Last updated on: July 24, 2018 at 1:16 pm
You’re driving along minding your own business, pull the sunvisor down and that’s when a hairy 8-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. You can also try using natural deterrents and sprays in these spots to keep your 8-legged friends away (more on that next).
2. Repel spiders using these secret scents
Spiders hate certain smells like eucalyptus, peppermint and lavender – so use this to your advantage.
Make a solution of about 200ml of water with about 5 drops of any of the above essential oils and a few small drops of dish-washing detergent and then spritz it around the inside of your vehicle. Pay particular attention to entry points like around 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 (better for you and the environment).
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 the 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
With the cooler weather well and truly here, 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 often get stuck in the 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 make sure you 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.
If a spider does crawl out from behind the sunvisor or anywhere else for that matter, 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.
Don’t forget, the spider is probably more scared of you than you are of it!