Just thinking about the subject of keeping spiders out of my camper makes the hair on my arms stand up. I hate spiders. Bugs of any kind inside my camper are a nope. I once found a big one in my kitchen. While I worried that I might get more, I guess he was the only one. My husband had to be the hero and had to get rid of it.
I haven’t found any eight-legged creatures lately, but I thought I would share some tips on keeping those hairy, icky things out of my camper. Read on if you feel the same way I do about keeping spiders out of your camper.
How Do Spiders Get in Your Camper?
There are numerous ways a spider can get into your camper. They can crawl through unsealed windows, holes in the window screens, air vents, holes for cables, pipes and plumbing lines, electrical receptacles, and generally any small opening. Your RV is not a sealed tight container, and there are many opportunities for spiders and other small bugs to enter.
6 Ways to Keep Spiders Out of a Camper
Since spiders are generally helpful creatures and play an important role in natural ecosystems, you probably would rather drive them away rather than kill them. Several natural scents, such as orange peel or lemon, will keep them away. Cedar is also another scent that will repel spiders.
A citrus air freshener should work well, or rub areas of the RV with lemon-scented wood polish. Keeping your RV clean and clutter-free is also a good way to keep spiders out of your camper.
Make sure when you park your RV that you keep away from piles of leaves or grass clippings, low-hanging trees, or wood piles. These are prime spots for spiders.
1. Keep It Clean
Spiders like to hide in dark, dirty cracks away from humans, so keeping your RV clean will help to keep them away. Thoroughly cleaning the entire rig and, in particular, vacuuming even hard-to-reach cracks and crevices will help keep spiders at bay.
2. Fill In Cracks and Holes
Make sure and fill any cracks or holes that might be in your RV. Spiders can crawl through some pretty tiny areas, so it is important to seal up any spots where they might be able to get inside.
Repair or replace any weather stripping around doors or windows. Gaps around plumbing or electrical connections can be filled with caulk. Also, don’t forget to cover vents with screens if they don’t already have them.
3. Keep the Doors and Windows Closed or Screened
If you happen to be in an area that is crawling with spiders, keep your doors and windows closed, or make sure your screens are not damaged or have holes in them.
4. Use Spider-Repelling Scents
Who knew there were so many scents that repel spiders? As I indicated above, lemon or orange scents are high on a spider’s “no-go” list. Light a cinnamon candle or mix vinegar and water and spray it around places where a spider might come in or hide. Peppermint, tea tree, eucalyptus, and lavender are also good spider-repelling scents.
Tobacco leaf or garlic spray is also a good spider repellent.
If you have pets, know that those oils I just mentioned, eucalyptus, tea tree, cinnamon, citrus, and peppermint are just a few that are very toxic to pets. Always check before using any essential oils.
5. Spread Baking Soda Along Interior Perimeters
Baking soda can also be used to help drive spiders away. It’s also a great cleaner and deodorizer for your RV.
Sprinkle some around the perimeter of areas where a spider might try to get in, including windowsills, doorways, and around plumbing and electrical connections. You can reapply baking soda once or twice a week.
6. Use Pesticides If Your Desperate
Of course, pesticides will also kill any spiders you might have. Use sprays that are specific to spiders with ingredients such as cyfluthrin, bifenthrin, deltamethrin, and lambda-cyhalothrin, listed on the container.
How to Keep Spiders Off the Outside of My Camper?
1. Don’t Park in the Brush
Park your camper away from the brush and any other natural elements that come in contact with your camper. Spiders like plants that have branches that are strong enough to spin webs. Make sure that you keep away from brush, wood piles, piles of leaves, grass clippings, or low-hanging trees.
If your RV is close enough, they will make a trek to your camper to look for new food sources.
2. Try Flea Collars Around Your Propane
Surprisingly, spiders and other insects like the smell of propane. Try placing small pieces of flea collars around the refrigerator and hot water access compartments on the outside of the rig to deter spiders and bees.
3. Spray Essential Oils and Vinegar on the Exterior
Mix up a bottle of vinegar and water to spray along the outside of your RV. A mix of essential oils or baking soda will also work to deter spiders. Just remember that some oils are toxic to your pets.
4. Spray Natural Repellent
Natural sprays, such as vinegar, peppermint, cinnamon, and garlic, will go a long way toward keeping spiders away. Did you know that horse chestnuts and walnuts are also natural repellents? Try leaving some around your RV.
Some of these natural repellents that keep spiders out of your camper also work for other insects like mosquitos and flies.
Is There a Permanent Solution to Repel Spiders?
Spiders will always be around in nature, and as much as we love to hate them, they are good for the ecosystem. If you plan to spend time in nature, keep the above suggestions in mind, and you shouldn’t have much problem keeping them at bay.
As for a permanent solution, if you seal up every crack and crevice, cover vents with a fine mesh insect screen, caulk around wires, cables, and plumbing, and replace any torn or broken screens, you probably will have your permanent solution.
Which Smells Keep Spiders Away?
The smell of citrus is a great way to keep spiders away. You can place orange or lemon peels around vulnerable areas or create a citrus spray to apply to those areas.
Light a cinnamon or peppermint candle, or keep spiders away with a coconut and vinegar mixture.
What Keeps Spiders Away at Night?
Is It Possible to Completely Eradicate Spiders from Your Camper?
Spiders are crafty, so there’s no way to completely eradicate spiders from your camper, but there are some great deterrents like the ones I previously mentioned.
Use plug-in repellent devices that use a high-frequency noise that deters spiders and other insects away from your bed and other areas of your RV. It is silent to the human ear but very irritating to insects.
Don’t eat in bed. Even the tiniest crumbs can draw spiders and other bugs.
Add a few drops of peppermint oil with water in a spray bottle and spritz it around the room. It’s been said that peppermint tea bags, soaked in water and placed in the corners of your RV, will keep spiders at bay.
Do Traps Keep Spiders Out of Your Camper?
Spider traps might not keep the insects out of your camper, but they will definitely kill them when they encounter the trap.
A glue trap is the most effective kind of trap to kill spiders. They trap the spider on a sticky surface where they are unable to escape. If you use these near where spiders can enter your RV, you should be fairly successful in trapping and killing any that try to enter.
As much as I don’t like spiders, I would rather keep them from getting into my RV than kill them once I find them inside. If you can avoid killing them and can transport them back outside, that would be best for the environment.
Some spiders are highly poisonous such as Brown Recluses or Black Widows. Brown Recluse are common in 16 states and as far north as Illinois and Indiana. Black Widow spiders are most commonly found in the southern United States, in the desert, and are often in Florida and Texas.
Even if you are camping in the woods, keeping spiders out of your RV is not difficult. Try some of the ideas we suggested, and let me know in the comments if you found a repellent that works for you.
About the Author:
Terri Nighswonger and her husband Todd have been RVing and work camping for five years with their Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Newton, and their Minnie Australian Shepherd, Remi.
They originate from the Midwest but plan to enjoy the West for a few years, wintering in Arizona and summering wherever the road may lead. Writing is Terri’s passion, but she also loves hiking, kayaking, walking her dogs, and anything she can do outdoors.