SPIDERS IN THE HOUSE
Spiders As Friend Or Foe
I read an article on the day I wrote this blog about spiders that I found quite interesting. It was entitled “Should You Or Shouldn’t You Kill Spiders In Your Home?”. It talks about the types of spiders you may find walking around on your floor and what to expect from them. In a creepy sort of way, the article raises the question of whether to let them live in your shadowy nooks and crannies, or just squish them outright.
There is no question about the concept of allowing the existence of venomous insects like Black Widows or Brown Recluse Spiders anywhere around your property, inside or out. They are extremely poisonous and can even cause death to some individuals.
I have seen the “Widow” variety propagating the insides of a garage door in groups of 3 or more and they were exceptionally large specimens, about the size of a small marble. It delighted me to set them on fire and watch them burn to a crisp. I have been bitten by a Brown Recluse and had my leg swell up to twice its normal size. Receiving antibiotics in an emergency ward for two hours is no fun at all.
With that said, you are more likely to encounter the relatively harmless variety on your kitchen, living room, or hallway floor. I have even had them crawl up my pillow or across my leg when I was laying in bed at night. Letting them live is not an option for me after dealing with my bite experience and the results that followed. As far as I am concerned, all spiders must die.
What Type Of Spider Is It Anyway?
Whether you live in the country or in the city, you get spiders. The difference is that you are likely to see way more of them in a rural environment than in suburbia. But what types of spiders are they?
I have searched the Internet high and low to find an answer. The starting point has to be what exactly do the spiders in your house look like and what characteristics do they have.
The ones we have contain the following characteristics:
- They are light or dark brown in color
- They are about an inch to an inch and a half in size
- They have 2 long protrusions from their mouth area
- They don’t show evidence of building a decent web
- They walk slowly or stand still when confronted
- Their legs curl inward when swatted or stepped on
After doing the research, my best guess is the Southern House Spider. It has the long protuberances that you see in the pictures above. It has poor eyesight, so it can’t see larger prey. And it will play dead when threatened, which includes curling up their legs when doing so.
These spiders are able to crawl through very tiny spaces. The females create a web but I have seen very little evidence of them. We have horizontal 1×12 boards on our walls and they seem to have some type of disheveled webbing up in the corner crevices or where sizable gaps exist.
Do’s And Don’ts
My sister saw a spider on her floor in Louisiana one day and stepped on it. When she did, teeny little spiders popped off the backside of the mother. All of a sudden she had a whole boatload of the tiny little critters to deal with.
The information available suggests that you can guide this type of spider into a jar, using the lid to coax it in. They only seem to walk forward, so this probably will work. Throw it outside when you are successful.
Spider spray is not recommended since it comes out of the can like water from a hose and usually has little effect. You have to make a direct hit on the spider for results to take place. Messy walls with poisonous liquid dripping down is what you usually end up with.
If they are on your wall, a fly swatter works well. Stepping on them with the heel of your foot takes care of the floor crawlers. If you don’t deal with them right away, they will scamper away. When you return with the swatter, your activity will have scared them off.
We have used a vacuum, pressure washer, paper towels, you name it. Using your hand is risky, since they will bite when threatened. The info on them is that they have very little poison that will not affect humans, but don’t quote me on that, especially when it comes to the reactions people with allergies get.
While living in Arizona, I once spotted a Scorpion (part of the spider family) on the ceiling. It was my intention to keep it alive. I had not seen one in the wild before. Placing a jar over it, I forced it to drop down. I took it to work in the back of my pickup to show my fellow workers what I caught. Unfortunately, the sun fried it through the glass on the way there. Still, just the idea of having it come into the house in the first place freaked me out.
I know that most spiders are beneficial for controlling other insects in your home. They will eat roaches, small bugs, flies, mosquitoes, wasps, and ants. But having them hang around your house is like living with the Munster’s. Big webs hanging off the furniture made those crazy ghoulish people feel right at home.
Large Garden Spiders outside with beautiful strands glistening in the sunlight are one thing (albeit scary looking). But to me, any insect inside is a no-no. If you have any thoughts on this, please leave a comment or tell a story if you wish. I would love to hear other viewpoints on this matter.
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