Keeping Spiders Out Of Your Vancouver Basement
Finding spiders in your basement can be unsettling, but it’s a common issue in the Vancouver area. With over 800 species of spiders found in British Columbia, some are bound to sneak inside. While most spiders pose little threat, bites from venomous species like black widows can be serious. Even harmless house spiders can multiply quickly and create messy cobwebs. Luckily, there are many effective ways to spider-proof your basement and prevent these unwanted pests.
Why Spiders Enter Vancouver Basements
Spiders may enter basements through small cracks and openings in the foundation or around windows and doors. They are attracted by three key elements all basements provide:
- Shelter from the cold – Spiders seek protected areas to build webs and egg sacs. Vancouver’s cool climate motivates spiders to come indoors.
- Food sources like insects – Flies, mosquitos, silverfish, and other household bugs draw hungry spiders inside. They spin webs to catch prey.
- Damp conditions – Spider populations thrive in humid environments, especially over 50% relative humidity. Vancouver basements tend to stay damp, creating an ideal habitat.
Common spider types found include:
- House spiders
- Daddy long legs
- Wolf spiders
- Grass spiders
- Jumping spiders
- Orb weavers
- Cellar spiders
- Hobo spiders
- Black widows.
While most are harmless, wolf spiders, hobo spiders, and black widows have venomous bites. Spider prevention measures should target all species.
1. Inspecting for Spider Entry Points
The first step is thoroughly inspecting your basement to find cracks and openings that spiders use to enter. Check along the foundation, around windows, doors, vents, utilities, and the perimeter. Look for:
- Gaps in the siding
- Cracks in the foundation
- Spaces around pipes, wiring, vents, and ductwork
- Openings around windows and doors
- Holes in screens
- Loose mortar
- Gaps where the foundation meets the ground.
Also inspect inside for:
- Existing spiderwebs and egg sacs
- Clutter like boxes that provide hiding spots
- Possible food sources like flies and silverfish.
Making a diagram of problem areas will help guide sealing efforts.
2. Sealing up Spider Access Points
Once you’ve identified all the gaps and cracks, the next step is sealing them so spiders can’t get in. Use the following methods:
Caulk Cracks and Gaps
Caulking seals narrow openings along foundations, windows, doors, and openings where utilities enter. Look for paintable silicone or latex caulk rated for exterior use. Carefully run a steady bead into gaps and cracks, and smooth with a wet finger. Allow proper curing time before exposure to elements.
Weatherstrip Doors and Windows
Self-adhesive weatherstripping can seal moving parts like doors and windows to block spider entry while still allowing operation. Choose thicker pile weatherstripping or types with a brush flap for better insect exclusion. Make sure weatherstripping compresses fully when closed.
Screening vents, windows and large openings with fine stainless steel or fiberglass mesh keeps spiders out while allowing air flow. Secure screens firmly with durable framework and check for tears periodically.
Use Expanding Foam Sealant
Gaps around pipes, wires, vents and utilities can be sealed using expanding foam sealants. Choose minimal expanding foam and apply carefully as it can quickly overflow the opening. Let fully cure and trim excess with a utility knife.
Install Door Sweeps
Door sweeps with a brush flap installed on the bottom of entry doors block ground access for spiders. Choose sweeps with thick brushes that fully contact the ground.
Capping unused chimney flues prevents roof access for spiders. Custom fit or expandable chimney caps made of galvanized steel mesh can screen out spiders and other pests.
Cover Attic Access
Properly seal any basement access points to attics or crawl spaces. Use solid materials and insulation to cover access panels. Weatherstrip attic pull-down ladders or stairs at all contact points. Taking time to thoroughly seal spider entryways eliminates access from outside. Ongoing pest-proofing maintenance checks will ensure you haven’t missed any opening.
3. Managing Moisture in Your Basement
Spiders thrive in damp conditions where mold and mildew grow. Controlling moisture and humidity keeps your basement less welcoming to them. Ideal indoor humidity levels fall between 30-50%. Use these approaches:
- Install a dehumidifier – Dehumidifiers remove excess moisture from the air and reduce humidity levels. Models with humidistats automatically turn on at a set humidity percentage.
