At some point, you've likely drawn back your shower curtains or lifted the toilet seat only to come face to face with one of the creepiest surprises: a spider. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon scenario. Spiders are frequently drawn to bathrooms, especially during the fall and winter months, according to JP Pest Services. And experts are warning that there is one thing many of us leave behind in the bathroom that may be the worst culprit for attracting this pest. Read on to find out what item in your bathroom could be inviting spiders in.
Leaving dirty, wet towels in your bathroom could be attracting spiders.
You may be tempted to leave your wet towel in the bathroom after you take a shower, but this is not a habit you should get used to. Wet towels are likely to attract spiders because of their moisture, as "moisture is essential for any spider and they cannot live without it," says Macy Ruiz, a board-certified entomologist working with Ehrlich Pest Control. Nicholas Martin, an entomologist and founder of Pest Control Hacks, says certain types of spiders are more likely to be attracted to moist locations, like cellar spiders.
RELATED: 7 Cleaning Habits That Attract Spiders.
Wet towels also draw in common food sources for spiders.
Other experts suggest that it is not just the moisture itself that is attracting spiders, but also the potential food sources that could be present. According to Ruiz and Martin, wet towels also attract bugs such as gnats, flies, mites, centipedes, ants, crickets, and cockroaches—all of which are common sources of food for spiders.
"Spiders are attracted to moisture because one, they need it to survive, and two, they know their prey also needs it to survive. Spiders will build webs around areas of moisture in hopes their prey will come looking for water and fall into their trap," Ron Hodgkins, co-owner and manager of Bel-O Pest Solutions, explains.
You should avoid leaving towels on your bathroom floor.
Andrew Gabries, a pest expert and owner of Go Green Lawn and Pest Control, says that spiders are even more likely to go after wet towels left on the ground. "This hunting ground is even more attractive if the towel is left on the ground where it can be easily accessed," he explains.
Even if they're not damp, pick your towels up. Thomas Marbut, pest expert and general manager at Mosquito Squad, says warmth is "very attractive to spiders," so they might be looking for cozy areas of shelter in spaces they're already used to right now.
"During cold months, spiders seek shelter, so it is best to keep towels hung up to avoid having spiders seek shelter in a pile of towels," Marbut explains, adding that "spiders are also drawn to dirty areas like windows that haven't gotten dusted for a while. That includes under your bathroom furniture or an untidy stack of clothing on the floor."
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There may be other bathroom habits that are inviting spiders into this space.
Both spiders and other pests can gain access to your bathroom through your drains, according to Ruiz. But your windows could also be a clear access point, so it's important to secure them. "Make sure the windows close properly and the screens are good without any holes that can give access to the pests," she advises. "If you constantly clean your bathroom and you still get spiders, that means that your bathroom has a prominent point of entry. Find it [and] fix it—that will stop the spiders."
Having plants in your bathroom can also draw in spiders, Gabries warns. "Plenty of insects are herbivores, so spiders hang around plants knowing these insects will eventually turn up and get trapped by their webs," he explains.