Hands sweating, eyes widening and heart racing, the sight of a spider in your car can make all of us experience intense fear.
Have you ever had the experience of driving on the highway, when you suddenly nice this eight-legged creature scuttling across your car’s dashboard? Or that moment when it descends from the rear-view mirror, dangling in front of your face?
The thought of having one of them possibly hiding inside your car is enough for people to think twice before they even get in.
Spiders get inside the car for different reasons, but the main one is shelter. Cleaning your car of clutter, removing waste, and taking out all of the things that attract spiders is one of the simplest, yet most efficient ways to get them out of your car.
In this guide, we’ll talk about how and why spiders get in your car, and proven ways on how you can safely get rid of them and keep them away.
Spiders in Your Car: How Did They Get There?
Whether you’re an arachnophobe or not, coming across a spider in your car can be quite an unpleasant experience. The reason why they’re commonly found in places like this is simple.
Spiders look for warmth and they are looking for a dry place to stay. This is one of the reasons why the majority of spider invasions happen inside homes or cars is when the weather outside is too cold, wet, or even hot.
They’ve found shelter inside your car and this is one of the main reasons why they get in. Here are some common ways on how spiders can get into your car:
Open Doors and Windows
When the weather outside is too hot, leaving the windows open can be quite tempting. However, this can become a gateway that allows spiders to get inside.
If you want to keep your car spider-free, make sure to always close the windows and doors when it’s not in use.
Cracks, Gaps, and Holes
Depending on the type of spider you’re dealing with, some of them are tiny enough to fit through small cracks and crevices in your car, making it even harder for you to spot them.
These creatures find themselves a nice comfy spot to stay inside your car, long enough without you even noticing it.
Despite having multiple legs, they are able to enter even through the smallest or thinnest gaps. While closing your windows and doors prevents them from getting in, it’s also important to check for any sign of entryways.
Check if your door closes tight. Does your hood fit properly? Are there any visible gaps in your car’s frame, if so, do something about it.
Where in Particular Do Spiders Hide Inside the Car?
For one thing, spiders love the warmth of car engines, not to mention the dark and cozy places it provides. Although small, cars have dark and tight corners that can provide a safe haven for these creatures.
The most common places you’ll find spiders in your car are:
- Under the Dashboard
- Below Your Car Seat
- Under the Hood
- Inside Air Vents
- Behind Door Panels
- In Cup Holders and Glove Compartments
- Inside Side View Mirror Housings
- Under Windshield Wipers
You’ll notice one thing in common about these places – these areas are somewhat far from the main engine. This is because spiders don’t like the vibrations produced by the engine, thus, they gravitate and move to places where these vibrations are less likely to be felt.
While the vehicle is moving, these spiders can quickly and stealthily move to other places in your car, like the back seat or in your ceiling, just to get away from these engine vibrations.
This is probably one of the reasons why you see a spider suddenly coming out of nowhere as you drive. They’re probably not out there to scare and pose a threat to you – they’re merely getting out of their hiding place, just in case the engine vibrations get too loud for them.
Spiders in Your Car: How to Get Rid of Them?
As scary as it sounds, getting rid of spiders inside your car doesn’t have to be a complicated process. We’ve laid out a few simple steps that you can take to get rid of these spiders in a safe and humane way.
Step #1: Vacuum Away
Remember that handheld vacuum cleaner you’ve purchased a long time ago? It’s time to take them out. Sometimes, spiders are easily attracted to car interiors simply because they’re comfortable and they’ve found a food source inside.
Stains, dirt, and whatever food particles that are left behind inside your car can be a potential invitation for spiders and other bugs, so make sure to vacuum away all the dirt and food crumbs that you see.
If you can, make sure that you maintain a clean interior to prevent spiders from coming in.
When you do this step, it’s important not to skimp the process. Thoroughly get all the corners, crevices, and other potential spider and insect hiding spots. It could be under your chair or these tiny cracks between your dashboard and seats.
While you’re at it, it’s also best to get rid of all the things that are in your car that you no longer need. It could be an old box of pizza that you had for lunch a few weeks ago, or maybe an old pair of shoes that you only used once. Reduce the spider’s source of food by removing these unnecessary items from your car.
Step #2: Wash Seat Covers and Carpets
If you have seat covers, car mats, carpets, and other fabric materials inside your car, it’s best to have them all washed. Make sure that these items are dried in the sun so that all the moisture is removed and no spider eggs are left behind (just in case).
