spider in web

Introduction

Spiders are an ecologically beneficial species, feeding on other spiders and nuisance insects keeping those populations down in homes, gardens, and other environments. Spider species are found throughout the entire world, with 2,500 of those species living in North American.

Recognition

Spiders are considered to be arachnids, which means that all species share most of the same characteristics: two body segments, eight legs, usually eight eyes, and fangs that are connected to poison glands. Some species like the wolf spider can grow quite large (up to an inch or more in length) and others species like the cellar spider are smaller (1/3 to ¼ of an inch in length).

Biology

The life cycle begins when either the male places sperm on a web where it is then transferred to the female, or when the male uses their pedipalps to transfer their sperm directly to the female. Depending on the species the female may lay her eggs and then die, while others will carry the eggs with her, or keep them in a silk retreat until the eggs hatch. Once the eggs hatch, the hatchlings look identical to the adults, but smaller. The hatchlings will go through several molts before they become adults.

Spiders overwinter inside of places like houses, garages, sheds, hollow logs, or underneath rocks as either adults or eggs. When the weather warms in the spring the spiders emerge to feed and mate, or the eggs hatch and develop into adults.

Habits

Most spiders end up inside of homes accidentally as they search for food. Once inside they seek out dark and secluded areas to hide and build their webs in. Most spider species can be found hiding in the corners of doorways, in closets, in clothing and shoes, underneath of furniture, and in basements attics. Some species, like the house spider and cellar spider, build webs hoping that prey will happen into it; while others, like the jumping spider and the wolf spider, hunt and chase down their prey instead of building webs.

Spiders use their fangs in order to inject venom into the prey to kill or paralyze it. In most species the venom is generally not strong enough to cause a problem in the majority of people. When they are ready to feed they inject a digestive enzyme into the prey and use their strong jaws to “soften” the prey and begin the digestive process.

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Prevention

The best way to prevent spider infestation is to take measures around your home that will help to stop them from entering in and utilize a year round professional year round pest service. While a home pest control program is the best and safest way to prevent spiders from moving into your home, there are some things that you can do to help prevent them from coming in.

  • Remove overgrown or thick vegetation that is growing near your house.

  • Ensure that gutters are directing water away from your home’s foundation.

  • Seal cracks in the foundation.

  • Install door sweeps on exterior doors.

  • Caulk gaps around windows and doors.

  • Repair or replace damaged window and door screens.

  • Routinely remove webs from your home and vacuum to get rid of any eggs and spiders.

Control

The best way to control spiders is with the help of a professional pest control service. Here at Rottler, our highly trained technicians will apply a residual liquid insecticide in all of the pertinent places such as, around the foundation perimeter, under eaves, along molding and trim, under low level siding, patio, and deck and chimney attachments. We also will treat mulch and other landscaping. We treat the inside and outside of outbuildings including sheds and garages. Indoor insecticides may be used in basements, attics, and room corners. We may also place sticky monitors/traps to help reduce the number of spiders in your home.

To control large spider infestations a year-round quarterly pest control program is recommended, not only will this control spiders but other common insects that they feed on and there by lessening the spider attraction to your property.

Sources

http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/insects/find/common-spiders-in-and-around-homes/
http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef622.asp

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