How to Keep Ants Out of Your Shed (2022)

Updated November 2022

Wondering how to keep ants out of your shed? Today’s post has some great advice for keeping a pest free shed when bugs, spiders and woodlice are invading your outdoor shed.

Sheds are vital parts of the garden for many households, and you’ll want to keep your outbuildings in good condition so they last for years to come.

Pests can pose a range of problems for sheds, so read our useful guide to avoiding, and getting rid of bugs, pests, spiders, ants and woodlice.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR SHED PEST-FREE (AND GET RID OF ANTS FOREVER)

Rats, Mice and Voles

Let’s look at how to get rid of rats and mice from your garden shed or outbuilding first.

Rodents live in both rural and urban areas, but you can avoid attracting them to your garden by following a few simple steps.

If you’re aware they’re already visiting your outdoor space or your shed, there are measures you can take to prevent them returning.

1. Reduce and Eliminate Odors

If you use your shed to store items that smell, keep them in airtight containers. Odours can attract rodents in search of food.

2. Block Up Any Gaps

Prevent pests from entering your garden in the first place by ensuring there are no gaps in the periphery hedges or fences. If there are holes, fill them with pieces of wood. Companies like Sheds Liverpool make solid sheds that withstand the rigours of nature, including inclement weather and garden pests. 

3. Invest in Humane Traps

If you have a problem with rats or mice, invest in humane traps so you can catch the rodents and release them somewhere far away.

4. Add Insulation

To prevent rodents from getting into your shed, consider insulating the building. Fibreglass is commonly used to insulate wooden sheds.

How to get rid of Insects from your Shed

Insects are a part of wildlife that you can’t really avoid, but there are ways of keeping bugs, ants, flies and beetles out of your shed.

Woodworm, greenfly and ants are all common problems you don’t want to have to deal with in your pest free shed, so the best tactic is prevention rather than cure where possible.

1. Use Mothballs

If you store clothes in your shed, make sure you use plenty of mothballs to deter moths from discovering and potentially ruining the garments.

2. Invest in Repellents

Invest in special sprays that will repel or kill insects without damaging any plants you’re growing in your shed. 

You can usually spray these liberally all around the inside of the building, paying particular attention to any holes or gaps in the shed’s walls.

For those seeking a more immediate solution to rodent issues, Catchmaster also offers a line of instant-kill snap traps. These traps are designed to provide a quick and efficient method to control rat and mice populations, ensuring a fast resolution to pest problems.

While not as humane as catch-and-release traps, these instant-kill options are made with precision and effectiveness in mind, offering a reliable alternative for those who prioritize immediate rodent control.

3. Hide Fertiliser Scent

Pack bags of fertiliser in extra layers; the smell from the fertiliser can be a magnet for insects, so making it less easy for the scent to escape should reduce your chances of attracting unwelcome insects.

4. Use Chalk to Prevent Ants in Your Shed

Ants are common garden pests, and you can invest in special powders to deal with the insects.

Alternatively, draw a chalk line around the shed on the ground – the ants won’t want to cross the line, so you can solve the problem humanely. A great tip for a pest free shed!

5. Ventilate Well to Avoid Woodworm

Woodworm is actually a type of beetle that burrows into wood and eats it, causing damage to buildings like sheds.

The problem tends to occur in humid sheds, so ensure the building is well ventilated and perhaps invest in a timber moisture meter with a probe. As long as the reading is below 12 per cent, woodworm shouldn’t be a problem.

If you’re concerned the shed might have or contract woodworm, you can install a UV insect killer that will eradicate emerging adult beetles in spring and summer.

If the woodworm has already consumed the building, it might need treating with the chemical boron, or it may be time to look at new sheds for sale and invest in a replacement.

6. Stain Raw Wood

Avoid attracting insects by painting or staining raw wood. This should also help prevent water seeping into the wood and making the shed rot.

7. Remove Unnecessary Light

Keep light sources in the shed to a minimum. Many insects are attracted to light, especially at night.

8. Fill Gaps with Expanding Foam

Fill gaps in your shed walls to prevent insects from entering and to keep a pest free shed. Try an expanding foam to fill holes and some silicone beads between shed panels.

Do you feel confident you can get rid of ants in your shed now, as well as other bugs and insects?

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Jen Stanbrook
Jen Stanbrook

Jen is an interiors writer and blogger and has an insatiable love of home style and decor

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8 Comments

  1. I'm home honey
    April 15, 2014 / 10:09 am

    Great tips. I love nature and all but don’t like the creepy crawlies lurking in my shed :/

  2. Molly
    April 16, 2014 / 10:23 pm

    I’ve found them really useful! I like the one about doubly wrapping the fertiliser so as not to attract unwanted guests by the smell.
    I have a lot of woodlice (which I hate!) in my allotment shed at the moment so will be following your tips. Thanks!

  3. Pingback: How to keep your shed pest free
  4. Lesleyann
    May 13, 2014 / 8:14 am

    Some great tips here! Particularly drawing a chalk line around the shed. Haven’t heard that one before so definitely will be giving it a try. Thank you for a great article

    • Marni
      October 8, 2019 / 5:50 pm

      They make a powder chalk for chalk lines, in construction. It comes in a bottle with a pointed tip so it’s easy to draw a chalk line around the perimeter, just squeeze and go!

      • Paula Andrzejewski
        August 25, 2023 / 4:57 pm

        If it raid it will wash away though

  5. Jake Smith
    May 23, 2016 / 6:56 am

    Thanks for the useful information i know now what to do, on how to eliminate insect.

  6. Kathleen
    August 22, 2020 / 8:33 pm

    Is there a way to keep spiders out of my shed? I think I’ll try that idea if silicone where the bottom of the shed meets the floor. And maybe glue screening to the ventilation vents. That should keep hornets from making nests in there too. I can’t wait to paint a new door design!

  7. Deborah Badwell
    June 6, 2023 / 4:42 pm

    Thanks for your post. I have wood lice and did not know how to get rid of them! Thanks Deb

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