With more than 3,400 species of spiders in North America, chances are you’ll find one in your home occasionally. Although spiders are useful because they eat pests like flies and silverfish, you might not want them scurrying across your kitchen floor. So what are they doing inside? “Generally, there are spiders that live outside and accidentally wander inside to look for food or a mate,” says Michael Skvarla, Ph.D., assistant professor of arthropod identification. Penn State University. “They don’t want to be inside and usually die within a few days. House spiders, often introduced to the United States by hitchhiking on a cargo ship, can live in your home if they have a food source.”
Here’s what else you need to know about managing the spider population in and around your home.
Seal cracks and crevices.
“The first step is to eliminate the entry point,” says entomologist Elmer Gray, a public health specialist at the University of Georgia. “Check for holes in grilles and gaps in weatherstripping around doors and windows.” Replace the door sweeps, the brush-like part on the bottom of the doors, as they become worn to prevent spiders from sneaking into the home.
Clean up around your house.
Remove debris near your home’s foundation, such as boards on the ground, tarps, foliage, and vegetation that are touching the home, Gray says. Spiders find shelter and food in these areas, so they establish a business, making them more likely to get inside. Also, do not stack firewood against the house. Don’t forget to wear gloves when cleaning up; Spiders aren’t aggressive, despite what you’ve heard. But she will defend themselves by biting if they feel threatened. when they come over outdoor lightsblast them off with a high-pressure water jet from the hose.
Get rid of clutter.
Spiders like to hide in boxes and under cardboard or tarps. Seal storage boxes with tape or use containers with plastic lids to keep them away from things like holiday decorations, Skvarla says. Also, don’t leave clothes on the ground and shake out gardening gloves and boots that are kept in a shed or garage before putting them on.
Make a noise.
Spiders don’t like to be disturbed, so dust and vacuum regularly in areas that aren’t used often, like closets, guest rooms, and basements, says Skvarla. Also, dust the corners of all rooms, under and behind furniture, and any undisturbed areas like closets where they like to hide.
Know what kind of spiders live near you.
If you live in an area where brown recluse spiders are indigenous, ranging primarily from the central US to the Gulf Coast How they look like. Check this map to see the diversity of brown recluse spiders across the country. Unless you live in one of these areas, it’s extremely unlikely you have a brown recluse, says Skvarla.
The good news is that the brown recluse is not aggressive (hence the name!), although it will bite if grabbed or held against the skin. although their bites can cause red skin, itching, skin sores, and rarely fever, although most bites heal quickly. What’s even more reassuring is that research has shown this even in households with large populations Homeowners are rarely bitten by brown recluse spiders.
Black widows are another spider to watch out for; various species are found throughout the United States, primarily in the south and west. But they are shy and build their webs in secluded places like sheds, basements and garages. cause their bites pain and muscle spasms, sometimes severe. If you are bitten by a spider, try to keep it for identification and call your doctor right away if you have concerns.
What do I do if I find a spider in my house?
Grab it with a mug and slide it under a piece of cardboard, then set it outside. Or if you don’t have sympathy, vacuum them up or smash them with a fly swatter or tissue, Gray says. Just be careful when emptying the vacuum bag if it’s a brown recluse or black widow.
Sticky Traps are sometimes helpful too, especially for brown recluse. Place them on walls and in dark corners where the insects that the spiders catch are, Gray says. They can also catch non-target insects, although that’s not a problem indoors where bugs aren’t welcome anyway! (Outdoors this can be a bigger problem as you might catch non-targets like toads).
What are Joro Spiders?
You may have heard of a new invasive species, the East Asian joro spider, which was the first Found in Georgia in 2013. Though these colorful, 2- to 3-inch-wide spiders look scary, they’re not dangerous and have been found in Georgia and South Carolina so far, Gray says. They don’t seem to outperform native species, and they prey on one pesky insect that other spiders don’t: brown marbled stink bugsan invasive pest that damages trees and crops.
What about the reports that these gigantic spiders will soon be bouncing up and down the east coast? This came from the phenomenon called ballooning that occurs when the newly hatched baby spiders are looking for a new habitat. “Spiders are cannibals, so when they hatch, they have to get away from their siblings,” says Skvarla. The baby lets out a silk ribbon, climbs up, and waits for the wind to blow it hundreds of feet—or even miles if caught in a storm. But overall, these spiders won’t bother you. If you find one of their large, sticky webs in a conspicuous place, e.g. B. on your door, on the patio or near a playground, remove it with a broom.
Gadgets don’t repel spiders.
Excuse me but sound devices advertised to keep spiders and other pests out do not work. Save your money and work on decluttering, cleaning up their nesting and hiding spots, and sealing cracks to keep them from coming inside in the first place. After all, most spiders want to stay away from you too!
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