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Black Widow Spider

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Spider Control Facts

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.


Poisonous Spiders

Widow Spiders


Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider

Brown Recluse Spider


Non Poisonous Spiders

American House Spider

American House Spider

American House Spider

Although related to the deadly Black Widow, the American House Spider(Achaearanea atepidariorum), is innocuous by comparison. This spider would hardly ever be a bother to humans and is more likely to "play dead" when threatened. This cobweb spider might consider biting a human if it was treated roughly, although it's venom is far from lethal. Their bite would be worse than the poison.

American House Spiders are not found only in America, but have been found in unique parts of the world like Myanmar and Pakistan. The American House Spiders are referred to as "synanthropes" (Greek syn"together with") + (anthro "man") or animals (even pests) that are not domesticated but live near and benefit from humans. That is why you will typically find these spiders in homes, garages, corners of windows, rooms and ceilings as well as porches and even in closets.

These spiders are quite small in size, with the adult female at 1/2" and the adult male only at 1/8" to 1/4". The female abdomen is round with colors of varying shades of brown whereas the male's midsection appears stretched out. Their small size and coloring assists them in "blending in" to backgrounds and making a quick escape, if necessary.

While these spiders benefit from humans, we can certainly benefit from them as well. Their prey are flies, mosquitoes, ants and wasps. They have also been known to attack cockroaches or other spiders, depending on their size. If their prey is too quick, these spiders might try catching them by throwing out their web and reeling them in.

House spiders have extremely poor vision and are unable to identify movement more than 3-4" away. When cornered, their last resort is to "play dead". Self defense is the only reason this spider will resort to biting humans and especially if they are grabbed at or squeezed. It's bite is not lethal and the only thing one could experience is a small red bump, swelling and mild pain. Treat with topical insect bite creams or lotions.

Interesting fact: It is quite natural for multiple females to build cob webs close to one another. But they will sometimes fight when encountering another female!


 

Banded Garden Spider

banded garden spider

Banded Garden Spider

The Banded Garden Spider also known as argiope trifasciata, is one of the most common garden spiders in the US and around the world. They usually appear around Fall once the temperatures start dropping, around September until late October. Their webs are generally concentric, quite large (can reach a diameter of 60cm) and have been referred to as resembling "Charlotte's Web". The length of the web depends on the spider's size and can reach a total length of 2 meters.

Once these spiders settle, the begin creating their webs between sticks, grass or bushes concentrically from east to west. In this way, when they hang upside down in the center of their web, they are able to maximize the distribution of the sun especially since they are more active during the day and later in the year. Their webs are quite sturdy, gummy and able to capture and control ample-szied insects like grasshoppers and yellow-jackets. When insects get caught in their webbing, the spider paralyzes them with one venomous bite and wraps them in a webbing sheet to be feasted on later. The Banded Garden Spider will tear down and remodel his his web quite often during it's evolution.

Males are typically smaller than females--4 to 5 millimeters in length--with a predominantly white midsection. Instead of generating webs like the females, the males drift around the flora and mate with the females near the summer's end. The female lays usually more than one egg sack that sometimes contain around 1000 eggs apiece. Most of the spiderlings die after frost and only one generation is produced each year. Most spiderlings tend to have the predominantly white midsection like the male. The egg cocoon resembles the coloring of yellow garden spider with a steel drum-like frame.

Adult length size is approximatly 4mm to 6mm (16" to 24"). Common colors are black; white; yellow; brown.


 

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

Garden Spider

Black and Yellow Garden Spider

The Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider also known as argiope aurantia, Writing Spider or Corn Spider, are considered local throughout most of the United States, although the Yellow Garden Spider is not as common in the Rocky Mountain areas. They are most commonly found in garden areas and woodlands. This spider is usually identified by its beautiful yellow and black abdomen with orange and black legs. The Black-and-Yellow Garden Spiders are sometimes called yellow sac spiders - although the yellow sac spider is a completely different species.

The Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider weaves a beautiful web and is the most beautiful of all the spiders. Black-and-Yellow 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. The female's web, usually larger than the males, has been known to reach 2 feet in diameter. The male builds his smaller web nearby. The thick zigzag of silk in the center of the web is known as "stabilimentum" or web decoration. It can have one or several functions: (1) It may conceal and protect the spider in the center of the web, (2) alert and notify birds of this hard-to-spot web, or (3) allure their prey.

These spiders have a nightly routine of devouring the interior circle of the web, then renovating it each morning with brand new silk. This Black-and-Yellow Garden Spider maintains an uncluttered and tidy web compared to many orb web spiders and they often stay in one place throughout their entire lifetime which is usually close to a year.

Black-and-Yellow Spiders mate once a year. The male pursues the female, builds a small web near or in her web and courts the female by plucking strands on her web. Upon approaching the female, he is prepared to escape if she attempts to attack. Once they mate, the male dies, and is occasionally eaten by the female. Females measure 19mm to 28mm and the males measure between 5mm and 8mm with coloring in black, yellow, red, silver, orange and brown. The male coloring is not as distinctive as the females and appears more muted.


