Spiders often get a bad reputation for being scary and dangerous creatures, but these arachnids are beneficial. They eat many of the insect pests that plague homeowners. North America is home to 3,000 species of spiders and only two have serious bites that can harm humans, the black widow and brown recluse spiders.
Spider bites are very rare because these critters are timid and nocturnal. Spiders happen most often when people are cleaning out storage areas, putting on shoes or clothes they rarely wear or when a male spider is out looking for a female mate. If you do get bit by a spider, clean the bite area with soap and water, then apply a cold compress. If you think you were bitten by a black widow or brown recluse spider, elevate the area that was bitten and tie a bandage above the bite area (be careful not to restrict circulation). This will help slow the venom from spreading. Seek medical attention immediately if symptoms get worse. Try to capture the spider that bit you so that the doctor can identify the species and provide treatment accordingly.
Spiders live in almost every type of habitat except for the polar regions and extreme elevations.
Spiders are predators that eat a variety of insects and even other spiders. A spider uses its fangs to inject venom into its prey. The venom paralyzes the prey and makes it easier for the spider to digest. The spider uses digestive fluids to liquify its meal before slurping up the food. Spiders can be grouped into two categories based on the way they hunt their food, web-building and hunting. Web-building spiders makes their webs in secluded areas and wait for dinner to come to them. They use the vibrations from the web to know when an insect has been captured. Some hunting spiders will run down prey while others will hide and attack when prey comes near.
Spiders weave their webs and other traps to capture food by making silk. The silk begins as a liquid that is produced in spinnerets found at the tip of a spider’s abdomen. The silk becomes solid as it leaves the spinnerets. Depending on the species, female spiders will lay anywhere from 20 to many hundreds of eggs in a silk sac. The eggs hatch after a few weeks, but sometimes not until the next spring. Some spiderlings will make silk kites and ride the wind to a new home. This dispersal process is known as ballooning.
Types of Spiders
Spiders are not considered insects, they are part of the scientific class Arachnida and are more closely related to scorpions and ticks. Spiders have two body regions, the head or cephalothorax and the abdomen, eight legs, eight eyes and fangs. Unlike insects, they do not have antennae or wings.
Spiders In The House & The Garden
Spiders like to build their homes in calm, sheltered areas and sometimes that may end up being in your basement or attic. If you see a spider, remain calm. Most spiders do not have the ability to bite humans and if they can, the bites are usually harmless. The only spiders that have dangerous venom are brown recluse and black widow spiders.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do I get rid of spiders in my house?
The best way to get rid of spiders is to prevent them in the first place. To better “spider-proof” your home, keep storage areas and other rooms in your home clutter-free. Make sure to remove any webbing you find with a broom or vacuum. Outside, you can make your lawn and perimeter of your house less enticing to spiders by cutting the grass short, keeping bushes and trees trimmed back so they are not touching the building and sealing up any cracks in the foundation of your home. Reduce outside lighting that may attract the insects spiders like to eat. Use yellow lights instead of sodium vapor lights and install the light where it will shine onto the home rather than attaching it to the building.
Benefits of Professional Spider Pest Control
When it comes to spider problems, the key is to eliminate the spiders’ food source. This is often common household pests like ants and house flies. A spider control professional will identify the problem, potential food sources, and determine the best possible solution to remove spiders as quickly as possible. A pest management professional has the tools, skills and education necessary to take care of the your spider problem.