Spiders are very active this time of year, and not just because it’s almost Halloween. Small and quiet, they prefer dark places and often go unseen. During the fall, however, they mate and lay eggs that will hatch come spring. While not all spiders are harmful to humans, many are – and some are deadly. Even when harmless, spiders can evoke a sense of dread. In fact an article by Verywellmind.com listed arachnophobia (the fear of spiders and other arachnids) as one of the ten most common phobias from which people suffer. To help keep these predators out of your home and off of your mind, here are eight pest control facts and tips about the types of spiders found in the tri-state area.
- There are three main types of spiders.
While zoologists estimate that there are 35,000 species of spiders, these arachnids fall within three categories: web-spinning, running, and jumping spiders – each of which can be found in our region. Web-spinning spiders, like the American house spider, are what most people think of, when they hear the word “spider.” They spin webs, wait for their prey to get caught, then go in for the kill. As opposed to web-spinning spiders, running and jumping spiders are active hunters. As their respective names suggest, runners, like the dreaded brown recluse, will chase down the insects they prey on, while jumpers, like the appropriately named bold jumper, will pounce.
- Even spiders that aren’t deadly to humans can be harmful.
Of the aforementioned 35,000 spider species worldwide, only about a dozen deliver enough venom in their bites to make them a threat to humans. While brown recluses and black widows are sometimes found in the tri-state area, they are not indigenous to the region and sightings are considered rare. The most common spider that poses a threat to humans in the region is the yellow sac spider. While they deliver a necrotic venom that causes painful ulcerating sores, they are only moderately venomous.
- Spiders reproduce in large quantities.
Spider eggs sacks contain numerous eggs. Brown recluse spiders, for example, lay up to fifty eggs in a single sack and will produce several sacks per mating season. This means just one female can bring hundreds of hatchlings into the world – and the adult stage of this spider’s lifecycle lasts as long as two years.
- Spiders are attracted to other pests.
Spiders feed on a number of insect species we consider pests. This makes spiders a benefit to humans, so a few spider sightings around the home does not signify a need for major pest control measures. However, because insects are a food source, a problem with one pest can lead to a prevalence of spiders.
- Spider populations around the home can be reduced by controlling other pests.
Because spiders feed on common household pests, cutting off their food sources will make your home less attractive to spiders. Common pest prevention tactics can reduce spider populations both directly and indirectly. Sealing small entrances into the home, such as cracks in doors and windows and holes in screens, keeps pests out, in general. Because web-spinning spiders prey on winged insects that are attracted to light, they will weave their webs near the bright outdoor lights that draw moths and the like. Turning off these lights when they are not in use or switching to softer yellow bulbs, which are less attractive to insects, will make spiders less common on the outside of a structure.
- Other pests can become spider bait.
Traps laid for insects can become traps for hunter spiders, as well. Once an insect is caught on a glue trap, it will lure spiders. However, because such traps do not cover much surface area, they must be placed in the kinds of dark, quiet areas where spiders are commonly found, in order to be effective. This tactic can also reveal where spiders may be entering the home. A glue trap with multiple spiders stuck to the right hand-side will indicate the direction from which spiders are traveling.
- Spiders are not easily killed with chemical pesticides.
In order for a chemical pesticide to be lethal to a spider, it must make contact with the spider’s body. However, a spider’s eight legs keep its body elevated off the ground, meaning such poisons typically only make contact with the tips of the spider’s legs. Web-spinning spiders spend most of their time in their webs and, therefore, would not come in contact with chemicals sprayed on a surface.
- Leave it to the Masters.
Because spiders hatch in such great numbers and are not usually susceptible to chemical pesticides, effectively dealing with a serious spider problem requires experience and know-how. Learn more about spiders, here, and request a quote, if you have noticed a prevalence of spiders in your home.