BROWN RECLUSE

PEST DATA:
Color: Light to dark brown, with characteristic dark brown violin marking on back
Legs: 8
Shape: Round
Size: 5/8″
Antennae: No
Region: Found in the south central Midwest from Ohio to Nebraska and southward through Texas to Georgia

Brown recluse spiders have a characteristic dark brown violin marking on their back.

HABITS:
Brown recluse spiders are nocturnal and eat other bugs like cockroaches and crickets. Male brown recluse spiders wander farther than females and will crawl into shoes or other clothing.

HABITAT:
Brown recluse spiders often live outdoors in debris and wood piles. They can be found indoors in storage areas, dark recesses and in wall voids.

THREATS:
Like the black widow spider, the brown recluse spider bites in defense and does not bite humans instinctively. They will bite humans when the clothing they are hiding in is worn. The brown recluse spider bite is painful and can produce an open, ulcerating sore.

HARVESTMEN (DADDY-LONG-LEGS)

PEST DATA:
Color: Pale yellow to light brown or gray
Legs: 8
Shape: Long skinny legs with a small body
Size: 7mm
Antennae: No
Region: Found throughout U.S.

Harvestmen are one of several organisms commonly referred to as “daddy-long-legs” because of their very long, thin legs.

HABITS
Daddy-long-legs have no venom gland nor the ability to produce silk and therefor can not build webs. They are not spiders. Many species are omnivores and eat small insects, plant material, fungi, and dead organisms.

Habitat:
They are usually found in dark and damp places, such as cellars, basements, and crawl spaces, corners of garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, on eaves, windows, and ceilings, in closets, sink cabinets, and bathrooms

Threats:
Cellar spiders do not pose a threat to humans. While they are commonly found in homes, they usually stay in one place. They are not known to bite. Urban legend has it that their venom is of the most deadly of spiders, but their weak mouthparts keep them from injecting venom into humans. While it is correct that they cannot successfully bite, their venom is not very potent.

Prevention:
Seal cracks around doors and windows and use screens.  Use Yellow bug light bulbs on exterior fixtures. Encapsulating basements to lower humidity will discourage spiders.

BLACK WIDOW

PEST DATA:
Color: Black, with characteristic red “hourglass” on back
Legs: 8
Shape: Round
Size: 3/4″ length; 3/8″ in diameter
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

Black widow spiders are most recognized for the red hourglass shape under their abdomen. Contrary to legend, female black widow spiders rarely devour the male black widow spider after mating.

HABITS:
Black widow spiders spin their webs near ground level. They often build their webs in protected areas, such as in boxes and in firewood.

HABITAT:
Black widow spiders are often found around wood piles and gain entry into a structure when firewood is carried into a building. They are also found under eaves, in boxes, and other areas where they are undisturbed.

THREATS:
The venom of a black widow spider is a neurotoxin and is used as a defense. Black widow spiders do not bite humans instinctively. The black widow spider bite can cause severe pain. Young children and the elderly are especially susceptible to a severe reaction to a black widow spider bite.

PREVENTION:
Avoid black widow spider bites by wearing heavy gloves when moving items that have been stored for a long period of time. Spiders often hide in shoes, so check shoes and shake them out before wearing. When spider webs are visible, use caution before putting your hands or feet in that area. If you suspect an infestation, contact a black widow control specialist immediately. This is the safest way to get rid of black widow spiders in your home.

LONG-BODIED CELLAR SPIDERS (DADDY-LONG-LEGS)

PEST DATA:
Color: Pale yellow to light brown or gray
Legs: 8
Shape: Long skinny legs with a small body
Size: ¼-3/8”
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

Long-bodied cellar spiders are one of several organisms that are sometimes referred to as “daddy-long-legs”. Cellar spiders live in dark and moist places.

Habits:
Cellar spiders build webs in corners or dark, damp buildings. They hang upside down on the underside of the web. The webs are not cleaned but instead a new web is continually added. This habit can result in extensive webbing in a relatively short time.

