Garages can see as many bugs as homes. These are dark safe places for bugs to live and spread.
You can find bugs around the garage at any time of the year. Even species that only live in the summer may survive longer indoors.
Food and shelter are among the main reasons for having bugs in the garage. Still, some species can enter the garage because they can, even if there’s no food inside.
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Why Are There Bugs in Your Garage?
The garage is the ideal place for bugs to live for a long time as it doesn’t get cleaned as often as the house. As a result, you can find entire bug nests in the garage just because this space isn’t regularly cleaned.
Here are some of the main reasons bugs and insects settle in the garage.
There’s food for bugs
Food is a main concern for most bugs. High competition for resources drives them to new locations where they can enjoy more food as follows.
- Mold – high humidity and poor ventilation lead to mold formation. Species such as booklice specifically feed on mold and fungi.
- Dead animals – a dead rat can attract flies such as Flesh Flies. They eat the dead rat and lay eggs on the rat.
- Other bugs – some bugs prefer to eat other bugs. Spiders are among the predatory species that eat all types of small bugs and flies.
- Pet food – dry pet food is seen as food for many types of bugs such as crickets. Most homes with pets use the garage as the main storage place for pet food
- Leftover food and fruit – food you keep out in the open attracts bugs. The fruit you store in the garage might also attract all types of bugs, especially when rotten.
A sheltered place away from predators
The garage offers a large shelter with multiple hiding locations. Some bugs such as roaches and wasps are known to seek out shelter when the weather turns bad.
The garage might just be a nesting site for bugs that eat outside and return indoors to rest.
16 Common Bugs in Your Garage
Some of the following species of bugs are a common sight in a garage.
A bug influenced by moisture levels, Silverfish is a native species with a high presence in garages.
This wingless insect moves similarly to a fish and it’s also shaped similar to a fish, with its tapered rear end.
Sugars and starches are among the many types of foods these bugs may be attracted to in the garage.
If moisture attracts them indoors, these foods keep them indoors.
From paper to glue, Silverfish can live long lives and survive on different types of foods other bugs may not.
Other unusual foods Silverfish eat include building adhesives and even dead insects. They can survive on the dead bugs found in the garage for months.
Crickets are also true omnivores with a high presence in and around the garage.
They can eat anything in their paths such as meats, dead insects, plants, and grains. Your stored grains in the garage may attract all types of species such as rats, but they also attract bugs such as crickets.
Insect larvae are often overlooked as a food source for crickets.
Some assume these bugs only eat grasses and plants but they can also eat some of the smallest larvae they can find.
The larvae of flies and aphids are among the common foods crickets can eat, as omnivores.
As a result, this is a species that can feed on other bugs in the garage, and one of the main reasons it’s important to clear out all living and dead bugs inside before sealing up all entry points.
Spiders like garages as they can find plenty of bugs and insects indoors.
Furthermore, stored logs around the garage also attract different types of spiders. From the species that rely on spider webs to the species that actively hunt at night, spiders are always present in the garage.
Sac spiders and jumping spiders are highly likely to be spotted around the garage throughout the year.
Corners, walls, and areas around the ceiling are likely places spiders hide in.
You can identify most spiders that build spider webs but it may be difficult to identify nocturnal spiders that move around.
Some of the most common types of nocturnal spiders to pay attention to include orb weavers and the venomous Black Widow.
Handing these spiders by hand isn’t recommended due to their venomous and painful bite.
Sowbugs are a specialized type of bug that thrives on decaying vegetation.
These types of bugs have a gray color and may reach a size of up to 0.5 inches. Decaying vegetation in or around the garage attracts them as food.
Dead leaves on the ground as well as dead plants in the garage are known to attract sowbugs.
The highest number of sowbugs is likely to be found around the garage, especially with dead leaves on garage walls or at the base of the garage.
Leaf piles you fail to clear in the fall or even in the summer attract sowbugs.
You need to remove dead plants around the garage to limit their food. Deciduous trees which have leaves that fall also need to be properly maintained.
