Shadows of Eight Legs: Understanding The Arachnids We Live With

April 2, 2024 | Posted In: Spider Control

Arachnids, members of the class Arachnida, are sometimes regarded with fear and disgust due to their appearance, habits, and venom. However, these eight-legged critters play an important role in maintaining the balance of our ecosystems. In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common spider species found in and around homes, and why a professional inspection is a wise annual investment for homeowners.

The Ecological Role of Arachnids

Insects are the main food source for most spiders. As such, spiders play an important role in controlling the insect population in and around your home. Learning to coexist with some spider species (more on that below!) is key to reducing the use of chemicals to treat pests.

Common Household Spiders

Everyday homes are often arachnid havens. Here are a few common species you might come across:

Cellar Spiders (Pholcidae)

Widely notorious for their filigree legs and a penchant for hanging upside down in groups, cellar spiders are found globally, particularly in dark, damp regions such as basements, cellars, and crawl spaces. Despite their eerie appearance, these delicate arachnids are relatively benign and help by preying on small household pests.

House Spiders (Tegenaria domestica)

One of the most familiar spiders, the house spider favors the sheltered nooks of our living spaces. With their funnel-shaped webs typically found near the ground, they catch and eat a substantial number of common prey, including mosquitoes and flies.

Jumping Spiders (Salticidae)

Jumping spiders are easily recognized by their compact bodies and keen vision. They actively hunt and don’t rely on webs, instead pouncing on prey with impressive agility. They’re often found in sunny areas, like windowsills, where they can survey their territory.

Black Widow (Latrodectus mactans)

This notorious species resides in dark, hidden spaces and is known for its potent neurotoxic venom. However, bites are rare and typically only occur when the spider is disturbed, as they are usually shy and reclusive.

Brown Recluse (Loxosceles reclusa)

The brown recluse is another species with a feared reputation, mainly due to its venom. Yet, these spiders are reclusive and their bites are uncommon, usually resulting from accidental contacts in areas like storage spaces or seldom-used closets.

The Importance of Regular Inspections And Pest Control

While the idea of cohabiting with spiders might conjure unwelcome visions in the minds of many homeowners, understanding and regularly inspecting and potentially treating for these creatures can prevent infestations and protect your home. Annual professional inspections and treatments are crucial for maintaining a spider-free household, one that is harmoniously balanced with nature.

Inspection Benefits

Trained professionals can identify potential entry points and signs of arachnid presence that may go unnoticed by the unpracticed eye. They also know where to look and what to look for, which can save homeowners both time and worry. Early detection ensures that populations are kept at bay before they pose a problem.[JL1] 

Safe Houseguests: Encouraging Spiders the Right Way

Shying away from the overreaction of frequently seen aerosol sprays or traps, we can adopt a more holistic approach in welcoming the arachnids that act as our silent guardians. Creating a spider-friendly environment requires a few simple steps:

Keep Your Home Clean and Clutter-Free

Regular cleaning, decluttering, and vacuuming reduce hiding places and keep insect numbers low. This practice not only helps manage spiders but also prevents other pests from finding a foothold in your home.

Natural Deterrents

Certain plants like lavender, lemon, and eucalyptus can act as natural repellents. Placing these around entry points can discourage arachnid entry.

Fortify Entry Points

Maintaining proper sealing around doors, windows, and other home entry points is crucial. Spiders are masters at finding the smallest openings, so it’s important to stay vigilant and proactive in your exclusion efforts.

Proper Lighting and Moisture Control

Spiders gravitate towards areas that offer a steady supply of insects. Proper exterior lighting and dehumidification practices can make your home less tempting to these predatory creatures.

It’s clear that a nuanced perspective on spiders can lead to a more sustainable and health-conscious approach to pest management. Instead of reacting with fear, we can acknowledge their role as allies in keeping our living spaces free from insects. Upholding regular inspections and adopting spider-friendly practices not only keeps homeowners safe and content but also contributes to a healthier planet. After all, in the delicate web of life, every creature, great or small, plays a crucial part.

If you are interested in protecting your home from spiders or other pests please contact us today!