- Increase ventilation – Use exhaust fans, open vents and air circulation to decrease moisture. This also discourages mold growth that spiders feed on.
- Fix water leaks – Detect and repair any leaks from plumbing, foundations, roofs, or appliances. Eliminate water sources that spiders need.
- Improve drainage – Divert rainwater away from the foundation with properly functioning gutters, downspouts, grading, and subsurface drains. This keeps basements drier.
- Insulate cold surfaces – Insulation on foundation walls, ductwork, and pipes reduces condensation which contributes to dampness. Closed cell spray foam works well for sealing and insulating.
- Waterproof floor and walls – Seal concrete with waterproof paints or membranes to prevent moisture wicking that creates humidity.
- Add a vapor barrier – Stop moisture passing through concrete walls and floors by installing polyethylene plastic sheeting as an interior vapor barrier. Seal seams with acoustical sealant. Controlling humidity and moisture removes the damp habitat spiders seek inside Vancouver basements. With ongoing monitoring, you can ensure your basement humidity levels stay low.
4. Eliminating Spider Food Sources
Hungry spiders venture inside houses to find nourishment. Reducing other insects like flies, mosquitos, moths, and silverfish takes away their food supply. This discourages spiders from entering and establishing webs.
- Install fly screens – Tight-fitting screens on windows and vents prevent flies and mosquitoes from entering.
- Use yellow bug lights – Replace exterior lights with yellow bulbs which attract fewer night insects.
- Keep a clean basement – Practice good sanitation by cleaning and vacuuming regularly to remove spider prey.
- Fix plumbing leaks – Repair any leaks which can attract moisture-loving silverfish.
- Seal food storage – Store human food and pet food in airtight containers so they won’t draw hungry insects.
- Empty garbage frequently – Don’t allow decaying waste to attract flies and become spider food.
5. Using Pesticides Safely for Spider Control
Insecticide sprays and dusts containing chemicals like pyrethroids, deltamethrin, lambda-cyhalothrin, or permethrin kill spiders on contact. When applied correctly around basements, these pesticides provide residual control lasting weeks:
- Read labels carefully – Follow all label directions regarding concentration, protective equipment, and application methods. Never use outdoor products indoors.
- Spot-treat spider entry points – Target insecticides near identified access points like foundation cracks or wall/floor joints to kill invading spiders.
- Apply perimeter treatments outdoors – Treat the exterior foundation, weep holes, windows, doors, and utility openings to kill spiders before they enter.
- Use caution around pets – Restrict pet access to treated areas until the insecticide dries completely to avoid poisoning.
- Repeat applications as needed – Reapply every two to three weeks if spider populations persist. Rotate chemical types to prevent resistance.
- Consider professional treatment – For severe infestations, it’s best to hire a qualified exterminator to treat your basement and perimeter.
6. Using Physical Spider Deterrents and Barriers
Non-chemical spider deterrents are safer for humans and pets. For homeowners wanting to avoid pesticides, a variety of physical controls and barriers keep spiders away:
- Diatomaceous earth – Spread this powder made of crushed fossils on basement floors. The sharp particles damage spider exoskeletons causing dehydration. Wear a mask when applying.
- Seal containers tightly – Storing items in plastic bins or sealed totes creates physical barriers spiders can’t penetrate.
- Copper mesh – Cut copper mesh sheets to fit over foundation vents, weep holes, plumbing openings. The electric charge repels spiders.
- Citrus oil sprays – Spritz lemon, orange, and citrus oils onto window frames and potential entry points. Strong scents deter spiders. Reapply after rain.
- Grow deterrent plants – Spider-repelling plants like mint, garlic, lavender, and chrysanthemums planted close to the foundation emit smells that keep spiders away.
- Divert exterior lighting – Illuminating the house exterior attracts insects, drawing hungry spiders. Switch to yellow bulbs or divert lights away from the structure.
- Remove hiding spots – Get rid of wood piles, debris, and leaf litter near the foundation as they provide shelter for spiders.
- Vacuum regularly – Use a strong vacuum to remove webs and egg sacs. Pay special attention to corners and entry points.
