Pests in the garage are quite a common problem; however, the infestation can be a nightmare for garage owners.
The cozy spaces between the furniture, boxes, and racks provide a perfect haven for bugs and rodents to thrive. It’s likely to find cockroach eggs, bugs, and spider webs in the nook and crannies of your garage if you fail to clean it regularly.
Most garage owners must have encountered a bug, rodent, or other pests in their garage, but the infestation is an entirely different matter. It means that the bug, rodent, or pests had long been inside your garage feeding on the edibles such as paper and lubricants and producing offspring.
Most of the time, you can rid your garage of the pests yourself, while other times, you must call the exterminator to do the job. Let’s take a look at garage infestation, what type of bugs often infest your garage, and how to get rid of them.
Pest Infestation in Garage
Pest infestation in the garage isn’t uncommon. The unkempt garage often attracts different kinds of pests and small animals because you’re less likely to clean the space regularly. This allows pests to invade the tiny spaces inside your garage and start multiplying.
Why are pests attracted to your garage?
Compared to other parts of your house, the garage is often left open for a longer duration of time. It provides bugs and pests easy access to your garage. The small opening and loopholes often become an easy passage inside the garage, and small critters easily lurk in seeking protection from the outdoor elements.
The stuff you store in your garage may also attract bugs and rodents. If you’ve left an edible inside the garage, the chances are that the bugs like ants and flies will invade your garage to find the food source.
The unkempt garage often attracts small animals like silverfish, rats, and deer mice to make themselves at home in the storage boxes, wall voids, and garage-sale items. Since the storage space isn’t typically cleaned very often, it allows pests to hide and survive amongst the clutter.
House spiders can quickly enter the garage space and start making websites if you forget to regularly clean the nooks and corners of your garage. Other pests may cozy up in the corners during rainfall, heat, or snowfall.
Additionally, house spiders can feed on more minor bugs, while silverfish and deer mice will eat the garage’s food. Ground beetles are attracted to lights, so any lights left overnight in the garage will draw them in.
We can sum up the reason for pets invading your garage in three simple points.
- Garages offer protection
The cozy garage space offers pests protection from dangers like summer heat, frigid winters, inclement weather, and natural predators like rats and birds. Pests also seek protection inside your garage when their natural habitat is destroyed.
- They simulate a bug’s natural environment.
The dark corner with spilled lubricant and sticky walls simulate a bug’s natural habitat. Many pets seek solace in garages because they remind them of their natural habitat: A moist place with plenty of materials and debris to burrow and nest in.
- Pests are attracted to smells.
The spilled antifreeze agent, salt, or other forms of liquid and food debris become sources of many tempting smells for pests. The scents from garbage, spillage, animal food can attract different kinds of pests.
How to identify pests in the garage?
Start with identifying what type of pest has invaded your garage to find a permanent solution.
1. Spider Infestation
It’s widespread to find a home spider inside your house and garage. Luckily, you can quickly identify spider infestation in your garage than any other pests. Your garage has many dark and secluded corners where these creatures can lurk in to make nests. The dark corner behind the boxes and furniture, unused garage and garden tools, and shelf above the garage light and garage motor are often the prime places for spiders to add webs and lay eggs.
Once their population starts increasing, they will spread out quickly. The intricate spider web often attracts flying bugs to enter your garage.
2. Silverfish infestation
Silverfish is a tiny wingless insect that is often found inside houses because they seek places with a lot of humidity or moisture. It’s also known as the fish moth, urban silverfish, or carpet shark.
You should know that silverfish infestation means there is a more significant underlying issue in your garage. They require a high level of humidity to thrive and reproduce. This means that a particular part of your garage is exposed to water leakage, spilled car lubricant, or other forms of humidity.
They often go undetected because of their speed and general characteristics, and they can easily hide inside cracks, corners, and shelves.
Rats, Murids, House Mice, and Black Rat are some of the most common rodents that invade the garage and other parts of your house. Check for visible fecal matter on the closet, boxes, and corners to spot rodent infestation.
They seek small openings, crevices, and garbage where they can keep themselves warm and protected. Rodent infestation in the garage is common during winter and monsoon. They will often sneak inside in the dark and make the garage’s dark and cozy corner their home.
As they can easily find their way into the void of walls, they can enter from the outside or inside your house. Deer mice can quickly enter your poorly sealed garage. They often seek shelter from the harsh conditions in garages.
Once inside, they’ll chew on wires, cardboard boxes, papers, lubricant boxes, and plastic to feed. They will have reproduced easily if you fail to clean your garage in six months.
Ants can quickly enter your garage when you have spilled liquids and dropped food crumbs on the floor. However, some types of ants, such as carpenter ants, may invade your garage for something other than edible food.
The three types of ants primarily found in garages are:
- Carpenter ants: As the name suggests, they excavate wood and nest inside structures. They will gradually damage the wood fixtures and furniture.
- Odorous house ants: Although they don’t pose a threat to you, the odorous ant colonies can often attract other pests.
