Spiders scare most people, and arachnophobia is a common thing. Not all of us want to wait around for a radioactive spider to bite us! Spider bites are generally dangerous – they won’t turn you into Spiderman, and will instead give you severe skin allergies. They have been on this planet for a very long time – almost 300 million years.
Spiders come in a variety of species, patterns, and colors. They have the awesome ability to spin webs, and their luring of a prey is slightly scary. Contrary to the popular belief, very few species of spiders are pests. And out of these few, even fewer are dangerous. Despite this, most of us would not want them in our house. If left alone, they can breed very fast and can become a nuisance!
A spider is pretty easy to identify. What other eight-legged creature would be hiding in that corner of your house? The only difficulty when it comes to spiders is recognizing the type of spider. Is it poisonous? Do I need to be very worried?
Spiders come in all sizes and colors. Species like tarantulas aren’t even pests – they rarely ever enter human homes of their own accord. Don’t worry too much about this eight-legged creepy crawler; keeping the following characteristics in mind you can determine what kind of action you need to take because of the spider(s) in your house.
How To Identify Common Spiders in Homes
Common house spider
- Yellowish brown in color
- Has a long abdomen or body
- Is common across the world
- Found on upper corners of walls, basements, attics, storerooms, garages, unused cupboards and shelves
- These spiders spin their web near light sources to catch insects
- Can also be seen on trees and other plants
- Is harmless, but can be a nuisance if it breeds within the house
- Not dangerous to humans
- Aka: Daddy long legs
- Pale yellow in color
- Extremely long, thin legs
- 20 species of the long-bodied cellar spider are found in the US
- Prefers dark and damp places
- Seen in cellars, attics, basements, sheds, barns, garages, closets
- Does not bite, and is not dangerous to humans
- These spiders prefer humid areas
- Dark brown in color
- Has pale stripes across its body
- Long legs
- Has tiny hair over its body
- Found under rocks, on trees, piles of leaves
- Can come inside the house through firewood and other wood material
- Usually stay at floor level, hide behind furniture
- Prefer resting in shady places during the morning
- Bites in extremely rare cases
- Do not spins webs; instead chase their prey to catch them
Brown Recluse Spider
- Brown in color
- Violin-shaped dark brown mark on back
- Found near wood. Prefer to hide in cellars, basements, cupboards and under furniture
- Has a painful bite that requires medical assistance
- Fever and restlessness are symptoms of the bite
Black widow spider
- Shiny and black in color
- Red hour-glass shaped mark on the back
- Found in warmer regions
- Chooses to make webs around ground level
- Females can bite if provoked
- Death due to black widow bite is rare; symptoms of a bite include sweating, nausea, high blood pressure
HOW DO YOU GET A SPIDER INFESTATION
Spiders usually come in through firewood, outside furniture, and similar items. Some of them crawl inside through open windows, doors, cracks in walls looking for a sheltered space. If you have bright lighting in your house that attracts a lot of insects, chances are that they will sneak into your house to feast on these insects. Keep the insects away, and up to a great extent, you can keep spiders away too.
If you live near dense vegetation, you might frequently get spiders and other insects as visitors. Spiders rarely invade high activity areas – which is why you will see them in unused cupboards, shoes, corners of walls. If a female spider carrying eggs decides to seek refuge in your house, her children will go on to start a full-blown infestation. This is why it is important to get rid of any spiders that may be in your house.
HOW TO GET RID OF SPIDERS
Smashing a spider with a shoe is not always practical. Frankly, it is too scary to try and crush a bigger spider with anything! The following methods can come in handy when trying to get rid of spiders:
- Spray tea tree oil in areas that spiders have frequently chosen to visit. The pungent aroma will keep them away.
- Garlic (10 cloves) spray can also be used to repel them.
- Vacuum- the small spiders in the house will die due to the pressure of the vacuum. Don’t forget to thoroughly clean the bag afterward.
- Tobacco balls can be left in cupboards and other places. Most spiders are repelled by this or they will simply die.
- Turn most of the outside lights off in the evening. The fewer the insects, the fewer the spiders.
- Keep wood piles, dead leaves, and other such material far away from the house.
- Check all wood items thoroughly before bringing them into the house.
- Clean your house regularly. Fix all broken windows, pipes, and doors. Don’t give them a cozy place to hide in!
Spider Life Cycle
Spiders use powerful chemicals while mating. The male determines whether the female is ready for mating by the chemicals she is releasing. The mating ritual differs from species to species. Some female spiders can be very aggressive and might even try to kill the male. Some males even use dancing movements to attract the female spider.
The male leaves the sperm on the female spider’s web which is then transferred to the female. After the eggs have developed, the female spider might move to a safer location for the hatching of the eggs (which are within the egg sac). Some female spiders might even die after the eggs have formed. Spiders lay around 3000 eggs in one egg sac. The reason for this is that very few of them actually survive to adulthood.
Baby spiders are tiny versions of adult spiders. They grow bigger as they feed. Some spiders breed during fall and some breed during spring. An average adult spider can live for almost 3 years. Spiders have been found to live longer in captivity.
Purpose of Spiders in the Ecosystem
These arachnids have been in this world for more than 300 million years. They are extremely crucial players in the game of ecosystem balance. They keep the insect population in check. If there were no spiders, the insect population would explode, leading to damaging most plants. A spider also serves as a food source to smaller mammals and birds. They are an extremely important prey in the desert to animals such as lizards and birds.
Interesting Facts About Spiders
- Contrary to popular belief, very rare cases have been observed where the female black widow has eaten up her partner.
- They are technically not insects. They are arachnids.
- There are about 30,000 species currently known to mankind.
- A spider can actually provide effective pest control by eating up all the insects in the vicinity.
- The silk of a spider’s web is five times stronger than a thread of steel of the same thickness.
- Due to the presence of copper, the blood of spiders is blue.
- They cannot survive in water.