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Have Arachnophobia? Contrary to the 1990 Steven Spielberg movie made popular by John Goodman as the "Exterminator" and Jeff Daniels as the "Doctor" most spiders are harmless. The only distinguishable feature is that spiders have a characteristic appearance which is easily recognized by most people. They possess eight legs which immediately separate them from insects, which have only six legs. Spiders lack wings and antennae. Their bodies have but two regions - a cephalothorax (fused head and thorax) and an abdomen. Young spiders, or spiderlings, resemble the adults except for size and, sometimes, coloration. All spiders have a pair of jaw-like structures, called chelicerae. At the end of each is a hollow, claw-like fang. Each fang has a small opening in the end through which venom is injected into the prey. Spinnerets, located at the tip end of the abdomen, are silk spinning glands used for web making.
Many species of spiders are common household pests in the United States. Certain common household spiders spin webs over lamps, in corners and in basements. This creates an unsightly situation but causes no real harm. Remember that every "cobweb" was made by a spider. Although all spiders use venom when they bite and kill their prey, the black widow and the brown recluse spiders are the only North American species consistently dangerous to humans. Even though there is generally little danger of complications from spider bites, you should advise all spider bite victims to take the spider specimen with them (if possible) when consulting their physician.
Under most conditions outdoors, spiders are considered beneficial because they feed on insects. However, they are undesirable to most homeowners when indoors, and the unsightly webbing spiders use to catch insect prey usually outweigh this beneficial behavior.
Many spiders are associated with moisture and, therefore, are found in basements, crawl spaces, and other damp parts of buildings. Others live in warm, dry places so are found in sub floor air-vents, in upper corners of rooms or in attics. Most species hide in cracks, darkened areas, or other retreats which they construct of silk.
Black Widow Spider
Brown Widow w/Multicolored Top
The black and brown widows are widely distributed over the warmer portions of the United States. Females are easily identified because of their globular, shiny black or brown abdomen with two reddish or yellowish triangles on the underside. These reddish or yellowish triangles form a characteristic hourglass marking. The abdomen is about 1/4 inch in diameter but may be as large as 1/2 inch when the female is full of eggs. Males are much smaller and lighter-colored, with light streaks on their abdomens.
The widow's web is an irregular mass of fibers with a small central area to which the spider retreats while waiting until its prey becomes ensnared. These webs are frequently constructed underneath boards, stones, or the seats of outdoor privies. They are also found along foundation slabs, behind shrubs and especially where brick or wood siding extends close to ground level. This spider does not usually enter residences.
Widow spider venom contains toxins that are neurotoxic (affects the nervous system). The severity of a person's reaction to the bite depends on the area of the body where the bite occurs; the person's size and general sensitivity; the amount of venom injected; depth of bite; seasonal changes (in venom potency); and temperature. The bite produces a sharp pain similar to a needle puncture. The pain usually disappears rapidly. Local muscular cramps are felt 15 minutes to several hours after the bite, spreading and becoming more severe as time passes. The venom then grows weak, tremors develop, and the abdominal muscles show a board-like rigidity. Respiration becomes spasmodic and the patient is restless and anxious. During this period, a feeble pulse, cold skin, labored breathing and speech, light stupor, and delirium may be noted. Convulsions and death may result with some victims, especially if the person is sensitive to the venom and no treatment is received. An anti-venom specific for the black or brown widow is readily available to most physicians.
Brown Recluse Spider
The brown recluse spider, (loxosceles reclusa), can also inflict a very dangerous bite. The initial pain associated with the bite is not intense, and is generally less troublesome than a bee sting. Within 8 to 12 hours the pain becomes quite intense, and over a period of a few days a large ulcerous sore forms. This sore heals very slowly and often leaves a large, ugly disfiguring scar.
The brown recluse is soft-bodied and secretive species found in homes and other outbuildings. The adult body varies from 1/3- to 1/2inch in length, with the arrangement of the legs producing a larger overall size of 1 inch diameter or greater. The body is yellow to dark brown, and has a rather distinctive darker brown violin shaped mark on the top of the cephalothorax. Recluse Spiders are often colored tan, but can be dark brown to almost white in appearance.
The Brown Recluse Spider has been widely reported in the southern, western, and mid western United States, and is a particularly serious pest in Oklahoma, Missouri, and surrounding states. It is usually found indoors, particularly in bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, garages, basements, and cellars. In homes with forced hot-air heating and air conditioning and often above-ceiling ductwork, brown recluse spiders are commonly found harboring in or around the ductwork or registers. They may also be present in attic areas or other locations above the ceiling. They are also commonly found in cluttered closets or basements, and in outbuildings where miscellaneous items are stored. The web is not elaborate and is best described as an off white to gray, nondescript type of webbing. The spider is not aggressive and usually retreats to cover when disturbed. Most bites occur when a person crushes the spider while putting on old clothes that have been hanging in a garage, or by rolling on the spider while asleep in bed.
The best method of treatment for Brown Recluse Spiders is to first carefully inspect all areas (using leather gloves and flashlight) that are suspected of harboring them. The BugBuster Vacuum is perfect for capturing them during an inspection or even for collection purposes. Then after careful inspection, treat all areas with a wettable powder insecticide such as Demon WP. Baseboards, corners of rooms, closets, under and behind furniture, window sills, etc, should all be carefully treated. Attics and sub areas can be treated or dusted with TriDie. ePest IPM Professional Bug Traps can also be used to trap Brown Recluse and monitor movement and population numbers.