All of the leaves that fall from trees need to be collected and removed or turned into mulch if you’re into gardening.
Multiple types of flies can live in the garage. Drain flies are a common sight when there’s a garage sink or an outdoor sink on the garage walls.
Organic material buildup in the sink is an ideal breeding ground for these types of flies.
Seeing blue flies in the garage might also be a sign there’s a dead animal inside. The Blue Bottle Fly (Calliphora vomitoria) is one of the species known for eating dead animal remains.
This type of metallic blue fly is a sign there might be a dead mouse or a dead cat somewhere around the garage.
Killing these flies or driving them out of the garage is important as they can spread different diseases.
6. Ground Beetles
Ground Beetles are generally seen as a good type of bug as they eat other species.
This type of bug is likely to be found on the garage floor where it looks for bugs and insects available at ground level.
Often seen as a biological control species, this type of bug eats flies, worms, ants, and other pest species such as aphids.
Its presence in the garden can be beneficial as it eliminates these species from its habitat.
Furthermore, Ground Beetles can also eat plants, but they often resort to eating invasive plants.
Mostly black or mostly green, various types of ground beetles in the garage may signal the presence of other bugs.
Ants are known to settle in the garage and these beetles can survive a long time indoors feeding on these colonies.
Animal foods, fats, and fruit are often eaten by ants.
These invasive species are also known to eat insect eggs, dead insects, and even living insects. It’s believed ants may have a wider diet, similar to humans when seen across multiple species.
You can find foods in the garage that are the most likely to attract ants.
From fruit to sugary juice spills on the floor, ants are attracted to something they can eat.
Most ants in the garage might also have a colony outside. Clearing the ants in the garage should also include checking the premises for other possible ant nests, also known as satellite nests.
Termites might be one of the problems that require immediate attention in the garage.
Cellulose in wood, paper, and even cotton can be eaten by termites.
Impacted wood and traces of eaten paper may signal the presence of termites in your garage.
Damaged wood is likely the food for these types of pests. You may need to check all of the old wood or humidity-impacted wood in the garage to identify the location of termites.
A garage built directly on the soil, without a foundation, is likely to attract termites more.
A flood in the garage that hasn’t been fixed or a current water leak may also damage wood and attract a large number of termites indoors.
One of the most likely species of roaches to be found in the garage includes the American cockroach.
These types of bugs may move in from the garden or other infested homes nearby.
Cockroaches have a very diverse diet and they can eat all types of foods, organic waste, as well as cardboard and other materials rich in cellulose.
Warmth and humidity are other factors that attract cockroaches in the garage.
Spotting one cockroach in the garage means there are more inside. Make sure to check under furniture and in the walls if there are cracks or openings for them to crawl through.
As roaches, booklice like high humidity. Even higher humidity is preferred by booklice which feed on mold and fungi.
Mold can only grow on garage walls when there’s too much humidity indoors. Poor ventilation as well as a possible water leak are all sources of mold.
Fungi can also grow on garage walls without insulation, as they absorb water from the air or the ground.
Booklice may also feed on stored grains in the garage. Make sure you don’t store any grains out in the open to keep these bugs out.
Moths eat all types of food they can find in the garage. Various species can be identified indoors, each living in the garage for a different reason.
Clothes moths are seen around stored clothes and textiles in the garage. Very small compared to other moths, Clothes moths often crawl and even jump as they prefer to fly only when disturbed.
Stored dry foods that aren’t properly sealed are the most likely to attract Pantry moths. Grains and cereals are the main reason they can settle indoors.
White-shouldered house moths
These types of pale-colored moths are a constant presence under carpets in the garage or under furniture. They feed on dust and all types of debris in an unclean garage.
Wasps such as Paper wasps, hornets, and even the common Yellowjackets can be found in the garage.
These types of wasps build paper-like nests. A garage is often a suitable place for this nest, typically just below the roof either indoors or on the outdoor walls.