 

California Trap door Spider

california-trapdoor-spider

California Trap Door Spider

California Trapdoor Spiders, bothriocyrtum californicum and Trapdoor Spiders, are primarily found in Southern California. They have been known to resemble tarantulas with smaller, shiney bodies although not as hairy and considerably smaller in size. Their jaws (chelicerae) have spines on them that assist them in digging their burrows, which serve as both a home and a trap. This is where the spider waits and attacks it's prey. The prey is held captive by the spider and the walls of the burrow. When vulnerable to attack, they will frequently flea or play dead. Even though these spiders look menacing, they are quite harmless to humans.

As with many spiders, the females are twice as large as the males. While the females have short, thick legs and a brown abdomen, the males typically have longer and considerably thinner legs with their abdomen more red than brown. Their chunky bodies are generally a dull brown, but you'll also see them in colors of reddish brown, black and sometimes yellow. The adult size is roughly 20mm to 32mm (.79in to 1.25in). It takes a few years for this spider to gain maturity. Typically, the average lifespan is between five and 20 years.

rapdoor spiders are more common in warm climates, but they've also been found in South America, specifically Argentina, Africa, and Australia as well as Japan in Asia. These spiders are acknowledged for their formulation of tube-shaped tunnels encompassed by silk made by these same spiders. They also have a hinged trapdoor that was created out of both silk and dirt. These trapdoors are at least 1" long and sometimes longer. The lid is hidden by stones and branches, but when the spider perceives a prey nearby, it will jump up and consume it.

Interesting enough, Trapdoor spiders devour a wide range of insects as well as small fish, mice, snakes, birds and frogs. The main enemy of the tradoor spider is the wasp. Even when their trapdoor is down, the wasp can overpower and sting these spiders. Other trapdoor adversaries consist of scorpoins, bandicoots (small rats), birds, flies and centipedes.

When it's humid outside in the summer and fall, the male spiders look for females for mating purposes. This usually occurs in the female's tunnels. It is quite natural for a male to mate with infinite numbers of females throughout their lifetime.


 

Wolf Spider

wolf spider

Wolf Spider


 

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spider

Huntsman Spiders also known as Sparassidae (formerly Heteropoda venatoria) and Banana Spider, are known as Huntsman spiders because of their speed and mode of hunting. They are also called giant crab spiders, because of their size, appearance and the way they walk by twisting its front legs forward making it walk like a crab.

These spiders have eight eyes, two rows of four facing forward. This spider has been known to grow very large with a leg-span of 250-300mm (10"-12"), in fact, they look very similar to the tarantula, but the hunstmans' legs extend forward in a crab-like way. Their top surfaces are pale shades of brown and even gray, but the Hunstman's undersides are marked in black-and-white with reddish patches over the mouths. They have furry but smooth hair over most of their bodies. Their vision is not as good as the jumping spider but competent enough to discern impending prey or humans from a distance.

True to their name, they focus their traveling at night on tree bark catching cockroaches, insects, numerous other critters as well as geckos and other lizards. These spiders tavel extremely fast, sometimes even walking on walls and ceilings, too. If picked up, they will stick and it will be difficult to get them off and biting will be their best solution. Should they bite, they are not considered dangerous or poisonous. If the female is protecting her egg sac and young, she will fiercely defend them and you should expect to be bitten. You don't want to get in between a mother and her babies.

Some males deliberately make a sound emitted by their abdomens when they scent a pheromone left by a female from their species. They anchor their legs to that surface and use their legs to broadcast vibrations from their bodies. These sounds identify the males to the females who might approach if they are interested in mating.

Huntsman Spiders have been in the Southeast for a long time but sometimes come into the U.S. hiding on produce from Mexico or Central America and land in other states.

Huntsman Spiders are not limited to but found primarily in Texas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Florida. Their size ranges from 19mm to 24mm (.75in to .94in). Identifying colors are yellow; brown; black; tan; white.


 

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider

Jumping Spider
Size up to 1/2"

Jumping Spiders, also known as Naphys pulex, (North American Jumping Spider) may be the easiest to recognize. The Jumping Spider is the largest family of spiders with around 13% of all species. They have rectangular faces and 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. They are known to have some of the best vision and tend to make use of it in their hunting, navigation and courting. Typically, these spiders move slowly and silently, they are quite capable of sprightly jumps, particularly when hunting but also in response to unexpected danger.

Jumping Spiders are active hunters. This spider has a well-developed internal hydraulic system that assists in extending their limbs by adjusting the pressure of body fluid within them. That means the spiders can jump without buiding muscular legs like grasshoppers, which allows them to jump many times the length of their body.When they move from one location to another, and more so when they jump, it releases and fastens a thin strand of silk to the place they're standing to protect them should they fall or they can climb back up to safety. Their diet is primarly carnivorous but they also include nector in their diet.

Jumping spiders use their vision in complex visual courtship displays. Males use their differences from females--plumose hairs, colored or iridescent hairs and other, often bizarre, modifications. If the female is receptive, she will assume a passive, crouching position. 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.

Adult Size (length) range in size from 1mm to 22mm (.04" to .16") with colorings in black; brown; gray; white.


