How to Keep Spiders, Bugs, and Mice Out of My Shed [Complete Guide]

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It’s about that time of year again! Time to open the backyard storage shed and get the lawn mower and gardening supplies ready for spring. Year after year, there always seems to be one critter or another who takes over and makes a home in your shed and before you know it this can become a full-blown infestation.

Spiders, bugs, and mice can be poisonous, carry diseases, and damage your property. Keep reading for your complete guide how to prevent spider, bug, and mice infestations from happening, as well as how to clear your shed from current infestations.

How to Keep Spiders Out of My Shed

How to keep spiders out of your shed

The most important thing when creating a spider proof shed is to begin with prevention of spiders building their homes in your shed.

Prevention:

  • Clear all foliage and debris from around your shed. This is important so that the next step can be effective.
  • Spray a pesticide around your shed
    The pesticide should be specifically for spiders (even better if you can find one for problem spiders in your area, i.e., Brown Recluse spiders are a problem where I live).
  • Check around all windows
    You will need to check where the frame of the window attaches to the wall, where the window meets the frame and any areas where different pieces of the frame are attaching to one another.
  • Seal around the windows with caulk
    If there are small, spaces fill them in with caulk. If the window is older and there are many large spaces, you may need to take it apart to thoroughly fill in or even rebuild the window if necessary.
  • Fill in any utility openings
    There may be holes in the walls of your shed for utility cords to come through. If you do not use these, fill them in with expandable foam. If you do use these, fill them in with foam pieces or board them shut for the winter.
  • Check the door
    Use the same process as you did with the window. As for the space beneath the door, you can attach a door sweep that prevents things from getting into your door from beneath, while still allowing ventilation.
  • Keep it clean
    Spiders are more likely to find a home in old plant pots and gloves that are thrown about.
  • Check everything for spiders before you put anything in the shed!
    After all the hard work you put into spider-proofing the shed, the last thing you want is for yourself to be responsible for taking the spiders in there. Thoroughly check gardening gloves, tools, lawn mowers and other equipment before storing them.
  • Check the integrity of your weather stripping
    Window and door screens are held in place by a thick band of rubber, which prevents bugs and other pests from bypassing the screen. Replace old or torn weather stripping to bar their entrance.

Getting Rid of Spiders Already Inside

There are a couple of ways to go about clearing your shed of spiders; chemicals and a more natural approach. A more natural approach may be suited for those who have small children or pets that can be harmed if they come in contact with the chemicals. I prefer natural remedies because they are safe and help beautify the area.

  • If you are going the more natural way, eucalyptus is a tried and true spider repellent
    You can use eucalyptus essential oil or buy branches at a home and garden store. Putting the oil around crevasses and other areas where spiders may come in will be most effective. The smell is what keeps them away.
  • Take away a light source
    Keeping the lights on the inside and outside off will make sure that other bugs (spiders food source) are not coming to light.
  • Use a shop vacuum to suck up dead spiders, webs, and dirt.

Natural Spider Repellent Ideas

Many of these spider repellent ideas are scent-based. It’s important to remember that spiders interpret scents through touch. Their legs are covered with tiny hairs that can detect odors. Keep this in mind when applying your scent-based repellent solutions, because they won’t be effective if they aren’t in the path of the spider.

  • Vinegar
    Spiders hate strong smells like vinegar, so it works as a pesticide-free alternative. Just spray it in the corners of your shed and around any windows or other areas where spiders may get inside. Reapply every four to five days.
  • Vegetable oil and vanilla
    Vegetable oil and vanilla produce a strong, unpleasant smell that deters spiders. This mixture will last up to two full weeks if you place small bottle capfuls on window sills and corners around the shed.
  • Mint
    Mint is a harsh scent for spiders to withstand. You’ll only have to use a few drops in the corners of the shed to keep the arachnids away.
  • Lavender and lemon
    Lavender and lemon is a double whammy to spiders, as they cannot stand most citrus scents. Just dip some clean cotton balls in lavender and lemon essential oils and leave them around the shed!
  • Citrus essential oils
    Citrus essential oils have sharp, pungent smells that spiders hate! Add a few teaspoons to some soap and water and then spray it around the shed.
  • Borax or baking soda
    If you want to get ride of the spiders, then you could always try sprinkling some borax or baking soda on the floor of the storage unit. Spiders will often eat these powders, which are lethal to them.
  • Chestnuts
    Chestnuts and other conkers are an unproven method of deterring spiders from your home. You can try it, as others have reported success with this method, but it’s best to use it as a last resort.

 

How to Keep Bugs and Critters Out of Shed

Preparing a bug proof shed will also help with spider and mice problems. Bugs and critters can be poisonous and harmful to humans and pets and will attract spiders and other rodents, who feed on bugs and insects.

Prevention

  • Paint your shed
    Old paint can allow more moisture into the wood, causing wood rot. Repainting your shed every couple of years can prevent this.
  • Replace rotted wood
    If your shed already has wood rot, take the time to fix and replace the areas that are rotted. Rotted wood can allow bugs and critters into your shed, especially termites, causing further damage.
  • Keep your shed ventilated
    While you do not want any areas where bugs can get in, you also do not want to completely close it off from the air. Lack of ventilation can cause mildew and allow chemical buildup in the shed. Ridge vents, skylights, and small turbines can ventilate your shed without allowing too many bugs in.
  • Place compost and potting soil away from your shed
    Compost attracts a plethora of insects that thrive on the decomposing matter. As for potting soil, it’s a haven for gnats.
  • Wash gardening tools
    For the same reason you wouldn’t place potting soil and compost near your sheds, you need to make sure your gardening equipment in clear of the stuff before storing it in or around your shed.
  • Move recycling and garbage bins away from the shed
    Trash attracts bugs, who feed on the remnants of sugary soda cans or leftover food. Also, raccoons and other critters will rummage through the bins and may find their way into your shed.
  • Pack bags of fertilizer in extra layers
    If you have to store your fertilizer in your shed, then placing it in an airtight container can prevent it from attracting bugs.
  • Regularly trim branches
    If you have low hanging branches over the roof of your shed, bugs have more opportunity to find entry into your storage unit.
  • Sonic pest repellents
    Do they really work? Scientific researchers have found no effect on pests.  The sonic pest repellents on the market today have undergone testing and have been proven ineffective in deterring pests.

