Gardeners frequently welcome spiders because they are an effective form of natural pest control. However, problems may be indicated when when spiders are frequently encountered in homes and offices.
Many species of spiders can be seen throughout the Bucks Country area, including the broad-faced sac spider, common house spider, grass spider and the wolf spider. Spiders such as these rely on a steady diet of insects and other arachnids. Accordingly, they are drawn to places where these other pests are plentiful. This means that frequent sightings of spiders on the property may indicate the presence of other destructive and potentially harmful pests.
Adequate spider control depends upon the expert control of other pest species. Typically, it is not possible for DIY pest control methods to eradicate these problems, which means that spider infestations also persist. The only way to successfully deal with these problems is through the services of a pest control company.
As arachnids, spiders are closely related to mites and ticks. This means that they do not have wings or antennae and that their head and thorax are fused together in a structure called a cephalothorax. From here, their appearance greatly varies.
Broad-faced sac spiders have a dark dorsal stripe on their brown bodies. Identified by their slender rear legs and thicker front legs, females of this species may be as long as 10 millimeters, with males reaching about five or six millimeters.
Common house spiders are most easily identified by the stripes on their legs as well as the chevron markings in gray and brown on their bodies. Most adult common house spiders only measure about eight millimeters in length.
With their yellowish-brown carapace and dark abdomens, grass spiders are relatively easy to identify. Their carapaces are decorated with two longitudinal stripes. At adulthood, females may measure anywhere from 10 to 20 millimeters while males measure between nine and 18 millimeters.
Able to achieve a length of up to 35 millimeters, the wolf spider is by far the largest spider in the region. They are covered in thick brown or gray hair.
As they eat a variety of insects and other arachnids, spiders are classified as carnivores. Web-spinning spiders in general eat flying insects like moths, flies and mosquitoes. Other spiders are active hunters. They do not spin webs, but instead lie in wait for insects like crickets, grasshoppers and beetles.
While protein does form the majority of the spider's diet, these pests are not known to consume food that is intended for people or pets.
Spiders that do not spin webs are most likely to be found among leaf litter or hiding amongst other foliage. The undersides of stones or boards also make good places of concealment as do siding and window and door sills.
Many spiders that spin webs may do so in elevated locations, using structures like outdoor light fixtures, trees, shrubs or building exteriors. Other spider species prefer to spin webs across the surface of soil or grass, although some species, like grass spiders, spin funnel webs on the ground.
Underground burrows are preferred by species such as the wolf spider. This species may excavate its own burrow or take over an abandoned animal's burrow. Openings to the nest are protected with a silken door or a pile of twigs or pebbles may be used to keep out the rain.
PROBLEMS WITH SPIDERS
As they do not destroy property, spiders typically are not considered destructive pests. Nonetheless, many people are bothered by the spiders' industrious web spinning. These webs may be left all over the interior and exterior of homes and offices, causing the need for constant cleaning.
Additionally, it is worth considering that the presence of spiders is distressing to many people. When these pests are too numerous, some people may have difficulty relaxing or sleeping in their own homes.
However, the real cause for concern that is connected to spiders is the insects on which they are feeding. Insect species that form part of the spiders' diet may include termites and carpenter ants that cause property damage as well as wasps and hornets that deliver painful stings to people and pets. Having these pest species on the property may prove to be both destructive and dangerous.
Spiders typically avoid contact with people as much as possible. Nonetheless, they may react with a bite in an accidental encounter. These most frequently occur when a spider hides inside a shoe or a sleeve and an unsuspecting person puts on the article of clothing. Alternatively, bites may happen when a person rolls over a spider in bed or reaches into a dark, cluttered space.
Spiders may be active during either daylight or nighttime. Much of their time may be spent resting on their web or hiding in a dark place as they wait for prey.
It is fortunate that spiders are not known to transmit diseases to people with a bite, but this does not mean that there is no danger associated with a spider bite.
As an example, broad-faced sac spiders have a particularly painful bite. When the bite is administered, an infection may be transmitted. This is because this spider species has a habit of eating dead arthropods. The spider's bite transfers decaying matter to the bite victim, sometimes causing a serious wound that requires medical attention.
Another example is the grass spider, which is quite small and not always able to penetrate human skin. However, when the skin is penetrated, a dose of venom is delivered to the victim, and this venom can cause a necrotic skin lesion or a bacterial infection.
SIGNS OF A SPIDER INFESTATION
Indications of a spider problem include:
• Spider egg sacs discovered both indoors and outdoors • Spider bites reported on the property • Webs are constantly found around the interior and exterior of buildings • Spiders frequently found indoors
SafeGuard Pest Control recommends the following spider prevention methods:
• Ensure that gutters and downspouts are clear • Keep vegetation under control and away from building exteriors • Pressure wash building exteriors at least once per year • Place screens on all doors and windows • Hire a pest management company to perform regular inspections and treatments
DIY products are not usually successful in controlling spider populations. To keep a home’s spider population under control, a pest control company should be called.
Safeguard Pest Control uses a variety of treatments and specialized products to eliminate spiders in your Bucks County home or office.