Spiders in Your Car? (How to Get Rid of Them and Keep Them Out)

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Whether a spider starts crawling up your leg or descends from the car headliner right in front of your face while driving, having spiders in your car can be unnerving, to say the least.

But while a spider might avoid you in your home, what happens with more enclosed spaces, such as the inside of your vehicle? Keep reading to learn why there are spiders in your car and how to get them out and keep them from coming back.

See AlsoHow to Get Roaches Out of Your Car

Why Are There Spiders in Your Car?

Probably the most perplexing question running through your mind is why there’s a spider hanging out there in the first place.

One of the most common reasons is that it’s simply a common household spider that happened to be in your clothes when you got into the car. It’s also possible the spider crawled into your car because the engine was still warm on a cold winter’s day.

Another reason could be that it hitched a ride on items you’ve recently transported in your vehicle. It could be some storage boxes, firewood, old tires, or plants. If those items were in the vicinity of spiders, they may have tagged along for the ride.

How Do Spiders Get Into a Vehicle?

One thing to always keep in mind is that a vehicle is by no means sealed from the outside elements. Sure, it might feel that way, but all it takes is a simple glance to see all of the cracks between panels or areas where the engine compartment is completely exposed.

The cabin has a bit more protection, especially if you drive a Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, or other premium brand, but it’s still full of access points you can’t simply seal.

Sometimes, as mentioned before, the spider hitchhikes on your clothing or objects you place in the vehicle. At other times, they crawl in through entry points looking for food or shelter.

Once there, they tend to stick around if one of these two assets are available. A single female spider may turn into a full-blown spider infestation if she lays her eggs in the vehicle.

Where Do Spiders Commonly Hide in Your Car?

One would think that spiders would try to stick to places people rarely visit, such as the engine compartment. However, they’re highly sensitive to vibrations, so when you start the engine, they’re driven towards the cabin where there’s far less vibration.

Once in the cabin, they’ll commonly set up shop under seats, in the air conditioning vents, or even building webs under the dash or steering column. It’s common to run into a yellow sac spider or a long-bodied cellar spider – especially if you park your car in a garage. But you’re far less likely to run into a venomous spider.

Spiders will hide their egg sacs under seats, where you may not spot them until the spiderlings emerge.

In some cases, you will inadvertently chase them out of hiding, such as when you have the air vents running or adjust your seat. At other times, you’ll be able to spot their webbing and the spider will almost certainly be nearby.

Don’t Wait For Spiders to Leave

The most likely place you’ll find a spider is actually outside your car, often building webs overnight along the mirrors or similar spots where bugs are likely to visit.

However, if one of them does get inside your vehicle, don’t simply expect it to leave on its own. Chances are, it’ll hang around or leave an egg sac behind.

How to Get Spiders Out of Your Car

spiderweb inside car
Spiderweb between front seats

While you might think it would be more difficult to chase a spider from your car, it’s actually just as easy as getting them out of your home. Let’s look at some of the common ways people try to evict their eight-legged hitchhikers.

Use Diatomaceous Earth

Food-grade diatomaceous earth (or DE for short) is an excellent natural pest killer made from the crushed microscopic shells of diatoms. To us, it looks like a fine powder, but for tiny critters such as spiders or other creepy crawlers, it’s a veritable minefield of broken glass.

Simply sprinkle the DE along the floor of the cabin, trunk, and on the seats and wait.

When a spider walks over the DE, it will lacerate the waxy coating that keeps moisture in and seals the exoskeleton. The spider will slowly lose moisture, dehydrating until it dies.

Of course, this isn’t an instant killer, and you may not appreciate having dust all over your seats or dashboard, but it’s a safe, non-toxic option with a great track record.

Try Trapping Them

Some of the best spider traps are also the most basic. You don’t need anything too fancy in your car. Instead, consider using common sticky traps or glue strips.

Just be warned, these can get messy if you or the kids come in direct contact with them, so try to place them under the seats or in other places you’re more likely to find spiders than people.

Do Homemade Repellents Work?

While it may not be the most effective, one way to chase spiders away from your vehicle is to use a homemade repellent spray. Some popular essential oils are peppermint oil, lavender, or eucalyptus.

