There are a lot of spiders in the world. According to an article by Nyffeler and Birkhofer in the journal the Science of Nature, there are an estimated 131 spiders per square meter of Earth, with more spiders being found outside of desert areas. So, for the 88 percent of Texas that is not considered a desert, there are spiders aplenty. Fortunately, most spiders don't want to get into our homes. And, of the spiders that do get into our homes, there are only three that are considered dangerous here in Texas. Let's take a look at them.
Black Widow Spider
There are a few species of widow spider in the United States. In our Houston service area, the spider we see is Latrodectus mactans, known as the Southern black widow. It is jet black in color with a red hourglass marking on its abdomen. And, while it has a potent venom, it is seldom fatal for healthy humans. That doesn't mean it is pleasant to be bitten by one. It is usually quite painful and followed by flu-like symptoms.
While this spider can come inside, it doesn't prefer to. You're more likely to find it hiding in a pile of tree branches, peeking out from a pile of wood, or dangling from underneath a porch or deck. Wherever you see one, it will usually be in an area with overgrowth or objects to hide in.
Inside a home, you're likely to find the black widow in your attic, basement, storage closet, or garage. They do not prefer to be in areas where humans move around.
Brown Recluse Spider
In the Houston area, and throughout East Texas, the recluse spider we see most is Loxosceles reclusa. It is a brown, hairless spider, with a dark brown violin shape on its back. This marking has led some to call them fiddleback spiders or violin spiders. They are a little larger than a quarter when they are fully grown, but spiderlings can be much smaller.
Brown recluse spiders are known for their venom. A bite from this spider can lead to a destruction of skin tissue and disfigurement. Most of the time, it does not. But, to be safe, you should always seek medical attention if you believe you've been bitten by a recluse.
These spiders are reclusive by nature, as their name suggests. Bites usually occur when one of these spiders is trapped. This can happen when you put your foot in a shoe. Recluse hide in holes, and your shoe reminds them of a hole. They can also tuck themselves in clothing that has been laying on the floor or slide under the covers of your bed. Always check your clothing before putting them on, and always check your bedding before climbing into bed, if you think you have these spiders in your home.
Texas Brown Tarantula
These are large, hairy, brown spiders that scare most people--though they shouldn't. A bite from a Texas brown tarantula is about as painful as a bee sting and is not usually associated with other symptoms. But, it can be dangerous to people who are allergic to its venom. If you feel symptoms after being bitten by a tarantula, seek medical attention.
If you're seeing dangerous spiders on your property, and you live in our Houston service area, consider looking into our Modern Plus program. It is a year-round service plan that addresses a wide range of pests, including spiders. With Modern Plus, you'll have quarterly visits from an educated professional who understands the habits and habitats of bugs and wildlife pests, as well as industry-leading pest control that works to control them.
Keep in mind, however, that spider control can be hindered if conditions that attract spiders are not addressed. These include:
population of insects near your exterior walls.
Moisture problems near your foundation.
The presence of organic debris and other harborages.
Controlling spiders requires a partnership between a homeowner and a pest controller. But, together it is possible to significantly reduce the threat.
For assistance with spider reduction or to start pest control service for your Texas home, reach out to us. Our QualityPro Certified team is looking forward to serving you.