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I've got a small shed in my garden, and it used to be a great home for many spiders (and two mice). Walls are thin wood, floor is solid concrete, and eternit roofing.

A few months ago, my father helped me to clean it out completely and apply drywall to all inside walls + ceiling, with some latticework and plastic sheeting between the old outer wall and the new inner drywall to keep the inside dry. It's now a clean and dry space.

The only entryway for insects is through the door, which is a problem because it's a sliding door mounted on a rail on the outside of the shed, so there is a very small gap all around the door, and of course spiders are finding their way back in.

How can I effectively keep spiders out of this space?

As long as I only use it for storing shovels, who cares about spiders. But I'd like to use the newly upgraded space for storing other things that I don't want ruined by cobwebs and assorted gunk.

I believe this question is more about gardening than about DIY because it's about how to fight spiders, not how to build a shed.

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Not an answer, but I used to try and keep spiders out of my shed, until I realised they had destroyed a wasp nest that was constructed in one corner. Now I leave the spiders to defend against nastier creatures, and just brush the cobwebs off things that I want kept clear :-) –  Rory Alsop Jun 8 '12 at 8:38
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2 Answers 2

The simple answer is:

You can't. Spiders can get in anywhere, and as long as it is an environment which offers shelter or food they will use it.

Your biggest bang for buck is in clearing spider egg clusters when you see them - this will keep the numbers down to one or two in residence at a time, but even if you let all the eggs hatch, they whittle their own numbers down pretty quickly.

In my sheds spiders tend to hang egg clusters in corners, along edges, and behind objects - usually up at ceiling level, not so many at floor level (I'm assuming for safety from predators or flooding?) - I am in central Scotland, so your mileage may vary on this. They are very visible though - most of the spiders we have make quite large balls of webbing, between 2 and 3 cm across.

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Okay, that makes sense. Now, where (and when) should I look for eggs? Only in the corners of the shed, or anywhere? (I realize that's veering into entomology, not gardening...) –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Jun 8 '12 at 8:45
    
updated for you –  Rory Alsop Jun 8 '12 at 11:46
    
The egg sacs will normally be hidden or in webs because the spiders want to protect them - so any cracks, behind things, etc. Floor is concrete so there is no dirt for them to live in. If you store bags of compost, sawdust, anything like that in there they might live in there. The spiders might have egg sacs that look like little balls of polystyrene*, or they might be made of web. Some spiders carry the eggs with them as well. *In my glasshouse a type of spider of size ~1cm abdomen have white egg sacs ~1cm diameter. –  standgale Jun 28 '12 at 2:32
    
Regular vacuuming is probably going to be the simplest long-term solution. –  Torben Gundtofte-Bruun Apr 22 at 7:12
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I haven't tried this out myself, yet. However, some sites say that spiders do not like the smell of mint and lavender very much.

I do not like lavender over the summer very much, so my strategy would (actually will) be to plant a few mints outdoors and behind the entry-points, and possibly I will crumble some mint and apply it around those entry points as a kind of defence fence.

Will see how it works out.


Some sources:

But reactions are mixed:

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