Fabric materials can often be a hiding spot for spiders, so it pays to take extra precautions. This is pretty important especially if your carpets and car seat covers are stained or have grimes and other dust build-ups.
As you clean, or even remove these wash covers or car mats, you might notice a spider (or even multiple ones) coming out.
If this happens, you can do one of two things: either remove them using a vacuum cleaner or just simply let them out in the open. During this point, you may notice that these spiders are now in defensive mode.
The majority of house spiders don’t bite humans – unless they’re feeling threatened. What you’re doing right now is partially threatening because you’re taking away their hiding spots.
Just be extra careful when handling them, so you can avoid that nasty spider bite.
Step #3: Seal Any Openings and Gaps
Spiders can get in your car through the smallest openings, and sometimes, there are small gaps that aren’t easily seen by the naked eye. Car windows and doors have rubber seals.
As your vehicle ages, the rubber sealants start to wear out and become loose. This can cause a small opening where spiders (and other insects) can get in and out of your car.
It’s best to check these rubber seals regularly and make sure that they’re still tight enough to prevent any openings for the spiders. If you’ve noticed that your seals have started to get weak, replacing them is the best solution.
Look for those spots – it might take some time especially if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In that case, you may want to ask someone who has a keen eye to help you out.
Step #4: Use Diatomaceous Earth
Now that we’ve taken the steps to clean, declutter and seal all the possible entry and exit points, time to use some of nature’s pest-control agents – diatomaceous earth.
Although diatomaceous earth is popularly used to rid your house of bugs and insects, it’s somehow underrated in terms of getting rid of spiders.
While it’s true that you may have vacuumed and sucked up large spiders that are potentially hiding inside your car, you may have missed some spots, eggs, or even the small spiders that are in between tiny crevices.
Diatomaceous earth is a natural insect killer, and it’s perfect for getting rid of spiders (and other bugs).
All you need to do is sprinkle it around your car – if possible, try to get into those spots that are unreachable by the vacuum cleaner. This will make sure that even the tiny spiders won’t be able to escape and get into your car.
Diatomaceous earth kills spiders within a few hours to a few days after contact. This fine powder, although it’s not harmful to humans or pets, is very effective in eliminating spiders from your car. It works by absorbing moisture. It can get inside the spider’s body.
A spider’s body has locked up moisture – and when in contact with diatomaceous earth, this moisture is slowly absorbed, leading to dehydration and eventually death. Did you know that spiders mainly rely on this moisture inside their bodies to survive?
After sprinkling your car with diatomaceous earth, it’s best to leave it on your car for an hour, or maybe even more. The longer you wait, the higher the chances of eliminating the spiders inside your car will be.
Once done, you can now use a vacuum cleaner to remove the powder from your car – and if possible, try to suck up any stray eggs or dead spiders that might have been in contact with the powder.
Step #5: Use Chlorine-Bomb
The market is filled with various pest control products. You’ll see many products that are specifically designed to get rid of spiders and other insects. These products can be a bit expensive, but they promise results – and fast.
One of the most popular pest control sprays is the chlorine bomb. This product contains a strong chemical agent (chlorine oxide).
Ideally, the main purpose of a chlorine bomb is to get rid of all the odor and stink that’s lingering inside your car. However, this very smell is also strong enough to kill spiders that may be hiding inside your vehicle.
One of the best things about this is that the chlorine bomb extends even to those seat cushions, floor mats, carpets, and other fabric materials or tight spaces where spiders might be hiding.
Sometimes, there are some spaces that even a vacuum cleaner can’t access or reach, or simply won’t be able to suck up those small spiders. With the help of chlorine bombs, you can now easily get rid of them.
How does it work? Chlorine oxides come in various forms, but the most common is in powder form. All you need is a cup of water and the chlorine powder.
Place it in the middle of your car, and add the powder to that cup. Add about an ounce of water to help activate the powder. Water and chlorine will then mix to create a strong smell that’s enough to kill any spiders or eggs in your car.
Make sure that you’re doing this in a covered area or inside your garage. Don’t stay inside the car for too long and immediately get out and close the car door after activating the chlorine bomb.
Direct sunlight has the potential to deactivate the chlorine oxide’s effectiveness since it warms up the area where it’s placed.
Wait for at least one hour before opening the car again. Then, you can start cleaning up and vacuuming your car to get rid of any dead spiders or eggs that have been in contact with the chlorine bomb.
You’ll also notice that any lingering stink or odor will be gone by now.
Step #6: Use Essential Oils and Diffusers
Lavender, rosemary, and especially peppermint essential oils have the potential to drive away spiders from your car. Many people recommend using essential oils since it’s one of the safest and most natural methods to get rid of spiders.
