Spider Control 101: Step-by-Step Guide to Clearing Spiders from Your Boat Dock

Spider Control 101: Step-by-Step Guide to Clearing Spiders from Your Boat Dock

September 06, 2023

Spider Control 101: A Guide to Clearing Spiders from Your Boat Dock

Whether you have your own personal boat dock or you manage a marina with many boat docks, you want to keep docks pest-free. Unfortunately, some types of spiders, such as the common cellar spider, are attracted to damp places. As a result, they may want to take refuge on your boat dock.

In fact, there are even semi-aquatic spiders called dock spiders that commonly make their home on docks, wharfs, boat houses and other wet areas. They are quite large, and while they’re generally not dangerous to humans, they’re likely not something you’d care to encounter on your boat dock. More importantly, you don’t want them to end up on the boat. When you have spiders on your dock, they can easily climb up onto the boat, where they can potentially lay eggs and cause an infestation. (Female dock spiders can lay up to 1,000 eggs at a time!)

So how can you keep spiders off your dock? There are a number of simple steps you can take to keep the area around your boat free of these pests. Keep reading as the pest experts at MosquitoNix®® go over what you can do.

Ways to Keep Spiders Off Your Boat Dock

  • Sweep your dock regularly.

This one’s easy: Regularly sweep your dock with a good old-fashioned broom to get rid of any spiders, egg sacks and cobwebs that may have formed on your dock. (As a bonus, you’ll be getting rid of any other dirt or debris that may have found its way onto your dock.) Just be sure to do a thorough job. Spider egg sacs can be very small and thus hard to see, especially against the look and texture of woodgrain, so you should sweep the whole thing even if it appears clean.

  • Use a power washer to clean your dock.

You may occasionally want to go a step beyond sweeping. Using a power washer to clean your dock can help make sure you clean between the boards of your dock, where spiders and egg sacs may be hiding. These small spaces are hard to clean properly with just a broom.

  • Don’t leave excess clutter or debris on the dock.

Your dock already provides enough attractive hidden places for spiders to hang out, including between the boards or under the dock itself. Don’t give them additional opportunities by leaving clutter on your deck! Clear off as much as possible so they have nothing else to hide under or among.

  • Try ultrasonic spider repellant.

Spiders do not like ultrasonic sound, so these spider-repelling devices are designed to emit that sound and drive them away. You can try using one on your boat deck, as long as you have an outlet to plug it into. However, bear in mind that there isn’t conclusive evidence that ultrasonic pest repellants are effective.

  • Remove low-hanging tree branches.

Spiders can’t fly, so they must get onto your deck from somewhere, right? If there are low-hanging trees around your dock, cutting back the branches can make it harder for spiders to simply descend from the tree down to your dock.

  • Try a spider-repellent spray.

There are spider-repellent insecticide sprays you can spray the surface of your deck with. There are also versions that take the form of granules or pellets rather than sprays. However, you want to make sure that any spider spray for boat docks you use won’t potentially be damaging to the surface of your dock. More importantly, keep in mind that many common insecticides should not be used around water, as they can harm marine life.

  • Clean your deck with a natural spider-repellent alternative.

You can try using several natural substances as sprays or cleaners for your dock. This can help reduce concerns about exposing marine animals to potentially toxic chemicals. For instance, some people use solutions made of vinegar and water or citrus oil and water to clean their docks, as these are natural spider repellents. However, keep in mind that even vinegar and other natural substances can still be harmful for marine life; try to ensure that minimal amounts of any kind of cleaner go into the water.

  • Keep your dock relatively dry.

Of course, you can’t keep a dock completely dry, and as noted above, you may even want to power wash it occasionally. That said, try not to let it be sopping wet, especially over large portions of it. It’s not good for the dock, and some spiders, including dock spiders, have water-resistant legs that can walk on standing water. (Plus, standing water can attract another pest: mosquitoes.)

  • Remove unnecessary sources of light.

Like many types of creatures, spiders are attracted to light. Keeping lights on your dock to a minimum (while still maintaining a high enough light level to be safe) can help keep you from unwittingly drawing them to you.

  • Set spider traps.

Finally, there are insect traps, including glue traps, made especially for spiders. They can be found at most hardware stores. Again, just be wary of getting any substances from these traps into the water around you to prevent marine life from being exposed to potential toxins.

Seek Professional Help for Your Spider Woes

Those are all helpful DIY solutions for helping to keep your dock spider free. However, if they don’t work for you, if you don’t have the time to implement them or if you’re experiencing a full-blown infestation, you might want to retain professional help. At MosquitoNix®, we know a thing or two about spiders. We also know how to provide eco-friendly pest control solutions, including natural and organic treatments. Contact us today to learn more about our range of services and how they can help protect your favorite indoor and outdoor spaces from spiders, mosquitoes and other pests.

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