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Spiders In Outdoor Areas

We all love the outdoors. From the sunshine and warm days of summer, to the snowy and rainy days of the winter, Toronto is an amazing place to be outdoors. That’s why there are plenty of outdoor spaces here, especially by the lakeside where you can sit and enjoy the area – without being burdened by any kind of weather, provided there is a shelter!


From sheds to covered seating areas, everyone likes a good shelter during the colder months. Unfortunately, the open designs that give such a great view and atmosphere are often prime targets for annoying pests and even the occasional bird from time to time. One group of bugs that especially likes to hide inside these types of structures are spiders – with over 40,000 species identified worldwide there are no shortages of them here in Canada!


Spiders on the whole aren’t too dangerous, as they will rarely go looking for humans and most of them aren’t inclined to bite us. They can even be helpful as their webs trap smaller insects and bugs, stopping us from having to deal with the problem. They are an important part of the outdoor ecosystem. However, the main problem when it comes to spiders is twofold; first, they leave webs and debris wherever they go, and second, to put it mildly, they aren’t that pleasant to be around.


A key exception to this is the infamous black widow spider which is native to the Toronto region and the whole US-Canada border. You can identify them by the distinctive red hourglass shaped markings on their abdomen, though they are small and aren’t easy to spot. Black widows usually nest closer to the ground than other spiders and prefer to run away rather than fight so luckily, you’re not usually in too much danger from them.


There are a few things you can do to avoid spiders getting into seating areas, sheds, etc. – these are especially important to keep in mind during the fall when the weather starts to turn cold, as spiders will move from the outdoors to the inside to get away from it. If you want to make sure it isn’t your shed or shelter they turn to, here are a few tricks you can use to keep them in line:


  • Seal and cover

This won’t work on open-plan seating areas, but it’ll work well in an enclosed one or inside a shed. Spiders slip in through cracks in the woodwork/brickwork, where wear has made slight gaps or where damage has caused it to become open. Make sure any cracks are sealed, and layered over with some varnish if you’re really worried – spiders won’t be able to break through a proper seal.


There’s also the matter of any air vents, and also windows and doors, if you want to leave them open to catch a nice cool breeze. Insect curtains are an effective way of blocking entry, though in the case of a chimney or something similar you should consider something sturdier like a mesh gauze. If you have insect curtains on a regularly used door be sure to check them every now and again for damage – people aren’t always that careful when pushing past them and can make gaps at the top or cause wear and tear for creepy crawlies to slip through.


  • Repellants

You can buy spider repellent at pretty much any hardware store, and this works pretty well. If you want to use a more natural approach, you can use scented oils or sprays that spiders will naturally avoid. In particular, they don’t like the scent of tea tree oil, lemons, or eucalyptus, so dabbing a bit of those on the entryways will discourage them.


  • Light

Spiders go where there’s bugs to eat, so naturally if you get rid of their prey they’ll move on as well. Try using yellow light bulbs outdoors, most pests will avoid these.



If you do end up getting a spider problem, there are a few things you can do yourself to get rid of them. Be warned, they usually hide their eggs in cracks or crevices so it can be really hard to remove them for good.


  • Vacuum and sweep

A good vacuum cleaner will take care of any spider you can see, with brooms and the occasional poke from a long stick to coax the more stubborn ones into a place you can get to them. This method is great if the spiders have just moved in but will have trouble picking up any eggs left behind.


  • Vinegar and water

Mixing vinegar and water together is a great way to kill spiders – and their eggs too! It’s also non-hazardous to most pets and people if you’re worried about that.


  • Bleach

The great thing about bleach – besides killing spiders that is – is that it easily seeps into any cracks where eggs might’ve been left behind. It’s quite hazardous but can be handled safely by following the instructions so go ahead and give the place a good clean while you’re at it. Remember to get any children and pets out of the area, and wear protective gear.


Of course, none of this is a substitute for a professional pest control job, especially if you have a recurring spider problem that won’t go away. Our teams are trained in quick and efficient pest removal, so we’ll be in and out of your hair as soon as we can – and the pests will be too!

Contact Provincial Pest Control for a free pest control inspection in the Toronto Area!

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