I've got an old shed at the end of my garden, this summer I gave it a complete cleanout, but within a few weeks it was back to its cobweb infested state. Being quite an arachnaphobe, it makes getting stuff in/out quite an uncomfortable challenge.

I'm thinking of getting a new shed (old one is falling apart) but I'm concerned about how I can tackle these 8 legged critters. I'm fine with any other bugs, just not spiders.

I've heard that putting conkers (horse chestnuts) around the corners helps, as there is something they don't like about conkers. I've also heard that trying to "seal" up the shed with a caulk gun may work also, but I'm looking for confirmation on these or addition suggestions

Any ideas?

7 Answers 7


Spiders are predators, they go where the food is. If spiders are attracted to your shed, it means prey insects are attracted to your shed. Get rid of the prey.

  • Remove nearby vegetation and organic matter that provides food/shelter for bugs

  • Remove any standing water (bird baths, puddles, soil that soaks up moisture)

  • Remove light sources (bugs fly towards light)

  • Stain/paint exposed wood to make it less attractive to bugs

  • Fill gaps in the shed where bugs are getting inside to get out of the elements (caulk)

  • Regularly apply spray pesticides to the exterior surface of the shed to discourage insects from hanging around. Also apply it to any crevices in the inside.

  • Look at more "natural" oils and plants that repel insects.

  • 2
    "Remove light sources"? Live in the dark? XD Commented Dec 8, 2011 at 12:12
  • 2
    I mean that if you have a lot of outdoor lighting (porch lights, lamp post, landscape lights), it can attract bugs, which attracts spiders. Commented Jan 20, 2012 at 13:45

I did a quick search for information about chestnuts and spiders and found conflicting advice. My take is that even it doesn't work, it can't hurt; the worst that can happen is that you still have spiders and some (apparently useless) chestnuts on the floor of your shed.

Caulking small gaps in the shed walls is a good idea in general, but the biggest gap is always going to be around the door. Installing some weatherstripping there would help keep spiders out.

A general pest-control tip is to keep vegetation away from the house (or shed); cut back trees that are near it, keep grass mowed, etc.

If you're open to using pesticides, you can use some around the perimeter of the shed to create a barrier that they can't cross. This would work best if you have something permanent to apply it to, like gravel or concrete.

  • 4
    +1 being highly arachnophobic myself I've gone with the caulk/pesticide route. In particular I've used "Sevin" as an insecticide, it says you can use it on fruits and veggies but I personally wouldn't. I sprayed around my house a few times and I've seen alot fewer spiders. Clearing the vegitation and caulking will help as well, as will frequent sweeping to clear out any nests or spider food. Good luck !!
    – user45
    Commented Oct 24, 2010 at 13:38

I used a spider flypaper thing. You can either bend them into a box like a roach trap or leave them open.

I caught many spiders in the garage I don't use, and it's much better than it was. Even if you do other things, these are cheap and plentiful, you can drop them around all the windows, doors and areas they might get in.

At least you get the feeling of progress when you throw out one spider-covered sticky pad and replace it with another.


I had a problem in my shed and I ended up using expandable foam in and around all crevices that would allow a spider or insect to come in from the outside. Before that, I had to clean out the entire shed and kill a bunch of spiders. After I cleaned out the shed and sprayed with Black Flag Home Defense really well, the spider problem subsided. Make sure you cut down any vegetation in and around the shed such as overhanging limbs or branches. Also, put a layer of rocks around your shed. It helps prevent vegetation from growing but it will also prevent mice from making a home too.


Get eucalyptus branches from an art/craft store and hang bunches in the shed... spiders despise the smell. (You probably will too) Between that and sealing the cracks, you should be relatively spider-free.


I was advised to use ecalypytus oil, I bought some from ebay, now maybe coincidence, but my garage is completely spider free...nothing, no trace of them whatsoever...I am very pleased and no harmful poisons used!

  • 4
    How did you use it? Spray it around, just leave the container open, drink it then breathe on the spiders, ...?
    – Niall C.
    Commented May 29, 2012 at 17:55

I've always used diesel fuel around shed walls and in window wells. It has served to wipe out and prevent bugs and spiders from entering through those areas.

  • 1
    You just pour it on the ground?
    – Niall C.
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 22:04
  • Yep, some people are really environmentally unfriendly that way. Had a guy here that did the same with used motor oil. Commented Aug 5, 2014 at 14:22
  • It would be illegal for user155695 to do that where he lives. Commented Aug 6, 2014 at 8:33

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