- Maintain tidiness – Prevent spider infestations by keeping a clean, clutter-free basement. Don’t give them places to hide and build webs.
Integrating several physical deterrents often provides the best spider defense without using harmful pesticides.
7. Using Traps and Vacuums for Spider Removal
For minor infestations, traps allow for effective spider capture and removal without chemicals:
- Glue boards – These cardboard traps have extremely sticky glue to immobilize spiders when they cross over. Place along walls, corners, and common travel paths.
- Spider vacuums – Special handheld vacuums allow you to suck up spiders from several feet away, trapping them inside for disposal. Great for hard-to-reach areas.
- Jar traps – Coat the inside of jars with petroleum jelly. Spiders enter the slippery jars but cannot climb back out. Frequently empty these jars outside by shaking spiders out.
- Manual smashers – Simple bug smashers with long handles let you crush spiders from a safe distance if you have the nerves!
For severe infestations, contact a professional pest control company to fully treat your basement using a combination of pesticides, vacuuming, and heat treatments for guaranteed spider eradication.
8. Creating a Spider Prevention Plan
Prevent future basement spider problems by implementing an integrated pest management (IPM) plan for your home:
- Inspect and seal annually – Recheck your basement each year for new possible entryways and seal them before spiders enter in spring.
- Install door sweeps and screens – Ensure screens, sweeps, and seals on doors and windows are intact before spiders become active.
- Modify lighting and landscaping – Redirect exterior lighting and prune back vegetation touching your home over the winter.
- Manage moisture and humidity – Make dehumidifier use, ventilation improvements, leak repairs, and insulation projects a priority every fall.
- Clean and declutter – Do a deep basement cleaning each spring, decluttering and eliminating hiding spots. Maintain tidiness to discourage spiders.
- Monitor for infestations – Inspect weekly for signs of spiders, webbing, and egg sacs. Trap, vacuum, and eliminate them immediately.
- Consider preventative treatments – Have your basement professionally treated with residual insecticides during late winter to kill early spring spiders.
- Repeat as needed – Vigilance is key to keeping Vancouver basements spider-free, so repeat these spider prevention steps as necessary. Implementing a customized IPM plan reduces the need for chemical treatments by keeping spiders out in the first place.
Overcoming Spider Phobias
If you suffer from severe arachnophobia or have been bitten by a spider, these spider prevention measures may still not put your mind at ease. Here are some tips for coping:
- Understand spiders are more scared of humans – Spiders naturally avoid people and only bite in self-defense if trapped against bare skin.
- Learn to identify dangerous species – Most household spiders in Vancouver are harmless. Learning black widow and hobo spider markings allows you to take safety precautions if they invade.
- Ask others to remove them – Have someone else catch and remove spiders you encounter until you become more comfortable.
- Start small – Try looking at photos or holding harmless spiders like daddy long legs to slowly overcome your phobia through exposure.
- Get professional help – For intense, life-limiting arachnophobia, seek assistance from a licensed therapist. Getting to the root cause helps reduce irrational fears.
- Use relaxation techniques – When you feel anxious around spiders, practice deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or imagery to calm fears.
- Avoid pesticides if phobic – Spider death from pesticides may be traumatic. Use barriers and traps instead.
Facing spider fears takes time but confronting them in small steps can help you manage reactions. Preventing basement infestations also limits encounters.
Spiders Infestation Out of Control? Get Rid of Spiders with All Green Pest Control in Vancouver
Unwanted spiders invading Vancouver basements are a nuisance but also predictable. If you’re a Vancouver homeowner dealing with a spider invasion in your basement or other areas of your home, don’t despair. The spider control experts at All Green Pest Control are ready to help. As a local company serving the Greater Vancouver area, we understand the climate, common regional spider species, and how best to tailor treatments for homes in our area. Our certified technicians have years of experience safely and effectively eliminating spider infestations of all sizes.
Reach out to the professionals at All Green Pest Control today to schedule your consultation. We’ll inspect your home, develop a customized spider removal plan, and provide ongoing prevention maintenance to keep spiders out for good. Vancouver homeowners can trust our friendly experts to resolve spider issues quickly and affordably. Call 604-990-0100 today.