As previously mentioned the Brown Recluse Spider is usually found indoors, especially in bathrooms, bedrooms, closets, garages, basements, and cellars. They may also be present in attic areas, or other locations above the ceiling. They may also be found in out-buildings. Their web is not very elaborate and is best described as an off-white to gray, nondescript webbing. Most bites occur when a person crushes the spider while putting on clothes that may have been hanging for some time, or by rolling on the spider while asleep in bed. Gardeners should wear gloves and be especially alert when handling leaves or bark mulch.
Many people have tarantula's as pets. Although this may sound fun to some people, tarantula's although shy and timid most of the time will bite if angry or provoked.
Yellow Garden Spider
Yellow Garden Spiders are sometimes called a yellow sac spider - although the yellow sac spider is a completely different species. The garden spider weaves a beautiful web and is the most beautiful of all the spiders. Garden spiders build their webs in a Z shaped fashion in areas next to open fields or under the eaves of houses. Their menacing webs can reach 2 feet in diameter. They often stay in one place throughout their entire lifetime.
Wolf Spiders are large, hairy spiders which are usually patterned with a mixture of black, gray, and brown. Wolf spiders, especially large ones, look very similar to spiders in the Pisauridae family (nursery web and fishing spiders), but wolf spiders are usually more robust, with shorter legs. Wolf spiders have 8 eyes. As with all spiders, wolf spiders have 8 legs, 2 body parts (cephalothorax and abdomen), and fang-like mouthparts called "chelicerae."
Wolf Spiders go through a simple metamorphosis. Like all spiders, young wolf spiders hatch from eggs and look like tiny adults when they are born. A wolf spider sheds its skin several times as it grows to an adult. Most wolf spiders live for several years. In many species, female wolf spiders lay dozens of eggs at a time and wrap them in a large ball of silk. The female will then carry the egg sac on her abdomen until the spiderlings hatch. Upon hatching, the spiderlings will live on the mother's back for a few weeks until they are large enough to hunt on their own.
Hunting Spiders are ground spiders that hunt their prey instead of using a web.
Jumping SpiderSize up to 1/2"
Jumping Spiders may be the easiest to recognize. Jumping spiders have a very distinctive, flat-faced, big-eyed appearance that is difficult to confuse with other kinds of spiders. They also have a unique, herky-jerky way of moving. Most are small and hairy. Like all spiders, jumping spiders have 8 legs, 2 body parts, and no antennae. Eight eyes are present on jumping spiders, although 1 pair is often so small that it appears as though there are only 6 eyes. One pair of eyes is always very large and directed forward, almost like human eyes.
Jumping Spiders hatch from eggs and look like tiny adults when they are born. They shed their skin as they grow. Many female jumping spiders construct a silk case for their eggs and guard them until they hatch. The egg case is often built off of the ground in leaves, on branches, or in crevices on the sides of buildings.
Daddy Long Legs
Daddy Longlegs are not true spiders. They are spider like arachnids, belonging to the same class (arachnid) as spiders, ticks, scorpions, and mites. Daddy Longlegs, also known as Harvest Spiders, belong to a different order than spiders, that of Opilliones. Spiders belong to the order Araneae. The daddy long legs get it's name because their legs can grow to be over 12" long. (April Bailey)
If spiders are breeding indoors or if outdoor species are migrating indoors, residual insecticide applications of Demand or Demon WP can be used. All areas where the spiders have been found should be treated, paying particular attention to dark corners of rooms and under furniture. Dusts such as or Delta Dust or TriDie may be especially useful for treating crawl spaces and attics. Wettable powder or microencapsulated formulations such as Demandor Demon WP will generally give somewhat better and longer residual action on most surfaces. The use of glue type traps such as the ePest IPM Professional Bug Traps indoors works well to trap spiders behind furniture, under beds, in closets, etc.
Spiders often become particularly numerous on the exterior surfaces of homes and buildings built near lakes. They spin webs to catch and feed on the many flying insects which come out of the lake. Cob Webs that become a nuisance around homes, buildings, boats, marina's and other areas can be easily controlled using Essentria IC3, or Web Out. This product is especially helpful when outdoor treatment is necessary to control spiders which are migrating inside or to eliminate spiders on porches, under eaves, and other areas on the outside of the building.Web Out is safe, ecofriendly and has light aroma. It can be used indoors and outdoors to help discourage cobweb reformation caused by spiders.
Talstar Professional is a very good spider spray that can be used outdoors and indoors to kill spiders on contact. Simply spray it on the lawn, under and behind shrubs, vegetation, debris, etc. Talstar Professional will provide immediate control of spiders and provide 2-6 weeks of residual.
Cobweb Removal With Webduster
Chronic spider problems can be very difficult to manage as there are few good management options except reducing night lights (which attract so many flying insects) and applying residual insecticide treatments every few weeks. Essentria IC3, or Web Out works well around boat docks, eaves, etc. to stop spiders from spinning their webs. Spider fecal droppings can disfigure fiberglass boats or latex painted surfaces. Occasionally, residual treatments using a long lasting insecticide is necessary to eliminate heavy infestations. The residual insecticides such as Demand CS or Demon WP can be used indoors as well as outdoors.
The Webduster can be used to remove spider webs from eaves, doorways, window sills, corner of rooms, garages, etc. When removing spider webs it is important to remember to also remove and destroy the egg sacs. It may be a better idea in some cases to spray the area (eaves) with a residual insecticide first to kill the spiders and also the eggs, let the area dry, and then remove the webs and egg sacs. Whatever method you prefer, be sure to not disrupt live spiders to the point where the jump or lunge at you during your web removal process. Protective clothing and eye protection is also recommended to help protect against spider bites and exposure to the products being applied overhead which can result in drift.