There are at least 45,000 spider species. Spiders are on all the landmasses of the world, except for Antarctica and have been around since 300 million years ago during the Carboniferous Period. They’re good at adapting, surviving and eating the plentiful insects across the far reaches of the globe.
Spiders are such a diverse group of pests; the smallest can be around .015 inches, and the largest can grow up to a foot, including leg span. Spiders can be found with all sorts of different colors and body types. All spiders have similar body structures, however, which makes it easy to classify them as spiders. Here is what a general spider looks like:
The first thing that tips you off that a spider is a spider, obviously, is that every species has eight legs. That's why spiders cannot be considered insects, because insects have six legs, and spiders have eight. Spiders are instead classified as arachnids. Spiders also have 8 eyes. Spiders bodies are divided into two main parts: the thorax, which contains the eyes, legs, fangs and mouth parts, and the abdomen, which contains the parts for spinning webs.
Spiders can capture their prey in a variety of webs, including ones in orbs, in leaves, and underground. Spiders eat all varieties of insects, but some larger species have been known to catch birds, lizards, and fish. Most spiders bite their prey and perform exterior digestion by liquifying it with their digestive enzymes, and then eating their prey with their jaws. Female spiders can lay up to 300 eggs in one go, and after reproducing, they will eat their male counterpart. Some spiders have venomous and painful bites that can be dangerous to humans. While a large majority of spiders are hunters, they don’t hunt humans, but will bite if they feel threatened.
Why Are We Scared of Spiders?
No pest is so well known for producing the spine-tingling heebie-jeebies as spiders. Spiders even have their own phobia named after them; Arachnophobia. But why are we so frightened of these pests compared to the other bugs that may reside in our homes? Quite simply, it’s evolutionary. A study completed in Germany tested babies’ reactions to seeing images of flowers, fish, spiders and snakes. Their “fear responses” were statistically higher when looking at snakes and spiders than when looking at fish and flowers. This fear is also learned, but psychologists have not seen that people fear a spider because of its bite, but because of its quick, fast movements. Regardless of why we fear spiders, be it learned or evolutionary, most homeowners would prefer spiders to be anywhere but their home.
Signs of a Spider Infestation: How You Know It’s Serious
Seeing one or two spiders in your home isn’t a sign of a serious infestation. Spiders are likely to find their way indoors, and could even come by hitching a ride on you, your mail, or a pet. However, homeowners should keep an eye out for these warning signs to know when there is a serious infestation of spiders in their home.
If you continually see spider webs in your home, in darker areas and corners, this means spiders are setting up shop in your home. They most likely have found lots of food (other insects) and plan to stay a while.
The second major indicator of a spider infestation are the presence of egg sacs. This indicates your home is hospitable enough for a spider’s young, and has enough food for hundreds of small baby spiders. If you’re seeing egg sacs sand webs in your home, you may have a serious spider infestation.
How to Get Rid of Spiders
Vacuum Egg Sacs and Webs
When you first notice spiders, egg sacs, or webs in your home, immediately clean your house. Remove the egg sacs and webs with a vacuum, and make sure to throw the bag away, or if you have a bagless vacuum immediately empty and dispose of the contents.
Trap the Spiders
Next, you’ll want to set out traps and bait to trap and kill the current spider population in your home. You can use sticky spider traps, or diotomacious earth to naturally kill the spiders in your home.
Call a pest control specialist
After cleaning your home and putting out preliminary traps, call a pest control specialist. They will be able to spray for spiders in your home. If you have a home warranty through Landmark that covers pest control, this service will only cost you a service call fee.
Home Warranties and Spider Infestation
If you have a home warranty through Landmark that covers pest control, spraying for spider infestations is a covered service! All you have to do to is call Landmark and open a service request, pay the $60-$100 service call fee, and Landmark will spend a pest control specialist to your home to get rid of your spider infestation.
How to Prevent Spiders from Coming Inside
Once you have gotten rid of your spiders inside of your home, prevent them from coming back.
Seal cracks and ventilation
Make it harder for spiders to come inside by sealing up cracks and poorly weather-stripped windows and doors. Spiders can also crawl through ventilation, so make sure to seal that properly.
Turn off outdoor lights
Spiders come into a home in search of food, and when you have outdoor lighting on, it attracts a spider’s favorite meal: insects. Turn off your outdoor lighting at night to make it harder for insects to find your home and spiders to find their next meals.
Create a barrier
Spiders will be less likely to come into your home if they have no safe, covered way to do so. Remove branches, mulch, bushes, and plants that are right next to your home’s foundation, leaving a 5 inch barrier between you and spiders.
Clean your home
Finally, keep your home clean and clutter free to ensure the spiders won’t have any reason to stay inside.