How to Keep Spiders Away from Your Deck or Patio?
Many people are afraid of spiders and for good reason. While some arachnids are beneficial because they eat harmful insects, others have a deadly bite.
Keeping spiders away from your deck or patio will protect your family during the warmer months of the year.
If spiders are hanging around your deck or patio, it is important to take action because they can have many offspring in a short time and cause an infestation that may move into your home.
Types of Spiders That Invade Decks and Patios
While any spider can invade a deck or patio, there are some that prefer these areas more than others. Your deck or patio is more likely to attract the following types of arachnids.
The American House Spider
The American House Spider is one of the most common spiders to invade decks, patios, and homes. Unless you are allergic to them, the American House Spider is harmless to humans and pets.
These spiders are brown, gray, or tan and have rounded abdomens. These spiders will especially populate the underside of your deck or patio furniture.
Black Widows are the most notorious of spiders because their venom can be deadly.
These spiders are glossy black and have a bright orange or red hourglass-shaped mark on their backs. These are spiders you definitely want to avoid.
Brown Recluse Spiders
Brown Recluse Spiders are also a spider to keep away from. These spiders are brown or gray and have three sets of eyes.
Brown Recluse spiders are highly dangerous and will bite when they feel threatened. These spiders love to hide out in the cracks and crevices of decks or around clutter.
Another type of spider that may hang out on your deck or patio is the Hobo Spider. These spiders are aggressive and may attack without warning.
Although they will attack and bite, their bites are only painful and not venomous. Be careful if you see these spiders in areas where children or pets play.
Jumping Spiders are only about an inch long and are covered in fur. These spiders bite and cause a bee sting-like reaction.
Jumping Spiders come in many colors and love sunning themselves on decks and patios.
Orb Weaver Spiders
Orb Weaver Spiders are another arachnid that will invade your deck or patio.
Orb Weavers are non-aggressive and usually will not bite unless they feel threatened. They are non-venomous and cause no harm to humans or pets.
Orb Weaver Spiders can become a nuisance on decks and patios because of their elaborate webs. They also have several hundred babies in their clutch.
Sac Spiders do not spin webs and lay their eggs in sacs. The yellow Sac Spiders are the most common.
If you see one of their egg sacs, make sure to check for the guarding mother spider before removing it so you do not get bitten.
What Attracts Spiders to a Deck or Patio?
While there are multiple attractants for spiders, the main thing that causes them to visit an area of your home is the insect population.
You may find web-spinning spiders are more likely to spin a web near lights because lights attract insects. Flying insects are especially prone to flying near lights.
When an insect comes close, the spider can catch it in its web and have a nice meal.
The following offers information on some of the reasons spiders may be attracted to your deck or patio.
- Many spiders prefer living in dark areas that are left undisturbed. Some spiders also like moist areas. If your deck or patio is starting to rot, the dark, moist cracks become a perfect place for spiders to live.
- Clutter provides many places for spiders to hide, making them feel safe and secure. Stacks of wood, gardening materials, and plants can all provide excellent hiding places for many types of arachnids, including Brown Recluse Spiders.
- Some spiders, like Jumping Spiders, love the sun. If your deck or patio gets full sun exposure during the day, you may find a population of spiders that loves spending time sunning themselves.
- Dirty patio furniture is also a delight to spiders, including Black Widows. Spiders can hide in the most minute of cracks and are attracted to dirty areas that also have moisture.
- Some spiders, especially Wolf Spiders, may be attracted to your deck or patio because of the tall grass. Arachnids and other insects will find tall grass attractive because it offers them protection against predators.
Tips for Keeping Spiders Away from Your Deck or Patio
Even if you are not arachnophobic, you likely do not want spiders making their homes on your decks, patios, outdoor furniture, or grills.
Many homes today have outdoor kitchens, and owners do not want to have to worry about spiders and other insects getting into their food.
It is necessary to learn some tips that will make spiders stay away from your living areas, such as your decks and patios. If you have an infestation, the following tips will not work.
You will need to hire a professional to come out and spray pesticides to get rid of the abundance of spiders and keep them away from your property.
If you are dealing with an influx of spiders, but do not have an infestation, consider the following tips to keep these pests away so you can enjoy spending time on your deck or patio any time of the year.
1. Make Your Deck or Patio Unappealing to Spiders
We have already discussed what attracts spiders. Light, clutter, damp cracks, and plants are ideal hangouts for spiders of all types.
If you have noticed an increased population of spiders, you may need to perform a deep cleaning of your deck or patio. Consider taking the following steps.
- Clean up any clutter, such as toys, tools, and garbage.
- Keep the lights off as much as possible.
- Keep the grass trimmed to a short level all year.
- Trim any plants in the vicinity of your deck or patio.
- Keep your deck or patio free from damage. Repair any minor damage promptly.
- Fill in cracks and crevices on your deck or patio.
- Keep your outdoor furniture clean and dry.
- Keep your gutters clean.
It takes a concerted effort to ensure spiders do not begin to bother you on your deck or patio.
