Yes, it’s that wonderful time of year when you can hardly walk through your yard with out unwittingly wrapping your face in a sticky, freshly spun web, and possibly end up staring at the spinner itself, parked at the end of your nose…
The good thing about those garden spiders? Wait, are there any good things about them? Yes! They are not poisonous to humans; They spend their days capturing and eating other potentially plant-damaging and pest insects; Most of their activity is limited to late summer and fall AND they don’t bark or eat the cat’s food!
We often are asked if there are any chemical control measures for garden spiders to which we respectfully decline and suggest a pass through the shrubbery with a broom or tennis racket. They are just too plentiful this time of year and pose no threat to trees, plants or lawn.
Ok, we may be alright with those spiders that are not ashamed to display themselves proudly out in our landscapes, but its those big, sneaky, stealthy arachnids that hide in the darkness, clumping audibly around our bare feet in the dimly lit bathroom that haunt our imaginations, right? Well, let’s shine some light on what any real danger may be (sheer creepiness not withstanding).
Here are some scary spider names you have heard thrown around these parts which are actually not native to the Northwest, where sightings have been only on train locomotives (Black Widow) or in the case of a Brown Recluse spider, rode in on a travel trailer from Kansas where it is native. Both of these spiders are venomous with a slight potential to be lethal to a weakened individual. They are just not adapted to life on this side of the mountains. There are all kinds of look-a-likes here, though, which aren’t poisonous…so you can relax….a little.
Here is what you probably see that raises your heart rate and sends your husband screaming to the door:
Aggressive house spider, aka Hobo spider: Large 1 3/4” brown/tan. Bites without a lot of provocation (sheesh). Can cause necrotic lesions which spread and heal slowly. If you suspect you have been bitten by a spider that caused this kind of sore, it was likely a Hobo spider. Not lethal!
These spiders make funnel shaped webs in which to hide within dank and dark climes like crawl spaces and basements. If you see one sprinting around in your house, it is likely a male seeking a female (not just looking to freak you out).
Domestic house spider: Same genus as the Aggressive house spider, but doesn’t mind doing a few chores while it’s up in your house. Not as aggressive as the Hobo, but just as creepy. Venom from this one is not as toxic as the Aggressive House spider, thus a milder bite reaction.
Giant house spider: Also the same genus of arachnid, and a large funnel spider. I suspect most folks won’t be spending a lot of time sorting out the finer differences between these three spiders while they are running for their lives or doing the creep-out dance with eyes shut.
Here is more in-depth information on local spiders:
All kidding aside, arachnophobia is real and living with the notion of seen and unseen spiders can make life uncomfortable at best for many of us.
House spiders are difficult to control with conventional pest control methods but there are some things we can do to minimize their activity in your home.
I welcome your comments and experiences!
Feel free to give me a call if you would like to discuss some options.
Wolbert’s Home Shield Pest Prevention