Nothing evokes fear like a surprise discovery of a spider. But while these 8-legged arachnids may seem scary, they are actually beneficial to our eco-system and not bad to have around. Spiders naturally control the pest population by eating other insects. Many house spiders are harmless. By nature spiders aren’t aggressive and won’t bother you unless you bother them. However, there are some types of spiders living in our region that you don’t want sharing your home with you.
Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse spider varies in color from light brown to greyish brown and is approximately ¼ of an inch to ¾ of an inch long. Brown recluse spiders have six eyes and live to be between 1 and 2 years old. Reproducing between May and July, they produce several egg sacs containing around 50 eggs each. Living up to its name, the brown recluse spider doesn’t want to be bothered. The brown recluse spider usually flees if it feels threatened or will play dead, however, it can strike and its bite is painful and can be harmful. It is the second most venomous spider in North America.
Black Widow Spider
Black widow spiders are black with an orange/red marking on their back. They are approximated ½ inch to 1.5 inches long including their legs. Male black widow spiders are not venomous, but females do have venom that can be dangerous. Black widows like to lurk in backyard woodpiles or drain downspouts. They also can strike if they feel threatened.
Common in our area, the wolf spider is hairy, brown with black markings, has 8 eyes and varies in size from a ¼ inch to 1 1/3 inch (not including legs). Wolf spiders are unique in how they carry their eggs; they carry their egg sac on or underneath their abdomen. They have excellent eyesight and survive by camouflaging themselves. They prefer outdoor wooded areas, but have been found indoors, in dark, cool spaces.
There are ways to minimize the likelihood of spiders in your home. Spiders like quiet and dark areas such as the attic, or cool areas such as the basement, corners and flowerpots are a favorite habitat as well. Keep these areas clean. If you see a web, use a broom or vacuum cleaner to remove it. The vacuum cleaner can be especially helpful because it can remove any egg sacs with minimal disturbance. Spiders like cardboard, so store items in plastic containers with airtight lids. Keep your woodpiles away from the foundation of your home. Most importantly, let the experts inspect and treat your home.
Learn more tips on how to make your home most unwelcome to these eight-legged arachnids.