For the most part spiders generally get a bad rap, except in Charlotte’s Web. Even in nursery rhymes, and especially in Hollywood, the spider is portrayed as an evil invader. Examples; the Avondale spiders from New Zealand in Arachnophobia, or Shelob the creepy, hellacious, giant spider in Lord of the Rings 3. Or hundreds of big, fat, black, hairy tarantulas in Something Wicked this Way Comes. With all the negative press it is no wonder homeowners cannot tolerate their presence.
They are often are seen as ugly, threatening creatures. These eight legged, non-insect arthropods elicit fear and revulsion. Yet, they are a part of our everyday world. They are viewed as beneficial when they capture insects but seen as pests when found inside the house. Most buildings have a resident spider population feeding on household insects, stray flies, and each other. They live in neglected areas: attics, basements, behind and under furniture; bookcases or appliances; and in cracks between boards. Corners and baseboards are favorite locations. Most house spiders are seldom seen except during housecleaning, but some of the larger species mature and become more active from late August to early October. At that time, the house may appear to have been invaded. Outdoor spiders do sometimes blow or crawl in through open windows, etc., but most either die of thirst in the house or fall prey to resident species.
Depending on your outlook, spiders in the house can be an advantage or disadvantage. A few spiders are rarely noticeable and help control other insects that find their way into the house. Spiders do, however, produce sheets or strands (cobwebs) of silk webbing, and small white specks of excrement which may drop on underlying items. People with allergies to spider venom, a fear of insects, or severe health problems should minimize the chance of any encounter with spiders.
For poisonous or particularly resilient spiders, a pest control company may be your best option. A pest control technician has the experience to identify and remove different kinds of spiders from your home in a safe and efficient manner. They also have access to stronger spider sprays than what you can purchase in most stores.
Of course if you are like me and scared to death of spiders, especially the ones above your head… because you know even with a can of raid and a big wad of paper towels, chances are the spider is going to fall on your head, or run up your arm… you will be as thankful as I am for Safari Ray.
When the subject of nasty spiders come up we usually think of the notorious Black Widow spider. Her shiny black body with that famous red hour glass marking on the underside of the abdomen is an image that readily comes to mind.
In Florida however, there are three other Widows to contend with: the Northern Black Widow, the Red Widow and the Brown Widow. The Brown Widow being prominent in our area. Because they vary from light tan to dark brown, (almost black) with variable markings of black, white, yellow, orange, or brown on the back of their abdomens, Brown Widows are not as easy to identify. The underside of the abdomen, if you can see it, contains the distinctive hour glass marking. Unlike the Black Widow, the hour glass on the Brown Widow is orange to yellowish orange.
Brown widows can be located by finding their egg sacs. The egg sac of a Brown Widow is very different from those of the other widow spiders. The Brown Widow has a unique “spiky” egg sac, unlike the smooth egg sac of the Black Widow. They will nest in any out of the way place around the home, including wet clothes and towels on a clothesline. The venom of Brown Widow spiders is not as toxic as the Black Widow, but are still very painful and can cause serious injury if not treated.