Predatory wasps and parasitoid wasps are known to eat caterpillars, flies, and grasshoppers.
They might enter the garage looking for this type of prey. Other wasps only feed on plant nectar and they might enter the garage attracted to fruits or other sugar-rich foods.
Parasitoid wasps such as those in the Ichneumonoidea may enter the garage looking for a bug to feed on.
Bees may enter the garage at any time of the year. The reason they enter the garage varies, depending on the season, however.
In the summer, bees are very active and they move around for food. They might find fruits, sugary drink spills, and even honey jars to feed on.
In the winter, bees are more likely to settle in the garage to escape cold outdoor weather.
The undisturbed environment in the garage makes it one of the ideal overwintering spots for bees which become considerably less active in the winter.
Scorpions may enter garages in the Southern and Southwestern areas of the United States.
Spiders and other insects are among the main reasons scorpions enter the garage. These predators seek out various bugs and insects to feed on.
Scorpions can even settle next to the garage if they find insects nearby. They have been known to dig in sandy soil, creating a type of trap against ground-dwelling bugs.
Handling scorpions are dangerous and it’s best to proceed with caution or to call an exterminator when spotting them in the garage.
Fleas are a common sight in the garage. They can come from livestock around the house, from rodents, or even from birds in the area.
Feeding on blood, fleas need a host to survive. Dog fleas are a common problem in the garage as dogs carry them all around the premises.
Fleas can also invade the garage with rats and mice. Make sure there are no rodents in the garage if you spot fleas on the ground or items in the garage.
Squirrels and other wildlife with access to the garage may also spread different types of fleas even if they only occasionally enter the garage.
Puddling water around the garage or in the garage is a breeding ground for mosquitoes.
Lights in the garage also attract mosquitoes at night.
These types of biting insects may spread in high numbers if there’s sufficient moisture as they need it to lay eggs.
You may only be able to eliminate mosquitoes by fixing all puddling water issues and by adding deterring plants around the garage, such as lavender.
Other Animals in Your Garage
The garage can also be a temporary shelter for other types of less-likely animals which may be attracted to bugs or which may enter inside seeking shelter.
Texas, Nevada, and Arizona are the states with the most snake invasions. These are sometimes garage invasions of various venomous and non-venomous species.
Nevada is one of the states where many species of snakes can enter the garage.
Most of these are non-venomous, but may still bite. Venomous species such as The Western Diamond Rattlesnake are further known for their highly dangerous bites and are to be avoided.
Snakes can enter through gaps and cracks in walls.
Various types of lizards can enter the garage. They might be looking for insects to feed on.
Lizards are a common sight across North America.
Skinks are among the typical species found in the garage. They can be looking for food and they tend to make a quick escape when seeing humans.
You can find these types of lizards are a common sight in the Western and Southwestern parts of California where the species is prevalent.
California is also the home to atypical lizards such as the large-bellied Horned lizards.
These types of lizards may be spotted in your garage if there are ants for them to feed on inside.
Mice get in the garage for food and shelter. All types of grains and other types of food attract mice indoors.
Cold weather climates make mice stay indoors for a long time as they seek out a warm place to stay.
Raccoons may also enter the garage seeking food. These invaders seek out fruit, legumes, and animals or insects.
They can be attracted to mice, lizards, and frogs.
Owls and other types of smaller birds may enter the garage. Air vents are often used by birds to get indoors. An open garage is also an invitation for birds to make nests.
Birds seek out safe places above the ground to create nests and lay eggs in.
The presence of insects in the garage also attracts their predators such as bats.
Bats might not be attracted to all insects but they are known to eat insects that fly at night as they are nocturnal as well.
It’s estimated there are more than 40 types of bats in the United States.
Skunks are a typical type of animal in the garage.
They might search its premises for various insects. Skunks are known animal that digs holes in your yard, looking for food.
You can identify skunks by their musky smell in the garage.
Ways to Prevent Bugs in The Garage
Preventing bugs in the garage may be difficult as this area is dark, safe, and free from human activity most times of the day and the night.
