How to keep spiders out of your car

Moving Well | RACV | Posted on 07 February 2019

Read our expert tips to banish spiders from your vehicle.

You’re driving along minding your own business, pull the sun visor down and a hairy eight-legged creepy-crawly makes its exit onto your steering wheel. Don’t panic – our motoring experts reveal how to keep spiders out of your car.

1. Focus on their hiding spots

Behind the side mirrors is one of the top hidey holes for spiders – and it’s a spot that often gets missed when washing the car. Get in behind the glass with a hose to flush out any dirt and debris – adjusting your side mirrors in and then out will move the glass, allowing you to get in behind. Under the wheel arches and bonnet are other places spiders like to call home, so try to keep these squeaky clean too.

big spider on top of toy car


2. Repel spiders using natural scents 

Spiders hate certain smells including eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender. Make a solution of about 200 millilitres of water with about five drops of any of the above essential oils and a few small drops of dish-washing detergent then spritz it around the inside of your vehicle. Pay particular attention to entry points such as your door frame and air-con vents. This will repel spiders without harming them, and means you can avoid using stronger chemicals on your car. 

You can also make a stronger solution and spray it in the trouble spots we mentioned above (e.g. side mirrors). Or put a few drops of essential oil on a cotton bud and leave some in your boot and glove compartment. Air fresheners with these scents may also do the trick. 

3. Spray, spray, spray 

If spiders are a regular problem or if your car’s parked in the garage and isn’t used often, you may need to resort to surface spray. Use this in particular problem areas like under the wheel arches, around the edge of side mirrors and under the back and front of the car. 

4. Keep your car clean 

In cooler weather spiders go on the hunt for shelter – and your car could be the perfect hiding spot, particularly if you don’t keep it free from debris. Twigs and leaves that get stuck in wheel arches and under the bonnet make your car extra attractive to spiders, so don’t let these build up. Get rid of any cobwebs as soon as you see them and regularly give the inside a good vacuum. 

5. Get rid of any openings 

Creepy-crawlies can get through the smallest of cracks. So leave your windows up – and we mean all the way up, not half way or even a smidge down. Also check for any other unnecessary openings, such as a gap in your door trim, and secure these. 

6. Don’t leave your car idling 

Scientists have shown that vibrations – like those coming from your roaring engine – can aggravate spiders, attracting them to your car. So it’s best not to leave the engine idling for too long, especially in spots where there might be spiders hiding, like a garage. 

Don’t panic… 

If a spider does crawl out from behind the sun visor or elsewhere, try to stay calm and remember that a crash will do you more harm. Our experts recommend you safely pull over and then remove the spider from your car. And remember, the spider is probably more scared of you than you are of it. 

This article first appeared on samotor.raa.com.au