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8 Ways to Keep Insects and Mice From Living in Your Shed

Keep insects and mice away

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Don’t you just hate it when you go into your shed to get something and there’s a big spider hanging about the items you’re trying to get? A few years ago I had stored some items in a cardboard box on the shelve in my shed, and low and behold there were mice droppings everywhere and a family of mice had moved into the box…. What a mess!

There are even poisonous spiders that can give you a nasty bite and not to mention the diseases that mice carry, so you’ll need to deal with these issues quickly to avoid having a major infestation to deal with as well as the damage the mice will do to your stuff.

In this article I’m going to go over how to prevent mice and insects from getting into your shed in the first place as well as how to deal with them once there already moved in. I’m also going to look at some natural and other methods for getting rid of spiders and mice and some preventive things you can do to keep them out. 

8 Ways to Keep Insects and Mice From Living in Your Shed

Bayer Suspend InsecticideLet’s begin with insects…Particularly spiders! I hate spiders so let’s look at what you can do so spiders and other insects can’t get into your shed.

Number 1] Prevention… This is the first line of defence and it works for mice too, begin by removing shrubs, brushes from the area around your shed. Also keep the grass well-trimmed around the shed and whipper snip around the edges of the bottom of the shed.

Number 2] Use a Pesticide… Another good way to keep spiders and other insects out of your shed is to use an insecticide and spray around the outside of the shed and in areas that the insects can sneak into the shed.

I’m going to recommend the “Bayer Suspend Insecticide” because it’s a great general purpose concentrate that deals with a wide variety of insects. You can dilute it down and it has a long residual life and is safe for use inside your home. It comes in a 16 ounce size so it’s going to last a long time.

It has 1624 ratings and 320 answered questions so you can get all the information about this product before buying it. It also has a 4.4 out of 5 rating. You can read the reviews and get more information here on Amazon.

Number 3] Inspect Windows… Windows are often an entry point for insects especially if you have the window open for fresh air. Make sure all the windows have screens that aren’t damaged. Many folks use older used windows for their sheds so you’ll want to make sure they fit snugly and there are no gaps around the frame.

Number 4] Doors… Just like the window, check that there are no gaps when the door is closed especially the bottom of the door. Make sure it closed tightly again the frame to seal out insects. Add a door sweep to make sure the doors bottom is sealed when the door is closed.

Number 5] Caulking… Windows and doors are especially bad for letting in spiders, replace the screen if needed. Start on the outside and caulk the outside of the window and then go inside and caulk any cracks on the inside of the window. Do the same for the door, if needed add some new exterior trims and apply caulking under and around the new trims.

Number 5] Plug Holes… Sometimes you’ll have openings in the wall to run a power cord for power in the shed. Are there may be other holes on the outside of the shed from settling. Fill these holes with some expanding foam especially in the winter when insects and mice are looking for a dry place for the winter.

You can check out Amazon’s full line of expanding foams and seals here on Amazon.

Number 6] Keep Your Shed Clean Inside… Keeping the inside of the shed clean and organized as well as using plastic containers with lids will also stop spiders from hiding and setting up shop in your shed.

Shed Plans

Number 7] Inspect The Items… Before putting stuff into the shed give them a good cleaning and for garden tools hose them down. Spiders like to hide on items and then they get a free ride into the shed.

Number 8] Weather Stripping… Check out the weather stripping around the door and if it’s not sealing tightly or worn, now’s a good time to replace it.

How to Remove Spiders That Are Inside Already

If you have spiders already living in your shed you have a couple options: Using a chemical approach or a natural approach. Some would rather use chemicals while others won’t feel comfortable having chemicals in their shed especially if you have kids and pets.

If your OK with using chemicals and want a fast extermination of spiders and other insects in your shed I’m going to recommend “Raid Concentrated Deep Reach Fogger” for the fast way to get rid of all the spiders in your shed. You can check it out here on Amazon.

