What You Need To Know About Spiders In Spring
Are you afraid of spiders? If yes, you are by no means alone, as arachnophobia is a familiar fear for many. While it may not be a phobia for everyone, most people do not have a positive relationship with this critter. There are several reasons why people have an aversion to spiders. The first reason is a learned fear or dislike or unintentional conditioning. If you grew up in a house where someone else was afraid of spiders, you have a higher chance of sharing the same distaste. Many people also say the way spiders move or how many legs they have, disturb them the most. It is also not uncommon to feel uneasy about any type of insect with multiple legs. Whether you are afraid of spiders or not, you likely don't want any in your home, especially if they are causing problems.
Although spiders are unwelcome in most homes, these eight-legged creatures are beneficial to people and the environment for several reasons. Spiders eat other annoying pests such as moths, mosquitoes, roaches, flies, and earwigs. This means that spiders help control populations of these prey pests, which benefits us more than one way. Many home-invading pests, and even those that stay outside, can spread dangerous diseases and bacteria, including malaria, plague, dengue, cholera, chikungunya, and typhoid. These diseases are much more dangerous and deadly to people than spiders, so it is easy to see how helpful spiders are. They also eat pests that damage crops, such as beetles and aphids. People rely heavily on crops for food, and pests can have a devastating effect. Spiders can even be valuable in your small home garden.
While spiders are essential to a healthy ecosystem, they are still a pest and are unwelcome in any home. So no matter your stance on spiders, you likely will want to prevent them from becoming a problem. You may also want to know how to get rid of an active infestation. Below, you can read about different spiders in our area, the venomous species, what dangers they pose, and how to handle an infestation. The best way to combat any pest is by a better understanding of them and what attracts them to your home in the first place. You can do this with our assistance at Modern Pest Control. Our goal isn't only to eliminate pests and show our customers how they can protect themselves. Keep reading to learn more about spiders and pest control in Spring.
Venomous Spiders In Spring
The most popular thing most people want to know about spiders in Spring is if they are venomous. The truth is that all spiders have fangs and venom, which they use to sedate prey. However, only a very small number of species are dangerous to people globally. In the United States, there are only two medically dangerous species. This means that you are likely encountering harmless spiders.
The most common spiders in Texas are:
Jumping spiders are a small species that hunt for their prey, preferring open areas to do so. They will create a web to rest or protect their eggs.
Wolf spiders don't build webs but live in burrows and wait for prey to walk by.
Orb-weaver spiders are responsible for the wheel-shaped webs we know. They use their webs to catch prey that flies into it.
Crab spiders are another species that hunt for their prey, but they do build a web for their eggs.
Two species in the United States are considered medically dangerous to people. One of these species is the black widow. Female black widows are recognizable by their shiny black body and red or orange hourglass marking on the abdomen. Females can grow between 1 to 1 ½ inch long, while the males, which are a light gray and have reddish-pink spots on their backs, are about half the size. Only females are considered dangerous. Their webs are made of strong threads and are irregular in shape. Although their webs look disorganized, they are carefully created to aid in catching prey. Black widows aren't aggressive and tend to keep their distance from people, but they will bite if threatened.
The other species that are considered dangerous is the brown recluse. Unlike the black widow, this spider is not as easy to identify. This is because it shares many similarities with other common species. Brown recluse spiders are a light brown with a dark violin pattern on the cephalothorax. They won't be larger than ½ of an inch and are uniformly colored on their legs and abdomens. If you see a spider that looks like this but has multiple colors on its legs, it is not a brown recluse. This species also has six eyes, not eight. They have one pair of eyes in the front and two pairs on either side. The brown recluse builds a messy and unorganized-looking web.
Do Venomous Spiders Invade Homes?
As previously mentioned, all spiders are venomous, so yes, venomous spiders do invade homes. There are common house spiders, small species that prefer to live inside, are born inside, and rarely ever make their way outside. These are likely the spiders you randomly find around your home. Most of the spiders we see prefer to avoid people, so they are likely visible because of prey pests. Again, although they are venomous, they are harmless spiders.
Now, let's get to what you actually want to know. Do the two medically dangerous species, black widows and brown recluses, invade homes? In this case, invading might not be the right word to use. Most spider species are solitary. This means they live alone instead of in a colony. At the same time, there are some social species, but they are not among the most common spiders in Texas. This includes brown recluse spiders and black widows. They are solitary and prefer to be away from other spiders. So if one of these eight-legged critters gets into your home, there will likely not be others. Both species we mention here also prefer to be outside; this is where the food is, and it is away from people. Believe it or not, they are actually shy! On occasion, a black widow or brown recluse can wander inside.