If you don’t like the idea of killing spiders that could be hiding inside your car, then using essential oils could be a great alternative. It’s as simple as placing a drop or two of essential oils in a cotton ball and leaving that cotton ball inside the car.
There’s no denying that essential oils smell oh-so-good, and it’s definitely a great way to make your car smell better. However, don’t expect this to kill any spiders, as essential oils mainly act as repellents instead of killing them.
You can also look for diffusers that are specifically designed for cars. This could come in handy if you often drive long distances and have to keep your car windows closed. That way, you won’t have to constantly replenish your essential oils every now and then since diffusers do the job for you.
Alternatively, you can also make your own essential oil spray. With vodka or witch hazel toner, add a few drops of essential oils, ideally peppermint and lavender, and spray it around your car. This is a simple, yet effective strategy to help get rid of spiders from inside your vehicle.
In addition to essential oils in diffusers and sprays, you may also want to use car fresheners that emit a strong, fragrant scent. As much as you like the scent, spiders hate it.
They don’t like the overwhelming smell that these car fresheners produce, so it’s safe to say that this could also be a great way to get rid of those pesky spiders.
Step #7: Use Spider Traps
As for the next step, this is optional but is still highly recommended. Even after trying multiple types of spider control techniques (mentioned above), there may still be some spiders that are still lingering inside your car.
Spider traps are one of the best ways to capture or lure them out easily. They come available in different forms, but the most common one is a sticky trap that’s placed around those tight spaces and corners where spiders usually hide. When they walk on top of it, they won’t be able to move or escape.
These traps are easy to install and convenient to use since you don’t have to do anything else once they’re in place. All you need is patience, as the spiders will eventually come out into the open when they find the bait (insects).
Some of these spider traps usually emit pheromones. Pheromones are usually emitted by prey, and spiders can easily trace these pheromones to their source.
You may leave these traps overnight – you don’t have to be in the car when these cars are placed either.
You can just find strategic locations inside your car, leave it overnight, and see if you’ve trapped one (or maybe more) spiders the following day. If you see spiders trapped, scoop it off with a broom and properly dispose of the trap.
You may repeat this process as often as you feel it is needed.
Step 8: Preventative Measures
Now that you know how to get rid of spiders from inside your car, it’s important to also think about prevention. After all, if you know how to prevent spiders from getting inside your car, then you won’t have to worry about them coming back.
Whether you like it or not, it’s time to clean your garage. In most homes, garages are usually where spiders usually target first. It’s cluttered, has many things around it, and it’s usually dark and damp.
Spiders love these kinds of spaces, so it’s important to clean your garage regularly – before they have the chance to make themselves comfortable.
Once they’re already in your garage, these spiders won’t have problems sneaking into your car. That’s why it’s important to make sure your garage is always clean and well-maintained.
Get rid of the unnecessary things found inside the garage. If possible, ensure proper storage of things, and set up a periodic cleaning routine.
Treating the outside of your car is also important to prevent spiders from coming inside. Spiders are known to build webs around their surroundings, so it’s important to keep the outside of your car clean.
Using a car shampoo or any chemical-based solution can help remove these webs in no time.
How Long Can a Spider Survive Inside a Car?
If spiders are hiding inside your car, how long can they stay alive? The answer depends on the type of spider and its environment. In terms of survival, what are the things that they need?
Shelter, which is provided by the warmth of your car. The next is food – spiders usually feed on other insects, so as long as there are food sources inside your car, they can survive for weeks.
Lastly, they need water. This is why you may often find spiders near water sources (such as sinks or bathrooms). As long as they have access to these three necessities, a spider can potentially live inside your car for months.
The best way to prevent spiders from staying inside your car is by depriving them of these three things mentioned above.
As mentioned earlier, cleaning your car and ensuring that insects don’t get inside is a great way to keep spiders at bay. If there are no insects to feed on, spiders won’t stay long and won’t find a reason to stay inside your car for long.
To make sure your car is spider-free, it’s important to create a regular maintenance routine that involves vacuuming the interior of your car, and checking behind and beneath seats for debris, leftover food, and other potential hiding spots for spiders.
Fabric seat covers, if present, should be washed regularly, and you may use either or a combination of diatomaceous earth, essential oils, or insect traps to keep spiders out of your car.
Lastly, cleaning your garage is also a preventative measure to make sure spiders don’t get inside your car in the first place. As long as you keep up with these steps, your car should be spider-free and ready to go.