Removing Spiders Using Natural Ways

There are all kinds of home remedies for repelling and killing spiders and depending on your situation deciding on which one will be best for you can be overwhelming. I’m going to go over the most common and successful methods and you can choose the one that best suits your needs.

Number 1] Eucalyptus… You may be able to find some branches art a garden store, if not you can get eucalyptus oil and apply some into cracks and places that are small that spiders can enter in thru. The secret of eucalyptus oil is its odor, spiders don’t like the smell.

Number 2] Turn Off The Lights… If you have lights on in the shed and on the outside this will attract other insects which spiders feed on. So by keeping the lights off their food source will remain outside.

Number 3] Vacuum… If you have a shop vac you can go around the inside of your shed and vacuum the spiders and cob webs up. Also go around the outside and do the same thing, this method doesn’t necessarily kills all the spiders so you can dump out your shop vac into a plastic bag and seal it and place in the garbage can.

Ideas to Naturally Repel Spiders

The key to having a good spider repellent is odor, and you need to keep in mind that most spiders interrupt odor with touch. When using repellents that rely on odor you’ll need to place the repellent where spiders are coming in from or in a place where you see spiders most often.

7 Ways to Repel Spiders

Number 1] Vinegar… This is a great way to keep spiders out and most folks already have vinegar. Using a spray bottle combine the vinegar and an equal amount of water in the spray bottle, spray where you see spiders and any areas that spiders can get in.

Go outside and spray around windows and doors and any other places that they can enter from. You’ll need to spray the vinegar water solution at least once every 5 days to see good results.

Artizen Peppermint Essential OilNumber 2] Vanilla, Dish Soap and Vegetable Oil… This is another great repellent, mix a cup of vegetable oil with and ¼ cup of dish soap [preferably Dawn] and add I teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix these ingredients together in a separate container.

In your spray bottle add one tablespoon of the mixture to 1 cup of water. Make sure the mixture is well mixed and now you’re ready to spray. Spray into all the areas where spiders may be getting into. This mixture will last a couple of weeks before you need to re-apply.

Number 3] Peppermint Oil… This is my favorite for spiders; it is also very good for other insects and mice. I use a 455ml spray bottle and add about 5 to 6 drops of natural peppermint oil and give the bottle a good shake.

Now you can spray all the areas that you suspect the spiders are coming in, if you know where there coming in from you can use an eyedropper and put a few drops there. A good 100% pure peppermint oil is “Artizen Peppermint Essential Oil you can see it here on Amazon.

Number 4] Lemon and Lavender… These work great at repelling spiders and combining the lemon and lavender and then using some cotton wads dipped into the solution will make you some powerful balls that you can put in a few spots in the shed and watch the spiders disappear!

Number 5] Citrus Oils… Another great option, in you sprayer add about a cup of water and then 4 to 5 teaspoons of the citrus oil. Give it a mix and you’re ready to go, you can spray this solution liberally and be sure to hit the spots that are known to have spiders.

Not only repels spiders and other insects it also leaves a nice fresh sense in the shed, apply your citrus spray about once a week.

Number 6] Borax Soap and Baking Powder… This method is a bit messy, what you do is spread the borax soap or if you have some to spare baking powder on your sheds floor especially around the perimeter. What happens is the spiders will usually eat this and then they will die.

Number 7] Using Chestnuts… Haven’t had much success with chestnuts, others have had good results using them. I would try the other methods first before giving chestnuts a go.

Keeping Insects and Mice and Other Critters Out

While keeping the bugs and other critters from getting into the shed in the first place is the best choice, then you won’t have to deal with them inside and the messes they make. There are some poisonous ones that you’ll want to keep out to prevent being bitten and having to seek medical attention.

I was bitten by a brown recluse a few years ago and it was very painful so I’m always looking for ways to keep these bad spiders out of my shed.

Some Ways to Prevent Entry into Your Shed

There are some things you can do to prevent insects and mice from gaining entry into your shed.

