Pest Identification – Spiders

While most people understand that spiders are a form of natural pest control in Northern California and Nevada, that doesn’t make them look any less creepy. And even though these arachnids go out of their way to avoid humans, if their presence makes you feel uneasy, it’s best to leave spider control to pest professionals like Advanced IPM.

Though all spiders are venomous, the majority of them cannot significantly harm humans – and those that can, such as the Black Widow and the Hobo spider, will only attack when provoked. Spiders and humans have coexisted for thousands of years, and they’re probably hiding just out of sight in your home or business right now. There are several different species of spiders common to our area, and at Advanced IPM, we make it our business to keep tabs on each and every one.

American House Spider

With a bulbous abdomen and small head, these spiders have a more “traditional” shape than others. They are often gray or brown with specks of other light colors, and females can grow as large as 1/2 an inch. House spiders build webs in high corners of crawlspaces or garages to catch their prey, but will abandon these webs if they are not productive, leaving what we refer to as “cobwebs.”

The egg sacs of a house spider are brown and pear-shaped, and are hung directly from their webs. Though these spiders can bite if threatened, they are more likely to avoid human contact at all costs.

Cellar Spider

These spiders are often confused for “daddy long-legs” spiders because of their long, spindly legs and tiny bodies measuring only about a fourth of an inch. They can be gray or brown, with distinct bands of color on their abdomens. True to their name, cellar spiders are often found building “messy” webs in basements, garages, and commercial warehouses.

Cellar spiders go a long way toward eliminating flies and other household pests, and will even eat other spiders if food is scarce. Females do not lay egg sacs; instead, she will carry the eggs in her mouth until they are ready to hatch. These spiders are not known to bite humans.

Hobo Spider

These light brown, aggressive-looking spiders are often mistaken for the poisonous Brown Recluse spider, which is not found in Northern California or Nevada. Look for a V-shape on its abdomen and black-colored legs. Hobo spiders got their name because scientists believe they may have spread across the country via train. In any case, these spiders do not like to climb much, so they will most commonly be found on the ground floor or in basements.

Hobo spider webs are unlike other common spiders’ in that they’re horizontal instead of vertical, with a funnel at one end where they like to hide and surprise prey. Though Hobo spiders can inflict a painful bite on humans that may become infected, they spend most of their time in the least-occupied areas of a structure and will avoid humans.

Black Widow Spider

The Black Widow has a very intimidating appearance: a shiny black body and legs with a red hourglass shape on the underside of the abdomen. Females are larger than males, measuring a half inch in size. Females also tend to be the more aggressive gender. They are largely solitary creatures; Black Widows only interact with each other to reproduce. Otherwise, they spend most of their time in cluttered basements and crawlspaces building intricate, three-layered webs to trap their prey.

Even when threatened, Black Widows tend to play dead instead of biting. However, if they do decide to bite, it can be extremely harmful to young children and the elderly. The good news is that Black Widows look so striking, they’re usually pretty easy to spot.

How to Protect Your Home from Spiders in Northern California and Nevada

Here are some simple steps you can take to limit the appearance of spiders in your home or business:

  • Clear basements and other storage areas of clutter.
  • Clean up food scraps and waste in your kitchen. Food can draw in other pests, which then attracts spiders.
  • Seal cracks and gaps in the exterior of your home or business to prevent pests from gaining entry.
  • Trim plants and remove brush from contacting the exterior of your home.
  • Clear away spider webs when you spot them to discourage spiders from reappearing.

Let Advanced IPM Secure Your Home from Spiders

At Advanced IPM, we know that spiders are just trying to manage pests naturally, and we try to follow their lead. However, the presence of spiders can make people uncomfortable, so it’s our duty to remove them from local homes and businesses using environmentally friendly techniques. If you have a spider problem, let us help you eliminate it quickly and effectively. Contact us today for your free pest control quote.