While there are spiders in Missouri that are harmless (not counting their unsightly webs and tendency to lurk in our homes), brown recluse spiders and black widow spiders are two poisonous spiders in St. Louis and Missouri that could venture into your home or business. Because they are dangerous spiders and avoiding contact with them is the way to go, it is important to be able to identify them and have an understanding of what makes these arachnids bite!

Identifying the dangerous spiders in St. Louis and Missouri

The black widow spider is often found on outdoors in woodpiles but also in outbuildings and dark secluded areas of your home. They are not aggressive and will generally try to stay hidden from you; biting only if threatened or defending their egg sac. Female black widows can reach 1 ½ inches in length with their legs extended, males are about half of the size. They are glossy black in color with a distinct reddish orange hour-glass shape on their belly. Black widow spiders are often introduced to the St. Louis area after being transported unknowingly in shipments from southern areas. They then can easily adapt and establish themselves in homes, garages, warehouses, and factories. A black widow spider bite can affect a victim’s nervous system, causing muscle cramps, fever, nausea and disorientation. While people do become very ill they generally recover without any lasting damage, an exception to this is the very young, elderly, or ill. If you are bit by a black widow, it is best to seek medical attention.

Another dangerous spider in Missouri, the brown recluse is a poisonous species that can be found in undisturbed areas including attics, basements, crawl spaces, and closets as well as under furniture. They range in size from ¼- ½ inch and 1 ¼- 2 inches in total leg span. Tan to dark brown in color, brown recluse have a distinctive dark violin shape found behind their head. People are most often bitten after accidentally rolling on one in bed, or putting on clothing that has one hiding in it. A bite from the brown recluse introduces cytotoxic venom into its victim, which could result in the skin and tissue around the bite to die and slough off. This can result in a deep ulcer forming that if left untreated can become severely infected and become very difficult to heal. Like with black widows, if you are bit by brown recluse spiders you should talk to your doctor or if closed, seek out medical attention.

Spider prevention tips

In order to help protect you and your family from a dangerous spider bite there are some precautions that you should take around your home. In order to stop them from making their way into your home from outdoors you should:

  • inspect your doors and windows for any gaps and caulk any that are present.

  • Take a look at your screens to make sure that they are completely intact and if not they should be replaced or repaired.

  • Inspect your foundation for cracks and crevices; any that are found should be sealed.

  • Trim back trees and bushes that touch the exterior of your house so that spiders cannot hide in them or use their branches as a bridge.

  • Check packages and bags for spiders before bringing inside.

  • Always shake out any clothing that has been in storage before putting it on. Same with shoes, check for spiders before wearing.

  • Wear gloves when working in an outbuilding like a shed or garage.

Taking these precautions can help reduce the chances of coming into contact with and being bitten by a poisonous spider.

At Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions we can provide you with quick, safe, effective spider control in St. Louis and Missouri. Our technicians will apply an exterior barrier treatment using residual insecticide around the perimeter foundation of your home. We will also treat other exterior areas around your property where spiders are likely to hide. Inside your home we can use a light treatment of an insecticide aerosol in areas like basements, attics and rooms that have been infested. We can also place sticky traps to catch spiders and reduce their numbers. If you need help with brown recluse extermination or black widow spider control, contact us today at Rottler and speak to one of our professionals and get all the details about our spider control program!


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