Spider Exterminators & Removal

garden spider

Spiders are not insects but Arachnids and members of the order Araneae. They are quickly recognized by their eight legs and multiple eyes. Unlike insects, they have only two parts to their bodies instead of three and they never have wings.

Our planet is home to more than 45,000 species of spider. They can be as small as the head of a pin or the size of a large dinner plate at 10 inches across. Spiders live in a wide range of habitats, from ground level to the tops of trees and from damp rainforests to arid deserts.

Spiders obtain their food in many ways. Examples include:

  • Orb spiders and many others spin elaborate webs to catch their prey.
  • Trapdoor spiders hide in the opening of a tunnel to ambush passing insects.
  • Jumping spiders are superb hunters.
  • Bolas spiders throw their webs like nets to snag a meal.

Spiders are beneficial to mankind. They do not spread disease and are estimated to eat between 400 and 800 million tons of insects a year worldwide. However, they are considered a nuisance pest by the many people who have a fear of spiders. In addition, their unsightly webs, if left, can harm property values and damage the reputation of a business.

Life cycle

Spiders do not undergo complete metamorphosis. Newly hatched spiderlings look like miniature adults. As they grow, they must shed their exoskeleton as it does not grow with them. A spider will molt several times during its lifetime.

After mating, a female will produce one or more egg sacs. These silken sacs are a protective casing which keeps the humidity inside stable during the development of the eggs. The shape and size of the egg sac can help identify the type of spider. The number of eggs in each sac varies by species, from just a few to over a thousand.

The many spider species around the world have developed different survival strategies. Some females hide their egg sacs, while others carry them. The time it takes for the eggs to hatch also varies. In cooler climates, eggs often overwinter. Others may hatch after only a few weeks.

spider

After hatching, the spiderlings remain in the safety of the sac until their first molt. Only then do they leave the egg sac. Depending on the species, they will either disperse to fend for themselves or hitch a ride on the female’s back. The young of some species beg for food which the female catches for them.

Most spiders live between one and two years, with females normally outliving males. However, records show some captive tarantula living for twenty years.

Bites

The number of spiders worldwide that bite and cause harm to humans is small. Most spiders will only bite when threatened or provoked.

Of the 3,700 species found in the US, only two types are recorded as dangerous. These are:

  • Violin Spiders (Loxosceles), including the Brown Recluse spider and the Hobo spider. The bite of the Brown Recluse spider can become necrotic, meaning the flesh around the bite rots. Bites from this spider should be treated as a matter of urgency.
  • Widow spiders (Latrodectus) have venom that causes neurotoxic reactions. This group includes the Black, Brown, and Red Widow spiders.

Tarantulas occur in southern states but their bites rarely cause serious problems. However, medical advice should be sought if bitten.

The majority of other spiders in the US don’t have fangs able to penetrate human skin. However, a few non-poisonous species, like the Yellow Sac spiders, Wolf spiders, and House spiders, can bite. Depending on the individual, the bite may be barely felt or, uncommonly, result in pain and swelling.

Treatments

Treatments will take into account the type of spider and the extent of the infestation. Small numbers of spiders can be controlled by spraying the individuals. Large numbers may require a combination of treatments. These include perimeter treatment to prevent spiders entering the home and indoor sprays to kill those already present.

Sprays, aerosols, and dusts are used to control spiders. Although some can be bought by homeowners, others are only available to trained pest controllers.

jumping spider

Glue traps are mainly used for monitoring the numbers and species of spider, rather than eradicating them. The females of certain spider species are less active than the males and avoid capture.

Brown Recluse spiders can be difficult to control because of their secretive habits. Males may be killed more easily than females but that won’t solve the problem. It is safer to call a professional exterminator who will know how to eradicate the spiders.

Do-It-Yourself Treatments

For small infestations of non-dangerous species, there are several DIY remedies. These include vacuuming egg sacs and using a broom to remove the webs.

Non-repellent insecticides can be sprayed on webs. Dusts safe for home use can be spread in basements and attics.

Professional Treatments

Large infestations or the presence of dangerous species should always be handled by professional pest controllers.

Prevention

Spiders are attracted to areas where food is easily available. Change outdoor or porch lights to those that do not attract insects.

Remove clutter from the yard and other places where spiders, like the Brown Recluse like to hide.

Costs

For DIY treatments, a combined aerosol and dust residential spider kit will cost around $45.

Professional treatments will vary based on the type of spider, the location, and the region. Typically, the costs range from $100 to $300. Many pest control companies offer a quarterly treatment package.