- Pavement ants: The most common type of ant, “house ant,” can invade your garage seeking food items such as sugar crumbs, food crumbs, dog food, and liquids.
5. Cricket and Grasshoppers
Garden pests like Cricket and Grasshoppers can invade garages located near grassy fields and bushes. The dry weather often invites crickets and grasshoppers in your garage to seek a place to reproduce. Because they can jump at great height and length, it won’t be easy to locate or catch them. The Camel Crickets often feed on fabrics and clothing. The only way to eliminate bug infestation is by calling pest control.
Ground beetles are nocturnal creatures that can crawl or fly into hollow structures, small openings, and crevasses. You will find them hiding underneath stones during the daytime. They can enter a poorly sealed garage. Although Beetles often feed on other creatures such as cabbage worms, earworms, and slugs, they can make your garage space a place to reproduce.
It’s pretty rare to find a slithering-reptile crawling inside your garage, but it’s always a good idea to keep an eye open if you live in an area with snakes around. Snakes mostly visit your garage in search of food; rodents, pests, and insects. If your garage is home to these pests, a snake would likely give you a visit or two. Snakes may also lurk inside the garage when it’s extremely hot or cold outside. If you spot one inside your garage, it’s better to call pest control services.
Muskrats are semi-aquatic rodents that are found in wetlands over a wide range of climates and habitats. If you don’t live nearby rivers, ponds, or swamps, you needn’t worry about them. Along with being troublesome, they spread deadly viruses like Rabies. It’s a good idea to call a pest control service to remove Muskrats from your garage.
Yes, you heard it right! Raccoons are pretty troublesome rodents that can invade your garage for food and garbage. If you find one living inside your garage, it’s probably a mother Raccoon about to give birth. They can spread deadly viruses, so it’s a good idea to remove them immediately from the enclosure. Remove food sources from your garage and keep it tidy to avoid attracting small animals.
Termites are attracted to wood sources such as furniture. They’re more likely to infest older and decaying wood sources. Termite can easily break down wood, so it’s a good idea to protect vulnerable areas like where wood meets the ground. Check for Blisters in wood flooring, hollowed or damaged wood, mud tubes, dry-wood termite droppings, etc.
Sowbugs or woodlouse live in houseplants and are harmless to humans. They primarily reside in areas of high moisture and occasionally enter homes. If you find multiple sowbugs inside, likely, they have already started infesting your garage.
Flies are prevalent in warm-weather areas. They are primarily attracted to garages that emit odors. If you have placed garbage around or inside your garage, you’re more likely to attract flies. Flies can quickly spread Typhoid, Anthrax, Salmonella, Cholera, and Tuberculosis; hence, never keep your garbage bag open and clean the surface for any liquid spillage, food crumbs, etc. You can add a window mesh or garage screen door to prevent flies from entering the garage.
It’s quite usual to find roaches inside your garage. They need three basic things to survive: warmth, moisture, and food. Your unkempt garage offers them a perfect place to live and thrive and garages that are dark, humid, and untidy are a source of attraction for the roaches. The cockroach infestation can contaminate your food with their waste and saliva which contains Staphylococcus causing bacteria.
Rabbits are harmless to humans, but the predators aren’t. If you live in a region that inhabits rabbits, it’s a good idea to keep your garage and door adequately closed at all times. Rabbits often attract coyotes, foxes, and other harmful predators. It’s best to remove them from your property immediately.
How to Get Rid of Garage Infestation
After you’ve identified the type of pest in your garage, you can start preparing to remove it. You’d need to call pest control to remove those that are too dangerous or too large for you to remove.
1. Remove existing pets
Start with removing existing pets inside your garage.
- Examine your garage – Examine your garage for potential pest infestation. Check under the shelves, flooring, cracks, ceilings, above garage door motor and lights, and into the storage boxes for chew or scratch marks, holes, nesting piles, etc.
- Identify the pest – Once you notice the infestation, consider researching the potential pest. The damage done by rodents is easily noticeable. For termites, you’d need to check for wood dust, pores on wood shelves, etc.
- Remove the Infestation – Once you’ve identified the pest, you can start the process to remove it permanently. Consult with pest control center to remove dangerous animals. You can use a mousetrap as a triggering bait to catch mice. As an option, you can use sticky traps or live traps that capture mice in one place.
- To remove ants, you can spray the vinegar and water solution (50-50). It kills ants and also repels them.
- To remove termites, you can apply termite-killing chemicals or spray boric acid that you can easily find in the supermarket.
How to Remove Termites?
You can rely on both conventional chemicals and organic options to remove termite.
There are two types of termites: Subterranean termite and Drywood termite.
Subterranean termites live in both foundation wood and compost piles.
- Subterranean termites can easily travel into your garage by creating mud tubes. This can do more damage to your garage.
- Using a termiticide barrier can kill termites quickly. The insects won’t detect the termiticide.
- You can also apply natural chemicals such as Termidor Foam into the cracks, voids, and crevices.
- Termite baits are another option. The slow-acting toxin interrupts termites’ natural growth.
- As an organic method, you can apply a mixture of Nematodes (segmented roundworms), potting soil, and cold water to the infected area.
