What to do if you spot a spider in the car while driving
It’s hard to avoid spiders if you live in Australia – there are at least 10,000 different species and they love to hide in the nooks and crannies of human habitats. These include common areas in your car, such as its:
- steering wheel,
- dashboard, and
- sun visor.
If the thought of spiders in your car is enough to send shivers down your spine, do a thorough check of these spots before you start driving off. And if you do spot one while driving – take a deep breath, try to stay calm, and follow the steps below.
Stay calm and stop safely
We know it’s easier said than done. But slamming on the brakes or swerving off the road would put you at a much greater risk of injury than the spider does. In fact, there haven’t been any confirmed spider-related deaths in Australia since 1979 – so chances are the spider is harmless.
The best thing to do is to keep driving, find a safe spot to pull over and remove it.
Don’t make any sudden movements
Spiders don’t usually bite unless they feel threatened – so avoid sudden movements. And remember, the spider is probably as frightened as you are. It doesn’t want to bite you; it’s just looking for a place to hide.
Find and remove the spider
If you have a magazine and container or even a plastic bag, you might be able to trap the spider and remove it from your vehicle. If you don’t, opening all the car doors and gently nudging it could do the trick.
Think you lost the spider? Chances are it may have found shelter somewhere else in the car. It will be unlikely to pop out again while you’re driving.
Does car insurance cover spider-related accidents?
AAMI Car Insurance covers accidents caused by abrupt braking and swerving due to a sudden, unforeseen incident – as long as it’s not a result of reckless driving – whether it’s a spider appearing on your steering wheel or a kangaroo jumping out onto the road.
However, the type of coverage you’ll have depends on your policy type. Third Party Car Insurance only provides cover for damage to other people’s vehicles and property, but Comprehensive Car Insurance provides cover for your vehicle too.
So check you have the right cover for you in case an accident were to occur.
How to keep spiders out of your car
Clean out their hiding spots
One of the easiest ways to keep spiders away is to keep your car clean. Regularly vacuum crumbs, rubbish and dirt from seats and the areas beneath them. Also pay special attention to cleaning exterior spots on your car like:
- behind windows,
- under the bonnet, and
- inside wheel arches.
Removing unnecessary items in your car means fewer possible hiding places for spiders. Doing so will make it less likely that they’ll make your car their next home.
Spiders often get into your car through small cracks in the roof, the edge of the car door, or window rails. Sealing these spots with a rubber sealant will prevent spiders from hitching a ride in your car.
Use essential oils
Smells from certain essential oils are known to repel spiders. Effective scents include:
- lavender, and
You can dab these scents on a cotton bud. Or you can make them into a spray and circulate it in areas like the boot, glove compartment and air conditioning vent.
Use DIY insect repellents
Another spider repellent you can make at home is a combination of water and liquid dish soap. Dish soap can disturb the egg cycle of spiders and the scent of citrus will often repel them. Consider spraying the inner corners of your vehicle a couple times per week for the most effect.
Use DIY spider traps
A trap might help if you notice more than one spider in your vehicle. You can create a simple DIY sticky trap by cooking corn syrup in water and then spreading the resulting glue-like substance onto carboard strips. Place the traps in the areas where you saw the spiders and check on them weekly as needed.
Once you’ve secured your car against spiders, make sure that your insurance cover is also up to date – so your vehicle is covered in case of damage from flood, fire, hail or theft.
- Number plate theft: is your car protected?
- What to do when you lock your keys in the car
- How does new for old car replacement work?
AAMI Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as AAMI. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available. This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.