You can spray areas around the cabin of your car with any old spray bottle, but to handle the dashboard, you may wish to apply the mixture using a cotton ball. Not only are these non-toxic spider repellents, but they can make your car smell great in the process!

Does Bombing Work?

This is a rather tough question, because it’s hit or miss. Since there’s no way to fully seal the cabin or trunk (or wherever else you found a spider), the effects of a bomb or fogger are somewhat limited and may not manage to kill all of the spiders.

On top of that, these methods won’t kill the eggs, so you’ll have to repeat the process at least once more to get rid of any spiderlings that have hatched.

However, the story can be different if you hire a local pest control company that offers professional fumigation services. They’re trained to be able to seal off the car more effectively to get the best possible results.

Of course, this route can cost a lot of money, so it’s best left for a last resort or in cases of severe infestations.

Should You Use a Chlorine Oxide?

There are multiple kinds of chlorine oxides out there, and you’ll often hear people suggest using it inside your car to kill spiders or other pests. Please don’t do this!

Chlorine oxides are highly unstable and can explode at even room temperature. The only one which can handle even minor warmth is Dichlorine heptoxide, and you’re taking a huge chance even there. If you attempt to use it in your car and it becomes exposed to direct sunlight, spiders will be the least of your problems.

Using chlorine oxide is about as bad as suggestions to use gasoline or kerosene to kill termites, and we’re not sure why people keep spreading such dangerous advice.

Keeping Spiders Out

spider on vehicle

Once you’ve gotten rid of the spider problem (and preferably before one begins), there are some steps you can take to make your car less attractive.

Avoid Idling

This might seem a bit of a contradiction at first, but it not only saves on fuel, it can reduce the amount of vibrations your car is producing.

Remember when we said spiders don’t like vibrations? Well it’s not unheard of for a spider to flee INTO your vehicle because the vibrations are affecting the ground around it. Of course, the type surface material your car’s on will affect how likely this is to happen.

Dealing With Access Points

It’s almost impossible to completely seal off the cabin of a car, but there are some things you can do to make it more difficult for spiders to find their way inside.

Window and Door Seals

Begin by checking the window and door (including trunk) seals to make sure none of them are damaged. With windows, doors, and many other portions of the cabin, the main type of seal is made of rubber. Unfortunately, frequent, sudden shifts in weather and temperature can make this material brittle.

If you live near the ocean or any other place that causes rapid degradation of rubber, replacement of these seals may be necessary at some point in time of owning your vehicle. 

Keep Windows and Sunroof Closed

Leaving your car’s windows or sunroof open when parked allows spiders easy access to the interior. Openings create entryways for spiders to crawl inside, let out attracting odors, and allow in deterrent air currents and vibrations.

Spiders can also rappel down on silk strands directly through open windows or sunroofs into your car’s cabin.

Cabin Air Filter

Modern cars use at least one cabin air filter (typically found under or behind the glove box) to prevent dirt, contaminants, and other things including bugs and spiders from getting inside your cabin.

An incorrectly sized filter or a missing filter can allow spiders easy access to your vehicle’s HVAC system and then through your air conditioning vents. This filter should typically be replaced on an annual basis.

Keep a Clean, Clutter-Free Car

A messy, cluttered car provides appealing hiding spots and food sources for spiders. Debris and clutter allow spiders spaces to build webs and lay eggs out of sight. Food particles and crumbs give spiders a reason to enter and stick around.

Even small amounts of dirt and dust can attract insect prey that spiders will then hunt. A disorganized car interior is in reality an open invitation for spiders to move in.

By keeping your car clean and clutter-free, you remove the attractive living conditions spiders seek. Eliminating debris, vacuuming thoroughly, and not eating in the car takes away spider hiding places, food sources, and insect appeal.

Pick Better Parking

Spiders like to hide, so one of the best ways to make sure they don’t get into your vehicle is to park where there’s less likely to be a spider presence. You can’t always prevent there from being a few spiders in your garage, but keeping it tidy and free of debris will make it far less likely that they’ll make a mad dash for the car.

Outdoors, try to keep an eye on where you’re parking. Avoid leaving your car too close to a lot of trash, debris, tall grass, or under a tree. Sometimes this can’t be helped, but pick clean parking spots when you can. This can also help prevent other bugs from hitching a lift.

Steve Cooper
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