Drywood termites live exclusively in wood.
You can find them along with the warm coastal areas.
- You can apply Boric acid to deal with dry wood termite. The boric acid dehydrates the termite hence shutting down its nervous system.
- Diatomaceous earth can kill termites by penetrating their exoskeleton and dehydrating them. This is an organic method of killing termites.
- As an option, you can use a cardboard trap. We two pieces of cardboard and stack them on top of each other. The cardboard’s cellulose will attract the termite. Once the pest gets caught between the two pieces, you can take it outside and burn it.
2. Clean Your Garage
Once you’ve cleared out the pest from your garage, it’s time to give it a clean scrub.
- Remove garbage and food sources from the garage. Most insects and animals are attracted to food sources such as a pile of garbage, spilled liquid such as milk, food crumbs, leftover, empty cans, pizza boxes, etc.
- Remove the debris such as insect nests, clutter, cockroach eggs, spider webs, etc.
- Clean the wet and damp areas for liquid spills. Check if the rainwater is seeping through the roof or the garden water is seeping in through the walls.
- Remove all the clutter from the garage, including new tools, boxes, garage sale items, old clothes, and old car lubricants. Start with shelving all the items inside the tight box or cupboard to ward off any insects.
3. Check for Cracks and Openings
Once you’ve cleared the garage from all the clutter, it’s time to repair the cracks and openings.
- Start with paying particular attention to the floor. Check for possible moisture and cracks.
- Inspect the walls for any cracks and holes. Rodents and cockroaches can quickly enter through tiny holes. Most bugs make their house inside the cracked walls.
- Check for cracks or openings in the ceiling. You’d need to check for possible leaks, which will require a thorough inspection. Bugs and rodents can make your unsuspected roof their home.
- Check for holes and gaps around the window.
- Start with sealing the hole with adhesive. You can add a layer to the wall to cover the cracks. The leaking roof would require adding a cover underneath the surface.
4. Remove Food Temptations
A part of cleaning your garage, you should strictly remove all the food temptations. Rodents are easily attracted to food sources. Cockroaches are attracted to damp and moist places.
- Check for any stored food or pantry items in your garage, such as pet food. You’d need to seal it and tuck it away securely.
- If you plan to store your grill in your garage, remember to clean it before storing it or seal it properly.
5. Garage Door Maintenance
As the garage door is often the most accessible access for pests, you should keep an eye on its maintenance.
Routine garage door maintenance includes:
Regular inspection – Consider inspecting your garage door for visual and audible leaks. The cracks or gaps are most easy to be seen. Check for the sound of the door, including squeaky or clunky sounds that appear abnormal.
Keep your garage door clean – Ensure to wipe away debris and dust that builds up over time. It’s essential to clean your garage door of salt, anti-freeze, snow debris, and rainfall to elongate its lifespan.
Lubricate the door – Consider lubricating the door to avoid malfunctioning garage door, including door panels, garage motor, screws.
Add a garage door screen – Adding a garage door screen helps keep the pests, insects, and rodents away. You can use the door screen whenever you’re working inside the garage or need to keep it open for a longer duration of time.
Handy Tips to Keep Your Garage Pest-Free
- Most garage doors have a large opening through which pests of all kinds will enter. Using weather-stripping or rubber seals can help to keep insects out. Along with keeping pests out, it will prevent rain and water from entering your garage.
- You can easily find weather-stripping in your nearest supermarket or home depot.
- You can seal the cracks and holes with silicone caulk. It fixes plumbing leakages, sinks, windows, and doors while weatherproofing your garage. When buying silicone caulk, consider getting a pure silicone caulk or acrylic caulk added to silicone.
- You can spray the bottom baseboard of the garage’s inside and outside with an insecticide. This will quickly stop pests from crawling into your garage. However, you must be extra careful to let your pet or children play around as the insecticide is highly toxic. Consider washing the floor off after each use.
- Laying traps is an organic way to catch and kill pests. Mousetraps are good at catching rodents, while insect trappers can help trap almost every flying pest.
- Landscaping that comes in contact with your garage gives pests direct access, so keep your trees and bushes away from the structure.
- Use caulk to seal gaps and cracks for further cockroach infestation. Place gel bait stations to effectively reduce roach population or apply boric acid powder to kill them immediately.
- To prevent future roach infestation, consider removing your garbage from the structure immediately. Food scraps and kitchen waste are great sources of attraction for most bugs. Use a bungee to keep the lid tightly attached. Also, check for any source of excess moisture in your garage such as drippy hoses, leaking water pipes, or roofs. Consider drying up these areas immediately.
- Vacuum your garage frequently to eliminate pests or pest eggs.
For everything else, you can contact the pest control service for immediate and professional pest control solutions. They will inspect your garage for possible infestation and recommend a proper course of treatment. According to HomeGuide.com, the pest control visit on average costs about $170, with a general range of $100 to $270.
You can always consult with pest control to apply preventive measures in your garage. Preventing pests from entering your garage will help solve the problem immediately.