It is estimated that there are nearly 900 different species of spiders in Texas. So, if you are struggling with spiders, you are not alone! Spiders typically enter homes during extreme weather like cold, heat, drought, and flooding, but can be present any time. Although spiders are beneficial to the environment because they eat flies, mosquitos, roaches, and many other insects, that doesn’t mean that we want them in our homes. Effective spider control requires a well-balanced approach that often utilizes changes in homeowner behavior, some physical modifications to the outside of homes, and chemical means like insecticides.
Spider Species in Texas
Texas is home to many different kinds of spiders including: wolf spiders, orb spiders, jumping spiders, tarantulas, and many others. These spiders are mostly harmless, but there are two species that are considered dangerous. Black widows and brown recluses are considered the two most dangerous spiders in the whole United States, and Texas has them both.
Black widows in Texas are typically shiny black spiders that grow up to approximately 1½ inches long. Some widow spiders can also be dark brown with orange markings. The female black widow is the only one that is dangerous, and it can be easily identified by a red or orange hourglass marking on its abdomen. Symptoms of a black widow bite may include nausea, vomiting, headaches, and pain. Death from a black widow bite is very rare, but bites should be treated carefully, especially among the elderly or children.
Brown recluses are light brown or yellowish-brown with a dark violin shape just below the head. This is why they are commonly known as fiddleback spiders. Recluses range from ¼ – ¾ inches long. Brown recluse bites can cause chills, fever, pain, dizziness, difficulty breathing and even necrosis (death of tissue). Like most spiders, recluses live in dark, moist areas like basements, attics, or piles of debris. If you are bitten by a brown recluse, you should seek medical attention immediately.
By Rosa Pineda (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Spiders are important outdoors, but indoors they can be nuisances, cause anxiety, and be potentially dangerous. Most homeowners don’t want to take chances with spiders, so they try to find ways to prevent them from entering their homes. Below are some great ways to keep spiders out.
Spider Prevention Methods
There are several things that you can do right now to prevent spiders. Here are eight tips and tricks that you can try today:
- Clean Regularly: Household chores like vacuuming and dusting can be beneficial in spider control. By doing these things regularly, you will be able to remove any eggs or nymphs that have been left by previous spiders, thus decreasing the overall population in your home.
- Remove Any Current Webs: If you have webs around your home, it is important to remove them. This will hopefully eliminate the spider living there, but it will also eliminate potential eggs as well. The easiest methods for removing webs are using a vacuum cleaner hose to suck them up or brushing them away with the end of a broom.
- Declutter: Piles and stacks of things tend to create dark, undisturbed places where spiders can live. To prevent spiders, try decluttering your home and yard. Remove things like piles of cardboard boxes, stacks of wood, old containers, and large piles of papers.
- Store Food Properly: While spiders do not typically eat pantry foods themselves, they do eat the bugs that feed on them. Open packages of grains, sweets, and starches are likely to attract various types of bugs. Once the insect population has built up, they will start attracting spiders. To combat this problem, store pantry food in airtight containers and keep other leftovers in the fridge.
- Seal the Exterior of Your Home: One of the best ways to keep out pests is to make it difficult for them to get in. Spiders, rodents, and other household pests commonly enter your home through cracks or holes on the outside of your house. In order to seal the exterior, slowly walk around the outside of your home and identify areas that may be a problem. Use caulk to fill small cracks and expandable spray foam to fill larger holes. Pay special attention to where pipes or electrical wiring enters your home.
- Install Screens and Weatherstripping: Doors and windows are other areas where pests can enter. Check your windows to make sure that the screens are present and in good condition. If there are holes or tears, you can repair or replace them. The weatherstripping on doors should create a tight seal without gaps or cracks. If it is brittle or torn, you can quickly and easily replace it.
- Change Outdoor Lighting: Bugs are attracted to light, and spiders are attracted to bugs. If you can attract less bugs, you will then attract less spiders. If possible, place outdoor lights several feet away from doors. If this is not an option due to safety concerns, it has been shown that certain colors of light bulbs will attract less insects. You can easily change out those bright white bulbs for yellow, orange or pink lights.
- Regular Pest Control Treatments: Professional exterminators provide various services that are very helpful in spider prevention. First, they will de-web the exterior of your house, thus removing any existing spiders. Next, they will apply a perimeter treatment. Your trained pest control technician will spray a residual pesticide several feet around the exterior of your home creating a barrier to entrance. Indoor treatments are also available to be sprayed along baseboards, in corners, and around window frames. These treatments are safe for your family and pets and do a great job of preventing pests for many months at a time.
EcoArmor Pest Defense is your go-to source for all of your pest control needs. We have the knowledge, training, and experience to be able to get rid of all the spiders that are bothering you. We are a veteran owned and operated company, so you can trust that we maintain the highest standards in the industry. Contact us today for spider control in Anna, Texas and surrounding areas. At EcoArmor, we want to make your life easier and keep your family safe and pest-free.