spider pest controlThere are about 3,000 species of spiders found in the United States. Only a few of these species are considered to have bites that are dangerous. In general, spiders are very shy creatures, usually living in protected areas, feeding on other insects. Spiders will not purposely attack people – bites most commonly occur while cleaning areas that disturb a spider’s web or nest.

Most spider bites are not harmful to people, and those who are bitten only experience mild discomfort. In a few rare cases involving older adults and young children a spider bite can induce an allergic reaction, however only a few spiders like Black Widows and Brown Recluse spiders are known to have toxic venom that may cause medical problems. The best course of action is to seek medical treatment for any bite that results in prolonged discomfort or pain.

Common Spider Species

Appearance – These spiders are black with a red “hourglass” shape on their back. They are about ¾ inch in length and 3/8 inch in diameter. Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape on their back. Although the legend says otherwise, female black widow spiders don’t usually swallow the male black widow spider after mating.

Biology – The black widow spider bite can cause extreme pain. Young children and older people are especially likely to have a bad reaction. If bitten, seek medical attention immediately, and bring the spider with you so it can be identified.

Prevention – Avoid black widow spider bites by wearing heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time. Spiders often hide in shoes, so check shoes and shake them out before wearing. When spider webs are visible, use caution before putting your hands or feet in that area.

Appearance – Brown recluse spiders are light or dark brown with a dark brown violin mark on their back. They are about 5/8 inch in length.

Biology  Though not indigenous to Michigan due to the cold weather, Brown Recluse spiders are hitchhikers and have been transported here from the Southern parts of the United States. This spider bites in defense. The bite can be painful and can leave an open sore that can require 2-3 months to heal. Seek medical attention immediately if bitten, and take the spider along to expedite identification.

Prevention – To avoid Brown Recluse spiders, avoid keeping clothing on the floor. Store clothing and shoes inside plastic containers, and shake out all clothing that has been in a hamper before wearing or washing. Brown Recluse spiders warrant professional control.

Appearance – Usually pale yellow, light brown or gray. They range in size from 1/16 to 5/16 inch and have very long legs.

Biology – They are mostly found in cellars, warehouses, garages, caves, crawl spaces and other dark, quiet, protected spots.

Prevention – Cellar spiders thrive in areas with high relative humidity, such as improperly vented crawl spaces, improperly sealed basement walls, leaking/sweating plumbing pipes, etc. Reducing the humidity can help control these spiders. Also, make sure the structure is properly screened and sealed to reduce entry. A thorough household cleaning should be done twice each year.

Appearance – Hobo spiders (also known as the aggressive house spider) are light to medium brown with dark stripes to either side of the lighter midline stripe. Females are 7/16 to 5/8″ while males are 5/16 to 7/16″.

Biology – These spiders are poor climbers are can usually be found in dark, moist areas.

Prevention – Make sure the structure is properly screened and sealed to reduce entry. Also, changing the lighting near entrances to yellow bulbs may be of some help in reducing attractiveness. A thorough household cleaning should be done twice each year.

Appearance – The house spider can be many colors. The female’s abdomen is round, while the male’s abdomen is long. The house spider is about 3/16 to 5/16 inch in size.

Biology – This spider is found outdoors and indoors. Outdoors it lives under rocks, boards, etc. Indoors it builds webs in the corners of walls, floor joists and windows, and near damp areas like basements and crawl spaces. The house spider leaves its web often to build new one nearby, so it can create webs in an area in a short time.

Prevention – Make sure the structure is properly screened and sealed to reduce entry. Also, changing the lighting near entrances to yellow bulbs may be of some help in reducing attractiveness. A thorough household cleaning should be done twice each year.

Appearance – The jumping spider is usually black, but sometimes brown, tan or gray and usually has markings that are white, gray/yellow, red, blue and/or green. They are 1/8 to ¾ inch and are mostly covered with hairs or scales that are usually brightly colored or iridescent.

Biology – Jumping spiders are hard to catch, and the chances of being bit are very rare. However, people who garden are most likely to disturb their habitat. If they are disturbed, they might jump and bite exposed skin.
Prevention – Make sure the structure is properly screened and sealed to reduce entry. These spiders will usually be found hunting around windows and doors in the daytime. Removal with a vacuum is best followed by disposal of the vacuum bag outside.

Appearance – Also known as the yellow or agrarian sac spider, these spiders are pale yellow or pale green. The female is 3/16 to 3/8 inch in length while the male is 1/8 to 5/16 inch.

Biology – They can be found walking on leaves, under leaf piles, stones and boards; they can also be found in and around buildings, under windowsills and siding, corners of walls and ceilings. These spiders are active hunters during nighttime; they will search for a victim rather than capturing it in a web. Sometimes these spiders come in contact with humans and bite when they get trapped between a person’s skin and sheets, clothing, shoes, etc.

Prevention – These spiders enter homes through loose fitting and/or unsealed doors, faulty screens, windows, vents and utility lines, structural junctures and plant materials brought inside. They may also enter through gaps around ducts, light and electrical outlets, plumbing and molding. The best prevention is to make sure the structure is properly screened and sealed to reduce entry. A thorough household cleaning should be done twice each year.

Appearance – The wolf spider is mainly dark brown, usually with pale stripes or markings. The female is 3/16 to 1 3/8 inch long while males are 1/4 to ¾ inch. Wolf spiders usually scare people because they are big, hairy, and run fast. They are pretty common and easy to spot. They feed on large insects and other spiders.

Biology – They look for protected areas like holes or tunnels in the soil; under and between boards, stones, and firewood; under siding, etc. They are not known to be aggressive, but they will bite if they’re bothered. Some wolf spiders are large, but their bites are not dangerous. However, the bites can be painful; the skin may become red, but goes away with time. Serious medical issues have not been reported.

Prevention – Wolf spiders usually make their home outdoors. Make sure your building is properly screened and sealed to keep them out. Also, changing the lighting near entrances to yellow bulbs may help attract them less. A deep house cleaning should be done twice each year. Control of these spiders isn’t usually necessary, unless there are a lot of them. Speak with a pest professional for more information.

 

Spider Pest Control Tips

1. Keep brush and firewood away from your home.

2. Calk and seal cracks to prevent multiple entry points for spiders.

3. Discourage indoor spiders from web-building through frequent vacuuming and sweeping of corners, closets, basements and other out-of-the-way places.

Griffin Pest Solutions can create a spider pest control plan that eliminates spiders from your home and helps you prevent future infestations. Contact us today to learn more!