Spiders are one of the most recognizable arachnids in and around the home. With eight legs and many that build webs, it is hard to miss this beneficial species. Types you may encounter are jumping spiders, little white spiders, wolf spiders and common house spiders; just to name a few. Generally, treatment for these harmless spiders can be accomplished with a vacuum and web removal.
Black and Brown Widow spiders can be identified by their shiny bodies and red markings on the abdomen. The female builds the web in dark, undisturbed places. They are often found in basements, attics, closets, old shoes, barns, firewood, and old tires; anywhere that is rarely frequented by humans or animals. When entering these spaces care should be taken to wear gloves and long sleeves to protect from being bitten. Female widows can be aggressive and their bite may require medical attention.
As their name indicates, these spiders are shy. Like the widow spiders they prefer to hide in the same dark spaces where they are not likely to be encountered. Bites from the Brown Recluse can be nasty and medical attention may be necessary. It is important to note that these non-aggressive spiders are often misidentified because many nonpoisonous spiders have a similar appearance. Unless you count the eyes, you can’t be sure what spider you have.
Staph infections, skin infections, skin allergies and other conditions are often mistaken for Brown Recluse spider bites. The actual number of these bites is very small and it is important to consider all possibilities if you think the Brown Recluse is responsible for a condition.
They are found throughout the Mid-West. Simple precautions such as wearing gloves when moving things from storage, storing clothes and shoes in plastic containers and using extra cautions when handling items that have sat unused such as boots, baseball mitts, skates and gloves can prevent a bite.
Color – Light brown to gray to black
Length – Their size and shape vary depending on the species
Diet – Generally, spiders feed on insects they catch with their web and therefore are known to be carnivores.
Habitat – Spiders prefer spaces that are cluttered where it can make it easy for them to spin a web. The will look for nooks and crannies to create a safe environment for them to live.
Impact – While spiders generally are not looking for a meal outside of the insects they like to eat, some spiders have been known to bite. Too many spiders can also be an indication of other pest problems.