Number 1] Damaged Wood… If there are areas of your sheds foundation that are damaged from moisture and rot you’re going to need to replace these areas. Rotted areas allow for the insects and mice to get into your shed.

Also check the outside for areas that are split that you can repair and inside check the floor for spots that are weak and have small holes. You’ll need to repair these areas, for the floors you can use some pieces of sheet metal to cover the bigger holes and this will help keep them critters out.

Ryans Sheds Plans

Number 2] Upkeep and Maintenance… Keep your shed maintained, if it finished with wood caulk cracks and re-paint every few years or as needed. If your shed is finished with vinyl siding look for cracks or holes and repair these as needed.

With a shed that’s finished with metal you’ll need to check around windows, doors and other openings for cracks and small holes and install new caulking as needed. Also inspect any vents and window screen and repair or replace as needed.

Number 3] Proper Ventilation… When sealing your shed against insects and mice it can be really easy to block your shed from having proper ventilation which will cause rotting and mold a mildew to grow.

Air Vent Inc Foundation VentMake sure you use the correct air vents for air circulation under the shed and for air circulation inside the shed. I like the “Air Vent Inc Foundation Vent” for good ventilation for under your shed, put one in each end. I love these because they can be opened and closed as needed and have built in screens. Check them out here on Amazon.

Bewox Plastic Round Air VentAlso having good ventilation inside your shed is important to keep the air fresh which in turn discourages many insects to try to get in. Having a window with a screen that opens can let in fresh air. As well having at least one wall mounted vent that you can control is very helpful.

Check out the “Bewox Plastic Round Air Vent” that comes in sizes from 3 inch to 8 inch. These are easy to install and have screens inside to prevent access to insects and mice. I like these because all you need to do in the winter is stuff some pink insulation into the opening to seal off for the winter. You can check them out here on Amazon.

Number 4] Keep Soils Away From Shed… Don’t store your dirt or compost next to your shed, all sorts of insects love compost and that attracts spiders and even mice.

Number 5] Clean Tools… Hose off your tools before putting them into the shed and if your storing your bigger items like a wheelbarrow on the outside of your shed give it a hosing down when you’re putting it away.

Number 6] Relocate Bins… Many folks either store there garbage cans and recycling bins in their sheds of outside against the shed and under the overhang to protect them from the elements. While this seems like a good idea having those bins next to the shed attracts bugs and mice, so it’s better to find another place for them.

Not sure where to locate them you can read my article “5 Clever and Smart Outdoor Garbage Can Storage Ideas” for ideas and help in choosing a good option. You can read it here.

Number 7] Storage… Sometimes you have to keep some garden supplies in the shed so the kids or pets don’t get into them. A good way of doing this and keeping the insect away is to use some plastic storage containers that have tight sealing lids. I like to use the clear ones so I can see what’s in the container.

Number 8] Trees and Shrubs… Get into a good habit of keeping any tree branches that are hanging over or near the shed are trimmed back, also don’t have small brushes or other plants growing up against the shed.

Number 8] Pest Repelling Devices… While there are all kinds of different devices that claim to repel spiders and other insect as well as mice, I haven’t had much success with the devices I tried. Some folks swear by them, so it’s up to you if you want to give them a try. You can see Amazon’s full line of pest repellent devices here.

Dealing With Insects Living In Your Shed

Ortho Home Defense

With the large number of different insects that can get into your shed, you’re going to want something that will deal with all of them. I’m going to recommend “Ortho Home Defense” as the solution.

– Works and protects for up to 365 days.

– Has an extendable dispenser wand so you can apply without having to bend down.

– Fast drying and penetrates into the areas the insects are hiding.

– Safe for indoor use.

You can read the reviews and get more information from Amazon here.

Dealing With Mice in Your Shed

One of the biggest problems that many shed owners are going to face is dealing with mice. Mice are destructive little pests that are dirty and can bring in diseases into your shed. While they are larger than insects and spiders they have an ability to squeeze into the tiniest of holes and move into your shed, especially in the winter.

