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What to Know About Spiders

Spiders, which are arthropods and not insects, are very common in and around homes. Although many people may fear spiders, spiders are considered beneficial pests as they feed on insects and other pests. Some common spiders that we typically find in the Central Valley include the common house spider, garden spiders (orb weavers), the wolf spider, and the black widow spider. The brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, does not reside in California. Spiders that may harm people with their bites, typically construct their webs in secluded areas (under furniture, in corners of rooms, in woodpiles, in storage boxes, cracks, and crevices, etc.). It is a good idea to wear gloves when working in these areas (restacking woodpiles, cleaning storage areas in a garage, etc.).

black widow in web

Control Outside the Home

Seal cracks in the foundation, around windows and doors, and around plumbing or electrical conduits. Make sure that all window screens are in good condition. Keep the area around the foundation of the home free of debris and heavy vegetation. By reducing the potential spider habitat, you will help reduce the spider populations. Outdoor lighting attracts insects and spiders to your home. If possible, locate security lighting on poles away from doors. Switching to halogen or sodium vapor bulbs (if possible) will also help reduce this problem. Application of pyrethroid pesticides around the perimeter of the home will help kill the spiders that are present. It will also reduce the insect population, which serves as the spider’s food supply. Sweeping down the spider webs that are present will also help prevent future spiders.

Control Inside the Home

Inside the home, regular vacuuming of secluded/protected areas (corners of doorways and windows, corners of walls, under furniture, etc.) will help remove spiders and their webs.

For More Information

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