Most spiders are harmless, they have 8 legs, a head, abdomen, jaw-like structures, and young spiders look similar to adults except for size and occasionally coloration. Many spiders and species of spiders are common pests in the United States. Most spiders spin webs over lamps, in dark areas, and in corners. Besides being unattractive cobwebs and spiders do not cause real harm. There are two exceptions to this in North America, the Brown Recluse, and the Black Widow. The Brown Recluse and the Black Widow are the only two spiders in North America that consistently cause harm and pose a threat to humans.
Black Widow: The black and brown widows are widely distributed over the warmer portions of the United States. Females are easily identified because of their globular, shiny black or brown abdomen with two reddish or yellowish triangles on the underside. These reddish or yellowish triangles form a characteristic hourglass marking. The abdomen is about 1/4 inch in diameter but may be as large as 1/2 inch when the female is full of eggs. Males are much smaller and lighter-colored, with light streaks on their abdomens.
The brown recluse spider, (loxosceles reclusa), can also inflict a very dangerous bite. The initial pain associated with the bite is not intense, and is generally less troublesome than a bee sting. Within 8 to 12 hours the pain becomes quite intense, and over a period of a few days a large ulcerous sore forms. This sore heals very slowly and often leaves a large, ugly disfiguring scar.
The brown recluse is soft-bodied and secretive species found in homes and other outbuildings. The adult body varies from 1/3- to 1/2inch in length, with the arrangement of the legs producing a larger overall size of 1 inch diameter or greater. The body is yellow to dark brown, and has a rather distinctive darker brown violin shaped mark on the top of the cephalothorax. Recluse Spiders are often colored tan, but can be dark brown to almost white in appearance.
Most spiders are beneficial because they feed on insects. If the unsightly webs and fear of spiders outweighs those benefits or you think you have spider infestation or possible dangerous spiders in your home, contact Earth Guard Pest Services at:
Under most conditions outdoors, spiders are considered beneficial because they feed on insects. However, they are undesirable to most homeowners when indoors, and the unsightly webbing spiders use to catch insect prey usually outweigh this beneficial behavior.
Many spiders are associated with moisture and, therefore, are found in basements, crawl spaces, and other damp parts of buildings. Others live in warm, dry places so are found in sub floor air-vents, in upper corners of rooms or in attics. Most species hide in cracks, darkened areas, or other retreats which they construct of silk.