Habitat:
The spiders and their webs are usually found in dark and damp places, such as cellars, basements, and crawl spaces, corners of garages, sheds, barns, warehouses, on eaves, windows, and ceilings, in closets, sink cabinets, and bathrooms

Threats:
Cellar spiders do not pose a threat to humans. While they are commonly found in homes, they usually stay in one place. They are not known to bite. Urban legend has it that their venom is of the most deadly of spiders, but their weak mouthparts keep them from injecting venom into humans. While it is correct that they cannot successfully bite, their venom is not very potent.

Prevention:
Seal cracks around doors and windows and use screens.  Use Yellow bug light bulbs on exterior fixtures. Encapsulating basements to lower humidity will discourage spiders.

WOLF SPIDER

PEST DATA:
Color: Dark brown, lighter stripes
Legs: 8
Shape:  Large robust hairy body with long legs
Size: 1/8 – 3/4“
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

HABITS:
Wolf spiders normally reside in burrows near rocks, stone walls, fallen trees, firewood stacks and in leaf litter piles.  They hunt during the nighttime by chasing after their prey instead of constructing snare webs.  During daylight hours they prefer secluded places. Springtails and other small insects comprise their diet. Although they are confused with Brown Recluse and resemble tarantulas they are not closely related to either.

HABITAT:
Wolf spiders may occasionally enter dwellings when searching for food.  They will never attack people and will only rarely bite when provoked. Wolf spiders that are inside of a home should be collected and released outdoors.

THREATS:
Wolf spiders are not poisonous to humans. A bite is no more painful or dangerous than that of a bee. On rare occasions, people bitten by a wolf spider may have an allergic reaction and should seek medical attention.

PREVENTION:
Seal all cracks and screen windows and doors.  Inspect bags and boxes before bringing them into your home.

JUMPING SPIDERS

PEST DATA:
Color: Black, brown, tan, or gray.
Legs: 8
Shape: Compact with short legs
Size: 1/8 – 3/4“
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

About 300 varieties exist in the US and are known for their jumping ability which they use to hunt. They are an occasional nuisance pest indoors, and some colored species may cause concern when people mistake them for Black Widow spiders. .

HABITS:
Jumping spiders do not construct snare webs but do build homes with two openings in a woven, saclike structure. Jumping spiders are active during the daytime and do not shun sunshine.  While they possess acute daytime vision being able to detect and react to movement up to 18″ away;  they have very poor night vision. They can rapidly move and jump in all directions for short distances.

HABITAT:
Jumping spiders can live in forests, grassland, under furniture or any location that has enough food and shelter.  They can be seen hunting on trees and near windows and doors where other insects are found.

THREATS:
While they can bite, the jumping spider bite is not poisonous. They are not usually considered dangerous.  If symptoms arise, consult a physician.

PREVENTION:
Seal all cracks and screen windows and doors.  Inspect bags and boxes before bringing them into your home.

HOUSE SPIDERS

PEST DATA:
Color: Dull yellowish tan/brown with several dark spots
Legs: 8
Shape: Elongated abdomen
Size: Female – 3/16 – 5/16“, Male – 1/8 – 3/16”
Antennae: No
Region: Entire US

The common house spider is harmless and is usually the spider that people most often encounter in their homes. The compact cobwebs that it creates are often a nuisance. Because of it’s brown coloration, it is often mistaken for brown recluse spiders.

HABITS:
The house spider build cobwebs in random locations where it is likely for them to catch prey. It they do not catch prey, they abandon that web and build another one in a different location.

HABITAT:
House spiders feed on flies, mosquitoes, ants and other small insects.

THREATS:
House spiders are nuisance pests but little threat to humans.

PREVENTION:
To prevent common house spiders from entering the home, seal cracks and use screens on windows and doors. Use a vacuum to remove adults, egg sacs and webs. If a broom is used, adults usually escape.