 

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs

Daddy Long Legs are not true spiders. Also known as Pholcus phalangioides, Daddy Long Legs are spider-like arachnids, belonging to the same class (arachnid) as spiders, ticks, scorpions, and mites. Daddy Longlegs, also known as Harvest Spiders or Cellar Spiders, belong to a different order than spiders, that of Opilliones. Spiders belong to the order Araneae. Daddy Long Legs gets it's name because their legs can grow to be over 12" long. (April Bailey)

Daddy Long Legs bodies are anywhere from 2-10mm long with legs up to 50mm long with a peanut-shaped body. This family can consist of both 8 and 6 eyes; 2 groups of 3 with 2 smaller eyes and 2 groups of 3 with no 2nd group of eyes. Their coloring is gray to brown with an inverted V-shaped pattern. They are found on every continent except Antarctica as it is far too cold for Daddy Long Legs to survive.

When these spiders are threatened, they begin vibrating so fast they become a blurred image and impossible for prey to focus or concentrate on. If they still feel vulnerable, they will hide or escape.

"Daddy-Long legs are one of the most poisonous spiders, but their fangs are too short to bite humans."

If this is something you've heard before, it is incorrect. This Daddy Long Legs is from the Order of Arachnids spider family but there is a Daddy Longlegs from a different Order of Arachnids, the Opilionids family. These have 2 eyes unlike the spiders with six to eight eyes. The spider has a distinct waist, whereas the opilionid's head, thorax and abdomen are fused into one. These Daddy Long legs do no produce silk, spin webs or capture prey. They also have a male organ for copulation which a spider does not have. Spiders use an indirect method of transferring sperm to the female.

Although there are plenty of stories on the internet about this and in 2004, the Discovery Channel show "Mythbusters" attempted to prove/disprove this. They tried to coax the spider into biting the arm of their co-host who reported a "very mild burning sensation from the venom that lasted just a few seconds." We can put this myth to rest. 


 

Tarantula

Tarantula

Tarantula

Tarantulas, also known as Latrodectus mactains make great pets for a variety of people. Although this may sound fun to some people, tarantula's although shy and timid most of the time will bite if angry or provoked. Tarantulas size ranges from very small to very large but are believed to be one of the largest spiders.

The spider originally using the name "Tarantula" was the wolf spider which is native to Mediterranean Europe and their name developed from the southern Italian town of Taranto. The term "tarantula" was given to any spider on the ground that was large and unfamiliar.

Most tarantulas are hairy with 8 legs and 2 fangs and and are scary-looking spiders, however, they are virtually harmless to humans. Their bite might feel like a bee sting but it's venom is less than that of a bee, unless you have an allergic reaction to them. Insects are a tarantulas main prey but they also hunt rats and mice. They use their venom more on their prey than humans.

Tarantula sizes range from as small as a fingernail to as large as a dinner plate when their legs are fully extended.. The body length ranges from 2.5cm to 10cm (1" to 4"), with leg spans of 8cm to 30cm (3" to 12") (determined by measuring tip of back leg to tip of front leg). The largest species of tarantula have been known to weigh over 85 grams (3 oz); the biggest of them is the goliath birdeater (Theraphosa blondi) from Venezuela and Brazil weighing in at 150 grams or 5.3 oz with a leg span of up to 30cm (12"), males longer and females wider. One-hundred and eighty-seven years after the goliath birdeater was found, the pinkfoot goliath (Theraphosa apophysis) was located but it's trademarks are not as well confirmed as the birdeater. The birdeater is considered to be the heaviest tarantula, while the pinkfoot has the most ample leg span. Two different species, Brazilian salmon eater (Lasiodora parahybana) and Lasiodora klugi, come very close to the size of the two goliath spiders.

Most species of North American tarantulas are brown, but in other locales they've been found with exotic colors of cobalt blue, black with whit stripes, yellow markings, metallic blue leds with bright orange abdomen and green bottle blue. Their most natural habits are grasslands like rainforests, deserts, scrubland, mountains and cloud forests.They burrow and live in the ground.

Some Tarantulas hunt their prey in trees, while others hunt on or near the ground. Primarily, Tarantulas hunt and eat insects and other bugs, but larger Tarantulas have been known to kill animals as large as lizards, mice, birds and small snakes. Even though a tarantula has eyes, it's strongest sense is touch. Their tendency is to depend on vibrations from the movements of it's prey. The tarantula's hairs or spines (sensory organs called setae) are very sensative and used to sense chemical signatures, wind direction, sound as well as pheromones. They also have a thick covering of irritating hairs called urticating hairs, that they will use as protection against predators. Their primary enemy and predator is from the wasp family called "tarantula hawks".

It is possible for tarantulas to live for years, however, it takes them 2-5 years to reach adulthood, some even 10 years to full maturity. After reaching adulthood, males usually live for one year to 18-months and this is when they will find a female to mate. A female Tarantulas life-span has been known to reach 30 to 40 years. According to Guinness World Records, the oldest spider lived to be 49 years old.

Interesting tarantula facts: Their thorax goes bald when they get old and like cats, they have retractable claws.


 

Indoor Spider Control

Outdoor Spider Control

Webduster

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.