How to Prevent Mice From Getting Into Your Shed

Number 1] Remove Water Source… Just like most small critters if you have a water source that will attract mice. That’s why in so important to have good drainage around your shed so there’s no water under the shed that’s attracting the mice.

During the winter months make sure any water source that you have is turned off and if your using water in the shed make sure there’s no leaks and don’t leave containers that have water in them to have no sources inside for them to get water.

Number 2] Remove Any Food Sources… It’s not likely you have cheese in your shed; mice also will eat grass seeds and a wide variety of other seeds. If you’re going to be storing seeds and other items that are a food source use plastic containers that seal tightly.

Number 3] Nest Building Materials… Mice will build nests out of paper and cardboard so not keeping paper and cardboard in your shed will make it hard for mice to set up their nest and will likely move on to another place that will have the needed materials.

Number 4] Deterrent Material… If you need plug holes that the mice are getting into the shed from you’ll want to use either steel wool or a mesh material made out of copper. Using copper mesh has its advantages over steel wool because the copper mesh is much more difficult for mice to eat thru.

Ryans Shed Plans

How to Rid of Mice Already in The Shed

Number 1] Cat… Nearly all cats are mousers and do a great job of controlling mice populations. While cats do a great job, there is some commitment required with having a pet cat.

Number 2] Using Poisons… There are various types of poisons you can get to control mice and rats but, if you have pets and small children it’s not a good idea to use poison to control mice. I do use poison in my wood shed and place the packages between the rows of firewood.

Doing it this ways allows the mice to have access to the poison and at the same time preventing larger animals like cats and dogs from being able to get to the poison. As I use the firewood I remove any poison that’s left and dispose of it safety.

Number 3] Mouse Traps… These work great for dealing with an infestation without having to worry about having poisoned mice and worrying about pets eating a mouse that has been poisoned. I like to use peanut butter in my traps and it works very well.

I knew a Lady who would use live traps and as She caught them She would release them back outside. Works for those folks who don’t warn to harm the mouse I teased Her about how many would come back in.

How to Get Rid of Mice Naturally and Safely

For many using poisons and other types of non-natural mice repellents isn’t a good option and are concerned about the environment effect these repellents will have on them and their family members as well. Let’s take a look at a few all-natural mice repellents:

Number 1] Peppermint Oil… Peppermint is Mother Nature’s own repellent that gives off a very intense odor that rodents and some spiders just don’t like. It also masks over the smell of other attractants that can attract the mice.

When using peppermint oil on mice all you need to do is put 2 or 3 drops of the oil into some cotton balls and place the balls in the areas you see signs of mice.

Number 2] Block Access… There are several ways you can do this; the easiest way is to plug the hole that the mice are entering from. Steel wool works well for this or better yet nail a piece of wood or some metal flashing over the hole.

Ultrasonic Mice RepellentsNumber 3] Ultrasonic Repellent Devices… These I have found as I mentioned earlier don’t work very well for repelling spiders, but I have found them to be effective at repelling mice. A great product that will not harm the rodent and uses sound waves that mice don’t like to be near.

I’m going to recommend the “Neatmaster Ultrasonic Pest Repeller” if you’re looking for an effective way to keep mice away. This unit plugs in and has 3 settings, it has 770 user ratings and 327 answered questions. You can read the reviews and get all the information here on Amazon,

If you’re looking for a repellent device that operates on batteries you can check out Amazon’s full line of ultrasonic repellent devices here.


Dealing with insects and mice in your shed can be difficult sometimes, dealing with the issue sooner rather than later will be a better option as they breed fast and can cause a lot of damage and be a health risk.

Give some of the suggestions I have given in this article a try. However sometimes in extreme cases you may need to call in a professional pest exterminator for the big job. Feel free to share what you have found that works well in the comments. If you have found the article helpful please give it a share. Thanks for reading.

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