There are over 35,000 described species of spiders worldwide, with about 3,000 occurring in North America. Spiders are generally beneficial insects when outside because they are predators for many other harmful or annoying pests. But inside the home or office, many species of spiders are pests for humans. In addition to frightening some people, spider bites can hurt and be poisonous. Wherever their food is available, spiders are likely to be found. All spiders are predators, feeding mainly on insects and other small arthropods.
Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape on the back. Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders rarely devour the male black widow spider after mating.
Black widow spiders spin their webs near ground level. They often build their webs in protected areas, such as in boxes and in firewood.
Black widow spiders are often found around wood piles and gain entry into a structure when firewood is carried into a building. They are also found under eaves, in boxes, and other areas where they are undisturbed.
The venom of a black widow spider is a neurotoxin and is used as a defense. Black widow spiders do not bite humans instinctively. The black widow spider bite can cause severe pain. Young children and the elderly are especially susceptible to a severe reaction to a black widow spider bite.
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.
Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back.
Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal and eat other bugs like cockroaches and crickets. Male brown recluse spiders wander farther than females and will crawl into shoes or other clothing.
Brown recluse spiders often live outdoors in debris and wood piles. They can be found indoors in storage areas and dark recesses.
Like the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider bites in defense and does not bite humans instinctively. They will bite humans when the clothing they are hiding in is worn. The brown recluse spider bite is painful and can produce an open, ulcerating sore.
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.
If you have spiders in or around your home, the best thing to do is to call a local professional. At My Pest Pros, our expert technicians know how to deal with any spider infestation.
For more information on spiders and spider control, be sure to check out this resource from our blog!
If you see spiders in your home, call My Pest Pros for a free service estimate!