Spiders are air-breathing arthropods that have eight legs, and fangs that can inject venom. They rank seventh in total species diversity among all other groups of organisms. Spiders are found all over the world on every continent except for Antarctica, and have become established in nearly every habitat, excluding air and sea colonization. There are approximately 40,000 spider species that exist throughout the world.
While the venom of a few types of spiders is dangerous to humans, scientists are now researching the use of spider venom in medicine and as non-polluting pesticides.
Spider silk provides a combination of lightness, strength and elasticity that is superior to that of synthetic materials, and spider silk genes have even been inserted into mammals and plants to see if these can be used as silk factories. As a result of their wide range of behaviors, spiders have become common symbols in art and mythology symbolizing various combinations of patience, cruelty and creative powers.
Female spiders can lay up to 3,000 eggs in one or more silk egg sacs, which maintain a fairly constant level of humidity. Some female spider die after laying eggs, but females of other species will protect the sacs by attaching them to their webs, hiding them in their nests, carrying them in their body or simply attaching them to their body and dragging them along.
Most spiders will only bite humans in self-defense, and very few bites produce worse effects than, say, a mosquito bite or bee sting. Most of those with medically serious bites, such as recluse spiders and widow spiders, are shy and bite only when they feel threatened, although this can easily arise by accident. Funnel web spiders’ defensive tactics are very aggressive and their venom, although they rarely inject much, has resulted in 13 known human deaths. On the flip side, the Brazilian wandering spider requires very little provocation before it will bite a human.
In the twentieth century, there were about 100 reliably reported deaths from spider bites, but there were approximately 1,500 deaths from jellyfish stings.
Spiders are generally good to have around because they help to minimize the population of harmful insects. The problem arises, however, when they negatively affect humans. The mere sight of a spider can be a real scare for some people. Aside from that, many spiders do bite humans, and are poisonous, so it is a good idea to have a Pest Control Company treat your home for spiders.
Several spiders pose a serious threat to humans. The two spiders that are the deadliest to humans in the United States are the Black Widow and the Brown Recluse. Since a few people die each year from the bite of either of these two spiders, it’s extremely important for any person that is bitten by one of these spiders to seek treatment immediately. In some cases, hospitalization may be necessary.
Black Widow Spider
The Black Widow spider can be easily recognized because she is black with a red hourglass on the underside of her abdomen. The male is considerably smaller than the female, and he has a body up to half an inch long. The Black Widow typically remains outdoors. Their webs are very messy and don’t exhibit the circular patterns you may be used to in more common cobweb spiders.
Black Widow spiders tend to stay in secluded and cluttered areas like garages, sheds, basements, and crawlspaces. The venom that these spiders posses contains neurotoxins that can be fatal to humans but usually only the very young and the elderly are at severe risk.
Brown Recluse Spider
The Brown Recluse spider has a darker brown hourglass on its back. The Brown Recluse loves to be indoors and generally stays out of sight. It may never be seen until you reach into a dark spot where it is hiding. Then it will bite.
There are plenty of other spiders in the United States, such as the Grass Spider, Wolf Spider, Hobo Spider, and the Saint Andrew’s Cross Spider, just to name a few. These spiders do not have the same strong venom in their bite, but it is very painful and treatment may be required.
The best way to prevent spiders in your home is to have the exterior of your home treated regularly to prevent them from entering. Another way is to vacuum regularly paying particular attention to corners and out of the way areas where spiders prefer to live. Female spiders can lay up to 3,000 eggs in one or more silk egg sacs. Ensuring that you vacuum up webs and egg sacs will reduce spider populations around your home.
If you have noticed spiders in your home, call us. We will present the best and safest way to eliminate your spider problem, and make recommendations about how to keep them away in the future.