Some bugs might find the garage even more suitable than the house, especially if there’s food for them to feast on. Here’s how to keep them out for good.
Clear out all current bugs in the garage
The first step is to always get rid of all the bugs that are already in your garage.
Some of these bugs may multiply while others might still find a way to survive for a long time. You need to clear all of the bugs from the garage before you start blocking all of their access routes.
Start with the floors – most bugs live on the floor. They find food and shelter around the garage and many tend to hide behind furniture, in furniture, in walls, or around various objects as they don’t like to live out in the open.
Look in and around furniture – furniture in the garage is an ideal place for bug nests, spider webs, rats, and other animals that attract bugs. Make sure you check all of these spaces also clearing food and non-food items bugs eat (ie. cardboard or cotton clothes).
Make sure bugs aren’t hiding in your car – a regular car checkup for bugs is also recommended, particularly around the engine block. Bugs may prefer to hide around the warm engine as they always prefer warm climates, especially when temperatures start to drop.
Consider a garage cleaning routine
Cleaning is one of the main recommended garage maintenance routines. A regular cleaning routine doesn’t allow bugs to settle and multiply in your garage. Even more, you are more likely to spot intruders when you take the time to clean all the areas in the garage.
Start with opening up the windows – allowing fresh air in the garage, from time to time, is among the best cleaning routines to consider. Pests such as ants and roaches are attracted to odors. They use pheromones to move around and breaking off their scent trails is a must.
Sweep and vacuum – regularly vacuuming the garage is among the top considerations when it comes to keeping bugs out. Even a simple vacuum cleaner can be sufficient to vacuum up spiders, moths, and other bugs that seek out shelter in the garage.
Clean corners and spaces behind furniture – vacuuming routines should also include cleaning out the spaces that are hard to reach. You may need to pull furniture away from walls or vacuum under furniture. These are ideal dark places for bugs and insects to nest in.
Check for dead animals – dead rats, raccoons, and squirrels in the garage may attract different bugs and insects such as Flesh Flies. Finding these dead animals is easy when there’s odor but you may need to check corners, walls, and under the furniture for dead bugs, birds, or rodents.
Look for cracks and entry paths
The next step is to block all access points, once all bugs and animals have been removed. Certain types of entry paths are specific to most garages as they are safe entry points for invaders.
Windows – open windows are an invitation for bugs and insects. Cracks around windows are also common places for bugs to crawl around as they’re attracted to lights indoors in the first place.
Doors – open doors or small pet doors are other routes for bugs into the garage. Doors that don’t close properly are among the first reasons many bugs can easily enter the space. Make sure to check the areas around doors for openings, cracks, or bug nesting sites.
The roof – garage roofs rarely get checked. However, many types of bugs may enter the garage through the roof. Wasps and bees are among the first species to settle in high points around the roof.
Clear vegetation and debris around the garage
Dense vegetation is a breeding ground for bugs. It maintains higher soil moisture, which bugs love. Tall vegetation overhanging the garage is the most problematic. Make sure you regularly trim vegetation in the yard, around the home, and around the garage to limit ideal bug habitats.
Cover trash cans – trash cans offer plenty of food and ideal breeding ground for bugs and insects. Spiders, ants, and crickets are among the species which may make their way to the trash on purpose or by accident. Make sure to cover the trash cans to avoid odors luring in all types of bugs.
Trim overhanging tree branches – overhanging tree branches are used by rats and squirrels to get into the garage. These species may attract bugs, they might carry bugs, or they might attract bugs if they die in the garage. Make sure you trim all overhanging tree branches.
Consider setting up traps
Traps are the final step to a clean garage. You can catch flying bugs with a zapper lamp and crawling bugs with bait traps.
Sticky traps, in general, are among the cheapest and most effective ways of catching all types of bugs.
You can set up sticky traps in multiple areas around the garage. Sticky traps can be laid on the floor for species such as silverfish and next to the ceiling around lights for flies and wasps.