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Pest ID: Spiders

While Combat® products are geared toward treating ant and roach problems, we understand there is more that could be bugging you. Spiders are a common pest in many areas of the U.S. and frequently require special attention.

Spiders are 8-legged arthropods that feed on insects and other small creatures. They can be divided into those spiders that use silk webs to catch insects, silk mats to detect when an insect is walking across it and those spiders that actively search or hunt for prey.

In homes, spiders that build webs to catch their food are commonly the house spider, a small brown and white species with an irregular shaped nest, or the cellar spider, frequently called a Daddy Long Legs, which is a species with a small body and very long, thin legs that also has irregular shaped webs. Both of these species hang upside-down from the bottom of their webs and neither of these spiders are dangerous to people.

One of the hunting spiders that are commonly found in homes is the yellow sac spider, a cream-colored – slightly greenish species that builds a silken hiding place in the corner where the ceiling meets the walls. Because many people have white ceilings it is difficult to see them when inside the white silken retreat. Theses spiders will hunt at nighttime and will occasionally bite people if the spider gets into the bed and are rolled upon. The bites are usually no worse than a small, reddened and raised area that will rarely form a small blister.

Other spiders that get into houses are the hunting spiders from outside that are searching for a protected location to spend the winter. Typically, these spiders enter homes in September through October. Some of the more common spiders that do this are the wolf, fishing, grass and sac spiders. Although some of these spiders are fairly large and may frighten you or your family, even the biggest of them will only bite if handled. The bites may hurt but are usually no more dangerous than the sting from a wasp.

Insecticides are of little value in managing these spiders. In order to prevent these pests, frequently vacuum areas where the house or cellar spiders are found and to make sure that all doors (including garage doors) are sealed with weather stripping. Remove woodpiles, lumber stacks, rock piles, brush, high weeds and grasses, and any discarded items from the immediate vicinity and do not bring in firewood until you are ready to place it in either a wood burner or fireplace.