Getting Rid of Bugs Already Inside

Ortho Home DefenseThere are so many types of bugs, which we do not want in our sheds. Bees, ants, and aphids can be poisonous and harm our gardens. How can we effectively take care of all of them?

  • Spray the shed perimeter
    After taking the steps, clear the perimeter around the shed from excess debris like previously mentioned, spray around the with an insecticide. You can find it here on Amazon.
  • Put mothballs inside of the shed (especially if there are lights)
    This further prevents spiders from being attracted to food sources.
  • Plant natural herbs around the shed
    This is a long-term way of how to keep bugs out of the shed and around the area. Herbs are a natural defense against bugs and critters and make your shed look beautiful!

Natural Bug Repellent Ideas

  • Essential Oil
    A lot of essential oils like citrus, lavender, clove, etc. are excellent at repelling insects. Do some research to determine which oils are best for your specific pest problem and then mix a few drops with some water as a bug spray.
  • Herbal Mixture
    Mixing dried or fresh herbs with a base of witch hazel or rubbing alcohol can also be effective. Again, you’ll want to do some research to make sure you choose the right herbs to repel the pests.
  • Vinegar
    Spiders in particular hate strong-smelling substances like vinegar. Using this as a base with one of the other above ideas can pack a powerful punch, as long as you don’t mind the smell yourself, of course.

 

How to Keep Mice Out of My Shed

Mouse in shed

Mice carry many diseases and can easily destroy wires, insulation, other items. Mice are easier to prevent because they are bigger and cannot find their way into properly sealed sheds as easily as spiders and bugs. Mice are a real threat in the winter because they are searching for a warm home.

Prevention

  • Get rid of water sources
    Check all your water sources in the shed for leaks and cut off the water source in the winter or times where you will not need it for a while.
  • Get rid of food sources
    While you probably do not have cheese and peanut butter in your shed, mice are attracted to grains and seeds as well. If this is a gardening shed and you use it to store grains and seeds, put them in a properly sealed tote.
  • Get rid of nesting materials
    Cardboard and paper are ideal nesting materials for mice and should not be anywhere in your shed. If your shed doesn’t have food, water, and nesting material, then the mice will not find it a suitable home.
  • Steel wool or copper mesh
    Steel wool or copper mesh are good ways to keep mice out. Some argue that copper is better, as it gets stuck in mice’s teeth and makes it more difficult for them to chew through it. This is because of the way it’s woven.
  • Ultrasonic repellents
    Do ultrasonic repellents work for mice? Mice acclimate to regularly repeated sounds very quickly, so an ultrasonic device may only be suitable as a short-term, temporary solution.

Getting Rid of Mice Already Inside

  • Get an outdoor cat
    A natural predator, this would be a long-term and effective way to manage mice populations. However, a pet is also a big commitment.
  • Poison
    This is a very effective way to get ride of mice quickly. However, it can pose a serious threat to any pets nearby. The poison does not work instantly and any dogs or cats that try to eat a poisoned mouse can also become poisoned. Beware!
  • Traps
    Authenzo Smart No Mouse Trap Catch and ReleaseThere are two options for traps: baited and baitless. Most of us have used baited traps, putting peanut butter or cheese on it to attract mice. This could also just be attracting more mice into the shed as you just put a food source in there.
  • Baitless traps are effective, do not attract more mice and are covered so you cannot see the dead mouse.
    However, they are more expensive than your average baited trap.
  • Fabric sheets
    The chemical smell of fabric sheets deters mice. You can lay a couple out in your shed and near any nesting material. This is how I keep mice out of my shed and out of unused clothes in storage.
  • Peppermint oil
    Along with chemicals, mice do not like the smell of peppermint. Having a nearby peppermint plant or a peppermint infused item near the shed can keep away mice as well as spiders.

DIY Mouse Traps

You can make a humane mouse trap by using an old bucket, two soda cans, and a sturdy metal wire. All you do is impale two soda cans on the wire so that they turn, then place the ends of the wire into two holes you drill into the upper lip of the bucket.

Place some bait on the cans and leave a board to lead up to the mouth of the bucket. The mice will trap themselves when they try to reach the bait. Then you can release them outside and away from your home!

Another way is to use a bucket, plastic bottle, and two pieces of wire. First, take the two pieces of wire and attach it along the rim of the bucket, leaving space between two of the ends for the plastic bottle.

Then, take the plastic bottle and, leaving the rim intact, cut the bottle so that it resembles a scoop. Place the scoop side down and attach it to the wires so that it tetters on the edge of the bucket. Place a board leading up to it so that when the mice investigate, they fall into the bucket.

 

Conclusion

Spiders, bugs, and mice are pesty creatures and can poses serious health threats to humans and animals as well as destroy your property.

Chemicals and poisons are not the only effective way to get ride of these creatures; natural remedies are an easy and cost-effective way to keep pests out of your shed. Prevention is critical, but it is never too late to take care of an infestation.

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