make sure to clean up any crumbs, pieces of chips, chunks of apples, and other small food items. They are tiny to you, but could be a big draw to certain types of spiders.

Blocking Entrances

Search your garage walls for any small holes spiders might be using to get in. Check around the frames of doors and windows, the hardware of your garage door, window screens, vents, and wires. Spiders can enter through very small holes or even through cracks in concrete.

If you notice some holes they might be using, go to your hardware store and find the caulking, screens, or other solutions that can seal them.

Calling Pest Control Experts

The above DIY methods can work in some cases, but a major garage infestation can be a complicated warren of hidden dangers that professionals will be better equipped to fully combat. You might want to employ both help from pest control experts and your own efforts to prevent spiders from getting in.

Contact Spider-Control Experts

How do you get rid of spiders in your garage? We know what you can do. Call American Pest Control now to find out about our quarterly services. We can control your spiders on an ongoing basis so you and your family can be safer in your garage. Contact us today, or learn more about pests on our blog.