North Carolina Spider Control

July 19th, 2010
Heat draws the spiders out

Onslow County residents may have noticed more eight-legged visitors in their homes than usual for this time of year.

Normally spiders make their splash in mid-August and September, but excessive heat and lack of rain has forced them center stage a little early, said Larry Kent, a program assistant with the N.C. Cooperative Extension.

“It is not really more spiders than usual, they are just showing up earlier than usual and people notice,” he said.

Hubert resident Sandy Gabelmann in particular has noticed them — and been noticed by them.

She was sleeping in her bed about three weeks ago when she felt a sharp pinch on her right eye that she believes was from a spider. She went to work the next morning, but her eye began to swell and “was all gooey,” she said.

Gabelmann went to Onslow Memorial Hospital where she was given antibiotics and eyewash. She said doctors couldn’t confirm it was a spider bite, but she believes it was.

OMH spokesman Tim Strickland said the hospital has seen a recent spike in patients reporting spider bites, but actual bites are hard to confirm. Insect bites, stings and certain bacterial infections mimic the effects of spider venom.

“They gave me the antibiotic for spider bites and in a few days I was fine, but it really hurt until then,” Gabelmann said. “My eye was swelled up like a softball.”

But spiders are not the enemy.

An overwhelming majority of spiders perform beneficial acts like preying on plant- and flower-eating insects and should not be destroyed, Kent said.

“Of course, you don’t want them in your house,” he added.

But if they are, it could prove hard to get rid of them, said Jim Vaughn, an exterminator at Dodson Pest Control at 2861 Richlands Highway.

“Individual spiders can be killed easily, but as a species they can’t be brought under control,” he said. “Roaches can be controlled with sanitation and chemical application, but spiders make webs so high up, in eaves and vents, that they are hard to treat.”

The main reason they are hard to kill off is because they are usually only passing through. Spiders are “occasion invaders” who live outside and only come indoors looking for food, moisture and to escape the heat, Vaughn said.

The best way to be rid of the crawlers is to seal off entry points in your home and keep your home tidy.

The exception is the black widow and brown recluse, each of which should be killed — especially if found in the home. Both extremely poisonous spiders call North Carolina home and can be found in Onslow County, experts said.

Black widows like hanging out under rotten wood and thick brush. Adult females are black with a red, white or yellow hourglass shape on their underside. The small spider’s venom attacks the nervous system. Pain in the lymph nodes, elevated blood pressure, nausea, sweating and tremors are signs of a black widow bite, which initially appears as a bluish red spot with white around it, all according to several exterminator websites.

The brown recluse lives under woodpiles and rocks. Both sexes have a fiddle shaped marking on their back. As they pass through someone’s home they tend to hang out in attics, basements and shoes. Recluse venom causes a lot of damage to humans, and anyone bitten should seek immediate medical treatment, according to the N.C. State University Department of Entomology.

North Carolina Spider Control

One Response to “North Carolina Spider Control”

  1. Keith says:

    I really hate spiders, they just look creepy. But you are right not all spiders are menacing. Great info thanks for passing it aklong.

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