You have to think like a spider and look to eliminate those attractive areas where these arachnids may frequent and make a home.
2. Use Eucalyptus on Your Deck or Patio
Spiders and almost all insects are repelled by strong scents. The leaves and oil of the eucalyptus tree are very pungent and retain their strong aroma even after being dried.
Planting a eucalyptus tree near your deck or patio will add beauty and keep pests away. Since trees take a long time to grow, there is a solution you can use now to get rid of spider pests.
Make a spider spray by combining water, alcohol, eucalyptus oil, and lavender oil.
Spray this mixture on your patio or deck liberally. Make sure to spray the areas you have seen spiders congregating. If it rains, you will need to spray again.
3. Use Cedar Mulch Around Your Deck or Patio
Once again, spiders dislike strong smells, and they will make them scurry away quickly.
You can kill two birds with one stone by putting cedar mulch around your property.
Not only will you keep spiders and other insects away, but you will also prevent weeds from growing.
Weeds are highly attractive to spiders and insects. You will need to put out fresh cedar mulch each spring to keep spiders at bay.
4. Remove Attractive Insects
As you already know, spiders are attracted to their food source, which is a yummy assortment of insects.
If you have flies, moths, mosquitoes, and gnats flying around, spiders are going to naturally follow.
Keeping your lights off at night will help prevent some flying insects from invading your space and attracting spiders.
If you are dealing with a lot of flies, put cups of white vinegar outside for natural traps.
Gnats are also attracted to vinegar. If mosquitos are attracting spiders, make sure to eliminate any moist or wet areas so you can repel these unwanted flying insects.
5. Burn Citronella Candles and Torches
Citronella works in much the same ways as eucalyptus. Burning citronella candles and torches will keep spiders, mosquitoes, and flies at bay.
While the citronella candles and torches will keep pests, like spiders, away while they are burning, once you blow them out, the spiders may come back.
You can also purchase a citronella spray, and spray it in all the cracks and crevices of your deck or patio.
6. Apply Peppermint Oil
Spiders hate the smell of peppermint and will hurry to get away from it at all costs.
Use peppermint oil spray where you have seen spiders on your deck or patio. You can also moisten cotton balls with peppermint oil and place them around your outdoor furniture.
As a word of caution, be careful about spraying peppermint oil near your plants because it could cause them to die.
7. Use Fresh Lemon Spray
If you are looking for a spider repellent that is safe to use around your plants, lemon is an effective alternative. Be careful spraying lemon spray around your cloth furniture because it has a natural bleaching effect.
Spiders and ground insects hate the acidity and pungent smell of lemon. The lemon scent fades quickly, so you may need to reapply every one to two days, especially after rain.
8. Apply Tea Tree Oil Spray
Tea tree oil also has a pungent aroma that most insects hate, including spiders, flies, and fleas.
If you prefer a natural alternative to pest control, mixing tea tree oil, Neem, and dishwashing liquid will create an anti-spider spray that works to effectively keep arachnid pests away from your deck or patio.
9. Use Pesticides as a Last Resort
If you have an infestation of spiders, you should hire a pest professional to come out and evaluate your property to determine the most effective treatment.
Pest control specialists are trained to provide safe deterrents. You can ask them about natural options to avoid chemicals being placed around your family.
Never spray pesticides you purchase from retailers. Using these sprays can be dangerous to your family and pets, and they can also cause harm to your plants. You should only use pesticides under the direction of a professional.
Tips for Avoiding Getting Bitten by a Spider on Your Deck or Patio
While it may not always be possible to avoid a spider bite, some tips can help you protect yourself and your family from being bitten without warning.
Consider the following tips.
- Wear protective clothing when you are on the patio or deck. Reducing the amount of skin exposure will help reduce the chances of you being bitten by a spider.
- Wearing insect repellent, especially citronella-based sprays, can keep spiders and other insects from biting you.
- Avoid spending time under trees and near woods as you are more likely to be bitten in these areas.
What Should You Do If You Get Bitten by a Spider?
Even with the tips above, you cannot avoid spiders entirely. A stray spider may come along and make its home in your outdoor furniture or grill.
If you get bitten by a spider, do your best to take a picture so you can inform the medical staff.
If at all possible, try to collect the spider, even if you have to kill it first. Knowing if the spider bite is from a venomous spider is essential for your health.
If you are unsure of the type of spider or you know it is venomous, get to the emergency room right away.
Black Widows and Brown Recluse spiders are especially dangerous. You need anti-venom to treat the effects of these spider bites.
Should you be bitten by a non-venomous spider, wash the area carefully with warm water and soap. Elevate the bitten area and use an ice pack for ten to fifteen minutes to alleviate the pain and prevent swelling and inflammation.
Keep the bite clean and bandaged, and consider using an antibiotic ointment to prevent the bite from getting infected.
Take Care to Keep Spiders Away from Your Decks and Patios
While most spiders are harmless to humans and pets, some can cause dangers.
Regardless of their venom, spiders sometimes become pests because of their webs that detract from the beauty of your patios and decks.
Using the tips above will help you keep spiders from your decks and patios all year long.