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Spider Facts, Identification and Control

Scientific Order: Araneae

Common Species:

  • The Common House Spider or American House Spider (Parasteatoda tepidariorum)

  • The Barn Spider (Araneus cavaticus)

  • The Yellow Garden Spider (Argiope aurantia)

  • The Common American Grass Spider (Agelenopsis actuosa)

     

  • Southern Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)

  • Dark Fishing Spider (Dolomedes tenebrosus)

Appearance

  • Size: Spiders range in body length between .02 to 3.5 inches. Most are smaller than an inch.

  • Color: Spiders are most commonly a mix of brown and black but there are species with red, green, yellow, and even blue coloring.

Behavior and Diet

  • Most spiders prefer dark, damp areas places like basements, garages, or outdoor piles of wood and brush.

  • Shaded places, cracks, and corners are ideal places for a spider to build a web.

  • Common spiders tend to be solitary and aggressive toward others of their species, but some can make group homes, called colonies, that can contain hundreds of individuals.

  • Spiders are carnivorous, but unlike most other predators, most species only eat living (or very recently killed) prey. Their usual food source is insects, including, if necessary, other spiders.

Reproduction

  • Spiders commonly use elaborate courtship rituals that distract large females from eating smaller males before fertilization.

  • Females can lay up to 3,000 eggs in one or more silken egg sacs during a single reproductive cycle and commonly personally care for their brood after birth until the children reach maturity.

Other Characteristics

  • All species of spider are characterized by their eight legs, dual-sectioned bodies, and lack of both wings and antennae.

  • Spiders typically have three to four sets of eyes on their heads. 

There are two common breeds of spiders that, if found in your home, mean that you should call pest control services like those provided by Assured Environments quickly. They include: 

Black Widow Spiders: Female black widow spiders are a shiny black color, distinguished by two red (sometimes yellow) markings on their back section. Males are less distinguishable, being smaller, lighter, and without the bright red markings. Black widows will bite if provoked, and while infrequently fatal, their bites still require that you seek medical attention.

Brown Recluse Spiders: These are smaller spiders, commonly about one third of an inch long with a yellowish, dark brown body. They prefer staying hidden, building their small white-gray webs in out of the way areas like closets, basements, attics, woodpiles, cellars, and so on. If bitten by one, seek immediate medical treatment for the wound.

 

Signs of a Spider Infestation

The easiest way to spot a spider infestation in your home is looking for their webs. Check upper corners and any places that tend to be dark and damp, as spiders enjoy those types of environments.

Treatment and Prevention

  • Spiders enter homes most commonly through open windows and doors or through cracks around similar entry points, so a great way to keep them out is by making sure all outdoor cracks are properly sealed as soon as they’re spotted.

  • Spiders come inside looking for prey, which means if you have an existing pest problem it can easily develop to a spider problem as well, if not taken care of quickly enough.

  • Remove vegetation from the perimeter of your house and maintain indoor tidiness to take away any opportunity for them to hide in or around your home.

  • If, despite your best efforts, they show up anyways, your best bet is to immediately call a pest control specialist. They'll know the best way to repel spiders to make sure not just your current infestation is taken care of, but all potential future ones as well.

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