Outside, black widows and brown recluses prefer to build their webs in secluded, low to the ground places. These species' common hiding spots are under rocks, logs, shrubs, and woodpiles. The underneath of decks, sheds, and other structures can also provide the seclusion they like. If they make their way inside, they will look for similar places, including under furniture, storage areas, boxes, and window frames. Even if these spiders don't get inside, they can still live too close for comfort outside on your property, putting you and your family at risk of being bitten.
What To Do If You Get Bitten By A Venomous Spider
As much as you want to avoid spiders, they probably want to avoid you more. Common house spiders, the two medically dangerous species, and other types of spiders you encounter prefer to keep their distance from people and are not aggressive. Spiders don't drink blood and aren't looking to make a meal out of you, so they will only bite if threatened. However, what we determine as threatening and what spiders see as vastly different. For these critters that are much smaller than us, a threat can be someone accidentally sticking their hand a little too close without even knowing.
Fatality is rarely the result of a bite from a black widow and is even less likely from a brown recluse. Anti-venom and treatment are readily available for these venomous spiders. However, it is essential to note that some people can be more affected by a bite, and some people can be allergic to spider venom in general. Unfortunately, allergies are not usually known until a bite occurs. This is why monitoring any spider bite on yourself, children, and even pets is essential.
Black widow bite symptoms can last between one and three days. Bites will appear red and may be inflamed and itch.
Symptoms to be aware of are:
- Swelling, redness, and pain around the bite site
Severing abdominal cramping
Nausea and vomiting
Brown recluse bite symptoms to be aware of are:
- Fever, chills, and body aches.
Pain that gets increasingly worse over the first eight hours after being bitten.
The bite wound becomes pale in the center and turns purple or dark blue with a red ring around it.
The wound can become an open sore, and the skin around it dies.
If you are allergic to spider venom, you can experience anaphylaxis. This can appear as rapid swelling of the throat, tongue, lips, and around the eyes. You may experience difficulty breathing, dizziness, stomach cramps, rash or hives, severe itching, numbness, and loss of consciousness. If a brown recluse or black widow bites you, you should always seek medical attention. If you are unsure what kind of spider bit you or experiencing anything more than an itchy bite, you should seek medical attention immediately. When it comes to spiders bites, it is always better to be on the safe side.
The Best Spider Protection For Your Spring Home
If you have an abundance of spiders around your Spring home, it also means that other pests are lurking. Prey pests can be as much of a problem if not more than spiders. You can get rid of spiders naturally by reducing the factors that attract prey pests.
These factors include access to food, water, and shelter, which you can reduce by doing the following:
- Clean up crumbs and spills right away, keep eating areas clear of any food debris.
Practice proper food storage using air-tight containers for open dry goods rather than the cardboard boxes and bags they come in.
Regularly deep clean under appliance and inside cabinets and pantries.
Keep your home decluttered and organized to make it easier to clean and free of food debris.
Repair leaking pipes and faucets and keep drains unclogged.
Replace any water-damaged wood.
Ensure your home has proper ventilation, especially in the kitchen and bathrooms.
Use dehumidifiers in basements, garages, crawlspaces, and other spaces that have high moisture.
Regularly clean out gutters and ensure downspouts are guiding water away from your home.
Limit lights outdoors at night as some pests are attracted to them.
Inspect your home and seal cracks in the foundation, exterior, walls, and roofline.
Install covers on drains and vents and make sure there aren't any gaps where utility lines enter your home.
Repair any damaged screens and keep windows and doors closed when possible.
Keep up with regular yard maintenance, which should include ensuring no branches or foliage are touching your home as pests can use them to get to the roofline.
Your pest control options are not limited to the tips above that aim to get rid of spiders naturally. The best way to remove and prevent spiders and prey pests is with ongoing professional services. Spring residents and those in surrounding areas can rely on us at Modern Pest Control to provide personalized solutions. We are committed to Integrated Pest Management (IPM), pest control that minimizes effects and risks to people and the environment. You will find that the services provided by an independently owned company like ours are incomparable. We care about your family like it is our own!
Don't wait! Contact us at Modern Pest Control for an inspection that will help guide you to the right pest control treatments for you and your property. You can have your home spider and pest-free with our pest control treatments!