SPIDERS



Spiders can be a major concern for homeowners - particularly for those who live in the southwest. There are about 3,000 species of spiders throughout North America, but only two in the southern and western United States can cause serious harm when accidentally disturbed - the black widow and brown recluse.

 

If spiders are infesting your home, contact . We will be able to inspect your home, confirm the species of spider and recommend a course of proper spider control.

 

Below you'll find the most common spiders that frequently invade our homes and businesses. Click on each picture to learn more about the species.




Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen. This spider gets its name from the popular belief that the female black widow spider eats the male after mating, although this rarely happens. Black widows are poisonous when ingested during the first 17 days of their life.

HABITS: Black widows are active when the temperature is 70 degrees or higher, but they can survive lower temperatures with the right conditions. Black widow spiders spin irregular webs, which they build at night near ground level. Once complete, these spiders hang upside-down in their webs.

HABITAT: Outdoors, black widow spiders commonly live in protected areas like under stones and in firewood piles. They are often found in barns, outhouses and sheds. Indoors, black widows prefer cluttered areas of garages, basements and crawl spaces.

THREAT:  While male black widow spiders rarely bite, females are known to be aggressive and bite in defense, especially after laying, and when guarding eggs. Symptoms of a black widow spider bite include fever, increased blood pressure, sweating and nausea. Fatalities are unlikely, as long as proper medical treatment is sought in a timely manner. If you notice black widows or signs of infestation, contact us at immediately for a proper course of black widow spider control.

BLACK WIDOW STATS


Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back. These spiders often infest cedar shake roofs and spin irregular webs, which are used as a retreat.

HABITS: Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal and eat other small bugs like cockroaches and crickets. These spiders spin irregular webs, which are not used for catching prey but rather as a retreat.

HABITAT: Brown recluse spiders often live outdoors where they are typically found around rocks, utility boxes and woodpiles. Indoors, brown recluses can be found in any undisturbed area, such as inside boxes, among papers, in seldom-used apparel and shoes, under furniture or in crevices of window moldings. Closets, attics, crawl spaces and basements are the most common brown recluse spider hiding spots.

THREAT: Like the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider bites in defense and does not bite humans instinctively. However, both female and male brown recluse spiders can bite and inject venom. The brown recluse’s bite is usually not felt, but results in a stinging sensation followed by intense pain as long as six to eight hours later. A small blister usually develops at the bite location that can turn into an open ulcer. Restlessness, fever and difficulty sleeping are common symptoms of a brown recluse spider bite.

BROWN RECLUSE STATS


The common house spider is usually the spider most often encountered indoors. It is a nuisance pest, probably more because of its webs than the spider itself. The house spider is found worldwide and is common throughout the United States and Canada.

HABITS: The house spider randomly selects its web locations and creates a tangled web. If a web does not yield prey it is abandoned, another site is selected, and a new web is built.

HABITAT: House spiders have a difficult time surviving in modern homes due to low humidity and fewer insects for food. They are more likely to prosper inside structures like garages, sheds, barns and warehouses. Outside, these domestic spiders are often around windows and under eaves, especially near light sources that attract prey.

THREAT: Common house spiders are nuisance pests, but they pose no threats to humans.

BROWN RECLUSE STATS


Unlike most spiders, wolf spiders don't hunt with webs. Instead, they chase their prey using their fast running ability. These spiders are often big and hairy which alarms some people, but they are primarily nuisance pests. Over 100 species of wolf spiders are found in the United States and Canada.

HABITS: Wolf spiders actively hunt during the night and usually rest in sheltered places during the day. They are fast on their feet and pursue prey. Because of these habits, wolf spiders are commonly seen by people.

HABITAT: Wolf spiders may enter structures in search of prey. Although they are not inclined to be permanent residents in structures, they often stay once inside. Indoors, wolf spiders tend to remain at or near floor level, especially along walls and under furniture. Outside, wolf spiders can be found under stones, landscape timbers, firewood, leaves and other debris.

THREAT:  Because wolf spiders feed on a variety of insects, including crop pests, they can be beneficial. Wolf spiders can bite, but it's extremely rare to experience a wolf spider bite unprovoked. They will only bite if they are handled. The presence of wolf spiders in homes is usually accidental.

WOLF SPIDER STATS


Long-bodied cellar spiders are commonly referred to as "daddy-long-legs" because of their very long, thin legs, and as their name implies, are found in dark and damp places like cellars and basements. There are about 20 species of cellar spiders in the United States and Canada.

HABITS: Cellar spiders seem to fare better in areas with higher relative humidity. These spiders build loose, irregular, tangled webs in corners, and hang upside down on the underside of them. The webs are not cleaned but rather new webs are continually added. This habit can result in extensive webbing in a relatively short time. When disturbed on its web, the cellar spider has the habit of rapidly shaking its body in a rotary movement to confuse and entangle the prey.

HABITAT: Long-bodies cellar spiders and their webs are usually found in dark and damp places, such as cellars, basements, and crawl spaces. They can also be found in the corners of garages, sheds, barns and warehouses, on eaves, windows and ceilings, and in closets, sink cabinets and bath-traps.

THREAT:  Cellar spiders do not pose a threat to humans, as their weak mouthparts keep them from injecting venom into humans.

CELLAR SPIDER STATS