Are you one of the millions of Americans afraid of spiders? If so, you have ample reason to be - a handful of spiders native to the United States, including black widows and brown recluses, are venomous and can administer serious bites with painful consequences.
But your natural instinct shouldn't necessarily be to squash every spider you see. In fact, doing so can introduce more pests to your home instead of reducing them. Curious? This blog will tell you which spiders are natural pest controllers, which spiders you need to avoid, and when a spider infestation requires pest control services.
Which Spiders Are Part of a Healthy Household Environment?
They might be scary to look at, but most spiders inside your house contribute to a clean, orderly home. Depending on the type of spider, spider webs trap everything from flies to gnats, roaches to moths, and mosquitoes to more dangerous spiders, like black widows.
By trapping bugs that spread disease, like mosquitoes, and bugs that infest and spoil food, like roaches, spiders like the following are your first defense against a messy, pest-ridden household:
Domestic house spiders
American house spiders
Most of these spiders are relatively small and prefer to stay out of your way in quiet corners where they can knit their webs and catch their prey in peace. Contrary to myth, they won't seek you out or crawl down your throat while you sleep - instead, they'll mind their own business and work with you to keep pest levels down.
If you're squeamish about your home's eight-legged companions, deal with the spiders' food sources instead of jumping to solutions like chemical spraying, which is bad for your home's air quality and escalates your pest problem by eliminating pests' predators.
Reducing the number of roaches, mosquitoes, moths, and other pests in your home will naturally reduce your spider problem, too, so seal food tightly, sweep up crumbs, clean spills, and seal cracks around the house that bugs use to get in.
Which Spiders Are Dangerous?
The continental US is home to very few dangerous spiders, especially when compared to continents like Africa and Australia. However, the venomous spiders we do have can make your home a scary place to live. Be on the lookout for these noxious household pests:
Black widows -These spiders are identifiable by the small orange or red hourglasses shape on their otherwise black abdomens. They typically live in dank, dark corners in basements, woodsheds, and garages.
Brown recluses - They have a violin-shaped marking on their brown abdomens. They can grow to be an inch long. You can find them in dry, dark environments.
Wolf spiders - They grow to an inch or more in length. They are usually brown or grey with brown or grey speckles. They build webs close to the ground indoors or in funnels outdoors.
Hobo spiders - They have darker curves or chevrons on their otherwise brown bodies. They are smaller than brown recluses.
Bites from these spiders are non-lethal unless you're allergic to them. However, bites from recluses and hobo spiders can cause necrosis, or tissue rotting, and neurological damage in extreme cases. Black widow and wolf spider bites sting, and black widow bites can cause headaches and nausea.
When Do I Need to Call a Pest Control Company?
Get a pest control company involved in your spider problem if you have an issue with dangerous spiders, especially hobo spiders and brown recluses. A pest control company can also help if you have an abnormal amount of harmless house spiders - even non-venomous spiders become a nuisance in larger quantities.
Unsure if your spiders pose a threat? Tired of dealing with arachnophobia around the house? Get in touch with Godfather's Exterminating, Inc. We offer eco-friendly pest control solutions throughout Minnesota, Iowa, and the Dakotas. You can contact us anytime for a quote.