Pest Control for Spiders; and Which Spiders are Serious Pests

Karin Mangan

Spiders are not usually harmful to humans. In fact, they can be beneficial because they feed on insects and other small prey such as ants and cockroaches that are considered pests. So you shouldn't be in a hurry to rid your home or garden of all spiders. Any small, non-hairy spider can safely be ignored. Larger spiders are not necessarily dangerous either. Orb weavers, for example, are very large but harmless.

Spiders You Don't Want in Your Home

The spiders you are most likely to see in the home and may prefer to remove include Yellow House spiders and Wolf spiders, which each have a painful bite.

Spiders you really don't want in your home or garden are Black Widow and Brown Recluse spiders.

Female Black Widows have a round, shiny black body, about half an inch long, with triangular yellow or red markings. Males are smaller, lighter in color, and have light streaks on the abdomen. Black Widows have a painful bite that can lead to muscular cramps. The poison is not normally fatal but you should seek medical attention if bitten.

Brown Recluse spiders are a dark yellowy-brown color, with a body about half an inch long. They have distinctive violin-shaped markings. A Brown Recluse bite becomes more painful over time, forming a large sore that becomes a disfiguring scar. Again, you should seek medical attention if bitten.

Pest Control for Spiders

To avoid unwanted spiders in your home and garden, keep areas such as garages, cellars, and crawlspaces uncluttered and clean. Keep woodpiles, trees and shrubs, compost piles, and any other hiding places as far away from your home as possible, and keep your yard clear of debris. In the home, dust and vacuum regularly in corners and behind furniture.


About the Author

Karin has worked as a freelancer for over ten years, writing informatively about a wide range of subjects. She has a PhD and a background in education and research.

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