The Cleaning Mistake That's Drawing Unwanted Spiders To Your Home

If spiders are still getting inside your home after you've tried sealing any cracks near doors and windows, it's possible that you could be attracting them by accident. Dirty, smelly outdoor trash cans are a common hang-out spot and breeding ground for several different types of insects, including flies and cockroaches. Though spiders may not be directly attracted to your trash can, they will see it as an easy way to catch their prey.

When stinky trash cans are close to the home, this gives insects and spiders a chance to sneak inside, so it's important to consider the best place to store your outdoor garbage bins. By regularly cleaning your trash cans, keeping trash in tightly tied bags, ensuring there are no cracks in the bin, and using a lid that isn't loose, you can prevent spiders from gathering there and consequently sneaking into your house. Piles of recycling, like cardboard boxes, beside trash cans could also be attractive to spiders. Wyatt West, a board-certified entomologist, explained this problem to BestLife: "Many spiders are reclusive in nature, and by having a lot of clutter you are providing them a protected space where they can wait on food to come to them instead of the other way around," he said.

How to clean your trash can

Garbage bins can become disgusting quickly, but cleaning them at least once a month will help to cut down on insects and spiders. Your garbage can will need to be empty to clean it, so it's a good idea to tackle this project on collection day. Start by rinsing out the can with a hose that has a sprayer until any liquid or pieces of trash are gone. Then, pour your cleaning solution into the bin. ⅓ cup of bleach with a gallon of water will work well for disinfecting the can, but if you prefer to avoid bleach, dish soap and white vinegar are great alternatives. If your bin is extremely dirty, you may want to let the solution sit for up to 25 minutes. 

Once your cleaner is in the can, scrub every surface of the inside. This can be done with a designated toilet brush, and the longer handle will keep you from having to touch the bin. After the trash can has been cleaned, pour out your cleaner and rinse the bin again. Rather than drying out your bin with an old towel, let your trash can air dry in the sun.

Other ways to protect your trash from insects and spiders

Besides cleaning your garbage bin, it's important to take steps to keep it from becoming overly dirty in the first place. Never throw loose trash into the can and make sure bags are tied tightly. The placement of your trash cans will also affect their appeal to insects and spiders. Bins that are placed on the ground will accumulate moisture underneath, which makes them a perfect spot for insects and provides a food source for spiders. Additionally, cans that sit under windows or outdoor lights are more attractive to insects and give them easier access to get inside your house. To keep spiders away from your house, place trash cans on platforms that are distanced from the exterior walls of your home.

Insects will also make their way into garbage bins through cracks or holes in the plastic, which could eventually attract spiders. Make sure there are no openings in the can and that the lid fits tightly over the top. By keeping your garbage can clean and secure, you'll prevent insects from swarming your bin and make it harder for spiders to sneak into your home.